Ever heard of the famous saying that goes “wonders never cease ”? Yes, it is mostly used to refer to the unimaginable.
Those ‘unimaginables’ are miraculous in nature for instance a baby boy being delivered with his 6 lower teeth intact. But when it comes to talking about Africa, there are some situations that to date have remained just wishful thinking. They are situations whose possibilities of occurrences have been curtailed by drawbacks, attributable to human thinking, socio-political behavior and many more. Some of them have been declared serious problems by some African countries while others suffer in silence in the hope that the danger will subside. Here are the seven ‘wonders’ yet to happen in Africa.
Flawless elections & democracy
When colonial governments left Africa to institute self-governance, the dust settled in the dawn of new hopes and change of administrative approaches. Gone were the eras of kingships and monarchial governments because Africans braced themselves for ‘democratically’ elected leaders. But the truth is that only few countries in Africa may have witnessed elements of democracy. Some leaders may have taken the voting aspect as a rubber stamp for their stay in office. Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe is a good example. He has been the national ‘chief executive’ for decades. Elections come and go and ‘he keeps on winning them with a landslide’ Even with Zimbabwean economy allegedly crumbling to its knees, Mugabe has clung to power and he meets any resistance with iron fist. Another example is Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni who is warming for a fifth term. He ‘has been winning elections’ with a landslide too.
There are many examples but the hidden fact is that Africa could be having little or no presence of democracy. Flawless elections remain evasive and democracy perhaps is a pipe dream for keen observant. Tanzania just concluded her elections and the CCM candidate John Magufuli was declared the winner despite the displeasure by the Chadema competitor Edward Lowassa. The situation is a replica of Kenya’s 2013 election when Supreme Court upheld the election of President Kenyatta at the displeasure of the opposition leader and then CORD candidate Raila Odinga. From Zimbabwe to Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ivory Coast and many more, concession to defeat after elections is something that is becoming very rare. One can just conclude that there is more than meets the eye. Africa has never had credible elections. Perhaps the historic elections of late presidents like Mandela or Kwame Nkrumah may have been credible. Democracy and fair elections are miracles yet to happen.
‘Wiping’ tribalism or ethnicity
Africans have an identity. The identity that helps them to understand their language and how it relates with the other languages. The identity to be referred to as a Yoruba, Ibo, Xhosa, Luo, Maasai, Chagga, Rendille and so forth. Ethnic groupings are precious because they provide the platforms at which diversity in human race is manifested. But some of the problems currently experienced in many leaderships in African countries stem from negative ethnicity. Politicians have mostly been accused of ethnic divisions to fuel violence. Two decades ago, Rwanda underwent tumultuous time with genocide claiming lives of thousands. The genesis of this was traced to ethnic incitement where genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga was alleged to have played a part. Kenya followed the same route under same circumstances in the aftermath of 2007 December elections. Even as many governments admit to the costliness of negative ethnicity, leaders themselves misuse those situations to divide people through their tribal appointments. The ‘wonder’ that is waiting to happen is in the time that Africans will use their ethnic diversities as strengths and mere differences in identities.
Wiping out corruption
Corruption remains a global problem and a distractor to advancement in national developments. That failure of governments in stabilizing economy always come after ‘mega corruption scandals’ is something that is not new. First, when the elections of the leaders into office is marred by voter bribery and many other election malpractices, there is no way that the person elected can give back to the community by staging impressive performance. In Africa, common corruption cases revolve around voter bribery, nepotism, tribal appointments and even rigging among others. As at now, Kenyan media has been reporting myriad corruption allegations in the ministry of devolution and planning most of which has cost taxpayers’ huge sums of money. Africa knows how the teeth of corruption are sharp and how costly they are but cynics would say that wiping corruption would be a big achievement. A great ‘wonder’ it would be to wipe out corruption especially with the crop of recycled leaders that one Miguna Miguna once said that “they have outlived their usefulness”. Why is it difficult? Leaders Africans have are mostly products of flawed elections and most likely they thrive in the vice.
This is a concept that has been largely and frequently talked about. And when it crops up in the discourse, people give various distinctive elements that make up what is wholesomely referable as good governance. Anyway, what could be the elements of good governance? Obviously, a country’s leadership that displays the knack in leadership or good governance scores so well in many areas. Arguably, Rwanda’s economy has been reported to be growing faster than other economies in East Africa and perhaps that depicts an aspect of good governance. Good governance can be characterized by stable economy, low inflation rates, constant and stable job creation, minimized borrowing, provision of social services and moderate taxes. On the flipside, many African countries are on the antithesis of this. Zimbabwean inflation rate is said to be almost the worst and ‘legendary’. Kenyan Shilling against the USD has hit past Kshs 100 mark from Kshs 80 within a span of 2 years. Unemployment is a tradition and what trends in the news is just scandal after scandal. Good governance remains a dream for many African countries so to speak.
Robust and stable economy with small between poor and rich
No doubt about this! Most people say that in Africa, there are two tribes-rich and poor people. This statement has elements of truth. The African political culture is a reflection of what the society is all about. In Kenya for instance; most people who are vying for political seats are either affluent businesses men or retired civil servants who have amassed wealth in the period of their service. Political leadership is a preserve of the bourgeoisie and poor people are considered deficient in leadership skills. This can be supported by the ‘political dynasties’ in Kenya that runs in the Kenyatta, Odinga and Moi families. The situation ends up where economy is controlled by fewer affluent but ‘compromised’ individuals. The gap between the poor and the rich enlarges because African politics pays ‘handsomely’ and rich people become richer and richer. Robust economy is a dream for such country’s thanks to corruption and heavier debts that taxpayers have to shoulder. With negative or very slow economic growth rate, employments are not created but destroyed. Why? Obviously, such governments want to minimize the wage bill and cannot absorb any new recruits because doing so would mean more ‘burden’ for them. Also, development projects fall flat on their faces.
Alleviation of poverty
The international media has always been deemed as abrasive, cynical and unappreciative of African positive development. Critical Africans have pointed fingers at established global newsrooms such as CNN, BBC, Aljazeera and many others for alleged negative portrayal of Africa. But come to think of it this way. Whether these journalists are authentic or not, Africans are poor and majority of them are. Perhaps these media outlets pinpoint the negatives to exhaust them with malice but that does pluck the truth from its socket. The perennial famine experienced in Sudan and Turkana is a depiction that poverty is deeply engraved. What fuels this situation more is the fact that the political elite and the few and affluent business community that control the economy are not into fixing the problems due to some benefits they expect. For instance; when prices of commodities are inflated who benefits if not the political class masquerading as entrepreneurs. In another Kenyan example, such people are the owners of PSV vehicles which enjoy the monopoly of controlling their own bus fare in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The poor remains poor and the rich gets more. Fixing this remains a wondrous affair.
Getting young political leaders with integrity
A lot of calls have been made for the change of tact in African political landscape. The calls are not only for electing credible and flawless leaders but young ones. Proponents of such ideas often peg their arguments on the need to put an end to the alienation of the youth in country’s leadership. However, there are incidences where some parliaments have had young leaders with no super positive results. The corollary of this is the conclusion that newer brans have nothing new. Africa perhaps at the moment can change leaders based on age but very little can be achieved in character. Levels of integrity are thinner and thinner and their greed is running deeper.