This proverb from the Oji or Otchi tongue from the Ashanti people is quite expressive of a certain reality faced by Africans. The latter tend to complain about their situation and put the blame on exogenous forces to the African continent. If no one can deny the role of these exogenous forces regarding Africa’s current situation, the real question would be: until when are we going to complain? What is quite paradoxical is that the ones who blame the former colonizers about Africa’s current economic situation are the very same ones who beg the former colonists to help them solve their economic, political, military and educational problems, to name but a few.
An objective observation is generally one of the ways to find pragmatic solutions to a problem. Development is a complex process that can only be handled by human beings, not machines. Thus Africans are the ones who must solve Africa’s problems, not the foreigners. Unfortunately, a clear observation of Africa’s so called development shows that natural resources are not benefiting Africans because a few Africans (the ones who are in charge) have betrayed the true cause of Africa’s development. They have opened the doors to looters and have become their accomplice. Consequently Africa is still not controlling the value chain of several industries (oil, mining, electricity, etc.).
If, as Africans and individuals, we admit that we are the first cause of Africa’s underdevelopment, this would constitute a giant step towards solving our problems. Why? Because it would then make sense to believe in Africans’ inherent ability to conceive genuine or adequate solutions to all our problems. It does not mean that Africans will reject any external help where necessary. It simply means that Africans will be valued more than ever before such that our scientists, researchers, economists, industrialists, etc. will finally have the possibility to express themselves and get the necessary funding to promote solutions which are consistent with our culture and environment. And when Africans decide to truly unite at a regional level, and avoid this Union of façade we’re accustomed to, then this continent will become a force to be reckoned with. The choice is ours!