Our continent, embossed with 54 leaders who campaigned rigorously to sell us dreams of employment programmes for youth, poverty eradication and diversified economy structures seems to be lagging in holistic development.
When we compare our own nations to our neighbouring countries, we critic areas of development – seeing ruling parties as corrupt organs which primarily go into power for self gain. However, when we look at regional organs such as ECOWAS or AU, we divorce them from our leaders, believing that the entire organ is indicative of once-upon-a-time ideals that have fallen by the wayside. Interestingly, on grassroots’ levels we don’t correlate regional organs to local governmental organisations.
For example: when political parties set manifestos for their campaigns, they don’t correlate such manifestos with Agenda 2063, the SDG’s or even regional development goals. The focus would be within our own borders and that’s why it’s difficult to boost intra-Africa trade. The current equation is to set a manifesto reactive of current problems that citizens have with short-term solutions.
We – African citizens are partly to blame for this. There is a potential for Africa to grow provided we increase our participation within these organs. From the awareness of current structures and goals of the African Union and regional organs, to critiquing and questioning these manifestos which only offer a 1-5 year strategy only within the fragments of our borders. We need to question their ability to provide developmental changes when they meet for ordinary sessions in the political and economical organs.
Most importantly, we need to revoke the culture of redundancy and anti-developmental approaches to our continent when we only focus on ourselves. We need to create a culture of inter-dependency, realizing that the success of our continent depends of the economic success of our countries.