Globally, great pillars of society are slowly showing indicators of peeling off and yet they ought to be gaining more coating and gradually appealing to everyone to align with them for learning purposes. Are great pillars peeling off or are the learners looking a different direction and great pillars wisdom is not reaching out to anyone any more? One wonders what the problem is.
Rhetoric has been the mother of all dialogue, but dialogue is the beginning of real confusion at times should the chair of the dialogue be irrational. Today African continent stands out clearly as a centre of attraction for the fifth time with mass exodus of prospecting communities from Europe, America and the Far East, but insiders in Africa are on higher exodus to Europe, Far East and America. What is the problem? Are Africans blind to the treasure Africa holds or is there a mismatch in identifying treasures.
It is common knowledge that biodiversity increases towards the equator, which lies astride Africa in a symmetrical manner, but the rush to the northern and southern hemispheres by Africans is a scare to sober minds and eyes that see and minds that understand the great treasures in Africa.
Mathematically, the equation of these two sides does not balance because Africa stands out to harbour resources, which are not anywhere on other continents particularly conducive climate, greatest size of arable land for production and below ground precious resources like gold, diamond, copper and of late oil and gas.
So if one can ask a genuine question as to why Africans are in mass exodus exiting a rich continent any examiner cannot conclusively give a convincing marking guide to explain the rationale behind Africans’ thinking. In actual sense, the ideological notion of all that is Africa is substandard and yet raw materials of foreign processed goods come from Africa and other developing nations in lesser Pacific and South East Asia still stands as of today.
How can leaders, planners, academicians, researchers, parents, mentors change the mindset of future Africans to remain at home, utilise the abundant resources, add value to the resources, build capacity and transform themselves rather than mass exodus? Imagine how Vasco da Gagama and Christopher Columbus made their maiden trips and shortly all their relatives were out to search for new and better opportunities and mainly from the tropical world.
Africa’s arable land and good climate if utilised well, can feed the world, but Africa is hunger stricken! The production sector, particularly agriculture, is in the hands of non-Africans and in some instances, some governments have to employ forces to take over agriculture services. One wonders why the young generations of two sets look at agriculture as a sector of the old, retired and tired leave alone the poor and yet on a daily basis, none can afford not to eat.
The other question is, if the old folk leave the agriculture production scene as it were by nature, that old will die earlier, what shall we eat? If yes, well and good in the mean time, but if not, there is looming disaster worse than physical genocide to man because war is psychological, ideological.
This is the time to plan; this is the time to avert the impeding disaster. Today, as we discuss matters of importance to development, is yet another monster that has eaten up the human fabric of values in the learned and academic sector completely destroying the centre of development – the education sector, world over education is a non-for-profit sector, but a critical foundation for development transformation, democracy and advancement. But in this medium-term of technology and social media, information trajectory, media freedom of expression the would be driver of development, is the actual precursor of underdevelopment.
Take critical analysis of conflicts in institutions, an example is in universities in East Africa where strikes are the order of the day and yet strikes should be the game of the jungle, not at centres of academic excellence.
Old world universities and new world universities in development and middle income countries do not need a strike other than a new technology, a new innovation, a new life ideological theme, a new plan to the extent that even public demonstrations have lost meaning as new platforms of solving problems that emerge. So what is Africa waiting for or as Ugandans, where is our position on all this.
In the case of Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, if we think outside the box today, one wonders whether a peasant can love to sponsor his or her child for university education at this rate of strike waves, disharmony in the academia, disunity in the clergy, selfishness in the general learned and educated circles, lack of commitment to mentor greater thinkers of the future, equating service to monetary gain, which I would not love to term as the con man world of “corruption” that has failed many scholars to describe it adequately, cherished arrivals and overstay in positions rather than a plan to depart and give space particularly in the civil service in order to create room and reduce unemployment. Who will manage African problems better?
A few ideas to this noble question is that science as a basic unit of innovation and invention helped Europe and America to develop, but few Africans have embraced science, science builds structures that yield good services and eventually supports leadership, but not vice versa. What many have not seen happen directly in Africa and Uganda in particular is the peeling off of science fabric – ask how – the answer is feminine scholars fear science and in the past three decades, the fabric of science has been endangered due to promotion of the girl-child sentiments and society ideals have rendered the boy child drop into the periphery structures for total destruction.
Therefore there is need to sit, discuss, account for the ills and re-design structures and systems to stabilise what has eaten our society’s fabric of development, production, order, peace, respect and other values that used to exist before technology came along to distort the status quo. In developed nations, there are five sectors that have never been totally privatised, namely agriculture, transport and communication, security, education and health but look at how African countries took on the irrational trend of privatising these key sectors.
Media freedom is under threat today, rights of human beings crave to overturn any good ideological fashions in present day transformation, freedom of association and freedom of worship has greatly affected the youth at times present day prayer is like God must be shouted at in order to in turn throw blessings, even if blessings came down those to account for the biblical teachings are counted so what is wrong.
Prof Byarugaba works at the African Institute
for Capacity Development, Nairobi – Kenya.