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.