GERONTOCRACY: AFRICA by @seunfakze January 2, 2013Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
Tags: Africa, GERONTOCACY, Seun Fakuade
At the rate that Africa is moving, with recycled old people clinging to power; it may be decades before the younger generation have the opportunity to impact their nations in Africa. And this is hardly surprising. Today, the average age of the African head of state is 62, which is three times the average age of the African population.
It is time for the older generation to move out of the way. It should be chanelling the way that connect youths to opportunity, creating chances and raising a replacement generation with outstanding values and approach to wealth and sustained development, not plundering them. It should be creating platforms towards an inter-generational interactive exchange that helps create and assures a bold vision of an African century.
Half of the population of Africa is under 20. Given this rising youthful population today, by 2035 the African labour force will be bigger than China, and by 2050 a quarter the global workforce will be African. At that time, nearly half the global youth population will be African. How do we then prepare these young people for the challenges of the future if we are not interacting with them today or preparing them for the roles and challenges of the future? How can they do better if they do not know better? How can Africa compete at the global level if they are not prepared for the challenges ahead?
After taking the oath office at the National Assembly on November 3, President Paul Bathelemy Biya Bi Mvondo, has entered history as one of Africa’s longest-serving Presidents. Biya is the third oldest African President after Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 87 and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, 85. The 78-year-old, whom the Supreme Court declared winner of the October 9 Presidential controversial poll, will be starting his 6th mandate as President of the Republic of Cameroon. By the time he ends his new mandate; he would be on record for having been in power for 36 years.
According to a recent rating by the East African Magazine, Biya is one of Africa’s “sit-tighters” who have seemingly eternalised their stay in power through fraudulent elections. Biya is considered by observers as one of the presidential Methuselahs of Africa. Since 1982 when he came to power, a country like China, that is a non-democratic, has had five presidents; neighboring Nigeria has seen eight Presidents.
They are: Gen. Muhammadu Buhari,1982 to 1985; Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, 1985-1993; Ernest Shonekan, August-November 1993; Gen. Sani Abacha, 1993-1998; Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, 1998-1999, Chief Olusegun Obassanjo, 1999-2007, Alhadji Musa Yar’ Adua, 2007-2010 and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan since 2010. The US has had five Presidents: Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1982-1989; George Herbert W. Bush, 1989-1993; Bill Clinton, 1993-2001; George Walker Bush, 2001-2009. The current US President, Barack Obama is there since 2009.
Children who were born in 1982 in Cameroon are 29 years old today. They know only one President – Biya. Biya has reiterated an earlier promise that he would transform Cameroon into a permanent construction site of development projects as from January 2012. But his critics have dismissed the promise with the wave of the hand, saying the President will not be able to do in seven years what he has been unable to do in 29 years. Eighty percent of Angolans today have only ever called one man President.
Sure, some have had other allegiances; there was a serious armed opposition and there were 27 years of civil war, but José Eduardo dos Santos has remained the head of state for 33 years. His party hasn’t lost power since the anti-colonial war was won in 1975. But following impossible uprisings in Tunisia and elsewhere, talk of regime change in Angola has grown more serious.
Given the challenges of pollution, corruption, housing, transport, education and social welfare (amongst others) plaguing African nations, it is imperative young people are brought up to speed on the methods, tactics and strategies that can bring African nations out of the doldrums. Much of Africa is still under-developed hence the third world categorization. Worryingly, the lack of basic amenities is constantly in demand by the frightening growing young population. How will Afrcia grow if it’s young are ill prepared of the challenges ahead? Who cares about them anyway!
African leaders have cited corruption as the main stumbling block to growth but I wonder who it blames when it’s old (often clueless) leaders cling to power without shame. The same corruption abounds in Brazil but amazingly over the past decade, tens of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, unbelievably! In spite of the brazen corruption in many of the emerging or developed societies like Brazil, government systems in education and health empower the young with jobs, or skills that can make them earn a living! How many African nations can boast of that?
The growing population trend in Africa is a troubling one, deeply unsettling. This is so for instance in Lagos state, Nigeria where Urban migration is constantly posing a threat to the survival of the city. Across Africa, our growing young population is constantly asking questions on infrastructural investments from their leadership, with few of their questions getting the required answers they deserve.
