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Africa must have faith in its abilities

President Robert Mugabe, as the African Union (AU) chairman, implored all Africans to utilise African resources in financing African operations.

Sunday View with Mukachanya Hanyani

His call for Africa to be for Africans meant that Africans should be proud to be identified with their continent where natural resources are plenty and second to none in abundance the world over.

As such African leaders should be proud of and have confidence in the African institutions in fighting any vice that might befall the African continent.

While Africa has been under attack from diseases like Ebola, HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases, African leaders have not come together to strategise on how to deal with such diseases.

It has been a big problem for African countries to come together and deal with such vices in the continent.

The outbreak of Ebola in countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other Western African countries late in 2013 saw the World Health Organisation (WHO) sending medical experts into Africa to deal with the outbreak.

African leaders were caught unaware as thousands of people succumbed to that disease.

It was disturbing that there was no plan put in place by African leaders to handle such an outbreak as it needed the intervention of experts from outside the continent to deal with that pandemic.

While it is not wrong to consult the international community when Africa is faced with problems ranging from diseases, wars, economic malaise, Africa should now realize that African problems need African solutions.

It is high time that Africa becomes independent economically, socially, culturally and physically so that the continent is able to wean itself from the western dependence syndrome. Africans should have expertise to deal with such problems without international intervention.

For that reason, Africa should embrace the call by Mugabe for Africa to be for Africans. It is high time that African leaders embrace African solutions to African problems.

Africa should realise that it is endowed with natural resources which if utillised carefully and magnificently the continent can finance its operations without the assistance from western countries. In fact western countries got developed just because of their exploitation of African natural resources which are scattered around the continent.

As such the appeal by the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, to the US to assist the Nigerian government to fight the Boko Haram insurgents, at a time when the AU is planning to send its African forces, is unfortunate.

The Nigerian leader seems to have no confidence in the African forces that are ready to descend on the Nigerian soil to destroy the Boko Haram rebels.

The African force is now ready to hunt down the rebels who have been committing heinous crimes against humanity since it first launched its military operations in 2009 targeting Christians and unarmed as well as vulnerable school-going children.

Boko Haram, which was founded in 2002 meaning “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language, has been fighting the Nigerian government in order to create an Islamic state in that populous and oil rich African country.

The AU, which recently officially termed the Boko Haram an international problem intends to destroy those rebels by using the combined forces, but the Nigerian leader thinks otherwise.

It is surprising that the Nigerian leader fails to recognise the strength and power that the AU forces in countering Boko Haram rebels and chooses to call for American assistance.

It is high time that African countries have confidence in the African institutions so that coming generations are able to wean themselves from our former colonisers. Exporting labour to western countries should also make people bring back expertise on the exploitation of mineral resources for the betterment of the continent. Beneficiation of the African resources would make it possible for the continent to become developed.

Why is it that African leaders fail to come up with their plans of action to counter problems that they encounter in life? Why would Africans think that foreign assistance, either financially or militarily, is better than that from within the continent? For that reason, Africans should come up with institutions meant to assist the whole of Africa in times of need.

There is no problem utilising mineral resources for the continent to build a strong African army and also a financial institution modelled in the form of the World Bank.

Since there is the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), it is high time that this bank is well capitalised so that African countries can get assistance from it instead of rushing to the WB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance. It is a fact that these institutions do not give cheap money to developing countries as financial aid comes with strings attached.

Such strings sometimes leave trails of destruction on developing countries’ economies.

Zimbabwe, for example, bears testimony to this as the Economic Structural Adjustment Program (Esap), which was prescribed to this country in the 1990s, created economic malaise.

The results of Esap were negative to Zimbabwe to the extent that even today the country has not yet recovered from the economic demise which was brought by Esap and thereafter sanctions imposed by the western countries as reaction to the land redistribution programme.

As such African countries should have faith in African institutions instead of rushing to western countries for any assistance.

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