Fight for a better Africa, not for you but for your children [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Changing the status quo requires us to be bold

Fight for a Better Africa, Not for You but for Your Children (Courtesy/One Africa Child)

Covid-19 brought to light what we already knew – deep rooted structural and systemic inequities.

And inequalities are thorns in our lives painfully causing individuals, communities and countries on the African continent to lack socio-economic freedom.

As we continue to live through the uncertainty of the pandemic, we are also living with the reality that we might not live long enough to see the Africa that we want.

The Africa we are currently fighting for belongs to our children and their children – not for us.

According to a report from UNICEF titled Generation 2030 - Africa, there will be a drastic population increase over the next few decades in Africa.

UNICEF predicts that nearly two billion babies will be born in Africa over the next 35 years.

What does this mean for the continent?

Africa needs leaders who will meet the needs of the looming population, tackle existing challenges compounded by emerging threats on health, social and economic systems.

With the continent’s youth population (aged 15-24) expected to more than double that of the 2015 (226 million by 2055), leaders need to create jobs and solve challenges related to the bulging youthful population such as urbanization, business, healthcare and education among other critical development pillars.

Good governance and leadership are important, now more than ever.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds. In Africa, transformation leadership has become a powerful narrative to keep hopes and dreams alive, even in dire circumstances, people hold on to the possibilities presented by the optimism of tomorrow.

And it is true, there is no reason Africa - a land with vast opportunities and immense resources, a vibrant youthful and innovative population - should not be growing at a pace commensurate with these building blocks.

Africa needs to reflect on its leadership trend and establish whether the skills, behaviours and actions of its leaders can not only navigate us through the pandemic, but also to the values of leadership that matter most to us.

Encourage competent leaders to run for office, increase the presence of women in leadership and empower the citizenry to vote for development-orientated leaders; to safeguard the future of generations to come.

Changing the status quo requires us to be bold

To own our voices and position as instruments that determine how Africa can have a progressive future.

We must echo this from the top of mountains to the down streams of rivers, from the comfort of our homes as keyboard warriors to the brevity of organized movements.

With our cultural vibrancy, resources and capabilities, we can attain the socio-economic freedom that we earnestly search for.

Transformational leadership in Africa is prudent for us to create a world that enhances our probability of living our dreams – a dream easily within our reach.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

The Author, Linda Okero, is a communications and development enthusiast who has been enhancing socio-economic transformation in Micro-Finance, Government, Business Acceleration and Advocacy space. She is the Coordinator of the UNCTAD Youth Action Hub – Kenya, a YALI Alumni and Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

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