Africa: The Dilemma of the 21st Century.

Ugwu HilaryAcross the globe, Africa is presented as ‘no good’ a continent. It is violence, hunger, disease, corruption, poverty and ignorance. These images are what tend to re-present the continent’s intrinsic existence especially outside the continent. Thus, Africa’s dirt being displayed on international medias, are often disturbing to read or watch. We all know that bad news sales. Thus, those in the media industry, who earn their livings as news agencies, often make it a point of mission to dig out the worst out of Africa.

It is contra-fact to deny that Africa of both the 19th and the 20th century was a struggling continent. It was a continent ridden with international debt and external resource exploitation. ‘He who plays the pipe, dictates the tune’ goes an adage. Africa, represented by the corruption of her leaders was an addict to IMF, World Bank and other sources of international lending. Lenders were not unaware that whatever amount of money they give to African countries ended up in the pocket of few greedy people. How could one explain the so many years of aids and lending with no apparent development put in place.

Again, the 19th/20th century Africa was drenched with ethnic conflicts of genocidal proportions. The most vivid in the international consciousness are: Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Rwanda and Congo. The conflicts in these named areas were among the worst in the history of mankind that one is often remained of the capacity of human beings to turn evil and wicked.

But to be fair to Africa, conflict exists in every part of the world. The history of the world is written in conflicts. There were other major conflict of genocidal proportion that happened in so many countries within the concluded 19th and 20th century. For instance, Vietnam, Soviet and Afghan war, the Kosovo, Bosnia, the Gulf conflict, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Mongolia, the Cuba insurgency, the Israeli/Arab conflict and so on and so forth. Africa is not the only continent of ‘disaster’. Every continent in the world has suffered genocides. Weather it is tribal conflict in Africa or world war in Europe, wars are always evil as long as it involves the destruction of human lives especially that of the innocent.

Let us turn our attention on the advancement of science and technology in Africa in the last two centuries. Again, as far as techno-scientific progress is concerned, the Africa of the 19th and 20th century suffered severe paucity within the comity of other continents. In the new world economy, the fact remains that those who control science and technology control wealth. And because Africa of the last two centuries cannot be said to be advanced enough in science and technology, she became a pauper and a beggar to the most of the scientifically advanced making her more vulnerable.

As the 21st century begins, what prediction would we possible give to Africa. Would there be a defining shift in the way Africa is perceived? In other words, is this century an Africa’s? My prediction is that it is very possible for two reasons:

(a) The high concentration of African diasporas itching to see a new Africa: The 19th and the 20th century saw a mass migration of Africans across the planet. These millions of African immigrants have been highly trained and equipped in their host countries to face the challenges of the modern world’s economy, politics and science. The mass departure of these Africans from the African soil was termed the ‘great brain drain’.

But the 21st century is going to perfect the inter-connectedness of the entire planet earth–the globalization. This 21st century perfection of globalization would eventually make African diasporas not see reason to live outside Africa anymore. You could live anywhere in the world and have any job anywhere in the world. This is made possible by science and technology. And we should not forget that in the mind of every African diasporas is the quest to see Africa grow out of her present quagmires and into one of the world‘s economic powers. This collective consciousness, sustained by virtually all Africans diasporas, would eventually reach the point that investment of human resources in Africa becomes a matter of individual moral responsibility. In essence, African diasporas would be so vital to any kind of transformation that the continent would experience.

(b) The relocation of companies from the developed world to the developing world. Most companies in the developed world are finding it more and more difficult to operate due to strict bureaucratic government regulations. The cost of hiring and sustaining human power especially in the west is resource-draining to a lot of struggling companies. For this reason, many businesses are relocating overseas and establishing in the developing countries and still booming. India is a prime example. Most of good companies have relocated in placed like India, China, the Philippines etc. There, they hire professionals, perhaps trained in the west and ready to return home, with less financial strains.

Let us for once agree that Africa is a dark continent. But ‘dark’ only in the sense that there are so many unexplored energies. There are vast business opportunities which the world had not tapped into as a result of the negative images that replete the western media. As we tread along this century, so many companies around the world would begin to invest in Africa. It will once more open Africa up positively to the world for economic growth and development. Thus, it is a question of time and Africa will emerge from its history of poverty and scientific backwardness.

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