Society

Opinion: Africa Won’t Develop Until It Explores Its own Potentials

Africans are more of consumers than producers, reason why most of them depend on the government for a living rather than being self employed.

By Sandrine Akeabeh, In Buea

Africans are more of consumers than producers, reason why most of them depend on the government for a living rather than being self employed.

The lack of creativity is killing Africa. Creativity and a critical mind are the key to development. We crave for development to reach the zenith, when we don’t practice self development. Africans have the power to produce what countries of the first world produce, but we have seemingly swindled our resources to benefit the “whiteman.”

The fact that we have black skin doesn’t suffice to say we can’t do what the whiteman does. They use us to make great things; why can’t we copy their example by using our own resources ourselves to make Africa great?

The whiteman is not superior to us; we can be on top of the world if we want to. The one thing that makes Africa remain underdeveloped is the lack of a creative mindset as well as economic and political independence. Think and look beyond the ordinary. The Europeans and Americans seemingly have more that 5 senses, but Africans depend only on their five senses. I call the sixth and seventh senses: the creative mind and critical thinking.

Our educational system is solid, just like those in Europe and America, but the difference comes in at the level of specialisation. We are Jack of all trades but masters of none. We produce engineers, contractors, journalists etc but do not use them to our own advantage. Africans do not make proper use of their own products. “What comes from ‘outside’ is the best”. This perception lingers in the minds of most Africans and needs to be reformed. How did the big countries become this big? That is the one question that should be running through the minds of Africans.

They use their brains, they do not sleep. Their eyes are closed but their brains are not, thinking of the next discovery.

Africans are even scared of consuming products produced by their fellow brothers but trust what is received from overseas. How did we get here? We produce shoes, clothes etc but how many of us do use them? We buy Chinese goods and products; Turkish, American etc and abandon what is made at home in the name of, “what can a blackman do that is better than the whiteman?”

The festive season is on and Chinese goods are all over the market. Where are African goods? That conception needs to be eradicated from our minds. We need to be proud of what we are and what we have. In terms of technology, we are still behind. There is a big technological gap; a digital divide.

First world countries are at the top because they started development some hundred years back. Development is not a day’s job. It is a matter of time. The cars and planes produced today took someone years to put in place. We need to use our brains to get where we intend to be in future.

Cameroon’s Vision 2035 will not be attained if the government does not take into consideration some of the things mentioned above. We citizens are the government and we can make our countries what we want them to be. The future lies in our hands. We can make Africa great.

The culture to read is one of the many things keeping Africa and Africans behind. We don’t have the culture to read knowledgeable things. We pay more attention to entertainment than reading something meaningful that will provide us with knowledge.

Most of the Apps we use in our mobile phones today are produced by the West. Apps produced by Africans are rarely or never used at all. How do we intend to get there? Africans do not encourage talent development, they help kill the talent they see manifest. We have the talent, the skills, the power, the brains, the resources, and the perfect beings to develop Africa. Let’s stop undermining ourselves and together make Africa great.

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