Africa is an ever-growing continent comprising of different nations, tribes, religions, traditions and political systems. We continue to seek for change everywhere else but where it actually lies – within us. A wise man once said, “The only thing that can bring forth the change we desire is a change in our mind-set”. The only thing that can cause a change in Africa is a change of the mind-set of the people. Countries, legacies, brands and worlds are not only built by money, or bricks and stone but also by mind-sets. Mind-sets are only built through education (sensitization, enlightenment, information, and empowerment). The building blocks of the mind and the change we hope for is embedded in the education of the masses. The problem of education is an especially big one because most problems revolve around it.
The Africa we demand and deserve is the Africa where every child, including the girl child, will have access to 12-year free, inclusive and quality education and after completion of studies, will be sure of a source of decent livelihood.
In order to move forward, I believe African leaders should focus on educating the masses to give us all a fighting chance in the world; to give Africa a fighting chance. Even without education, some would live comfortable and rich lives. Some may grow up to be ministers and governors and presidents. But without education, most of us would live below our potentials, and most of the ones who become important to the society would make very little impact and positive change to Africa.
An emphasis on education for the future of Africa would mean there would be more people to bring the change Africa needs. Wholistic and quality education would enlighten the masses and potential leaders, making everyone aware that the only way to secure a long-lasting positive future for not just our families, but generations to come, is by uplifting the continent as a whole; by building Africa. A well-educated future for Africa would mean people are aware of the socio-economic scenario of the continent and can help in her progress. It also would mean the people are more likely to make more informed decisions pertaining to our respective countries and continent as a whole; important decisions such as paying taxes, voting, conserving energy and maintaining order. An educated future would mean improved health and living conditions for all Africans; viruses and outbreaks would be much easier to deal with. Needless to say, information and its dissemination would be seamless as well. It would also mean there would be more jobs available, and more people to fill those slots – unemployment rates would drop, and so would crime as many more people will have legitimate and sustainable sources of income.
Young people make up the largest percentage of people in this amazing continent thus our dream is to live in an Africa that has high regard for her youth and believes in our abilities thereby fostering inclusion and participation in politics, governance and decision-making processes. We want a continent that will prioritize health care and the general welfare of her people by providing the basic amenities at little or no cost at all so as to ensure everyone has easy access to them thereby leaving no one behind.
The Africa we want to live in is a continent that will frown at injustice, discrimination and inequality, but stand for what is right and true. A continent that will change her narrative and will be globally recognized for being at the forefront of growth, development and transformation. A continent that will be known for her consistency in breaking records such as having the youngest presidents, strongest economies in the world, biggest air and sea ports, tallest buildings, biggest malls and Ivy League schools and best hospitals among others.
The issue of insecurity and the absence of peace can be tackled if employment opportunities are increased and education is made more affordable and accessible. This means children will be in schools learning and youths in places of work. Productive work will reduce the chances of them being exposed to negative vices, and drafted into militant and insurgency groups. Skills acquisition should also be encouraged through workshops, seminars, and conferences. There should also be provision of materials for such skills to be learned and practiced by the unemployed, and people living in both urban and rural areas. This will help people who are not educated (formally), and who cannot find (formal) jobs to fend for their basic needs.
Proper and adequate implementation of the Agenda 2063 will bridge the gap between investors and inventors by setting up environments within Africa such as the Silicon Valley in California, America, where people with great ideas can transform their dreams and plans into reality with the help of investors. I believe that improvement of technology will make Africa a manufacturing continent. We will be able to provide the goods and services consumed by Africans, internally. I also believe that if job opportunities are made available, with grant and loan provisions, more start-up and infant industries will be supported and sustained. To enhance growth, there is a need for the provision of a nurturing environment for start-ups, and an emphasis on technological advancement. Africa is a continent blessed with a lot of people with great ideas. I believe that if youths are given a lot of opportunities in strategic areas, the African work force will become stronger, and a lot more agile. Youths need to be given a voice, and a chance.
I believe by instilling a unified generational mind-set into the various African countries, we can ensure not just growth and development, but maintenance as well. If we cannot learn to maintain what we have grown, then we will never be able to develop what we have. To have a generational mind-set doesn’t just involve imbibing a patriotic mind-set, but involves educating the masses, as well as creating a maintenance culture. A maintenance culture is the most important factor in developing a nation or continent, and is a mind-set that must be adopted by the masses.
We look forward to something that will launch us into a new realm where we all strip ourselves off every single thing that poses to destroy us and we embrace one another and celebrate the beauty in our diversity. We need to collectively move towards the solutions because the leaders alone cannot implement change. Everyone must be ready to unite, and work together for change.
Can this Africa exist? Yes! So, will it? The answer to this is in our actions and/ or inaction.