Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The African Dream

In the light of the near-perfect functioning of the American democracy which has just delivered a stunning victory for Sen. Barack Obama and the American people, my restless mind is becoming increasingly preoccupied almost to the point of obsession with the question of major chunks of our beloved continent, Africa, suffering from a state of chronic confusion and self-induced misery in the practice of democracy.
The Continent's unparalleled capacity to fumble in almost all spheres of democratic governance is baffling, to say the least.
Take a look at what has transpired recently in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi, Congo D R, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon and many others, and you are immediately confronted by the utter failure of the practice of democracy to thrive in every one of them.

Our societies appear to be rudimentary in the assimilation and accommodation of the noble aspirations, principles and ideals which are fundamental for the practice of democracy. Is democracy an end in itself or a dispensable means to a more lofty end? Do we, as African nations and societies, need to aspire to similar dreams that have served other nations so well or do we continue as we have and hope that somehow "our democracy" will undergo its own evolution ( which I call "Que sera sera") and do the job?

Our excellence has been broadly wasted on adapting to and enduring adversities, calamities and misery and not on overcoming them once and for all. We seem to possess an incredible capacity to survive in the valley and not, as one would expect, in summiting the mountains on our way!

When are we going to realize that we need strong social, democratic and governance institutions to act as the pillars and guideposts for our collective wellbeing and not the myopic adherence to the transient system of subjection( of ourselves) to personalities, tribalism and political partisanship.
Come on Africa we can do better that that!

Let us, as a people, develop a consensus for a new dream that we all can aspire to: The African Dream.
The American Dream like a beacon of hope and inspiration seems to have served them well. Although imperfect, it has enabled them to rise up again and again to achieve the unimaginable. A similar dream stitched together in Africa by Africans for Africans, I believe, will go a long way towards helping us to reach where we have never imagined we could.

Barack Obama has inspired us to think and say " Yes, we can".
So fellow blogger and readers your suggestions in this regard are warmly welcome.
Yes, we can!


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

But I'm inspired by one of your most powerful posts yet!

We need a new league of leaders. Not the group which replaced the first generation post-independence leaders because they have prove to be cut out of the same fabric.

A totally new team of leaders is what we need. Who respect such principles as fairness, transparency, tolerance, free speech, equal opportunity, hard work, loyalty to nation, etc.

I do not know much about democracy (America does not accept it when it favours a political group like Hamas) but the above principles, I think, will just about make up democracy, no?

novisi said...

that's what i got to say for

we need more deep thinking people like you!

I will be back...cos this really hit me to the core...

The African Dream! ...yes!


novisi said...

I tried to post an earlier comment on this...

i'm really impressed with the deep thoughts here...THE AFRICAN DREAM...yes we can

my suggestion is that probably we (the masses) need to start organizing and take this whole vital issue out of the hands of the wrong leaders we have...they are just not fit till they repent and apologise to us for failing...yes!

the funny thing is that it's all there in full glare in our faces that we are on the wrong path so far...but who will stand up for the people for once?

we need to take our common destiny into our own hands...


posekyere said...

Hi Nana!
I am really bothered about the ubiquitous dearth of sound leadership in the land.
The principal reason why we are where we are is because we(the people) have not put down stringent requirements on those who would be leaders. As it stands now, anyone can just wake and beat thier drums and the one who makes the loudest noise is chosen to lead.
Whether they mess up or not we ask no questions. Africans are taught to respect their elders but we have not been taught that leaders are not our elders they are our servants. They must serve us properly or let them go and sit down.
I really believe that until the question of leadership is properly addessed we will not rise up to the challenge. Ghana's oil will amount to nothing if the right leadership material doesn't rise up now!
From our kindergatens through to the universities, corporate and professional councils/boards we need to train ourselves to expect only the best from anybody entrusted with leadership.
That should be the indespensable yardstick.
Africa can!

posekyere said...

Thanks for expressing your thoughts so forcefully.
I realise you are as concerned about Africa's plight as any true African is. However I believe, we have not sufficiently demonstrated our displeasure in the way we are being governed to those in power.
We all can become activists and perhaps even begin to brainbstorm on what can be done in our communities to initiate change.
Let us remember that Obama began as a community activist/servant.
We all can do something in our corners.
Let us start by determning what "The African Dream" should be so that only those are able to demonstrate the ability to take us there are called to do so.

novisi said...

and to add i quote you:

"Africans are taught to respect their elders but we have not been taught that leaders are not our elders they are our servants. They must serve us properly or let them go and sit down."

it's a creed that I would recite from now on thanks to you.

I have recently had clashes with a gal friend (i didn't say lover...hehehehe) of mine because she thinks that i'm wrong to say that "The people do not and cannot owe leaders any respect but rather that leaders are the ones who owe the people respect (and leadership) and that respect must be must be commanded not demanded."

her argument was based on this same thing about respect for the's sad really how indoctrination works on the mind...funny!

and yeah, I agree with your comment on community's needed and that's the kind of thing i commented about...thanks for making the crystal out of my i see clearer!

i got a deep thinker in the house...

and oh...Nana is spot on on the democracy twist with Hamas...that's a fab statement!

cheers man!