Two months ago, the Africa Union (AU) ambassador to the United States of America, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, was released from duty. There was no clear explanation as to why. It is speculated that her outright condemnation of neo-colonialism and other unfair economic sabotages in Africa may have landed her the sack.
But let’s keenly analyze the concerns of the good doctor. It’s a fact that francophone countries still have to pay tax to France, and it’s undisputed that the majority of Africans pay high tax rates as an effect of corruption. The taxes are so high that it pauses a great challenge for African youths to start and maintain businesses that can elevate the African economy.
Even though efforts are made by Africans living abroad and business tycoons in Africa to chip in and boost the economy by investing in African businesses, the challenge of European interference is still a key problem that cannot be ignored.
Foreign influence has plaid a key role in powering corruption in Africa. More Africans live in extreme poverty today than they did a decade ago.
The few Africans who have found modern education and who may be the hope for tomorrow’s Africa are choosing to take their skills to other continents because of poor wages and unemployment at home.
We must, however, commend the different governments with the backing of the AU who have declared war against corruption in the region. Even though the vise is a weakness that has cost Africa the speed of sustainable development, Africa has still found a way to improve its infrastructure. The road and rail networks are becoming better by the day, while the continent is taking its place as an ICT hub. In Africa, mobile money transfer has become an ideal means of transaction and E-commerce has provided a livelihood for millions of young people.
Moreover, the Wakanda 1 village project and the year of return project currently taking place in Ghana has encouraged tourism and great investment in Africa. These projects which have attracted African investors back to Africa are a starting point to a journey that can potentially elevate Africa’s development and economy. For example, the Wakanda 1 project which is expected to be constructions of modern centers of excellence in each region, will contain modern facilities such as ICT centers, medical centers, research centers and learning institutions made for Africans.
The year of return project in Ghana has seen to it that Africans in the diaspora are reintegrated into the African communities. These people are slowly investing in African businesses while at the same time returning their businesses and establishing trade in Africa.
It’s high time that Africa realizes its industrial strength. This is the only way that we can cement our industries in Africa and boost our economy by avoiding the high cost of manufacture and importation of goods, that are originally readily available in our motherland. We must take advantage of our minerals, our indigenous foods, and cultures which have always had the economic potential of giving Africa a turn around on how it is perceived.
Already regional trading blocs are being formed within Africa to foster close relations between countries and encourage free trade within the region. This will go a long way in promoting Africa’s export which will result in an improvement in the economy and lead to sustainable economic growth.
We must also realize that the solution to unemployment, increased crime rate, increased taxes, corruption, and neo-colonialism lies with us. It is our duty on individual capacity to ensure that our actions foster unity and encourage a safe environment for economic development.