Is Africa’s infrastructure in an eternal race to modernity?
From a holistic perspective, it is quite a distinct distinction that Africa is far behind in the global race to the ever forward-shifting finish line of modern infrastructure especially when compared to the west. “Why not compare to the east?” one may wonder! Well, there is a significant similarity in the extent of and modernity of infrastructure in the east thanks to the incessant warfare, an enemy to infrastructural development. With the exception of emerging giants like China and countries like Russia, Japan, the face and core of infrastructure in the east is similar to that in Africa. So, to get a vivid awareness about Africa’s position in the global race, it is important we compare to the west. “What is sustaining the west to be the architects of the ever forward-shifting finish line?” Or better asked, “What is dragging Africa behind that it needs a boost in infrastructural development?” Is there a hope for a twist of events that the race will cease to be eternal? The good news is that there’s immense hope. There’s a forgotten stepping stone that can give Africa’s infrastructural development a mega boost if remembered. Who is to cause the awakening? We, the African Exponent are going to cause the awakening.
Meet the already concocted remedies by Africa’s elites
I’m not writing to portray myself as some kind of a 21st century messiah who has the absolute remedy to Africa’s obviously lagging infrastructure. Numerous geniuses out there have developed remedial plans to boost the infrastructure development in Africa. Geniuses like Dr.Donald Kaberuka (incumbent president- African Development Bank) have steered brilliant structural reforms under their leadership. Of the structural reforms under his leadership, there’s the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), specifically aimed at boosting the infrastructure in Africa. PIDA is a cocktail of ideas emanating from elites in the organisation for African union through the African Development Bank to the United Nations. It includes policies like: the energy impact, the transport impact, the Trans boundary water impact, the ICT impact. More still, elites back home in Uganda, have synthesised what they called “Uganda vision 2040”. Reading chapter four of the well published document of the highly anticipated vision, one sees a well laid out strategy to boost infrastructure in Uganda. Furthermore regional bodies like the East African Community (not yet fully institutional), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa have constituted seemingly feasible plans to boost infrastructure development in Africa. For example the East African Community has concocted the idea of a regional cargo railway line. Before we advocate for a boost in our infrastructure, it is important we acknowledge that a lot of recognisable works have been done by either the African countries as a united group or as individual countries.
Uncovering the Stepping Stone
Why then, is there a lag in infrastructural development? It is because the good structural reforms, mostly borrowed from the west are being implemented by people who are not ready to embrace goodness or better said are highly egoistic. We all know the self-centred nature of the ego. Further said the reforms are being imposed on equally vulnerable people in terms of high egoistic tendencies and illiteracy. This is a severe clash of egos that has suffocated development in Africa. For example numerous heads of state have strengthened restrictions on borders limiting freedom of movement. More still the leaders have usurped the role to be the sole architects of ideology in their countries and in international ties. This “power-usurping self” of our leaders has infected the good reforms with a layer of disgust. My seemingly aggressive thoughts can be justified when one visits the documentation on the Uganda Vision 2040. In section 4.2.4 on science and technology, the beings behind this ideology clearly showcase the moral decay of their egos I earlier talked about. They claim that the reason why Uganda is lagging behind in this technology arena of infrastructure is because of “lack of funding by donors and governments and the skills needed to navigate…” This extract is rather bewildering given the trillions of dollars pumped in Africa, Uganda in particular, by donors for infrastructure development.
African governments need to spearhead a campaign to cause a paradigm shift in the morals of all Africans, otherwise Africa will stay in the eternal race to modernity. Africa needs to invest in uncovering the stepping stone of nurturing a healthy harmony amongst citizens in individual countries and amongst Africans in the respective countries. Intended attention and investment is needed to uncover this stepping stone.
(Image Credit: Barrick)