Africa’s growth is hampered by self-inflicted problems: a palpable lack of visionary leadership; lack of accountability in government and the civil service; the cancer of corruption; the wholesale lack of service delivery; erosion of morality and societal values; the love of false prophets and allure of cheap grace; lack of respect for self, for others, for opportunities offered and for the rule of law.
Anarchy reigns in many countries; the law seems to have accepted defeat and societies have been desensitised to abominable crimes. There has been an erosion too of national pride and patriotism, and a preponderance for abrogation of duty and an unwillingness to take responsibility.
Those who care about Africa have gone through a gamut of emotions – from anger, frustration, pain, embarrassment, and shame at the glaring lack of development in Africa and the seeming indifference of the ruling elite and the so-called leaders of African society.
Who is to blame for the sorry state of Africa? The jockey who drove the horse of colonial oppression? Unscrupulous and greedy political leaders? Western powers?
No! The real danger to Africa and the root of all its misery is the citizen – uncaring, unconcerned, self-absorbed, self-centered, quick to rush to support the indefensible, small-minded and with a laissez-faire attitude to life and everything; quick to complain about unemployment, corruption, poor healthcare systems, poor education, lack of services among others, but failing to acknowledge responsibility as the primary enabler of these through unqualified unyielding support of those so-called leaders, who wreak havoc and cause desolation and pain on nation-states.
Yes, it is the citizen who gives public consent to those who keep Africa in bondage. It is the citizen who litters the streets, gives poor service, oversees the breakdown of morality and family by not setting the right values and setting bad examples for their children. It’s the citizen who does not keep time, provides poor service, enables crime and corrupt activities by looking the other way, refuses to look for the greater good in everything, but rather obsesses over self to the detriment of the whole.
The intent of this book is to get conversations going; provoke and enrage Africans to be charged up enough to do something about the state of their beloved continent. Gandhi once reminded us, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’.
Wake up from your slumber African citizen for when you do, Africa’s immense potential and the fullness of its promise will be realized; Africa will awake and take its place among continents, and its member states, their rightful place among the nations of the world. Arise, sleeping Lion. Arise!!