By: Saleka Njumwa
African Union defines the agenda as a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.
Its builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
This agenda is further built on the seven African aspirations which were developed through a consultative process with the African citizenry which include:
• A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
• An integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
• An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
• A Peaceful and Secure Africa
• Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics
• An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children
• An Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner.
However, these aspirations remain a dream to many until when we wake up and begin execution of our action plan as well as ensuring that we carry out effective monitoring and evaluation to our key sectoral plans in order to determine if we are establishing programs aligned to this great African agenda.
As we speak today, three years down the line since the adoption of the agenda most African countries are suffering from political conflicts which have led to deaths, destruction of property, increased refugees with children and women being the most affected.
Peace and secure Africa will not be achieved when we are the cannibals of our own. African states must strive to enhance peace stability and adoption of dialogue and Alternative Dispute Resolution as opposed to use of violence to solve our own problems.
The aspiration of having an identity of our society, the common heritage, values and ethics need to be inculcated to our children at a very tender age. As we speak today, most African leaders have become so wealthy more than the locals yet they can never be in a position to tell how they acquired their wealth.
Corruption is at the verge with majority of the citizens unable to meet the major basics of life namely food,shelter and clothing as the African leaders and influential personalities with vested interests in the government continue to siphon public funds through non existing projects.
Values such as being honest, ethics like respect to human dignity have been eroded by the excessive imitation of the western culture rendering us to people who lack a specific identity. Modern technology has not been controlled either especially in content development which is shared across the social media platforms.
On the same note, it is important for our African states to establish and adhere to specific timelines regarding the seven key pillars. This is the only way they can manage to assess there performance and build up on innovations that young minds are coming up with.
Good governance,Education , Healthcare, Poverty reduction, Infrastructure development, Agricultural development should be a top agenda as opposed to the current situation where Africa despite being endowed with various resources from human to natural; we are still depending on donors and loans from IMF and World Bank; increasing the national debts yet we have very little achievements to showcase.
Challenges of curtailed democracy still exist; extra judicial killings in many African states, non independent constitutionally formed institutions which can not stand and make sober decisions still exist amidst us and thus posing a great challenge towards a democratic Africa.
Freedom of expression and even for the media to conduct its major role of informing the citizenry remains a critical challenge that poses a great threat towards the great agenda.
It is also important to note that development of any nation lies on how it invests on its young generation. Today, there exists a huge gap that needs to be bridged between the old phasing out generation and the rising young generation which has lacked social political empowerment.
This therefore calls for African states to consider technical knowledge investment as a means of solving the challenge of unemployment and high levels of inequality.
There is need for African states to review their policies from time to time , focus on promoting local culture by establishing local cultural centers that also focus on enhanced social integration in the region and most importantly enhancing proper governance ideals which carry a long the foundationalism process of development takeoff.
Establishment of partnerships within the regional economic organizations which is also part of the global sustainable goals need to be emphasized as it offers an opportunity to share knowledge and expertise.