In a remote village in Kenya, as written by volunteer local teacher, Tessa Ackerman on news.com; she talks about how the lifestyle of the average Kenyan life is portrayed. She highlights on the houses that are built, where a few wooden beams make the frame followed by mud coating and also, how the schools have no calculators, and prominent lack of electricity. Additionally, in the homes, kitchens run on coal.
It’s four o’clock in the evening in the city of Lagos, Nigeria and a teenager, after walking through the dusty roads in the sweltering heat with a prayer that’s popular if you live or base in Nigeria, ‘I hope there’s light at home’ only to get home to discover utter dismay.
It’s quite dreary that we live in a fast-developing world or rather an advanced world and such scenarios are still prevalent, not only in the countries mentioned above but across Africa. We as a people have refused to harness our full potential; ‘refused’ might be a strong term so let’s use the word ‘unwilling’ as it is our unwillingness to try to keep up with the development as seen in other continents of the world.
Africa and Africans could be likened to two different ideas if you observe closely. Africa is the potential while the people are responsible for the whole tainted tinge of the precious continent. It’s of course important to note that yes, we all know the people are what makes up the continent but if you observe closely there is a divide. The land is likened to an idea of what is meant to be great because no matter the setbacks of its people, these have never been able to smear the image of the continent, only the people and we Africans can attest to that. That being clarified, I’m trying to talk about the Africa that’s meant to be, not an Africa that when mentioned in the west first strikes an image of starving children, disease and famine.
In most cases, though this view of the continent and its people is generally stereotyped and purported to be an influence of western media as spoken by African activist, Malence Bart-Williams in her popular TED talk ‘Africa and the World’.
A major factor which would most definitely boost the development of Africa and take it to the future it deserves is a widespread eruption of mass technology feats and scientific breakthroughs, only in this case without influence of western culture. Now I’m not saying that western help is detriment to Africa as that would be completely wrong. The west has helped in research for new health products, poverty alleviation schemes and philanthropy, one of which of course is the popular Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While these are all good feats, it’s important to note that as the saying summarizes, “it’s better a man learns to fish than being given a fish”. We as a continent need to spot factors dividing us and work together and try to see all as one. It is only then that there would be room for our purported future.
An Africa that works should be one where there’s no downgrading stereotype and one where technological advancement is the order of the day. Speaking in this light is to note the major breakthroughs going on in the sector when you study the country Rwanda. In the year 2018, Volkswagen signed a memorandum of understanding with the Rwandan government. Production would begin in Kigali, the country’s capital.
This is a major feat showing the fast technological advancement that could be seemingly disbursed throughout the rest of the continent if only we are open to change and believe it’s more than possible.
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