The inability of African governments to solve the most basic problems is beyond pathetic. It’s unthinkable. It’s unfathomable. It’s maddening. It’s numbing. I can’t understand it. Obama is trying to electrify Africa. Akon is electrifying Africa. Can you imagine that? Today, there are at least seven different ways to generate electricity. Most African countries have not perfected one. Does this not make you very angry? Does this not irk you to the core of your soul? Is it not such a shame that we are the continent that always receives aid? Is it not downright abysmal that we are the continent whose problems are being thought about critically and solved by other countries’ governments and individuals?
If there is one thing I am not, it is patriotic. Passionate as I am about the growth of the continent, I am not anti-colonialist and I am not nationalistic. There’s nothing to be patriotic about. There’s absolutely nothing to be proud of. I honestly won’t bat an eyelid if other continents start enslaving us again. Are we not still slaves, nay dependents, after decades of independence? And there’s no end in sight.
Some people make excuses for Africa’s mediocrity saying African countries are still relatively young and most developed countries did not get to where they are today in a few decades. This is bunkum and balderdash. These same people are looking to leave or leaving the continent by any means possible. Here’s my question – what does it take to copy what others have done? What does it take to take working prototypes and blueprints and apply it to your own situation? Dubai is a prime example of a region that has done just that, and they’ve surpassed a lot of developed countries in almost every economic sector – from transportation to tourism to urbanization. Dubai is not 500 years old. Dubai did not need a century to do this. Africa has at least 300 days of bright, biting, hectic and exhausting sunlight every year, yet solar power remains one of Africa’s most abundant but scarcely used resources. This is ridiculous and utterly shameful. Think about this for a second – judging from the sheer amount of solar energy that hits Africa every day, we should be the most electrified continent. Heck, electricity should be one of our biggest exports!
In most countries in Africa, the headlines and news stories of decades ago still make perfect sense today. This is definitely true for Nigeria. It is still the same old story. We are still grappling with the same problems. Nothing still works. At least, not in the way things work in other parts of the world. I hear noise about Africa’s rising from time to time. Let’s be honest – nothing is rising here. There are a few outlier countries and regions, but for the most part, Africa’s growth is still very sluggish. Don’t believe me. Just look down at Lagos from a plane at night. The darkness is thick and real.
These are the concerns that strengthen my resolve to rise above the mediocrity, ineptitude, ignorance, impunity, corruption, greed and blatant stupidity I see around me everyday. I am not your average African. I am different. Very different.