Reflecting Upon The African Dream


Reflecting Upon The African Dream
It is time to reflect upon the African dream: another year having been added to the others so far elapsed since the forebear of the African Union (AU), the OAU was born.
Instituting such a holiday is good for reflection on the journey so far so we can make amends and move on. It does not look too good though looking at the mounting challenges on the continent.
Fifty five years in the life of an entity – the stature of a continental body such as the AU – is no mean a feat. It is an age by which all the correction to the many blunders encountered on the long journey should have been made to facilitate a monumental progress so that the advancement can reflect in the lives of the people and governance in the member countries. Are we witnessing such progress? We are constrained to answer in the negative as would many other Africans.
The AU can do more to ensure that things change in the constituting countries but with the same leaders running the bad governments, what positive developments would come the way of the continent?
A look at the journey so far; the infractions on democracy and bad governance in many a country on the continent, point aptly at how many notches we have traversed so far on the progress scale.
Democracy is still challenged in many countries; the African leader, by and large, is not ready to relinquish power even when the time to do so is due.
Some bad leaders deliberately make it difficult for free and fair polls to be held in their respective countries thus triggering discontent and therefore civil strife. In Togo, President Akufo-Addo had to lead sub-regional efforts to restore normalcy in a restive neighbouring country – the people eager for a political change from a one-family dominated political leadership module to a truly democratic system with free and fair elections.
The story from the Democratic Republic of Congo is bad and so is Egypt. The list is long and to think that the AU has been around for so long, and in the face of these negative political trends, is mindboggling.
Aid continues to constitute a sizeable source of funds for development activities on the continent – a trend which threatens our individual sovereignties. For how long shall we depend on donor support when with proper planning under good and visionary leadership, we should end such dependence?
The founding fathers should not be amused by the progress or the lack of it made so far. We have lagged behind in development; the main factor being bad governance with a concentrated dose of corruption.
The late Kwame Nkrumah's position that the black man is capable of taking care of himself: something he said when we attained independence, remains debatable today when the quantum of aid the continent still relies upon is considered.
Let us enjoy the holiday but reflect upon what we can do to alter the face of Africa through the empowerment of the AU to serve us better.

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