AFRICANGLOBE – Anyone who is familiar with American politics must have come across the expression: “the American Dream”. The term “American dream” has been used in many ways, but it essentially conveys the idea that anyone in America can succeed through hard work and has the potential to lead a happy and successful life. Indeed the American dream was one of the stepping-stones for American revolutionaries like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whom while fighting against racial injustice, proclaimed in his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Of course like the American people of yesterday, the African people have always had a dream. This dream however is not the so-called “democracy” which is usually proclaimed in the corporate media every now and then. But what exactly is the African dream and why is it taken so long to become a reality for her people?
What The African Dream Is Not
It is not an African dream to see our leaders running to Europe every week for expensive “routine medical check-ups” while the ordinary African is left at the mercy of the collapsed health infrastructure. It was never an African dream for our leaders to continue running to China and America, begging for loans to help fight malaria and HIV/AIDS. Never had it been the dream of our forefathers to see young children of school-going age hawking the streets, selling dog chains, sachet water, and doughnuts among others in search of school fees, while our leaders steal the people’s wealth and deposit it in offshore accounts every year.
When the African child was born, it was not her dream to survive on less than $2 a day while the politicians and their families swim in luxury, holidaying and shopping in Dubai every now and then. The African teachers did not dream for once that in the midst of plenty oil and gas, gold, bauxite, diamond, copper, Colton, uranium among others, their annual salaries would still not be enough to buy a simple laptop nor to talk of buying a car when the monthly allowances of their colleagues in politics are enough to buy luxurious four-wheel-drives and several mansions abroad.
Where Is The African Dream?
It is never an African dream to have many educated Africans stranded in Europe, sweeping the streets, cleaning and obediently washing dishes abroad every year despite having degrees and qualifications that can tremendously transform the African continent. Who said it was an African dream for Africa to import toothpick, genetically modified foods, chemically induced chicken, second-hand clothing (including underwear), refined crude, shoes, clothing, etc. when Africa has what it takes to locally produce these things 50 years ago? Is it an African dream for the African people to continue borrowing from the World Bank and use the money to import American rice at the same time? Is it an African dream to be living in darkness when Africa has what it takes to provide electricity for herself and the rest of the world?
After 50 years of raising our flags of independence, almost every single project that could potentially bring relief to the African people has either been abandoned or being held in the pipeline. Thanks to IMF-imposed policies. Our local oil refineries have been forced to shut down operations. Our leaders therefore ship the raw crude to European refineries after which the refined product is imported back to Africa. Many of the factories which were built in Africa to process the bauxite, the copper and other strategic resources have been forced by IMF-imposed policies to shut down and left to rot. For many years, Africa has remained the producer of raw material and the dumping ground of European, American and Chinese products.
Is This The African Dream?
For the past 40 years, Africans have been lamenting their frustrations over the failure of leadership especially in Ghana, the so-called “model of African democracy“. Ever since Kwame Nkrumah’s government was brutally overthrown by CIA mafias in 1966, Ghanaians have been living in total darkness (all major power generating projects initiated by Nkrumah has been abandoned). As I speak today, we’re still struggling with unreliable power supply; there is no reliable water supply, despite having plenty of gold, diamond, timber, bauxite, crude oil and being the world’s second largest producer of cocoa: the only resource which Nkrumah used to transform Ghana in less than 8 years.
Today, our leaders usually measure their level of success by the amount of Chinese loans or World Bank grants they are able to lobby for, though a high percentage of such moneys usually end up in offshore bank accounts of the very politicians who signed such deals.
We have many rivers and lakes, yet our leaders cannot generate reliable electricity for the people. We have too much sunlight that shines across the country 350 days a year, yet the government doesn’t see the need to examine how we can generate solar energy to augment the power shortage which as become a major crisis for more than 25 years. Many companies are being forced to shut down operations and relocate to elsewhere due to unreliable power supply.
When are we going to have visionary leaders in Africa?
For many years, electricity in Africa especially in Ghana operates like disco lights. Even within the capital city, people are forced to stay in darkness for at least 15hours a day, usually 4days a week.
Is this the African dream which our grandfathers were brutally murdered for?
Yet, politicians make all sorts of noise parading Ghana as “a model of good governance and democracy”. They boast of plenty democracy, though there is no electricity to show for it as people continue to grope in darkness 4 day a week. I find it so hard to imagine that there are many public officials and engineers at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) whose main duty is to ensure that several parts of the country are shut down without electricity on a daily basis for the past 15 years. And they get paid for doing this job. What a country!
While Asian and Latin American leaders are busy building gigantic roads and bridges, our leaders here in Africa are only interested in building gigantic statues which serve the ordinary person no useful purpose.
African leaders of today are always keen to mount statues in honour of Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara among others whiles they ignore the social intervention programmes launched by such revolutionary leaders that were to bring about relief to the African people until their assassination/overthrow.