Africans with Global Voices but Zero African Solutions

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A popular news organization highlighted an African leader with several degrees and praised his education as something to be emulated. There was no mention of how this education has translated to tangible results. The fact of the matter is that the economy of this African nation is failing, unemployment is over 70%, GDP is less than $10BN and the people in country depend on remittances and aid from their relatives abroad, yet this man with all his education and expertise could not develop solutions for his country. This is an example of indoctrination and not education. Schooling that does not solve African problems is useless indoctrination because it does not propel Africa into the next stage of development. Instead, it ensures dependency by keeping  Africans looking East or West and not inward for solutions to African problems.

Dambisa Moyo, the American author of Dead Aid has lived in the western world for most of her life  and yet is considered an African expert. There is  danger with this approach because  Moyo is out of touch with what is really happening on the ground in Africa. The reason for this is very simple;  Moyo has no firsthand experience with solving African problems. Her education & working experience has been in western economies, she has never run an African economy but she is given a platform as an expert on African economics for which she knows very little except what she reads about. Moyo’s lack of experience in African affairs  is highlighted in her focus on aid than remittances. Statistics show that the greater source of income for Africa are remittances and not aid.  There are no real economic solutions for Africa that ignore the role than remittances play in the African economy.

Moyo for her efforts in undermining emerging African economies has been rewarded with a seat on the board of Barclays Bank. Moyo has not used her influence to keep the bank in Africa but has instead rubber stamped the decision of the bank to move out of Africa. Financial data shows that Barclays Bank has been profitable in Africa. Africans do not need Barclays bank and many are applauding the exit of the bank from Africa and welcoming African banks and other innovators to take the market share that Barclays bank will leave behind. African businesses such as M-Pesa have already introduced game changing technology to mobile banking on the continent and the global banking environment.

There is a cottage industry that is booming among Africans to speak at Africans rather than for Africans. This industry is composed of people who were born in Africa but left when they were children and rarely visit Africa but now claim to have become experts who can speak for Africa. Another group is Africans particularly those who live in America who go to Africa once and immediately are experts on the continental African experience. These people rob Africa of authentic African voices with demonstrated leadership and proven results that can actually be replicated and help transform the continent into a powerhouse.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very insightful expose of those high-flying African in appearance but not by any conviction. Unfortunately the masses of Africans, not excluding many elite, consider such as D. Moyo as hope for the future of Africa. We Africans are still immobilized from doing anything for ourselves by our pathology of western superiority that Nkrumah and others desperately fought against, that generations of our post-independence leaders have failed to understand, and have therefore reduced our education to an attempt to replicate western pedagogy. What then is more natural than gravitating towards working for western organizations and indirectly working against our own interests because these organizations exist to maintain western socio-economic status quo, and this has always been at our continent’s disadvantage.

    Education which does not promote African self reliance in those areas of our economy that we are able to control is not helpful to solving our crisis. Education that does not promote African defence is not helping to define what African freedom is in the context of our colonial and slavery past, and cannot protect our future independence.

    An education system that does not address acculturating of our people into African pride, self-determination, integration, and a conscious African identity, will only westernize us by default and drive us into the same behaviours this article has observed.

    It is not merely D. Moyo, but Kofi Annan, and many others like them, who achieve great stature in institutions like the world bank and IMF or UN, institutions that will never be pro-african; but also the many millions of miseducated Africans who champion these people’s achievements as sources of pride and accomplishment, not having been thought our historical experience with Arabs and Europeans to any relevance in todays context, we ignorantly believe in assimilation into the “global” western-driven economy, mis-conceiving ourselves with all our obvious economic disadvantages to be an integral part – which of course we are, but not in the grandiose sense we imagine ourselves: whiles we are filled with foolish pride the champions of these organizations impose terms of trade to their advantage that exploit us – and are proud of the accomplishments of those of us who have achieved personal success in this global economy.

    There were also Africans who likewise achieved positions of prominence with Europeans during our enslavement and colonization. They are no different from persons like Kofi Annan, Dambisa Moyo, and Okonjo Iweala because, instead of using their obvious advantages to further African iintegration and true competitiveness with the west and asia, they indirectly work with these organizations against our interest. These organizations require our governments not to underwrite our education however their own governments do so. Education and close to 100% literacy is the foundation of all those western societies today, so how can these organizations be working in African interest when they deny us those same vehicles they have used and still use?

    Economic, cultural, and political integration is more compelling now than anytime in the past. The want of an integrated African position, other that the farce of the African Union, is the reason voices like Moyo have a sound today. Were our governments trully progressive on African integration, Moyo would be irrelevant.

  2. You have hit the nail on the head. People like Moyo & her ilk have zero record of turning around any African economy so why do we applaud them. I double dog dare anyone to show an economy Moyo or her ilk have transformed.

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