Time for Africa to reclaim her identity, says Mkapa

Africa must do what it takes to ensure her youth find on the continent the opportunities they have for years been seeking from other continents, especially in Europe, which has led some of them to embark on desperate journeys resulting into deaths.
An upper view of the RPF Conference Centre at the party headquarters. / Timothy Kisambira
An upper view of the RPF Conference Centre at the party headquarters. / Timothy Kisambira

Africa must do what it takes to ensure her youth find on the continent the opportunities they have for years been seeking from other continents, especially in Europe, which has led some of them to embark on desperate journeys resulting into deaths.

This call was made by former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa during an international conference organized by the RPF Inkotanyi with focus on the liberation of the African continent.

“It is very shameful that our youth continue to look elsewhere for opportunity rather than on this great continent of ours…Africa needs to do everything possible next year (2018) to ensure our youth stop these desperate journeys,” said Mkapa during an interactive session when a participant asked him what he wishes for Africa in the coming year.

Mkapa said that it is very painful that Africa, with all her resources and potential, continues to lose a critical mass of her population, the youth, to other continents where some have ended up in slavery as was witnessed in Libya recently.

According to the former head of state, Africa needs the same transformative mindset “as that has been witnessed by Rwanda under the leadership of the RPF to reclaim her identity to be able to counter the problem that the continent is faced with.”

He said the kind of transformation that Africa needs is where the leadership takes a lead in owning up to the problems the people face and looking from within for solutions rather than looking elsewhere.

“I am not calling for the summary rejection of foreign support but rather agitating for the African identity; we should own first our problems, then the support can come in to complement,” Mkapa said.

1513091963Former-Tanzanian-President,-Benjamin-Mkapa-reacts-to-a-question-during-the-conference
Former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa reacts to a question during the conference. / Timothy Kisambira

The conference that has attracted scholars and leaders of various capacities, besides hundreds of RPF members, was organised as part of the activities lined up for the celebration of 30 years since the creation of RPF Inkotanyi.

It was organized under the theme: “liberation and transformation: realizing a dignified and prosperous Africa.”

During a panel discussion, former US Assistant Secretary of State Jandayi Frazer said that it was important for Africa to strive to reclaim its identity to be able to get itself out of the predicament it finds herself in.

“The same things that led to slave trade are the same things that continue to undermine sovereignty and the identity of the African continent,” said Frazer whose docket was Africa during her tenure at the US State Department.

Among the top officials that attended the conference is First Lady Jeannette Kagame and Christophe Bazivamo, the Vice President of the RPF Inkotanyi, among others.

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