Op ed

African Diaspora: Take a Chance, Grab the Opportunity!

Africa is changing. There are tremendous opportunities in the continent. If there is something Diaspora Africans should learn from the developed west especially, it would be the principles of pragmatism. Let’s stop talking about how real problems in Africa are; let’s start solving problems. One change at a time. Let’s start doing things that work and stop those that do not work including adherence to certain cultural inheritances. Then we can join the rest of the world to move forward. Every historian knew that the dreams of Kwame Nkrumah when he declared of the 19th century thus: “…this century is Africa’s” was lost by the military invasion of African politics and the subsequent corruption that followed thereafter.

The 21st century is a fast moving one, a jet era whose economic arms are webbed in digital science and its apparent global revolution. Africa has a lot of catch-ups to make. Catch-up in the sense that, the continent never genuinely undergo industrial revolution as did so many other developed continents. I have often mused to myself, is it possible for a society of people to complete the metamorphosis of massive revolutionary development and economic growth without experiencing industrial revolution of a sort? Or has it been that Africa has permanently skipped industrial revolutions? And if so how comprehensive would her cycle of development be eventually? In my own thinking, it is no longer necessary for the European-style industrial revolution to occur in Africa. Because the economy of the new global computer era has shifted tremendously from what it was in the past. Consequently, Africa does not need a backward journey either. The entire globe is thinking in line with the new era of digital computation and its complex economic base points.

Granted, industrial revolution would have moved the continent away from its apparent sluggish and primitive agrarian society and created a more meta-tribal consciousness and widespread circulation of goods, services and people in a competitive industrialized work-awareness, employment and economic growth. This no doubt would have left Africa is a different shape than what it is today. However, the potentiality of African economic growth is not at all tired down to the Euro-American-style of industrial revolution.

Gradually, the continent is opening up to the new global economy in a more positive way, the way of economic opportunities. Although only few people realize this. There is a revolution going on in the continent. Not the industrial revolution as happened in the west. It is a different kind of revolution. The Information Technology Revolution. Knowledge and information is more easily assessed and obtain than it was few years ago. One can now attend the best universities anywhere in the world while seating at one’s table inside one’s room. One can now communicate anywhere in the world with the modern digital telecommunication gadgets. One can now monitor the global economic fluctuations, with a cup of cofee of tea, inside one’s own bedroom and decides if one wants to buy or sale a stock, properties, goods and services or not. This is the advantage that new Africa has–the availability of information though digital technology provided by World Wide Web.

Are Africans taking advantage of the new information revolution in order to change Africa or are they waiting for the World Bank, IMF, UNISEF and other strong international bodies to save the continent. Most of the Diaspora Africans are also brainwashed by the media to think that investing in Africa is catastrophic and unwise. They buy into the western media tag of Africa as a dark continent. Even if the 19th century Africa is dark, the 21st century Africa is a continent with the brightest spark of light twinkling and spreading all over. There are opportunities in Africa. Real opportunities investment and profit. It is also easy to invest there. African governments are wooing investors and therefore does not have difficult legal bureaucracies as businesses often face in other countries.

Diaspora Africans should have to develop investment interest in their homeland. Within this very century, I am convinced that the rest of the world is going to start seeing the continent beyond the widely publicized stains of AIDS, disease, poverty, wars and hunger. Africa is going to be the new focus of global entrepreneurs. China is already secretively buying off African opportunities. Soon the west is going to come back to take the remaining available opportunities once more. There is no time to waste. Diaspora Africans should start up businesses in Africa. They should open up schools, hospitals, banks and micro-financial institutions, real estate, hotel and hospitality, including tourism. . Presently, there is a bright light in IT business in Africa. How many Africans are grabbing these opportunities? Investment is not all about huge capital, it is about huge vision. This is the time. Just take a chance, there is opportunity to grab. Africa is duly ripe for economic emergence. It has already been connected to the rest of the global via new trade. But the question is: what are you doing as an African to take this opportunity and also to create opportunity in Africa?




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