Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, just didn’t know where to shop

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Climate change, Media, Politiking
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Numerous challenges stand in the way of Africa’s ambition, one might lax, stuck amidst this tangles of economic and social fails that have crippled progress.

Why do we fail, wandering aimlessly unable to feed our children and yet countries with a fraction of the resources we boast of manage to become first class nations amidst of the worst of economic crises?

More than 218 million people live in extreme poverty. Poverty has made the continent writhe in other opportunities fiends like climate change yet its economies rely on climate-dependent sectors such as water-fed agriculture, and its capacities to cope and adapt are generally limited.

What’s worse when breaks like HIV/AIDS, corruption, conflict and wars keep stagnating this fight against poverty.

So has money set us apart? Yes the lack of it at least. – Undoubtedly, poverty has put an unbearable strain on Africa.

However, while noting Africa’s maladies it would be dispiriting not to mention the improvement in telecom innovation has broadly improved quality of life across sub-Saharan Africa. There has been an increase in African countries that have embraced technology as a driver of development, e.g. Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Rwanda’s rapid ICT growth.  Despite sub-Saharan Africa’s impressive economic performance over the past decade, which has resulted in marginal poverty reduction, her way to economic liberation is still beset with thorny issues that need a massive and quick clean up!

Africa has remained aloof, missing out on technologies and innovations opportunities that have seen other regions massively reaping gains.

And in the face of this, we still do not see much allegiance by parliamentarians in investing in research institutions and efforts towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

The latest world University ranking proves this as only three universities in Africa, all in South Africa, made it to the top 400 in the 2012/2013 Reuters/Times Higher Education.

Countries are making a kill from technology and innovation, yet what we see in our backyards are continuous ranting about political supremacy rather than issue-based politics, a distraction to the public and an amusement backed by our media.

Africa, a great consumer of technological knowledge from other region’s innovations still falters behind, lacking aggressive policies and commitment to build its own capacities.

In order to change this, we need a serious reform of our priorities to fit in reforms that would fast pace our economic issues.

What better way than promoting policies that would boost business science, research agricultural productivity, for example?

Our governments need to encourage its own initiatives aiming at transforming Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) knowledge structures. Initiatives like tech hubs need to be supported by governments and the private sector.

We need to buzz up these young African talents and the works to increase the competitive impact they so aim.

We need to need to tap into the private sector; continual handouts will not liberate us. Our leadership needs to cultivate an environment where entrepreneurs can foster their small and medium–size sized companies.

Access to capital needs to be improved to help firms establish strategic partnerships within and beyond the region.

Most of us have now earned ourselves 50 years of independence, yet we are trapped in the continuance reliance of on NGOs and hand-outs. Crippled with widespread corruption that is costly and that has derailed development and augmented socio-economic disparities.

Our problems may seem complex but one sure thing is that innovation and entrepreneurship are the best comebacks to set us a competitive edge, globally. And true to this cheeky quote, whoever said money can’t buy happiness, just doesn’t know where to shop.

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