Clearly insightful leaders, as the ones in Singapore, will not only provide visionary leadership in its policy and its implementstions but also pave way for empowering emerging leaders through education (human capital) and equipping the next generation by creating interactive platforms for them to become more informed and prepared for the challenges ahead. Not Africa!
The problem for African leaders are diverse. Only recently did they start recognising or pushing for inter-African trade. Wondering what took it so long. For long, we have acted as 54 separate countries, weakening our bargaining power as a strong economic bloc, and failing on this regard to ensure our collaborative relationship brings incredible African benefits. African nations, operating as units, ended up as insignificant exporters of raw materials whereas their bargaining power could have been duly strengthened if it operated as a continental bloc!
Worse, our intellectual capital wounds up in the developed world as the lack of opportunities in Africa end up making our young leave the continent for greener pastures. The real failure of gerontocracy in Africa is the political inability for our leaders to create and implement working policies, create a realistic future and make Africa a strong economic hub for its growing citizens.
The verdict is simple, if Africa’s old leaders cannot invest in infrastructure, get a grip or hold on Corruption, empower their institutions to be strong, so much as they can provide the needed jobs for its growing populace; then it’s time for it to get out of the way!
I am @seunfakze
THE #DANACRASHACTION REPORT (with account details) June 25, 2012Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, MORALITY, MOTIVATION.
Tags: Dana Crash, DanaCrashAction, Kathleen Ndongmo, Nigeria, Seun Fakuade
THE COMPREHENSIVE (first phase) DANACRASHACTION REPORT
4th June, 2012 was a black Sunday for Nigeria. On that day, a commercial flight belonging to Dana Airline had crashed in Lagos into a building and its parts into four adjoining ones; killing all on board and other families on the ground. The nation was thrown into great mourning. This had been one of the most vivid and unfortunate air mishap in a while. Almost everyone had someone involved in the crash, or a family friend or friend of a friend.
On Monday, 5th June, 2012; notably Seun Fakuade (@seunfakze) and Kathleen Ndogmo (@kathleenndongmo), used social media platform Twitter to launch, then an immediate and initial relief material response call across the nation calling for friends and loved ones not only to mourn and eulogize those who had departed but help those different families who had been displaced by the crash with material (non-cash) donations. The Plan was simple: use distress calls to help gather relief materials in the country. These generated many responses with loving friends helping the effort by tweeting and retweeting critical information that proved to be significant to the success of the effort.
The relief collation was given a timeline frame of 4 weeks to ensure collation, stock taking (inventory of materials) and ultimate distribution. This was divided in 2 week phases of Collation and Distribution. Twitter was ultimately used to kick start and sustain this relief effort, while Broadcasts via Blackberry helped served its purpose too. Volunteers sprung across Nigeria with LAGOS- @babatundejnr, @teni_beauty2, @shecrownlita (then in Nigeria), @kathleenndongmo, @wildeji, @realebony, @nisots @dupekila; KADUNA (whispringice), BENIN CITY (@thisiseseosa), ABUJA (@seunfakze @4yusuf, @abangmercy, @peckyugo), ILE-IFE (zebbook), IBADAN (@gboukzi) and very many others who would have preferred to remain anonymous but whose efforts cannot be overlooked as critical to the continued success of this effort including @kwamiadadevoh, @mrsleevesup, @omojuwa, @dupekilla, @jodusolu amongst many silent heavyweights.
Given the urgency of the case, other daring and loving people came on board beyond Nigeria, in the UK with @topeolowu and @forumeditor (non-Nigerian) noticeably helping to spearhead the drive from the onset. Others include @olaoluwakite, @abdullahiaborode, @shecrownlita (who then was in Nigeria and who played a significant role while in Nigeria), @Zaraliscious, amongst many innumerous helpers.
Many Nigerians expressed doubts and cynical venomous responses trailed our collective effort to the Dana Crash relief collation. Notwithstanding, materials came in from Lagos and beyond. We took much consignment of goods and relief materials and was provided a storehouse at the RISE place. A temporary shelter home was temporarily rented around the suburban of Ogba, where our unyielding volunteer effort produced partitioned makeshift flats to house the families of 5 (at first) then 15 altogether.
We owe to @wildeji, @shecrownlita, @babatundejnr, @teni_beauty2 the gratitude and appreciation of making the daring and visionary effort of the Shelter which till date houses these Internally Displaced People (IDPs).
