(Saturday, 6th September, 2020 – Fourth Forum)
Focus: Poverty in Africa (Causes, Sustenance, Eradication)
Anchor: AD Jake (United States).
PANELISTS: AD LEGEND, AD JAKE, AD OJI, AD SOLOMON, AD ZINTA.
Time: 6pm GMT
AD Jake (Anchor)
Africa gets used as a symbol of Poverty. A perfect example is a cliché involving the use of African children wearing torn clothing on NGO’s ads and websites when soliciting donations. It is a reality that the amount a nation invests in education matches its populace’s money per capita.
In the 1930s, Germany, channeling most of its resources into education brought about a boost in its economy. Also, to eradicate poverty, China sought to educate its citizens. To make education accessible to the working-class population, China initiated night classes to allow a flexible schedule scheme that works for all. Today, we are witnesses of how China’s economy got turned around.
In Africa, Thomas Sankara (a Burkinabe communist revolutionary and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987) had so many challenges fixing a newly independent country. To tackle his challenges, he makes categorizing his citizens by their intellectual character, the yardstick for job placement. In executing infrastructural projects, Thomas places citizens with greater intellect into administrative roles, while others undertake manual labour.
Applying this tactic made Thomas’s works commendably productive.
As a side note, high mortality rate and low life expectancy is an indicator of a poverty-ridden nation. High death occurrences suggest that the country or geographical area lacks the infrastructure to provide proper health services, or its residents are too poor to afford these services.
Before continuing, it is good I mention some myths that exist about poverty alleviation but are not directly proportional. Two include assuming a citizenry is being raised from poverty because of its country’s fast-growing economy index is favourable or using the president’s solo performances. It is important to know that poverty alleviation has its nitty-gritty, closely related to uncountable factors that time will not permit me to mention.
In 2009, Umaru Musa Yar’adua intending to use education to solve the Niger Delta crisis got the amnesty program rolling. Unfortunately, poor implementation of this supposed ideal solution did not make anticipated changes. Nigeria’s failure to tackle poverty indicates that there is no logical plan or intent to end poverty. Our efforts are not matching logic because of the approach of tackling poverty on a stem level while ignoring the root causes.
Some legitimate strategies for mitigating poverty in Nigeria is to; firstly, promote entrepreneurship. Secondly, make resolutions to maintain political stability to retain foreign partnerships. Additionally, the government must ensure its policies are warm enough to woo and conserve foreign investors/companies. Thirdly, infrastructure must be put in place to support great thinking minds. Meaning, people inventing or starting a business should enjoy the leverage of existing infrastructure that will support the smooth running of its companies’ operations.
A descriptive model of government infrastructure and business success is how Amazon utilizes the U.S postal services for reliable package delivery. Fourthly, Africa must control the narratives portrayed about it, by the media. The image depicting social instability, regional crisis, and political apathy should get replaced with strategic and positive pitches that could excite investors.
Importantly, Nigeria must concurrently invest in manufacturing, locomotive, and power.
The reason for the simultaneous implementation is that all go hand in hand. Trends show that manufacturing is the only way to grow a country’s economy in the shortest time. Lastly, we must take advantage of the current global shortfalls and issues; hence, position our products to the global consumer, and boost the quality of our labor market to become globally employable and aggressively competitive.
Poverty is a major challenge confronting the African continent as getting used to depict poverty on mainstream media. The international media deliberately overlooks Africa’s progress to promote the dependency position of Africa in the global community. If Africa is being portrayed as stable, it will strike certain organizations’ funding and have them bankrupt. For these organizations to stay afloat, Africa’s portrayal as a sympathetic ground must remain an infinite loop.
Foreign policies are meant to protect the interest of a country, to help them garner allies and gain trading and investment partners. On the contrary, most African leaders fail to use this tool to their country’s advantage and tend to put personal interest first. Suggestively, each nation in Africa ought to have a sustainable policy framework that would be sustained across future political administrations.
To complement policy making efforts, these countries need a standard policing structure that upholds adherence to the policy. The leaders must be responsible and dependable to ensure it is not using its citizens’ wellbeing to pay for the corruption and poor leadership qualities it renders. Notably, our leaders must acknowledge that education leads to Industrialization, which gives room to internal competition amongst the populace.
It is conspicuous that Africa is underdeveloped because of overexploitation by the West, whose infiltration of the continent to take control of Africa’s resources caused more harm than good. We must recognize that we are not dependants but partners with the West and the rest of the World. Importantly, Africans must build Africa.
An expatriate visiting an impoverished African nation observed thus, “These people are so rich you can literally pick money on the streets, but the people are so blind that they can’t see it.” Meaning that there are so many resources and opportunities in Africa but they fail to see it or take advantage. The consequence is that Africans end up languishing in poverty.
Furthermore, in developing the continent, Africans in the diaspora must actively participate and contribute their quota by recreating in their home countries, the structures and amenities they have witnessed to serve pressing needs in their host countries. To lead all efforts by well-meaning citizens, we need visionary and futuristic leaders who are selfless, chosen, and not imposed on the people by the political elites.
