They keep telling us Africa is the next economy frontier, actually its a cliche now. Its no secret that Africa is endowed with lots of resources from minerals to human capital, growing middle class consumer, enormous raw materials besides being the fastest growing continent. But that is the superficial part of it.
Beneath the high hopes and opportunities spread all over, Africa is struggling with an avalanche of serious problems. The major and unfortunate one being poor leadership which over time has hampered poverty eradication and worse still, encouraged conflicts which consequently has resulted to bloody wars. From Central African Republic to Congo, to South Sudan and to the worst country to live in, Somalia. All we have is, scores of dilapidated buildings and ghost towns, desperate mothers, disillusioned children and youths. Many a families have no father figures as they have been reduced to victims of violence and go down in history as the statistics of wars.
Hundreds are displaced, businesses looted, women raped, emergence of camps with no basic amenities occupied with sad faces full of despair. Narrowing to South Sudan, if measures are not put in place, it will deteriorate to the next Syria. The most unfortunate thing is the ethinicised wars where the Dinka are killing the Nuers and vice-versa. This is one of the many examples of a weak African state dealing with political infighting, endemic poverty and deadly battles between the military and rebels. Every government comes along with its own military ready to push on its retrogressive policies and myopic agendas.
We have reduced this great continent to a playground of ethnic wars and primitive ‘leaders’. The domicile African Union is either oblivious of the unfolding calamity or hiding its head in the sand hoping things will work out. They cannot even call for an extra ordinary meeting when Africans continue to slaughter each other. But I do not entirely blame African leaders, the international community is approaching this mess in a very laid back way, choosing to sit back and watch from a distance.
On the side of Africa we have a forgotten Central African Republic engulfed with a wave of killings and widespread looting.The United Nations and NGOs on the ground are warning of the violence escalating to a genocide if the international community fails to act soon. C.A.R is one of the poorest countries in the world and the sad reality is that, it has been completely ignored. Thousands of civilians were killed in last December alone.
Across the border, Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to contain decades of violence and instability.The young Kabila has had a tough time as president since his father was assassinated in 2001. However his surmounting of M23, Congo’s most powerful rebel group has added a grip on his presidency though there are fears he may change the constitution to allow him to run for power in 2016.
Africa can never take off when its brothers and sisters are being killed daily in numbers. We must invest in good leadership to make systems work. Otherwise the beautiful dreams of a first world Africa will remain just as dreams.