STATEMENT OF MENSAH SARBAH JUNIOR COMMON ROOM, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON ON THE COMMERMORATION OF THE AFRICAN UNION DAY, 25TH MAY.
The African Continent Must Move Forward
The African continent which is the most blessed continent in terms of Natural resources and labor force still in the 21st Century wallows in the deep valleys of oppression, poverty, inadequate cohesion and mammoth mismanagement of resources. Our continent bearing due allegiance to the heroic struggles waged by our ancestors for political independence, human dignity and economic emancipation cannot continue to worship our history and be satisfied with our predicament, rather history is meant to empower the current generation to rise and shape our future.
The continent has evolved through turbulent and pleasant times featured by diverse degrees of challenges that befell each generation, but our generation of Africans is faced with a trinity of challenges. These are Leadership, Management of resources and poor avant-gardism.
The highest political structure of the continent; the African Union which is supposed to direct the affairs of the continent cohesively is losing control of its modus operandi. The cardinal purpose for the establishment of the African Union which is to take up the multifaceted challenges that confront the continent and its indigenes in the light of the social, economic and political changes taking place in the world has been defeated. This is because for almost five decades after the existence of the African Union the continent and its indigenes are poor and our economies are being dominated by aliens.
It’s conspicuous that the most pressing problem facing the continent is Leadership. The ambiance of political leaders in certain parts of the continent has been geared towards greed, lack of vision and adverse use of political power. Africa needs leadership that will serve as a beacon of hope for the African populace, Leadership that will serve on the platter of pure passion and not to pursue personal aggrandizement. Africa also needs Leadership that will be a unifying instrument and not a divisive one. Finally our continent needs leadership that will create an enabling environment for citizens to contribute immensely to national development and not leadership that will offer a bonanza of fear and intimidation.
Another problem of the African continent which is incompatible with progress is poor management of natural resources. The African continent for far too long has been drenched in the deep seas of abysmal management and astronomical corruption. Leadership of our Nations lacks the acumen to effectively manage our resources to rake in lots of funds for development. The abundance of natural resources vested in our lands has not met the best of management and so our exports do not attract the best of deals on the international market.
We Vikings and Okpo-mates believe that the third problem bedeviling Africans is the lack of avant-gardism. The African Economies will be improved only when we are creative to produce goods and services that will be of use to the world. The AU recognizes the punching power of creativity through science and Technology. Article 3 of the AU act, objective (l) states that –“the African Union shall advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields in particular science and Technology”. It’s a naked fact that development cannot be decoupled from scientific research and creativity. The modicum level science and technology makes it difficult to tap our natural resources like oil, gold and other minerals. This culminates in foreign businesses coming in to tap our resources, give us peanut revenue and repatriate the lions share to their countries. The low level of African leader’s interest in advancing research in all fields of human endeavor will see our economies the same way they are and marking time.
It’s immeasurably astonishing when African Universities like the University of Ghana, University of Ibadan inter alia, who have lots of natural science oriented professors but the researches that will change our lives are not forthcoming. Our question is where are our Medicine Professors, the Bio chemistry professors, the agricultural professors and other scholars who have the Knowledge and we are not seeing any ”innovations” from them as we see from foreign professors.
Another issue that we will like to talk about is the attitude of the African Union towards research. How the Union does secure funds for research, and how does the Union makes sure that member countries make use of graduate education which is all about research?
We the Students of Mensah Sarbah Hall, University of Ghana is therefore calling on the African Union:
To better coordinate the affairs of Member countries to crescendo the bond of Unity and Solidarity which are imperatives to develop our continent.
To promote science and technology by securing funds for research. If possible establish a fund for research to facilitate the research. The Union should make sure all member countries do the same and make use of graduate education for national development.
The Union needs to expedite action on the youth of Africa. The youth needs an ideological reinforcement geared towards the changing of our continent which can only be realized through hard work and avant-gardism.
To wage a campaign driven towards rural development in African. The Union should make sure that member countries abrogate the mentality that rural dwellers are politically and economically disenfranchised so they don’t have to see development. Paying attention to the rural areas will boost our economies.
Thank you very much.
JCR President- Mensah Sarbah Hall, University of Ghana.
RELEASED ON 25TH MAY, 2012. AFRICAN UNION DAY.