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Opinion: Shifting Africa from the back seat to the front seat

2021-10-28  Staff Reporter

Opinion: Shifting Africa from the back seat to the front seat
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Sarah Goroh

Africa is one of the richest continents in the world based on its abundance of resources. However, it is amongst the least influential in the global community. As a continent, we have experienced slavery and oppression. How do we step up to take our rightful position and make Africa a force to reckon with? 

Considering all that we have been through as a continent, the only way we can become a force to reckon with, is if we go back to the drawing board and build strong foundations. A firm foundation has the ability and the power to keep a building standing strong, even in the midst of storms and adversities.

 If we look back in history, we will notice that some of the most powerful nations in the world were once considered third world countries. But, they went back to the drawing board and re-strategised. Some of these nations are quickly taking over the world. It started as a strategic plan which they began to imbibe in their citizens; the plan to “take over.”

 As a continent, how do we elevate our own voice and shift ourselves to a higher place of affluence? The truth is; once we unite in our great numbers, we will elevate the voice of our continent. We must get back to the basics and let our voices be heard. The two important aspects we must preserve as a continent are; people and land.

 

People first

The only way we will move forward as a continent is if we value our people and citizens before material possessions, resources, buildings, ambitions etc. We cannot allow ourselves to be seen as beggars. We need to value our people first. For long, leaders and citizens have valued material possessions over their fellow people. We have placed a lot of value on our buildings, assets and resources. We sometimes forget that human beings are our greatest assets. People work, build, develop, invent, nurture, multiply and occupy. They carry great value. Therefore, in order for us to build a solid foundation, we must make it our core priority to invest in our people first.

 We need to take these three words very seriously: “fruitfulness, multiplication and dominion”. Once we educate our children from a tender age to be fruitful in all they do, to multiply the works of their hands, and to have dominion over the earth; we will take Africa to the next level. 

People-First equals (=) Africa-First and vice versa. As Africans, we have had dominion over one another instead of having dominion over the land we tread upon. Subduing people is a form of oppression. When people are suppressed, they become afraid to speak and they lose hope and creativity. This does not promote unity, nor freedom of speech. Once people have been oppressed for too long, they begin to rebel.

If we want to be number one as a continent, we must establish our core values. We need to make people a priority and we need to promote creativity as much as we can. We can empower the African People by providing quality and affordable education, access to water, food and shelter, skills development, quality and affordable health services, a conducive environment to live in, and affordable land for all.

 

Preserve the land

 Africa is blessed with so much land, measuring about 30.5 million square km. Africa’s land should belong to its people. Our land contains a wealth of resources, produces food and can preserve the continent for generations to come. We may export our goods, resources, knowledge etc., but we must preserve our land and keep it amongst the African people. 

How did we survive before colonialism? Our land produced for us. By protecting our land, we protect the well-being and livelihood of future generations. Once you take the land away from the people, you take away their birthright. We suffer because of greed and lack of knowledge. We need to preserve our land more than we preserve money and material possessions. Money and currency can be devalued, but land has generational value. Our land can produce for us through its abundance of resources and hidden wealth.

Africa is one of the most prosperous continents on the planet; blessed with so many resources. However, we have found ourselves in huge debts. The burden of the settlement of those debts will now be on the shoulders of future generations (the youth, the children and citizens who are not yet born). How do we reverse
this?

 As citizens, we need to ask ourselves three very important questions before getting into high places of power and authority. We need to ask ourselves: «Who am I? Why am I here? What should I be doing?» We need to be driven by an ultimate purpose. We should avoid taking on positions of power for self-gain, self-enrichment and selfish ambition. When one is placed in a position of power to represent and elevate the voices of the masses, it should become his or her mandate to fulfil that role. 

Africa is endowed and blessed with many wise and intelligent people. However, unfavourable living conditions and operating standards as well as inequality, have made many people suffer from a brain drain, forcing our top inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs to flee the continent to look for greener pastures.

 

Time to act

 We need to come together and repair the foundation before it›s too late. Everyone has a part to play and once the foundation is fixed, we can build on top of it. If the foundation of a building is faulty, the building will collapse. We need to right our wrongs in order to rewrite the future. This is an act that will take courage as we forge ahead as nations and as a continent. There is a great saying that goes; “Be the change you want to see!” It is imperative that we take action now, if we desire to shift Africa from the back seat to the front seat. 

 

*Sarah Goroh is a woman of many gifts, based in Windhoek, Namibia. She is a multi-gifted inspirational writer, speaker, content creator, author, certified life coach & NLP practitioner, poet, publisher, administrator and ordained minister. She impacts the lives of many through her brand, Charizma Inspirations. 


2021-10-28  Staff Reporter

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