I grew up believing my father, believing God would not send rain and there’s nothing we could
do about it. I grew up to a helpless Africa, where we attribute our life circumstances to destiny,
controlled by an all powerful force. We were taught it was conventional for everything to
happen the way it did, believing that there was nothing we could do about our African
problems or change our story. We were told they were natural, we accepted it as our African
reality and our destiny as it is.
Everything that happens in Africa is believed to be natural and beyond our control; we cannot
help the crumbling economy that is facing severe financial problems, that affects all sectors of
the continent’s economy (agricultural sector, transportation, mining, health, energy etc.). We
are convinced there’s nothing we can change.
We believe our geography to be a disadvantage we can’t change; the low rate of annual rainfall,
the increasing aridity and droughts that affects agricultural outputs, the water-related problems
of availability and quality.
The food scarcity (resulting majorly from lack of agricultural research and development) and
the electricity problem that has affected every aspect of the continent’s development and the
inadequate land infrastructures, lacking maintenance and expansion to serve the ever growing
The health system, crippled by lack of funds and poor management. The educational system
that’s an excuse, producing half baked graduates and output that mismatches the needs of the
The problem of unemployment, our labour market unable to absorb the growing young
population and there’s little access to skill development schemes. The security challenges we
face everyday, that leaves us scared of our lives. There is also the environmental issues of
pollution, countries like Angola, Botswana, Chad, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Nigeria (Oil-
producing countries) relaxing on oil production, mining and ignoring the environmental hazard.
We are made to believe all these problems are natural, the making of an all powerful force. We
accept it’s beyond us to solve the African problem. Because it is African, where nothing works.
We have believed so much that our destiny is beyond our control. Believing the life we aspire,
we can never have in this continent. This has lead to the immigration of thousands of
Africans—talented and creative—because they believe the only way out is out. That they have
to get to Europe or Asia to rewrite their Africa story. Continents were they have to endure
oppression, simply for being black.
This is Africa’s sad reality, our destiny as it is a socio-cultural problem of mindset.
But, if we took charge of Africa, things would be different and we can rewrite our destiny. We
can turn these disadvantages into factors that would contribute to the development of the
Africa has all it takes to meet the continent’s needs and even more to make a mark in the
world. None of this will be possible if we believe ourselves incapable of changing our destiny,
because “It is impossible to cultivate a spirit of innovation and transformation when people
believe themselves helpless about their plight” —Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
In as much as our geography may be a disadvantage, there are opportunities there in. The
lands, mountains and hills that may be threats, are actually beautiful sights we could turn to our
advantage. We should take charge of these beautiful places and develop them into tourist sites,
thereby generating revenue and attracting investors.
Africa is also home to large rivers and lakes (Zambezi, Nile, Congo, Niger, Lake Victoria etc.) So,
it maybe right to say, we have abundant water resources and Africa’s water scarcity is as a
result of ignorance or mismanagement. We can change this by taking charge, improving water
management (recycling waste water) and increase storage capacity.
Our agricultural growth can improve, if we pay more attention to the agricultural sector. By
funding mechanized farming, agricultural research, making sure there is available land and
ready market for the products.
We can as well improve electricity supply, if countries focus on the adoption and promotion of
policies that would significantly increase the use of renewable energies (bio-gas, wind, solar,
thermal energy, micro hydro-electric power stations, etc.). Government and private companies
providing access to the necessary equipment and finances will help in solving our energy
problem. Electricity is a very important aspect of development because access to sustainable
energy supply facilitates development as it aids the improvement of other sectors.
In the aspect of unemployment, entrepreneurship should be encouraged, loans and grants
should be made available to assist citizens start and grow their businesses. This will eventually
create employment opportunities for others. The cost of getting a university education should
be less expensive and scholarships available. The quality of education should be improved. It
will make it easier for young graduate to have higher chances of getting employed. The
government should as well partner with private companies and individuals to create more job
opportunities for people.
Africa problems have solutions. They are not just destiny, that cannot be changed. We are not a
doomed continent. We just have to take charge of our destiny, turn threats into opportunities.
Together if we believe, Africa will boom with opportunities, rather than threats. We can decide
to see solutions instead of problems, to take charge of Africa.