By Eng. Chuar Juet Jock
Originally written on July 28, 2015, in the wake of US President Barak Obama tour to Africa in the same year.
Let us give thanks to president Obama but most if not all the governance systems in Africa are too deformed to be reformed given the fact that who else has the power to champion and enact the reforms rather than the same presidents that have disabled institutions, suppressed the popular masses and are obstructing the constitutions and violating the laws of the land in order for them to stay in power indefinitely and enrich themselves and their cohorts with public funds.
Obama shouldn’t waste his time lecturing African presidents because it is not that these presidents don’t know these self-evident facts but because greed, lust for wealth and power has made them deaf and blinds to the very logic and principles that they have bought the votes of their deceived constituents in an apparent one-way ticket up to the seat of power and never the other way around. Whatever you said today Mr. President is true and those are the missing ingredients in the never-realized Africa’s development dream. These African kings in disguise have heard you and heard you well but what they have heard is not there in their heads anymore because they have heard it with their right ears and unfortunately it got out with their left ears and before you, Air force One haven’t takeoff from Africa.
Mr. President, Africa has no democratic presidents but Kings in disguise. A democratic president like your person would be elected and serve the first term with great efforts and achievements in order to be re-elected once more in the second and final term. I like the way you put it today at your African Union Address that even though you are a pretty good president and would be re-elected for another term should you run. But that can’t ever happen in the United States because of the law and the law is the law and when it comes to the age, you still young unlike our in-age- of grandpas’ presidents who have stayed for nearly forty years in power and have seen their grandchildren aging before their eyes while tightly holding on that chair giving nothing but troubles and more of the same.
When it comes to the achievements, you have given this country much more than any US president, a legacy, and performance that would make your people re-elect you for the third term if it wasn’t for the law and the law is the law, I quote you again. All these goodies and strength doesn’t make you above the law. I wish our African presidents, Oops, our African Kings, have got what you mean and not again to stage fake coupes, amend the constitutions or plunge their nations into tribal and political chaos and civil wars in order to stay in power for life. That’s not an effective system of governance that generates new ideas, new characters, new energy, not a system that gives young people hopes and dreams, a deadlocked system that doesn’t aspire the young to be leaders of tomorrow, good leaders of tomorrow.
Young Africans are crossing rivers, oceans, and seas, drawing in thousands, escaping the most resource-rich continent on earth, risking it all just for an opportunity of being a refugee in the developed world, Europe and America. But let us pause a moment and imagine what could be the cause of such a suicidal decision, putting one life in danger by crossing those vast endless oceans with those kinds of boats we all have seen. There must be a true hell there and let me remember a bit of it, rampant corruption, high unemployment rate, and insecurity, civil wars and humans rights degradation, merciless hunger and famine, diseases, and hopelessness among many man-made disasters.
They are escaping not because they don’t love this most beautiful continent on earth, no, there is no beauty like Africa and Africans themselves but it is for the very simple reason that our leaders in the persons of presidents haven’t taken charge of transforming the lives of their people for better and for that reasons the continent is still lagging behind in all socio-economic and political aspects. It is not about help and aid but it is about leaders and leadership. Africa needs a true transformation in humans’ capital parallel with another in infrastructures, education, healthcare, paved roads…etc. Without new leaders of a different positive substance, Africa shall remain lagging behind the rest of the world and this can’t be the option we have got. Let us all stand up for a better Africa.
Eng. Chuar Juet Jock