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Charting a Course For Shared Prosperity in Africa

Historically, Sub-Saharan Africa has been a cornerstone of global prosperity, primarily as a producer of raw materials. This role, as articulated by Professor Dr. Howard Nicholas, a Sri Lankan economist and social scientist, has been maintained by global economic structures and institutions that keep Africa in a state of impoverishment to ensure the cheap availability of these raw materials. This raises the question: What is the way forward for Africa? How can African leaders act in the best interests of Africans despite external pressures?

Education and Independence

African leaders must prioritize the interests of the continent. Through the African Union, steps towards political, economic, social, and financial independence must be re-evaluated. Central to this is the need for an education system that aligns with Africa’s objectives. Education is not just about training minds and acquiring skills; it’s about fostering independent thinking, innovation, and integrity. It’s about creating and developing indigenous knowledge systems that reflect African realities. A curriculum that is grounded in and oriented towards Africa is essential for recognizing and appreciating African intellectual prowess. As Bob Marley said, "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.”

Patriotic Leadership

African-centered education lays the foundation for patriotic leadership. There have been instances where African leaders have been accused of being ‘puppets’ to the West. However, recent events have shown that Africans are becoming more aware of how they are exploited for their raw materials. The need for leaders who prioritize African interests over external influences is paramount. This calls for more leaders like Patrice Lumumbas, Tom Mboyas, and Steve Bikos, who embody the spirit of African patriotism.

Financial Independence

African leaders and financial experts must work towards developing a financial system that promotes independence. Dependence on foreign aid and international financial institutions often leads to policies that disadvantage Africans. The African Union needs to develop an independent financial system that frees African countries from dependency on foreign aid. Institutions like the African Central Bank, African Monetary Fund, and African Investment Bank can initiate policies that are African-centric and devoid of Western interests.

Regional Integration

African economic blocks such as the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) play crucial roles in Africa’s growth and prosperity. These blocks should align with the policies of the African Union to foster regional integration through trade, enhancing the economic situations of African men and women.

Value Addition

Each African state possesses raw materials. What is needed most is a robust system for adding value to these materials for economic and social purposes. Africa can produce raw materials and process them in-house to create final products. This would generate jobs, increase independence, and lead to the economic revival of the African continent.

The African Agenda

African leaders must champion the African agenda. Africa is not a poor continent; it is blessed with abundant resources and brilliant minds. The government should discourage the export of labor and instead focus on utilizing these resources at home. For the prosperity of the African continent, our brilliant minds need to be at home, constantly pursuing the African agenda. We are Africans, and Africa is our business.


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