The past few days have been exhilarating with the 27th African Union Summit that brought together the whole of Africa to Kigali. I beamed with joy and pride knowing that delegates from over 54 African countries were here to witness by themselves the dynamics of development in Rwanda.
Just like many, I was wowed not only by the beauty of the ultra-modern, magnificent Kigali Convention Centre but also by the new roads we saw coming up within few days.
These were for sure all elements of a great sense of pride for not only Rwandans but also for people like me living in this country.
Africa coming together in Kigali to discuss the African Union Agenda 2063 does not only articulate our aspirations as a continent but it emphasizes the importance of succeeding to rekindle the passion for our continent.
Being invited to participate in the African Editors Forum, I was called upon to engage senior African editors, journalists and the AU Commission, about the present and future of our beloved continent, and the role we must play in working towards an Africa that is integrated, peaceful, prosperous and people-centered, and that plays a dynamic role in the world.
This forum gave me a better perspective of this agenda 2063 that is translated into these seven pillars:
• A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
• An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s renaissance
• An Africa of good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
• A peaceful and secure Africa
• An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics
• An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
• Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner.
How does this agenda translate into the life of a common citizen like myself? How is this new roadmap different from the Maputo Protocol? How is this summit going to impact my life?
We all agree that media and mass communications play an important role to inform, educate, and to influence public opinion. Responsible journalism speaks truth to power and is, therefore, essential to development and to transformation.
Here are the top dreams I have for my Continent concerning Agenda 2063.
1. Quality Education
I dream of a Quality Education for every African child especially for the poor where schooling in public institutions gives one the same opportunities as the ones given to rich kids who study in foreign universities. In fact, I dream of an Africa where our educative system will be so good that our top leaders will put their kids in our public schools.
I dream of a Health Care system where quality service delivery is available for all. I have always been ashamed reading about our leaders travelling abroad to be treated living behind our poor populations to die of simple malaria.
I dream of an Africa that will not only produce 2% of the pharmaceuticals it consumes.
I dream of an Africa where electricity is a minimum commodity available for ALL, not only for A FEW. In today’s modern world, we still have students not only in our rural areas but also in cities not being able to study at night for lack of electricity.
4. Women Rights
I dream of an Africa where being born a girl is a blessing not a curse. A Humourist friend in Rwanda once said that the three most respected spices in Rwanda were: a woman, a gorilla and a tree. I wish this becomes a reality in most African countries.
5. No Visas for Africans
It is time we stop all the long talks and make it possible for Africans to travel freely in the continent
6. Service Excellence in public and government institutions
I dream of government officials in Africa feeling accountable in serving citizens
7. Clean beautiful cities
Building infrastructure is key to development. Kigali is a pride and listening to the AU delegates, everyone is unanimous about Kigali being one of the cleanest cities in Africa. African cities have what it takes to offer their citizens clean streets without potholes.
8. Cultural heritage
I dream of an Africa that is proud of its cultural heritage; that speaks, eats, dresses, loves everything African and done in Africa.
9. Inter-trade among African countries
Much as I love being able to purchase the imported stuff from China or Europe, I dream of the day African countries can easily trade among themselves. I simply dream of drinking the milk that comes from Rwanda in Cotonou rather than what comes from France or Holland.
It is time our agriculture sector grows and gets indistrialised.It is high time we stop importing an estimated 83% of processed food we consume in Africa.
10. Pride of living in Africa
I dream of a continent where being African and living in Africa is a privilege for all.
Over the past years, we have seen many young Africans risking their lives on the ocean because of no lack of hope on what is available for them on the continent.
For the Africans we are, our narrative should and can change. A growing Africa depends on each of us and not only on our governments. It is time we own this Agenda 2063 and understand that development can only come from ourselves.
The writer is a customer service consultant and the founder of The ServiceMag