All publications of Amos Lukwesa . Lusaka , Zambia
African Economic Liberation: By Sir APM Lukwesa
1.Historically, Africa has given its most precious resources almost for null – sometimes insultingly in exchange for mirrors, spoons or cloth or rancorous political favours. Now, that should come to an end. Africa should publish its findings, take interest in its people’s inventions, promote African-birthed technologies and publish many books, right in Africa for African readership with an African perspective squared. African lands, minerals, fauna and flora, waters, and all that God has freely endowed the oldest continent, should be intelligently managed and vigilantly guarded against cheap foreign acquisition, exploitation and forfeiture.
2. DEVELOP COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP:
Across Africa, strong, courageous leaders who will not be given in to anything that promises quick fixes or who will not be bought by powerful influences or who will not “sell” Africa cheaply to foreign interests, should emerge. These leaders should, and will, learn to stand up tall, reclaim the African cradle and rule with law and righteousness. They will display alacrity, dexterity and excellence in national governance and management. They will not solicit for dumping avenues for failed theories and obsolete economic models from abroad. They will not be naïve to let multinational corporations and business interests hijack industry and resources. African leaders should get smart and act equal with everybody else on the globe.
3. TAKE INTEREST AND LOVE EVERYTHING AFRICAN:
The greatest propaganda that has brought African pride down said that “Black was ugly.” No, to the contrary. Black is powerful, beautiful and resourceful. Africans should believe in Africa and in themselves. It is even a shame that we should be reminding ourselves of this very settled ideal. However, entrenched into many a psyche is this unfounded hypothesis. This has, unfortunately, let Africa down and given self-interested quarters a leap towards mass exploitation of African resources.
4. THINK GLOBAL, INVEST LOCAL:
African countries should not fear to play a key role in global economic manumissions. But African states should invest in Africa first – in infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, communication, information, agriculture, services, the military, intelligence, and etc. It has been said that no country is an island, but, historically, Africa has been foolish many times – it does not only invite others but it dishes to them all secrets and power. That should stop. What the Europeans and Americans have done so well, is to have short-term investment interests in Africa but retain long-term and sustainable assets abroad. It is not because Africa is prone to civil strife or wars or violence; it is because foreign investors in Africa lack any permanent or long-lasting agenda for Africa. And this is logical. Since colonial days and even during post-colonial era, these promises have not materialized. Instead, Africa always ends up poorer and the loser. It will be, however, foolhardy for Africa to think that other people will “develop” Africa for the Africans.
5. KEEP AFRICAN AUTHENTIC:
Duplicity has its own value, but Africa must embrace who and what it is and love what it can do and offer to the world. Africa should not strive to be America or Americans, Europe or Europeans, Asia or Asians, and etc. Africa should be just Africa. This does not mean that Africa will not adopt those ideas which have borne fruit elsewhere. It only means that Africa shall strive to innovate and earn the right to be a leader of authentic and lasting African legacies. Its time to make Africa an appealing brand.
For Zambia, the above five steps must be implemented fast and deliberate. In the 1980s, Zambia sold itself to dysfunctional Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). In the 1990s, in the name of economic liberalism, it sold itself to the multinational corporations which ingloriously shipped assets and money from Zambia abroad, almost at will or at no tax to the plunders. In the 2000s, Zambia is confused – not knowing who actually controls its resources: Is it the Chinese or Europe or the multilateral agencies or who? The people in power should not work on come-what-may-agenda. There should be a plan, a strategy, and a knowing whether the country is going forward or backwards. To achieve the obvious, Zambia should protect its raw materials and intellect; develop courageous leadership; take interest and love everything Zambian; think global but invest local; and keep Zambian authentic