Hard work and patience are two rare high qualities. Indeed, as human beings, we tend to be in a hurry. We want everything here and now. We don't want to take the time to analyze our problems; to understand the causes of our problems. We look for ready-made solutions to speed up the process that will fix, apparently, our problems.
For so many years, in Africa, the norm was that Africans must not think by themselves because others had already thought about their problems. Thus "others" developed solutions that were apparently the best ones for Africans. African ingenuity was discarded.
This situation, which is a dangerous historic farce, could not last forever. That’s why a new generation of Africans is surfacing. And they have talent. They want to embrace their culture and work with it as the base of Africa's true development; an authentic and holistic development. They believe in the grandeur of Africa because her past proves that their ancestors were smart and wise people, although they were not perfect. Who is perfect? Therefore, we cannot deny that they also made mistakes. And we have to learn from their mistakes to improve the present and prepare the future. But what kind of future?
A wise man could tell us that the best way to prepare the future, is to engage in the present; to observe our environment and see what the problems are. Then, it would make sense to ask if people have identified the solutions to the problems. And one will be surprised to see the number of Africans who will raise their hand and say: yes, we have already conceived the most appropriate solutions.
Those who find solutions to problems are called inventors or innovators. They come from all social classes; are in towns and villages; and come from the diaspora, too. Most of them are humble because true talent calls for humility. However, in Africa, those who are supposed to encourage them are not humble. They despise their work, especially if a new discovery has been developed by a villager, say in Uganda or Angola; as if being a villager means being stupid. Indeed, if this villager does not speak English or Portuguese, for instance, he is then automatically disqualified as a possible inventor/innovator; thus unable to contribute to the prosperity of his country. This is as if the mastery of a foreign language is the precondition for invention and innovation in Africa!
If we could listen to young and talented Africans from all parts of Africa and from all social classes, Africa would be a better place because they have conceived prototypes in almost all kinds of sectors: shipbuilding, aerospace, healthcare, construction, defense, automotive, etc. What they need to move forward are modern Research and Development Centers and factories where they can improve and start the mass production of their innovations and inventions. And it takes time to perfect an invention or an innovation. Yet, this time is necessary and this is why patience is required. There will be ups and downs, for sure. But we must never give up. It takes time for a big tree to grow and give fruits, doesn't it?
Our perception of what development is must correspond to criteria that will emanate from Africans themselves based on their cultural and economic realities, not from the international community. Africans do not need to be told that they must improve their healthcare system, for instance. They know it. However, without rejecting progress made by pharmaceutical companies (big pharma), for instance, it would be a strategic error to keep on letting them imposing their norms and criteria. Africans are mature people just looking for mature leaders who can embrace that vision. Africans must come up with their own standards, wherever it is necessary so as to limit their dependence to the outside world. And what if one of the criteria that would lead to development and industrialization in Africa was: mental decolonization - mental liberation. How could we assess it across the continent! I am sure there are already talented Africans who have thought about it. Let's then find them, listen to them with humility because they will tell us.