There are many countries in Africa that have got everything going for them in terms of natural resources, that would make it possible to equal, or even better, the living conditions of the wealthy western nations if conscientiously exploited. But alas, Africa still lacks the leadership that is enlightened enough to bring this to pass.
Undoubtedly, there are shackling conditions on the international arena that make it difficult for Africa to develop. But these conditions are not absolute; they can be overcome with a clean, determined leadership; a leadership that does not eternally whine about the dark history of Africa as a continent.
Rwanda has got the worst experience in recent times – experience that is excruciating in its physical, psychological, as well as social ramifications. But Rwanda is showing a will to throw off any kind of yoke and develop, notwithstanding its lack of natural resources to shine its way.
This is because the leaders are determined to succeed, and not to fall back on the worn-out excuse of other leaders that we were despoiled by history and so can never develop.
Rwanda has said over and over again that its best natural resource is its people, and the leaders are doing everything to empower the people to dictate the pace of their own development.
As far as leadership goes, many nth-term African leaders pretend they respect Nelson Mandela, but in truth they could be laughing at the old man’s “naivety.” How could he give away power – just like that – after only five years at the helm of Africa’s biggest economy?
Mandela, just like Kagame, inherited a torn country, and it needed a great balancing act to keep both white and black together to march forward. Not black or white, but South African. Not Tutsi or Twa or Hutu, but Rwandan.
So, why should Mandela be an iconic figure for Africa? His selflessness. Charisma. Humility. Respect for institutions. Patriotism.
Wisdom to appreciate life and people, and knowledge that there is life after the presidency, and leave to enjoy the privacy of your life – without any threat of being pushed.
If we had leaders who had just half of these, would we have a Zimbabwe? Darfur? Wouldn’t Africa be progressing fast? Emulate the man.
Many happier returns, Nelson Mandela.