Africa is a special place. It is in my DNA. It is one of the most special places on Earth with its ethnic diversity, its culture, its wildlife, and its landscape. Of course, it’s not as big as Asia, but its potential is increasing. Except, we are our own worst enemy.
Africa is where it’s at. The number of people using mobiles is booming. Technology becomes more available. We know that it’s the next industrial revolution. China has poured billions of dollars into Africa. I won’t comment on that any further. You make your own judgment on that.
We have the power to disrupt the world. Disrupt the African continent.That’s all positive.
Ain’t never going to happen at this rate. Here’s the problem.
Africa’s Achilles heel
Many people made mistakes in the past. In particular, colonialism’s consequences still exist. We can see the income inequality increases. For example, in South Africa, the GNI coefficient or measure of income equality is one of the highest in the world. Somehow, we need to redistribute it.
That’s only one side of it. We cannot blame the mistakes only on the racist or fascist regime, because the responsibility is shared. We need to equally own and share the responsibility.
We are not one African tribe. We are fighting against each other constantly. Take the Hutus vs Tutsis or Xhosas vs Zulus, or even should I dare say black vs. white. At the end of the day, we are all Africans. Naturally, we are fighters and hunters. Right now, we don’t fight or hunt the right things.
We still allow for corruption to take place. We take favours from family members or friends in politics. We let the past driven mistakes and disadvantages govern what we do today. The stains of the past, which will take time, lay heavy on some and don’t let us move on.
We need to re-brand Africa for a disruptive Africa that works with equality. We need to unite as one African tribe and work together. Part of being united is forgiving the past, and growing with those of the same generation.
Gen X-ers and Gen Z-ers were not part of the past, at least not all of them. However, I think we still carry the sword and grief of our ancestors with us. Why carry the baggage with us forward?
We need to re-brand Africa as corruption free and provide equal opportunities across various sectors like labour and education. No sense in building a bridge or making an arms deal because Thabo and his sister Thuli stand to benefit while Thuli’s husband works at the tax department. Crude as it sounds, that is the current reality we live in.
We need to empower the middle class to continue educating themselves and becoming viable economic contributors. We need our children today to continue education and innovation. Most importantly, we need to respect each other regardless of the past, income, or cultural tribe. Whether we are Sotho, Zulu, Afrikaans, or English, or another tribe, we are South Africans and Africans. The same applies to our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe or even in Nigeria or Egypt. We are all Africans.
Africa is an amazing continent with a lot of potential and excitement. If we are smart enough and can move on from the past, we can create a mighty Mama Africa that disrupts. We need to disrupt to survive. We need to disrupt to innovate and catch up to the rest of the world.
Finally, in whatever we do, we need an African Brand to an African Continent.