Thursday, February 10, 2011


North to South, East to West, Africa is known as one of the richest parts of the world when it comes to natural resources, yet it is also the poorest region despite the natural wealth and the aid flow.

Oil fields in West Africa, Niger Delta, and Gulf of Guinea, East Africa, Sudan and some parts of Somaliland; in Southern Africa, Angola endowed with abundant reserves of the same commodity and not to mention the newly discovered oil wealth in massive quantities in other African countries like Ghana, Uganda and natural gas deposits in Kenya.

Gold, Uranium  in South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania, Titanium in Kenya, Diamonds in South Africa, Copper in Zambia, Namibia and Botswana and DRC which is known of having large quantities, massive reserves of most of the valuable minerals like gold, uranium, platinum, diamonds etc.

Africa is gifted with a lot of fertile land in most parts, numerous unpolluted rivers and lakes suitable for agriculture, energy and recreation. With favorable climate and hardworking population and use modern agricultural techniques, the continent has the potential to feed the entire globe for many generations to come.

Industrialized nations like China, have began to focus more on Africa because of the untapped virgin resources the continent is richly endowed. Nations outside Africa are benefiting immensely from Africa’s wealth, whereas desperate poverty reigns supreme among the African people. We have continued to place too much blames in the developed nations or colonialists.

It is an undeniable fact that the colonialists benefitted a lot from Africa’s resources & they still do even now but the fact is that the leadership in most African nations since independence has been lacking. The colonialists left the continent in half a century ago and all this time has been wasted by mostly corrupt, tribal, selfish and dictatorial cabal of leaders.  While Asian nations like Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and India that got their independence at the same time with African countries have witnessed great progress and prosperity.

The only difference in the two scenarios is types of governance. In Africa we had inept, selfish dictators who repressed their people and stifled any meaningful change, while in Asian countries called Asian tigers got good leaders who against numerous odds, managed to inculcate principles of good governance and economic stability in those nations.

50 years down the line, African we need to ask ourselves; “we were on the same level as those Asian nations at independence, why are they so much ahead of us today?” with great honesty, it is imperative that we identify governance as the main obstacle. As painful as it is to admit, we have to accept that the 50 years after independence have been wasted and now we have to make changes in order to try to catch up with the rest of the world.

If we can have better systems of governance, economic stability and consequently great progress supported by the availability of large reserves of resources, Africa will become not just self sufficient in food but it will become a superpower. And all people in Africa will be grateful by enjoying the wealth in their countries.

Japan and Netherlands, have surpassed many odds combined with hard work to reach where they are. The two countries do not have large reserves of resources like Africa, Japan for instance only has large amounts of fish and zinc. But from good governance and hardworking culture of the people, the country has the second largest economy in the world and is the world’s leading producer of electronics. While Netherlands on the other hand, was a land submerged by sea long time ago but the people managed to remove the water, reclaim the land and construct strong dykes. The country is now one of the leading exporters of dairy and other agricultural products, highly industrialized and developed.

From that example of Japan & Netherlands you will realize that it is insane to imagine that countries or the continent like Africa with vast mineral resources will automatically mean that people will be wealthy. This is very much far from the truth. From the scenarios of Japan and Netherlands, a country doesn’t need minerals resources in order to become rich; it is only by efficient management of whatever small the country has, combined with industry and hardwork that will make the country and its people prosperous. If a country can collect taxes effectively and plan how its revenue is utilized effectively without corruption, the country will prosper very well.

Lastly, it’s having a meaningful, peaceful and democratic election that will create stability in country which in turn will propel economic growth and prosperity.

African continent will be developed by Africans themselves, not foreigners.


  1. I salute you Sir for writing this article that speaks so well on the changes that need to made in order for Africa to move forward.

  2. Very sounding article. The problem is within African people and leaders as a whole even though external influences are there. People should react like saying no to corrupted governance system and corruption as a whole. Educating our selves and having good national as well as African development dream is one of the solutions.
    The trend in African context is very childish like fighting to gain independence and creating small political boundaries while in contrary holding number of meeting to bring African Unity under the African Union umbrella.

    Neighboring countries giving army and other logistical support for small countries to emerge and gain independence while they shake hands and talk nice words during the African Agenda meetings. If we as an African continue like that and those rude leaders continue leading countries with a lot of good meetings and words we will not be even in status what we are now.
    Let every body think where we are and where will be?

  3. im not from africa but i think this is a very helpful article to move africans and other counties to a better 2morrow