By Alpha Bedoh Kamara & Jarreau Russel
With an estimated number of 1.216 billion people in Africa in 2016, the continent is a mammoth of human potential that when fully empowered through the provision of better education with the right technical tools, and security would create an economic renaissance that will positively impact the world.
Africa is notable for music, dance, and sports. Yes, from world sporting events, international music festivals, and dancing competitions, African’s continue to thrill the world with unlimited talent weaved from the rich traditions and cultures of the estimated three thousand tribes.
Sadly, though, present day economic status in most African countries is a reason for the desperation of millions of young Africans risking international barriers to finding better opportunities.
Unfortunately, with a total of 54 countries in the continent, only few could boast of providing better education facilities and infrastructure to effectively cater for the growing young population to compete with young people in other continents.
However, the majority of Africans who made it in the international platform see their dreams more formidable with the support of technical and educational platforms built in developed countries.
The inability of most countries in Africa to provide standard local infrastructure for young people in the various sports has many a time exposed our representatives to international ridicule. Not that the boys and girls dot got what it takes but that they lack the technical know-how to be able to compete to such levels in sports.
Efforts by political decision makers in Africa, international community, Local and International Non-Governmental Organizations in addressing economic malaise in the continent’s 54 countries should be focused on the provision of better, effective, affordable, and technical based education.
According to the Brookings Report, ‘It’s unfathomable that of Africa’s nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school. Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that another 37 million African children will learn so little while in they are in school that they will not be much better off than those kids who never attend school. As a consequence, the prognosis for Africa’s future economic growth and social development is poor’ (Africa’s Education Crisis: In School but Not Learning: Justin W. van Fleet, September 17, 2012).
Africa’s growing population is expanding and struggling to cope with the limited education and better training opportunities needed to refined local talents into a world-class standard. Lack of political will and low intervention by the private sector to invest in infrastructures in sports, education, science and technology, health, agriculture, among others, is a miasma which must be cleared and efforts made to make this giant continent stand up and be a force for good.
Unfortunately, for millions of Africans, there is little they could boast of about their governments. Their communities lack electricity, pipe-borne water facilities and public utility services which people in developed countries take for granted. The lack of these services, made worse by high level of corruption, tribal and regional bias in dispensing economic budget, deny millions of Africans opportunities of education and technical platform to grow.
The African Union has a tremendous role in addressing this problem because the key to Africa’s economic growth is empowering talents in Africa so that millions of these people will be able to take better decisions in society, be better citizens, and be effective in changing the face of Africa.
Scientific and technological growth Asia should be a testament to Africa of a continent’s resolve in beating the odds and invest in better infrastructural development in education (science and technology), providing various opportunities for their people through agriculture, capital investment in manufacturing and health sector.
Today Asia is being felt around the world with millions of her people gracing technological and medical platforms alongside partners in developed countries and making a difference. Only a small number of Africans from few countries are breaking the barriers!
Despite facing some challenges, the people now boast of better living standards than their forebears. Unfortunately for some people in Africa, their livelihood and life expectancy are still being determined by nature. This face of Africa that always shows poverty, unemployment, political struggles, child labour, abuse, and violations, will be addressed through effective economic policies to address the education laps as it is very vital in setting the foundation for the generation of Africans to look up to for their source of empowerment.