Global & Business StrategyLeadership Development

A Renewed Mind Is Crucial For The Transformation Of African Economies

Poverty in Africa has been a dilemma for a long time. There is the school of thought that Africa is poor because there are not enough resources. However, the continent has the largest share of natural resources in the world. While large numbers of development organisations have flooded the continent to provide the 'scarce resources' and hunger plagues the continent, it is sardonic that we have the largest cover of arable land in the world. What is really frustrating Africa's development?

In the past, Africa's coffee, cocoa, tea, minerals and even people have been exported from the motherland and used to make other continents rich. In the 21st century, Nations still scramble for its resources - yet Africans still remain poor.  In the East, countries with large populations but a fraction of the natural resources are much more successful than most African nations.

None of the developed countries were always rich. Through history, there has been extreme poverty in each and every continent and different economies lifted themselves out of extreme poverty.

This possibly means that wealth is not just in the availability of natural resources but in the ability of people to use available resources to economically empower themselves. National values, vision, tenacity; resoluteness of purpose and synergy are crucial for the  economic  success of a people.

Simple as it sounds, no single economy has been successful any other way. If a people cannot conceive an idea and resolutely work together towards it, it will not be possible to get out of poverty as individuals, a community, country or continent.

Currently, Africa is uniquely placed to be an economic giant. Despite high poverty, the continent has the highest growth of mobile users in the world, the most natural resources and vast business opportunities and unsaturated markets. The population of well-educated people is higher than any other continent when they started their transition to end extreme poverty. Could this be the moment for us to end the poverty that has plagued us? Or is this another opportunity that will once again make other continents rich and leave Africa poor?

As Africans, it's time we seriously embrace the values that define us, grasp once again the vision of freedom our forefathers had and fought for.  We, more than any other continent, ought to crave for peace and wealth at the same time because we continually experience what greed, corruption, ethnic and tribal intolerance can do. Ironically, we continue in embracing the things, leaders and ideologies that divide us. Unless there is  a total mind shift, we are not likely to experience true wealth for a number of generations.

So the solution is not in our natural resources,  neither is it through the nations that have worked against us in the past but is in us as a people. We have been our own worst enemy for a long time and can be our own best friend and partner. If we do not change, current and future opportunities will once again leave us poor and enrich others.

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