There’s not doubt that Africa could be the powerhouse of the world in years to come, despite the unfavorable conditions on the ground. But over the years, Africa has been a shadow of what it should be, especially considering its substantial endowment of natural and human resources. Why is this so?
It is this basic question that The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in Diaspora (AAAPD) seeks to tackle. With the objective of harnessing the dormant forces in Africa for agricultural development, AAAPD hopes to take Africa to a whole new level.
Africans in the Diaspora play a major role in promoting Africa, especially in the field of agriculture. At the 6th FARA Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), the idea of Africans in Diaspora participating in making Africa a place flowing with “milk and honey” was presented by Professor Mandi Rukini, who exhorted Africans to begin redefining issues like poverty on their home continent. Professor Rukini urged Africans not to see money as the only goal to achieve, but to also consider strategizing for the betterment of the world.
One of the major problems facing Africa today is its inability to take bold steps in making the necessary changes, combined with the habit of considering only immediate benefits rather than long-term ones. Africa over the years has sold over sixty million hectares of land for only six dollars per hectare–a true case in point!
This situation requires a serious re-awakening from Africans in the Diaspora. Africans have to be ready to take bold steps and release their ideas into the world! If we are to succeed in our quest of becoming the world’s powerhouse, then we must make a concerted effort to develop our own brand. It must be a brand that can sustain itself, and not only in Africa, but the world over.
Africans must begin to borrow knowledge intelligently and use it for their benefit. We must begin to demand long term benefits from foreign investors rather than just money! We must have confidence in ourselves and become entrepreneurs, generating ideas and producing African brands. We have to put aside our political differences and unite our economy to create a stronger continent.
If others can, African can also. The change begins with every one of us!
Blogpost by Emmanuel Ohiomoba, a social media reporter for AASW6.
Photo: V. Meadu