RE: A developmental state: Lessons from China (The New Times, April 27, 2016).
This article is too theoretical rather than focusing on what is practical. Africa is in a dire need for sustainable development. But to achieve that, it must first do certain things, including the following:
1. Develop Infrastructure: There’s no way the continent can develop without infrastructure development, including roads, electricity, water etc. So far, in Africa, and in Rwanda particular, we are still at the baseline, transport itself is a big problem; yes roads are being constructed and rehabilitated but most of them are still very narrow; there is prevalent water shortage even in urban areas, electricity shortages, etc.
2. Build industries: It is not possible to have vibrant industries without having certain basic infrastructure in place. This makes the cost of production very high and often leads to poor quality products.
3. Promote quality education: Up to now education in Africa is not well conceived. One is assumed to be more intellectual just because they obtained their education in western countries than those who studied from home.
That attitude needs to change and focus be put on one’s skills instead.
4. Build a strong media: It is a shame that many, if not all, of the African media outlets always quote the likes of BBC, CNN and other western media organizations on things that are happening here in Africa. This needs to change to inform the continent’s development path.
Africa still has a long way to go. Our personalities and attitudes often let us down, we tend to copy everything from elsewhere yet often fail to paste and when we do we fail to sustain them.
Weak policies have long shaped our identity.
Our brightest brains end up leaving the continent and settling in the Americas or Europe often to secure their personal life and future.
The truth is that, though Western countries have their own drawbacks, they have achieved a lot over the years. Africa needs strong institutions as the foundation of sustainable development; otherwise we shall continue to sing the same song without any change at the end of the day.