By Denerele Animasaun
Akufo Addo- young African people’s champion
The Ghanaian’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo stood up for young Africans everywhere last week. He spoke in a joint French press conference with the visiting French President Macron.
His speech was covered by numerous social media outlets for the significant reason, it was bold and brave. It sent a message to those who continue to underestimate and perpetuate the role of patriarchal supremacy over the African continent and its people that the time has come to change the mindset. Time for Africans to take care of itself. It has been far too long a speech of this calibre has been delivered by a modern day African leader that moved young people to the core; it was well crafted, articulately and prudently delivered. His response to the reporter at the conference has garnered thousands and millions of interests across the world.
One viewer describes it as “probably the most powerful message in recent times coming from an African leader.” I cannot agree more, it was sublime and motivational. I hope it inspired some of our leaders but most importantly, that it resonates with young Africans and propels them to achieve greater and better things in the future.
See below his response: ‘I hope that the comments I am about to make will not offend the questioner too much and some people around here”, the latter part widely interpreted as directed to his much younger counterpart.
We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves, in our country, in our region, in our continent on the basis of whatever support that the western world or France, or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked and it will not work”.
He stressed further that, (Africans) “We have to get away from this mind-set of dependency. This mind-set about ‘what can France do for us?’ France will do whatever it wants to do for its own sake, and when those coincide with ours, ‘tant mieux’ [so much better] as the French people say…Our concern should be what do we need to do in this 21st century to move Africa away from being cap in hand and begging for aid, for charity, for handouts. The African continent when you look at its resources, should be giving monies to other places…We need to have a mind-set that says we can do it…and once we have that mind-set we’ll see there’s a liberating factor for ourselves’
This is what we would like from our leaders, to ensure that the continent is not seen as beggar nation, dependant, incompetent and always rely on past colonial masters for aids.
It is time to cut the apron strings and if our country does not help itself, so called help will come with conditions that will keep generations in penury and regression. It is not altruistic nor to their benefit to provide assistance that would make the country independent and self reliant.
Our young should be given a future that guarantees their contribution to building a nation worthy of pride and excellence.
From my archive -2014
See how we lost our humanity.
“Where do you begin? They say, it does not rain but pours. In Nigeria, the misery keeps pouring down by the buckets. And when you think that you have seen or heard the zenith of all the depravities meted by Nigerians to fellow Nigerians, and then the mother of all depravity comes along and overshadows the last. Nigerians keep dredging more from the lowest depth of degeneracy. We need to take a long hard look at what is going on and why we have become so desensitised to such shocking news. It is almost eerily that many of us though, we profess revulsion, we take perverse delight in sharing such news and devouring the images of extreme human suffering.
These kind of voyeurism is symptomatic of the type of people we have become hard-hearted. This only happens when one becomes very much exposed to the extreme and perpetual waste of human lives. It does something to people and we have become so battle wary and although we feign shock, we have in fact, become un-shock able.
This is the sad state of the Nigerian psyche. This could explain the ease in which we inflict suffering and abuse on one another without flinching. Kidnapping seems to be a booming business in Nigeria. The home office page in the UK warns travellers going to Nigeria, to be on their guard. Nigeria is listed as the 6th worst country in terms of kidnapping and over 1,000 foreigners are reported to be or have been victims of attempted kidnapped a year according to a report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). The fact that 74 per cent of kidnappings recorded in Africa in 2012 occurred in Nigeria.
The prevalence of kidnapping can also be attributed to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor and there is the fact that over a third of young people are unemployed, not in training or in education. The very same people, they wear the cloak of respectability and piety. Let us be honest, these barbaric practices of killing men, women and children, is not new. It has always been whispered and the fear of kidnapping was always real. People vanish without trace for decades and thousands as result vanish without trace because the authority are not capable and cannot investigate missing people cases nor do they have the professionals that can do something about it, until now”…