By Abdulahi Suleiman Otiwe
Africa can emerge the promised continent in the world if the impending problems facing the continent are given genuine attention timely. The development of any society is as a result of the direct mindset of the people of such a society. Africa undeniably is failing because the people have neglected the growth and development of the region.
In naming the failed states in the world, statistics will courageously feature African states prominently. These states in the heart of Africa have failed not because they are less privilege by nature but because the global ring worms of terrorism and corruption which termed the new viruses that undermined the peace and development of the world. These ugly global diseases are chopping the flesh of Africa because the leaders are failure in themselves.
These failed states have spill-overs of economic mismanagement breeding highly frequency of corruption and thus resulting to internal conflicts thereby inviting external aggressions by various terrorist organizations which are permitted to operate in the respective African states.
States like Congo (DRC), Somalia, South Sudan among others are good examples of failed states in Africa while state like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea among others are displaying the symptoms of failure and indeed almost failed states. While it may be argued that these states are failing because of security threats, remarkably to note is that high deposit of corruption in the respective states is the major reason for the possibility of all other identifiable factors.
Africa is witnessing one of the most embarrassing period in her life.
Discussing the global hub of terrorism, Africa will be a prominent figure and talk of global state of corruption and states in Africa will rank at the apex. But why these global threats are visible in virtually all states in Africa is due to the weak structural governmental system. For instance, Zimbabwe, Uganda and their father Equatorial Guinea are stagnating states because of weak structures.
The leaders of these states tend to view their achievements with their counterpart states with the length of their stay in power. Nigeria too has managed to shift political power from civilian to civilian government for the first time in history in 2015 amidst heightening political tension setting example for all other African states which Gambia later followed.
Although Nigerians managed to change government democratically, the failure of their state is linked to weak political institutions encouraging large scale of corruption with little or no efforts at discouraging this act. Just like Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea has no shame defending mega scale corruption case at the global stage. This is evident from the state’s case against France which is pending before the ICJ. This kind of development is unfortunate for the whole Africa states.
There is also the presumption by the international community that almost all African states are victim of one global sin or the other. It could either be terrorism, human rights violations or corruption. Few states are lucky to record such at lowest level while many are unlucky with high cases of all.
Sharing these impending global problems, Boko Haram bears West Africa states witness. This sect has given the world the impression that the region is unsafe for inhabitation if not until recently that Nigerian government with the help of her neighbouring states is managing to dislodge the activities of the sect. what has become a recurrent problem with no solution in sight is the large scale corruption, in which Nigeria is made the hero.
However, states like Ghana is achieving political development because of the presence of strong political structure conducive for the state.
This is possible for the state because there committed to democratic core values in the state. Such is the desirability of any state aiming for growth and progress.
The high presence of the activities of sects like Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Shabab in East Africa, ISIS in North Africa and Lone Attackers in Sothern part of the continent adding to the various cases of corruption and human rights violations in the continent is something to worry about. Unless and until these problems facing the continent are looked into, Africa will continue to wither in the comity of nations.
A few states like Botswana, South Africa among others seem to be enjoying relative peace, growth and development. Although these states are relatively free from the impending global problems, state like
South Africa has a bundle of cases of women abuse in the state.
The most gifted state in Africa seem to be the one with lowest population which is Botswana with less than 3 million people, about 3 percent of Nigeria population. According to Transparence International, Botswana is ranked as at 2016 as the least corrupt country in Africa. This obvious fact is a slap on the face of Nigeria a state that boasts of about 180 million people. This therefore creates serious doubt in the mind of people about the reality of the saying that population is the greatest asset of any nation. One then asks what the state Nigeria has done with her people amidst her natural potentialities.
In tackling the many problems that have bedeviled African states, there must be realistic approaches aiming at lasting solution. What is required is honesty and sincerity on the part of AU and ECOWAS as in
the West African states to use the power that comes with their privileges to direct her member states to be responsible and accountable to their people. Other regions in the continent should identify their various intergovernmental organizations in this respect.
Intergovernmental organizations should intensify efforts with a view to alleviating states in Africa which perpetuate the acts that are inimical to the continent and as they affect the operation of the world. In this regard, African states leaders who appear to be leaders for life should be persuaded to step down out of power; failure to do this the UN and various organizations should be compelled to act in accordance.
Just like the fragmentation of Sudan breeds the sovereign Republic of South Sudan which is almost at collapse, Nigeria government should beware of the Biafra secessionists’ movement ongoing in the country.
What Africa needs now is nothing but timely and global attention to get it right. Time is past due that we should do something.