“Akwaaba. You are now at the section for past presidents of our country, the People’s Republic of Africa.” The automated tour guide’s voice boomed through the hallway of the museum.
The lights dimmed and holograms of the presidents suddenly appeared.
“Look!” Aba drew her best friend’s attention to a young woman. “I didn’t think she was this young.”
“The holograms will introduce themselves to you and then you can interact with them,” the automated voice informed them.
“I was the youngest and first female president of our beloved country, Africa,” the hologram which had grabbed Aba’s attention introduced herself.
“Akorfa Dawson!” Aba mentioned.
“Yes, young lady,” the hologram smiled.
“I didn’t know you were this young when you assumed office.”
“I get that a lot,” the hologram responded and chortled.
“I know it was during your tenure that Africa found a vaccine for HIV. We learnt that in History class. Also, Africa began using the Afro.”
“That’s correct. We made tremendous progress in getting the HIV vaccine. After series of rigorous testing, we soon commenced mass production and supplied it for free to other countries. Not long after we adopted a single currency after the amalgamation of the African states. The Afro was in a healthy competition with the USD and Euro.”
“The education system saw a reform during your time in office,” Aba chipped in.
“Correct, young lady. We were relying too heavily on the education system that suited the Western world. We needed to train our people to acquire skills necessary for the technological revolution of Africa. As such, we increased technical institutions. From basic school, students could opt for specific schools that matched their skills and interests. What schools are you in?”
“I am a fine arts student. My friend here is in engineering foundation school.” Aba answered.
“Wonderful. Study hard and help build our country, like I did in my two terms as president. The World Food Programme, does that ring any bell?” The hologram asked.
“Yes! Africa plays a pivotal role in the alleviation of famine across the world. We regularly donate food to Asia and South America, as our contribution towards the World Food Programme.” Aba responded.
“Africa started having uninterrupted power supply when you came into power!” Aba’s best friend remarked.
“I came to build upon the initiative my predecessors had begun. We tapped into our geographic location, being directly under the sun, and produced large scale solar energy. Nigeria Province was made the hub of the generation of solar energy.”
“Did you know you could experience a recreated virtual reality of a significant time in the administration of these presidents?” The automated tour guide’s voice interrupted.
“Cool!” the students chorused.
“To the left of this hallway, there are doors with the names of the presidents inscribed; you’re invited to enter, if you’re so inclined.”
Aba stopped at the door that said:
Twelfth President of the People’s Republic of Africa
She opened it and found herself in a stimulation of the President’s Office. She wore a pair of goggles which had been arranged on a table close to the door. It was the middle of a meeting with world leaders. Aba recognised the then President of the United States.
“Wouldn’t you ruin our relationship with the other countries if you don’t let us settle our debts?” The Minister for Foreign Affairs was murmuring to the President of Africa when her gaze averted in his direction. She smiled.
“Africa, kindly reconsider your decision. The grace period is over. You need to settle the debt or else we would not be able to run.”
“We would pay back on one condition.” The President of Africa responded. From the screen before Aba, she could see the President of America exhale and relax in his seat.
“Name it,” Great Britain responded.
“Pay for the resources you looted from our land; the years of slavery you subjected my people to; restore the time we lost serving you as slaves.”
“But Africa . . .” Great Britain was evidently uncomfortable in his seat.
“If you cannot do that, we, the People’s Republic of Africa, shall not pay back the loans you gave us. Your terms were evidently not favourable. Back then, we were desperate. Not so anymore.”
The stimulation ended and Aba left the room. “Whoa!” She thought out loud. She was clearly enchanted.
Aba walked back to the hologram. “I am inspired. You did so much as such a young age!”
“And you can do much more than I did,” the hologram encouraged her.
* * *
Somewhere far away from the hustle and bustle of flying cars, skyscrapers and city lights, a woman who knew she had made her mark in the moulding of the People’s Republic of Africa, when she was president almost half a century ago, sips her freshly pressed juice of citrus from the valleys of the southern part of the country.
Akorfa Dawson (Ghana)