Africa Day – Whither To?

The Organization of African Unity, a prelude to the African Union, was established on May 25, 1963, and with it was born Africa Day.

Even though Africans across the world celebrate it, fewer than ten African nations – including Angola, Ghana, and Zambia – observe May 25 as a public holiday.

But what do these countries celebrate? Granted that the effects of colonialism that ravaged and robbed Africa of its human and other resources continue to impact negatively on Africa, there are other self-made factors that equally ravage and rob Africa daily of development. And we are talking about corruption.

With the exception of very few African leaders, most contemporary leaders have allowed the canker to fester across their countries because they themselves are knee-deep in the practice.

Corruption in Africa is a systemic disease that has eaten into or permeated almost every fabric of the continent.

Since a fish rots from the head, so it is that government appointees – once it becomes obvious that the head or leader is corrupt and compromised – follow suit and indulge in the practice with boldness and impunity.

Not only does corruption stymie development, it also usurps the status quo and abuses power. A corrupt leader will do anything and everything possible to cling to power to protect his/her interests and nefarious deeds, lest they be exposed by the next leader, especially one from a different political persuasion.

Thus, we have aged, tired, and half-fit leaders who will rig elections and cause constitutions to be amended so they can stay in office till “who knows when.”

If Africa intends to hold on to Western-type democracy, the AU must be bold and come out with policies that would discourage and sanction its own corrupt leaders.

The West and Asiatic countries must be willing partners in this scheme to help expose ill-gotten wealth stashed outside Africa.

Standing aloof and enjoying fruits of ill-gotten wealth of corrupt African leaders, as the West is won’t on doing, cannot cut muster for long!

For one thing, the so-called illegal immigration by Africans will not stop, irrespective of the perils encountered in their journeys.

While Europe attempts to curb Illegal migration across the Mediterranean, the U.S. will have to deal with those coming in from the length and breadth of its borders, walls or no walls.

The best approach for the West and the U.S. is to work with developing nations to improve economic conditions for their citizens that would discourage them to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

It is only when Africa creates enough employment and enhances quality of life for its citizens that it can sit across negotiating tables with the West and the U.S. as equal partners and be respected. Africa must put its best foot forward to stamp out corruption.

It is only then that a genuine and reflective Africa Day can be celebrated by all fifty-four countries of the second largest continent on earth.

Posted by on Jun 14 2018. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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