opinionBy Dennis Ndemo
AT the end of every year, students sit their exams and a report card is given to each of them. At this point, the chuff in the academic world is separated from the real grains in this field. Promotions are given; subject and careers are chosen while some simply give up.
Those who excelled and those who fell short plan their next move in equal strength. Man surely must live and live abundantly. Their struggle and hustle to fix things shape their spirit. Their eyes open to focus on a future they know little about. It is an important time to many; one that makes them strong or breaks them.
It is time to give an account of the year. 2012 is coming to an end and just as a teacher would do to his students, so will I in the scorecard. A scorecard to my beloved continent; a continent I so cherish and hope to see promoted in the next class of independence and sustainability. Yes, this continent that is home to the finest and unique resources in the world. I will grade you and give you marks according to your ability and capability. Trust me; I will not be bias because I am your child. No!
It is a year that saw many things happen. We tried to quell several militia groups in this part of the world. Kudos to the AMISOM force for returning relative peace to Somalia. You did a good job guys! Though several of your gallant men died, they are smiling at peace for a mission well achieved. But I still mourn for my many brothers and sisters in D.R.Congo, Mali, parts of the Northern Africa and parts of Kenya. They know not peace; war chokes every breath of peace they should be enjoying. On this, fellow Africans we have failed and need to improve. As you plan your notes for revision, the greatest reference should be Rwanda and their homebred solutions.
Food security was slightly fair. Why do I rank you this way? Many might ask. My answer as your fair teacher, you have a lot of unexplored potential. Imagine of the tracks of land that remain idol. Think of the modern mechanisms you have put into use to improve production. Now think of the farm inputs that you have evoked to yield successfully. And that is why I insist, you got to pull up your socks!
In education, I can say it is a better performance though more needs to be done and you know that. The many education centres established by the break of the sun everyday are a clear indicator of this. But a question to the authority, do these institutions meet quality standards or our fellow brothers and sisters cracking their brains only for them to be told they do not qualify?
Employment, you tried, but there is still brain drain. Among our countries in Africa, that is productive. Consider having two coins, one in your left pocket and the other in the right one? Whose are they? No consider having the same two coins but one is with a stranger and the other with you, is the one with the stranger yours? There are reasons to worry. The problem of workers striking reared its ugly head scaring our naïve economies. We lost brothers in South Africa, we lost patients in our hospitals in Kenya when doctors went on rampage, and students went untaught in Tanzania, our men and women walked to work in Uganda. All these were discouraging.
Economic growth was minimal. We still have a one digit growth which is not fair given our ability. I am not discouraging you. I want to tell you the truth however bitter it may be. I know you are trying but the issue of corruption block our vision to this crown ahead of us.
I have given my results. The scorecard recommends in simple terms a 'work harder' statement to the class. You ought to improve because there is much potential in you. Do not be confused by your elder neighbours who might not like seeing you grow. Do not create enmity with your brothers because of a simple line drawn by strangers for purposes of ruling us. Be focused Africa!