The inventory of the materials began in earnest and the first batch of relief efforts went out in a week in food items, mattresses, fans, a generator donated and fueled by Jubaili Bros. We had many helpful bailouts along the way which helped speed track the effort material collation across Nigeria. For instance, Abuja collation material had ABC Transport provided us with a N6,000 rebate after we had explained to the Manger of the intent of the goods. Thus the initial N18,000 became N12,000. The N12,000 was paid from the N2,000 that was provided by one of the volunteers (@ofastupidwoman from Clothes4Love) and the N10,000 from the N100,000 provided by a loving Nigerian. In all, N102,000 was provided from Abuja and details of the spending:
N1,000 for transport to store; witnesses are @seunfakze and @teni_beauty2
These sum gives a total of N39,000 spent altogether leaving a balance of N63,000.
RELIEF MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION
Huge relief materials were transported from the store to the Shelter and first set of relief materials have been given to 9 present families out of the 15 families (IDP). Attached are pictures (and videos forthcoming) which we hope you will find time to go through, detailing the processes of signing and with family members. The other 6 families would also get the first set of the relief materials when they present themselves during this week. Let it be clear that accommodation at this shelter were paid by some of the generous Nigerians and were handled with the landlord directly without interference. This accommodation will lapse on 15th July, and these IDPs will be forced to the street if we fail to provide an alternative for them. We hope to solve their accommodation as soon as we are able to
THE DANACRASHACTION TRUST ACCOUNT
From the onset, we vehemently refused attempts to accept monetary cash as evident in all of our tweets owing to the cynical nature of Nigerians. Notwithstanding, we embarked on cash collection having being pressured by many in the Diaspora who wanted to contribute and even here in Nigeria. Also, we felt we may have earned the trust of many through the #SaveOke project that most of us had partaken in recently. Several banks were approached given the urgency of the situation; of these three @gtbank came to our rescue; providing Pounds, Dollars and Naira currency accounts for use.
The DANACRASHACCOUNT is a PUBLIC TRUST ACCOUNT and as such, NO MEMBER of the DanaCrashAction had knowledge of the details. Let it also be clear that no one can anyone access it outside the account signatories who are notable and reputable Nigerians. Till 9am this morning, no one knew the detail of the account, nor has anyone being able to access it. Unlike the #SaveOke initiative where we had a day by day update of the account, we had no ACCESS to this account as we were not directly involved with its discharge. This is needed so as to ensure transparency and absolute accountability as well as to ensure PUBLIC TRUST is not violated. This is thus the details of the account UNTOUCHED, UNUSED, UN-ACCESSED.. (CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK) FINANCIAL ACCOUNT DANA_CRASH04Jun2012-25Jun2012
The first of the final phase of distribution began have been done to these IDPs, the concluding parts will come these approaching weeks.
The accommodation of these IDPs will hopefully be sorted out too giving the account status and hopefully the help of others.
For the team, in Nigeria and abroad; it has been three weeks of unbelievable synergy, coordination, fast flurries of emails, calls, arguments and absolute love. Gratitude goes to YOU DONORS without which we would never have witnessed the joys on the faces of these IDPs, nor the cries, or the bond that has since existed between many unknown Twitterians.
It is not over yet; the DanaCrashAction website will launch soon featuring the collation of all the efforts, the intricate details, the list of Donors, the list of volunteers, the selfless contributions of all, the events (memorial, events, etc). We owe the effort of all concerned to make this work.
The team is proud, and we hold our head high despite the distrust from many quarters.
Thanks for YOUR unwavering support.
We made it through.
God bless you
I write as ‘Seun Fakuade
With the consent, and on behalf of the TEAM at home and abroad,
@seunfakze @KathleenNdongmo @BabatundeJnr @Wildeji @teni-beauty2 @topeolowu
1. The second report will contain details of other expenses at the shelter and other ongoing developments.
2. Attached — comprehensive listing and pictures (videos to come) of donated items to IDPs, including evidence of some payments, scanned evidence of accepted materials by IDPs, and the FULL FINANCIAL REPORT OF THE DANACRASHACTION ACCOUNT. TO VIEW THE FULL IMAGE, CLICK ON THEM. Enjoy!