The Shuttered Dream of the African Child
Child labour in South Africa
The last time l checked, every African child is dreaming of the day when s/he can have equal access to quality education, quality healthcare, potable water supply, reliable electric supply, security among others. Most of all, the African child, like his American and European counterpart, is yearning for a 3-quare-meal a day without necessarily being the son of the president, a politician or some wealthy African king. The African child also deserves to dwell in a clean environment and a comfortable home. This is therefore a call to our stakeholders to sit up because the current standards forced upon the throat of the African child are simply unacceptable.
The African Youth and Unemployment
The youth need jobs; not mere political speeches. Governments must concentrate on policies that will create more jobs for the youth. There should be good-governance structures that will enable every youth the opportunity to harness their God-given talents. The current level of youth un-employment in Africa which stands at 50% is simply unacceptable. No wonder armed robbery, internet fraud, prostitution and other social vices are becoming the order of the day. Therefore any government which does not clearly lay out a plan that demonstrates how youth un-employment will be tackled within a given time frame cannot be considered to be a serious government. There are many young ones out there with brilliant ideas, and excellent innovations, yet the states do not have systems in place to support such people. How can Africa developed if her youth are constantly abandoned when many of them launched initiatives which have the potential to transform more African lives?
If you were to ask the majority of African voters what they expected of their governments, many would tell you they need jobs, potable water, reliable electric supply, quality healthcare just to mention a few. Democracy, the mounting of gigantic billboards and gigantic statues are definitely not any meaningful thing the African would want as a priority. Yet look at how much billions of dollars our governments have been wasting on elections and political rallies very year. Are these moneys not enough to build hospitals, school and good quality roads?
In 2012 for instance, the World Bank gave about $100m in aid to Ghana “to help fight malaria and other communicable diseases”. Shockingly, the sector minister suggested that the amount was still not enough for the said purpose. Yet within the same year (2012), Ghana spent more than $600m on democracy.
This does not include the amount which the various political parties wasted on political rallies, TV commercials, gigantic billboards and so on. At the same time, it was reported that many students could not write their final exams due to lack of funds. Are we serious as a people? Is Ghana truly the model of good governance and African democracy?
The African dream is found in our rich cultural heritage, the rich minerals of Africa and in the minds of the young, talented African youth whose burning desire has been ignored by our leaders. Our old men in government have hijacked this beautiful dream and handed it to their foreign donors to whom they owe their loyalty and allegiance.
The Way Forward
Indeed, the African dream has remained a pipe dream for far too long. It will only take a serious revolution to remove all these batch of incompetent old men from the corridors of power to pave way for youthful, dynamic and vibrant leadership to make the African dream a reality. Our people seriously deserve better than the usual lip service. The time to live the African dream is now; not in some 500 years to come. Governments must concentrate on building more gigantic roads instead of mounting gigantic statues. We must concentrate on investing in solar and other forms of renewable electric energy to solve these power crises once and for all. Our local industries cannot flourish with the current level of unreliable power supply.
Most importantly, we need to reform our colonial educational system to place more emphasis on practical science and technical education. The current book-oriented educational system which lacks practical demonstrations has failed Africa. It is time for real practical solutions to be taught in the classrooms. Various legislation must be introduced across Africa that bans all politicians and public servants from depositing moneys abroad. Any politician who is found to be owning fat offshore accounts must have his/her assets frozen. This in a way will help ensure that, all those looted funds shall remain here in Africa and be used for the benefit of the African people.
Let us begin to live the African dream from today.
By: Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa(PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at:email@example.com