The poverty in Africa is a tool used by politicians to get votes. This structure has been created to manipulate the people in order to gain selfish political agenda. The best way to empower people is through entrepreneurship because that will get to the root cause of poverty by increasing productivity and tackling poverty.
Currently, Nigeria has a false GDP per capita and this is keeping us behind. We need to give more priority to productivity and manage what we promote in the media because more people aspiring to be entrepreneurs will lead to more productivity and more productivity will lead to greater and progressive growth.
Poverty is the state of being extremely poor. Some causes of poverty in Nigeria can be attributed to but not entirely the government’s fault.
Some Nigerians are lazy because they are predisposed to find shorter ways. For example, working in the software/computer programming field, over 50% of my colleagues would rather use their skills to loot/dupe people, than get creative or find a paying job position.
Secondly, Nigerians have a poor savings culture. An adage suggests that what we save saves us. You cannot experience liberation and growth when you are not saving. Some Nigerians are in the habit of spending all their earnings without reserving any for rainy days or sudden opportunities.
Thirdly, conflict forces people to leave their businesses, lives, and work when seeking safety. Also, vandalization linked with conflicts frustrates the government’s already existing infrastructure.
Fourthly, tribalism, and corruption nepotically suppress certain demographics. These demographics lose opportunities they qualify for because of tribalism and religious differences.
Consequently, breadwinners get stripped of opportunities to earn. Inability to provide for their loved ones intensify poverty in the opportunity bereaved region.
Majorly, let us not overlook how our overzealousness in practicing religion can work against productivity.
We must move past the financial miracle mindset, to compliment faith/prayer with honest work. We must educate the populace enough to think critically and creatively, to perceive opportunities. Lastly, we must realize that we do not need visionless leaders and be firm in choosing the right leaders.
Someone said, if Nigeria does not make any move to develop, Africa will remain the way it is. Nigeria has so much influence in Africa that other African countries emulate its good and bad practices.
For example, it is acknowledged that Benin Republic’s police officers learned to collect bribes from Nigerian police officers. Incredibly, Nigerians’ display of optimism despite the consistent unfolding of policies that promote hardship is baffling.
It is pathetic to note that Nigerians are accustomed to accepting mediocrity and settle for poor governing. Can we see that suffering and smiling is a curse in disguise? A curse that compels us to accept and yield to hardship!
Sadly, even though our public executives participate in reformist conferences, they do not return with any value. The greed and corruption of the Nigerian elites purloin the commonwealth of the nation.
AD Jakes (Question for discussion)
120 million Nigerians are extremely poor and mostly women and kids. What can we do to intervene to help the demographic?
Nigeria must make Industrial and educational investment. Also, after individuals get training, they must be aided to commence operation. Additionally, the government must make patronizing local businesses an obligation.
An example would be the government asking that all its agencies and parastatals purchase vehicles from Inosson. Due to high demand, Innoson is forced to hire more labour and embrace diversification, which results in gains to the economy; hiring more people will boost revenues, encourage adherence to taxation, and reduce the unemployment index.
We must end corruption! Let us not ignore the fact that provisions have been made in the past to tackle this issue. Well, our failure to uphold systems to implement the poverty eradication initiatives ends in more woes.
We need to empower great minds to invent and implement viable solutions. Considerably, as a prerequisite, these great minds must be selfless and possess a genuine love for the people. Also, we must promote hard work. Lastly, we don’t have to be waiting for our government and foreign aids to become productive but take the initiative to solve our problems ourselves.
Look, where we are lacking productivity. A legitimate answer to this question is to, for example, stop the importation of rice and have women grow it. We import from India, spending billions of dollars on importation from India annually. We can have our women trained and funded to start rice production, while their children are granted the leverage to attend a government-funded school.
While attending school, these children can help on the farm to learn the trade of rice farming. The combination of both education and hands-on experience for the children can bring about innovation in rice production while providing income for the demographic being discussed.
Next Transnational Forum: Saturday 19th September, 2020
Focus: Reviving the Education Sector in Nigeria (A deep dive).
Case study: Nigeria.
Anchor: AD Jake – Think-tank at AFRODEMPTION (United States).
Africa Redemption Forum (AFRODEMPTION) is an independent forum that houses pan-Africanists from different fields of human endeavour who share a common goal—BELIEF IN AFRICA. Not only that, they are also willing to contribute their quota (expertise, intellect, time, and resources) in changing the narratives of the Black continent.
Their duty is to constantly look into the multifaceted challenges confronting the various nations of Africa in particular and the continent in general, while proffering strategic, implementable, and lasting solutions.
Afrodemption believes that the future is now! And whatsoever we desire to see happen in Africa tomorrow, today is when to begin. It is time to create our own democracy!
However, we recognize from history that Nigeria (the biggest black nation in the world and largest economy in Africa) has a very pivotal role to play. The direction of Nigeria goes Africa. If Nigeria fails, Africa has failed.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
As we continue tackling the various issues from the root by hosting strategic thought sessions, please bear in mind that Africa is the future.
The future of Nigeria and indeed, Africa is in our hands. And the TIME is NOW.
To join us, please send your full name, country, contact details, and interests to firstname.lastname@example.org.