Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, a South African politician who was the second president of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008, when he resigned at the request of his party, the African National Congress (ANC). Before that, he was deputy president under Nelson Mandela between 1994 and 1999. Mbeki had profoundly posited: “I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.” The former President of South Africa championed the African Renaissance.
The most radical and effective way to accept anything is to actually choose that thing. Accepting has a kind of passive quality and maybe even a sense of being reluctant – like there is no other alternative. Choosing something is done more actively and is also done more freely. So choosing whatever it is you are trying to accept is the ultimate level of acceptance. I have argued many times that unfairness on the part of the people or majority has contributed to the perception of leadership “failure” and faulty standard of assessing performance or achievements. This is part of the reasons why the followers can’t be exonerated from the issue of leadership “Failures” particularly in Nigeria.
This is a needed wake-up call for those who are wondering where the future of Africa is heading. More technological innovation, rooted in locally-induced entrepreneurship is giving leeway to a new form of growth model, unprecedented in its unfolding. With the rise of new technologies and disruptive innovations reshaping the global economy, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been characterized as a fusion between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. From the increasing adoption of mobile devices to the entrepreneurial use of 3D printing, artiﬁcial intelligence, and robotics, trends across Africa speak to the continent’s potential for growth and sustainable development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Quite regrettable in this era of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), that our leaders gravitate towards the opposite direction as far as technology and development are concerned. It is only in Africa where people die of 18th century diseases like typhoid, malaria and cholera. The level of deterioration and stinking poverty, that citizens are subjected to due to: maladministration, corruption, nepotism and incompetence. Which starts right from the top echelons of governments is painstaking and excruciating. Most of our leaders have succeeded in running down the continent within a space of time. The world is moving and Africa a continent so blessed must be counted as such.
What is more, one common denominator with most of the African leaders with a few exception like: Rwanda, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania, all have embarked on a spirited offensive aimed at destroying whatever was inherited from our colonial masters. Healthcare, infrastructures, economy and political space. Or more simply: how do you explain a continent classified as mostly inhibited by poverty ravaged people. Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse continent offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and eradicate poverty in Africa. This is a great opportunity for Nigeria to rejuvenate and reposition our beloved country for the sake of the continent.
Furthermore, with the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is creating an entirely new development path, harnessing the potential of its resources and people. African countries can develop an inclusive future of work, with opportunities for lower-skilled workers. Harnessing these opportunities is, however, contingent on implementing policies and making productive investments in four main areas. These are enabling inclusive digital technologies; building human capital for a young, rapidly growing, and largely low-skilled labor force; increasing the productivity of informal workers and enterprises; and extending social protection coverage to mitigate the risks associated with disruptions to labor markets.
Undeniable…. given the foregoing, Nigeria was once an indisputable leader in Africa, but now a sleeping giant. Nigeria’s leadership role on the continent was a product of the vision, dreams and, sometimes, whims of the founding fathers. They were nevertheless premised on real national capacity. Jaja Wachukwu, Nigeria’s first external affairs minister noted in 1960 that: “Our country is the largest single unit in Africa… we are not going to abdicate the position in which God Almighty has placed us. The whole black continent is looking up to this country to liberate it from thraldom.”
This defined the country’s behaviour, codify ‘Africanness’ into a consciousness not just of history, but a shared history and continental outlook that has continued to influence successive administrations – weak or effective. Therefore, the new year 2023, an election year in Nigeria, and the beginning of a new era, should necessarily signpost the dawn of a new era. Nigeria, the largest economy and most populous country in Africa should reinvent the giant stride and relaunch the continent of Africa through massive industrialization in the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
In the meantime, I will like to conclude this article dedicated to the great minds in the black race with the assurance of total commitment to African Renaissance, Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Mind Restructuring advocacy by welcoming us all to the glorious years beginning from 2023 the African year of glory. Finally, I’d like to assure our esteem readers, citizens and friends of Africa that we shall witness an unprecedented speed of industrialization in the beautiful continent of Africa soon and very soon. Congratulations!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023.