One of the Rebranders noted that when an average African gets to
the top, he wants to destroy the ladder by which he climbed so that
he alone would be at the top. This was apparent when Obasanjo, a
former president of Nigeria wanted a third tenure and tried to
adjust the constitution to achieve that. Mugabe of Zimbabwe
ignored the constitution and wanted to rule till he was 100 and then
hand over to his wife. Biya of Cameroon is still in power, although
his strength is failing in his old age. It is in almost every African
Nation. When Africans attain power, they would do everything to
hold on to it and never relinquish it till death.
While you might be accusing only political leaders, let me bring it
home. You can notice the same trend in government staff who continue to adjust their ages so that they will not retire for the next
generation. We can see this same trend in business people who
hide their business secrets so that they can monopolize
enterprises. We see it in extended families where uncles refuse to
assist his nieces and nephews because he fears that when he does,
they will do better than his children; instead, he frustrates them
with the hope that his children will be better.
In Africa, people want to monopolize enterprise, power and
opportunity and this is our biggest problem. It is the reason we
resist the emergence of visionary leaders; the reason we destroy
potential inventors from being showcased; it is the reason the
same old political leaders are recycled every election year; it is the
reason our economy is poorly managed; and the reason we are
getting farther behind in politics, commerce and trade.
Many years ago, I learnt a valuable lesson from the use of my
phone's memory card. I had paid for every application on the
phone, and so when someone asked if I could share some of those
applications and media files with him for free, I was not quite
pleased. I thought of declining, but then I resisted the thought and
forwarded all the applications, songs and videos; he was really
A few days later, something happened with the memory card and it
was corrupted; the only solution was for me to format it or I would
lose the memory card. Formatting one's memory card is always
difficult, but for me it wasn't, because the person I had shared my
files with was within reach. I formatted the memory card and went
in search of the person I had transferred all my applications and
media files to. He transferred the files to me and saved me a lot of
trouble. While I was sharing my files with him for free, I did not
know I was saving myself in the future.
If the future of Africa is to be saved, we must share opportunities to
everyone. The opportunity to lead in politics; to share in our
enterprise, and to enjoy the same opportunities we have. We must
not always give opportunities to people because they are our
children or because they are our relatives. Let us begin to give
opportunities to people because they have earned them. When
those who are deserving of opportunities are brought on board,
Africa will begin to take the lead in world affairs.
A football team that will do well is one with the coach that recruits
talented players; not the one with a coach that employs his sons
and friends. A good team scouts for worthy players and brings
them to the team. We must scout for worthy Africans, sponsor
them to lead in politics, in business and in every sector of the nation
and soon, Africa will take the lead in the affairs of the nations.

Excerpts from the book, *the problem with Africa*

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