I pack my bags again this weekend; I have always enjoyed traveling because of one important factor. It’s never been about the bustling airports or the usual hype that comes with such a journey. On the contrary the whole business of travelling in today’s heightened security checks has been somewhat unpleasant to me. I seem to fit all the wrong descriptions, leading to my extra scrutiny. At first I used to be offended, eventually I accepted that in many ways it ended up giving me peace of mind. Traveling has been one of the biggest self-educational mediums in my life. To see and witness different cultures and places so distinctive to mine has by far trumped any other experience in my life.
This weekend I travel back to London after almost 10 months in Africa, this journey like all others challenged my way of contemplation on different aspects. The conclusion thus far riddled my senses; I finally understood how naïve my peers and I have been for so long. Today without hesitation I can wholeheartedly say that over 80% of our misfortunes in the motherland are self-inflicted.
Our generation has become bloated with self worth and the constant belief that we are entitled to the world and everything in it. Because we were fortunate to be in a time when education and wealth was abundant. We blame the leadership of our continent, we blame the colonialist, we blame the rich, and we blame the poor. We would blame the sun if we could but we never look to ourselves as being instrumental in the difficulties.
Every young African educated or not has a responsibility to this continent. It seems that we have narrowed our capabilities by wanting to either work in government or in non-governmental organisations. Now if you don’t see the hypocrisy in that then apologises. I must have heard too many “ but we can only change things from the inside”. Let us be frank, working in the above-mentioned organisations is not the issue, the problem lies with firstly the reasons behind the decision to take up such employment. Secondly in order for Africa to grow and become a place that shares its blessings with all of its indigenous inhabitants, we must diversify our efforts.
I am yet to come across an African of my generation who is thinking about industry, innovations in medicine or other important sectors. I have on the other hand met a number of young entrepreneurs, who have really inspired me in my own endeavours. This is what we need, the spirit to tackle our own shortcomings using our own instruments of change.
I would like to add just a little dimension, in case you agree with me. We are all fully aware of the defects of capitalism. Nevertheless it is a means of creating wealth, which is pivotal to any prescribed change we are to embark on. I have always maintained that it is possible to create prosperity in such a way that the by-products of these activities enhance the lives of the local communities. In essence, a social conscious form of capitalism, Unique to Africa by Africans. It is more than just a possibility it is a necessity.
We can no longer afford to be held ransom by the impulses of international donors, or poverty enforcing multinationals. We can no longer blame dinosaur age political mentality. What we can do is come together and really ask ourselves serious questions and ponder deeply on the answers. To try is to increase the possibilities of success and that time has come.
Hamza M.O Egal © copyright 2013 all rights reserved.