It is no secret that most of our modern day leaders have failed us. They have sold our integrity and dignity as Africans for personal gain. They have succeeded in wrecking our beautiful continent that we call home and hence Africa is falling.
We are the richest continent, we have gold, diamond, silver, bauxite, crude oil and many other resources, but yet still branded as the poorest in the world. How embarrassing to know that we are the richest continent in the world, yet with the poorest people. We form the base from which almost all the other continents feed from, but our people still go to bed hungry.
We have been a subject of mediocrity for most international leaders and are branded as a dark continent. Our countries filled with lazy people, viewed as beggars and are referred to in degrading ways. Many Africans are ashamed of these descriptions and neither do they want to be associated with it. The bitter truth though is that these are some of our Africa realities. But is this the Africa we want to see? Who are we to blame for the current state of Africa? These are questions that I will want us as Africans to think about.
Let me bring few more questions again. Is there a hope for Africa? Do we still have a future? And finally, can Africa be saved? My answer to all these questions is an affirmative and emphatic yes. But I again ask myself these questions, what is our hope? Who is Africa’s future? And how can Africa be saved?
In order for us to get answers to all these questions, let us look at the Agenda 2063. The blueprint to the Africa we want for the achievement of the African Renaissance. In it are seven aspirations but as a young person, the sixth aspiration is the most important. For it provides us with a concrete solution to the Africa we want to see. The solution is Y+O+U+T+H.
The youths are the precise tools that can be used to liberate, redeem and to restore back the African pride and dignity. But are these youths readily available to be used? The answer is a big YES! All we need is investment and opportunities. Oftentimes, the youths have been branded as the golden future, but to me they are no longer the future, they are the NOW. So, youth involvement is an urgent priority.
If youths are to take the driving seat, to drive Africa to the great renaissance, then they need to be taught how to drive.
There is a need to move policy-making to policy implementation. The youths need to be empowered for active and sustainable citizenship. We are ready for the mantle of leadership. It is time to entrust us with what we know and believe we can do. Fan the flames of the African Renaissance.
Africa is rapidly facing many challenges which are ever-increasing and this needs our immediate attention otherwise we may not have a place to call home.
Pious Mannah – Sierra Leone, YMCA ( YAC 2018)