• KiAfriqa

6 Components of A Well-crafted System Keeping Africans in Extreme Poverty || How Can We Break it?

Almost every member of our society is hooked on at least one component of this sophisticated system designed to keep Africans in Extreme Poverty. It’ll require plenty of strategic efforts in order to achieve any significant impact towards our complete liberation.

This is because those benefiting from this system are fighting with all their efforts to maintain it. Unless we can break it, this system is crafted to keep on working forever.

So, why are many Africans in extreme poverty 6 decades after independence?

1) Many Africans are mis-educated or lacking practical, businesslike training

The Western educational system was/still is the vehicle for transporting Eurocentric ideas around the world. Applied to Africans, this education system was created to make clerks, servers, helpers, professionals who would support the world of the colonials and those who saw themselves as our masters. After the enslavement, Africans were physically free but the Eurocentrists had no intention of changing their educational system to create an authentic philosophy that we can use to further the development agenda and consolidate our independence.

As Africans, we still think a good life is about employment titles, salaries, consumption and therefore miss the importance of self-reliance by owning a business. Becoming a business owner is greatly rewarding. Our youth has to be taught to embrace education in its true sense. We have to start telling our young children from age 9 and above that job is not available again, and if it is available, it is no more good like the days of our fathers. We have to tell our young adults that they are the hope of this continent, that they are the ones to create jobs for themselves and others, that they have to be entrepreneurs and not employees.

What do you think an average African 19-year-old guy and girl is doing?

Watching football matches, movies, following fashion trends or best, getting busy with school to earn a good certificate.

Also, our African technocrats need to realize that there is no value in bragging about working for the biggest international companies if they cannot appropriate the knowledge gained in those organizations to capacitate the development of Africa. We shouldn’t be afraid to leave the corporate mindset behind. Entrepreneurship is a way of life in Africa, we’ve got to grab it by the horns, create decent jobs and provide greater opportunities for young men and women.

2) Most Africans are religious

Religion is a significant part of Africans, however, in Africa religion has drained the human mind economically making many Africans more and more vulnerable than ever before. At one end of the spectrum, there is a view which casts wealth and materialism as an evil to be avoided and even combated. On the other end, there is another view that casts prosperity and well-being as a blessing from God. Many Africans believe that God can make them rich. Religious congregations are filled with many people chasing miracles.

Economic failures have given birth to too many religious sects, many apostles and prophets who are seeking not only fame but also wealth. An example is of prophets selling miracle bricks to people in Zimbabwe promising them they can build houses.

Well, only working hard can make us succeed in having healthy food to eat, a safe place to live and good health care. Not some archaic religious beliefs.

3) Most Africans have a negative perspective on Africa

When most people look at Africa, all they see are problems and challenges: hunger, disease, unemployment, illiteracy, waste, financial exclusion, inadequate electricity, and a long list of others. Strangely, while most people are irritated and frustrated by these problems, the entrepreneurs who are building a fortune and impacting lives in Africa are excited and inspired by those same problems.

Because they see problems differently, the entrepreneurs who are succeeding in Africa apply their creativity and innovation to solve tough problems in a way that makes money, creates jobs, and positively impacts people’s lives.

All of them are actually succeeding because they see Africa differently. Africa is a market that overwhelmingly rewards problem-solvers. Therefore, the bigger the problems you can solve, the higher the potential rewards you get.

Like China and India, Africa’s journey to economic prosperity will create a lot of big winners. And, sadly, a lot of losers too. If you’re a victim of the one-sided poverty story of Africa that the mainstream media constantly feeds us, it is time to start seeing Africa with a positive outlook.

4) Ethnic rivalry destroying Africa

Africa currently seems like a house divided against itself. African Americans are persecuted in foreign lands and those back home are caught up in the ethnic rivalry. With ethnic tensions caused by political and social insatiability and instability, most tribes seek to own power and use it against the others.

Often times, a president gets into office and then neglects one region of the country. And after many governments from the same tribe, you will find that a section of the country is backward in infrastructure, just because in that region they are a different tribe from the tribe who has held onto power for many years.

Tribalism has always been fingered as one of the biggest challenges to the growth of many nations in Africa. Wars and general civil strife have destroyed African much-admired human resource base and have forced Africa’s sons and daughters to drown in the seas trying to escape conflicts.

Many nations have moved past the civil wars, but tensions still exist between tribes.

If we want a lasting peace, then our politics must be very inclusive. We must abandon the winner takes all system that is so prevalent in many countries on the continent. Proportional representation and devolution can go a long way to achieve peace and stability, removing any cracks that may emerge along ethnic lines.

5) Weak public institutions fostering elites' abuse of power

Countries rarely succeed in the absence of state institutions that can establish and enforce rules, collect revenue, and provide public services.

Efforts have been made in building and reforming public sector institutions in Africa, however, most of these fail with their achievements often consisting of shallow, cosmetic changes to “institutional forms” (how institutions are organized) rather than improvements in “institutional function” (the ability of public sector institutions to solve public problems).

Countries create anti-corruption commissions with no intention of identifying or recovering public funds that are stolen; pass legislation that criminalizes human trafficking but fails to investigate or prosecute the most egregious violations of the law; create “one-stop shops” to simplify the process of legally registering a business without addressing more significant challenges to operating a business; and establish courts and appoint judges that are nominally independent while tacitly endorsing interference in the affairs of the judiciary.

A small middle class in Africa has been linked with ineffective institutions. A strong middle-income group can effectively check elites' abuse of power, create and sustain a political system that supports strong public institutions.

6) Poor governance and Corruption remain at the centre of Africa’s under-development

A 2002 African Union study estimated that corruption costs the continent roughly $150 billion a year. A massive sum of money, used for the benefit of a few private individuals and their families. If this amount was to be reinvested in the African economy, used to rebuild factories, schools, and hospitals, I am sure it would result in economic growth.

Due to corruption and poor governance, many of our African leaders have totally driven themselves further away from achieving the aspirations and needs of their people. They have created the “personal rule paradigm” where they treat their offices as a form of personal property and a source of private gain.

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