Not the Africa we want

via Not the Africa we want – The Zimbabwe Independent January 31, 2014

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and colleagues from across the continent are in Ethiopia for the African summit where this year there is a nascent buzz phrase “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.

This is Africa’s newest project expected to drive the continent forward over the next 50 years.

Work on Agenda 2063 was initiated by the heads of the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission during their meeting in January last year to deliberate on Africa’s development in the next 50 years.

It is an attempt to ensure Africa’s future is driven by policies and programmes created mainly by African institutions. It sets out to establish a credible platform on which Africa can build its future development and is a rallying call for “an Africa that is prosperous and at peace with itself”.

While our leaders have not said much about this initiative at home since its launch during the AU Golden Jubilee last year, Mugabe this week weighed into the African Renaissance discourse, telling a ministerial meeting that Africa should take charge of its resources. He said this was not taking place because the continent lacked “bold leaders”.

Media reports say he questioned the African leaders’ “political consciousness” which he has always believed the current crop of Zimbabwean leaders have in abundance, hence detractors regard them as crazy people. More revealing in the President’s take on this African Renaissance is the idea that the state should not be a spectator in the development game, but an actor because the people do not have capacity.

This line of thought is not new at all coming from Mugabe, and is definitely not the panacea to achieving the “Africa We Want”. African governments including Ethiopia — host country of the AU seat — are still fascinated by the politics of control. Despite most African countries appearing to openly embrace democratic values, they still have in their governance chests repressive edicts which are from time to time unleashed on the citizenry to silence dissent.

The new roadmap for African development is one that is hewn from the dictatorial maze still enveloping the continent. Africa needs to be liberated from its own leaders who believe that totalitarianism is bold leadership. Agenda 2063 cannot be achieved by employing the same old definition of bold leaders: strong uncompromising autocrats who have amassed wealth for themselves while their backyards reek of poverty, disease and acute deprivation.

When states fail in Africa, the easiest excuse is to situate the blame on Western forces siphoning wealth from the continent. But what is also very apparent today is the paucity of accountability in African countries which have established a measure of controls on the natural resources.

A case in point is Zimbabwe’s exploitation of diamond reserves. Which Western power siphoned billions of dollars realised from Chiadzwa diamonds and what does our government have to show for controlling this resource? Which schools, hospitals, bridges and roads have been financed from the billions? Where is the money?

This is the sort of state control that Agenda 263 should remove completely. It’s not the Africa we want.


  • comment-avatar

    ” case in point is Zimbabwe’s exploitation of diamond reserves. Which Western power siphoned billions of dollars realised from Chiadzwa diamonds and what does our government have to show for controlling this resource? Which schools, hospitals, bridges and roads have been financed from the billions? Where is the money?”


    I rest my case.

    • comment-avatar

      Hutu I know what you mean. Western powers exploited Botswana’s diamond reserves. LOOK AT BOTSWANA NOW.

      • comment-avatar

        Good artical from the independent the western powers have not received a penny from these diamonds. I COULD NOT RESIST DOING THE VICE VERSA and pilgrim could not have said it better.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 9 years ago

    I would rather have the west then those Chinese rip offs.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Some already have the Africa they want and they are not going lo let anybody change that easily.

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    Saddened 9 years ago

    Given the poor performance of the OAU/AU since 1963 please forgive my doubting that they have any chance of doing much better over the coming 50 years. Appointment of Mugabe to a senior post is typical of these jokers come murderers, failures etc who masquerade as leaders of our wonderful continent. Our only hope lies with us taking the initiative to make a better lives for ourselves & our children but let us be realistic & set measurable goals i.e. 5 year, 10 year, 15 year plans that we can evaluate as we go forward.

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    Mthwakazi 9 years ago

    With the Shona Gukurahundi now at the helm, all economic and political gains the African continent had made in the last few years are now set to be reversed.

    The continent has been the only region showing tremendous economic growth prospects; registering some 4%, 5% growth rates, of course off a low base, whilst the rest of the world was slowing down..

    Political stability had returned to many countries, with only a handful still struggling with internal strife. Now gukurahundism is gonna be the order of the day right across the length and breadth of the continent.

    A much endowned mother continent, the largest land area on planet earth. Throw in the US, China, India and Europe all combined, African land is vast. With mineral resources unmatched anywhere in the world!!

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    Only Fools 9 years ago

    When will Africans learn?

    • comment-avatar

      As Nyoni says the West are preferred. Not that they are perfect but the put back into what they take out.

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    easily fooled 9 years ago

    Its a difficult call. Congratz to Mr. Mugabe. Westerner proposes a limit to working age. The most proposed is 65 years. Mr Mugabe is 90 but he looks 65 or so. We all know the has bee severe loud calls all over the world that he is past his sale-by-date. He rules over 13 million (15 million including diaspora) and has ruled 30 to 32 million including those burried between April 1980. He only presides over 4 billion dollar budget

    Mr Sepp Blatter is on 78, 13 years past 65 year. For lack of exercise (kusabata gejo), he looks just over 100 years. He is in charge of, presiding over billions of people and trillions of dollars. It was a difficult to walk to the stage to give CHAN awards. It was not easy to arrange him in a straight line. It was punishment if not a holiday resort to give him the honour to preside. At least he saw some old friends, hugged them, gave them a few kisses….like all old people.

    Go on Mugabe, you are not alone