HARARE – As we celebrate Africa Day today, the Daily News interviewed people from across the divide to find out what they hoped for and would wish the continent be in 10 years.
Musician Leonard Zhakata: “A better Africa stands in front of us all, but it takes combined efforts by the captains who are steering our economies, our socio-political development, our continental integrity to define our destiny as a people. May we surpass all worldly presumptions, go beyond global predictions.”
Filmmaker Elton Mjanana: “I personally would love to see a Africa that does not make any more excuses for a lack of life for its people. No more wars and eradication of bad vices, starting with our leaders leading this resurgence.”
Writer Virgina Phiri: “I say this with a heavy heart. I feel that the African continent could have done much! much! better than where we are today considering the natural resources covering miles and miles of this beloved Africa.”
Arts practitioner Mathias Bangure: “It’s about time Africa wakes up and realise that it is the richest continent on mother earth but full of very poor inhabitants. African politicians should desist from being selfish and corrupt. Africa must ally itself with itself and enjoy its god given resources. The Africa Must Unite dream must come to manifestation. One currency and free movement.”
Founder, Director at Africa Research Foundation for the Safety of Women, Barbara Mhangami: “That our octogenarian leader those who believe that Africa is their personal property will respectfully retire and make way for a new generation of leaders who will bring the African renaissance promise to fruition.”
Political activist Grace Kwinje said: “I wish for a Africa that is fully utilising its potential both human and natural resources, a continent that has peace, where the full aspirations of the liberation struggle are enjoyed.”
Social commentator Elliot Pfebve: “The Africa we want must move away from the colonial rhetoric to a new frontier that safe guard its sovereignty through maintaining peace and stability, economic empowerment, social justice and advancing democracy and accountability.
“The Africa we want should embrace the new 17 SDGs where we need to move away from being a recipient of donations into a mutual economic partnership based on addressing trade deficit through deconstructing barriers of trade inequality.
“A continent that protects its resources from foreign and regional plunder. An Africa that preaches peace and stability, and move away from leadership solidarity to a nationalistic approach solidarity.
“We must recognize that we are a market force of 1, 03 billion, once empowered and have a disposable income will be the rising continent. So why is it that, Africa with all its resources have a combined GDP of $2 trillion (54 countries), While UK alone has a GDP of $2.4 trillion? Why is it that a continent with an average age of 30, cannot accept to be led by a young president in his 30s or 40s.”
Legislator Jessie Majome: “My hope is that Africa breaks the chains of bad governance and despotism that binds us to poverty and backwardness. Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan and DRC are poster children of that modern day self-inflicted slavery.
“My other hope is that African peoples stand in solidarity with earth other against such despotism and refuse to be hoodwinked into hating their immigrant fellow African sisters and brothers for taking their livelihoods yet it is the failed and incompetent governments across the continent that generate into economic and political refugees.”
Media practitioner Tabani Moyo: “My hope is that the continent leap frogs into the paradigm of knowledge reproduction, innovations, inventions and being an active player in shaping the global developmental agenda.
“I hope that we move from the spotlight of all sorts of 'isms' which have come to define us. Our respective government should in a way be strengthened towards responsive machinery in the quest to answer to the needs of the citizens.
“It therefore calls for the strengthening of our institutions as opposed to the investment in persons. This requests the development of leadership and defining the ethos in our quest to move the human race forward.”
Public Relations practitioner Munya Simango: “Looking forward to the establishment of a continent wide duty/tariff free customs regime, the removal of all visa requirements, promotion of intra-African trade for agriculture produce, manufactured goods and services. This means commitment to developing the necessary infrastructure, that is rail, road and air links.
“We also need a stronger and more united AU that can speak with one voice on international fora like WTO and UN.”
Plywright and actor Daves Guzha: “Leadership with vision, devoted to servant leadership and which must make Africa stop being stuck in the paradigm of past wrongs committed by the West and its allies.
“Leadership which recognises that we are still endowed with so much wealth, in every form mineral resources, material etc.
“Leadership which does not feed on rhetoric. A significantly corrupt free leadership which puts the interests of its citizens first and does not have to fly in and out of its countries for treatment. All in all a leadership which fixes its roof when the roof starts leaking!!”
Rejoice Ngwenya: “Total eradication of autocratic dictatorship, restoration of electoral democracy and Africa value adding it's commodities to be a net exporter of goods based on the success of free, liberal market economies.
Mbira playmaker Albert Chimedza: “Other African governments build on President Magufuli's example; that African governments and political parties learn that corruption is an evil; that the corrupt in Africa understand that you don't steal from our own country. You steal elsewhere and bring the money home to benefit your people. That is what other nations do.
They steal from us and take the loot home to better their economies; to be a political leader or government worker is to be in service of the people. It is not a licence to milk the people dry.
Tax payers expect a reasonable return on their taxes; in the modern world it is shameful to have collapsed or dysfunctional health, educational, agricultural and financial systems; that the nation and its Constitution are greater than any political, religious or traditional structure and that all of the civil service is there to be in service of the people; that morality, a conscience, compassion and ethics in a country's value system are economic assets that create peace and prosperity.”
Actor Tafadwa Muzondo: “After all our flashbacks and setbacks, African people will triumph over selfish politicians to fully participate in the meaningful development of the continent with new ideas and approaches from vibrant young Africans.”
Singer Bryn Mteki: “I wish for United States of Africa so that all Africans can unite as one from continent of mankind – than all these xenophobia plus poverty emanating from country boundaries. Viva United States of Africa.”
Blessing Vava: “African governments need also to unite against imperialism which continues to wreck-havoc and western governments' sponsoring of wars, conflicts and puppet regimes which undermine the rights and sovereignty of the Africa people. There is also a need to come up with ways of dealing with poverty, corruption, wars and terrorism.”
Multi-choice Zimbabwe publicity manager Liz Dziva could only sing a Bob Marley song: “….Africa unite – Africa unite, yeah! Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) for the benefit of your people! Unite for it's later (Africa unite) than you think! Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) of my children! Unite for it's later (Africa uniting) than you think! Africa awaits (Africa unite) it's Creators! Africa awaiting (Africa uniting) it's Creator! Africa, you're my (Africa unite) forefather cornerstone! Unite for the Africans (Africa uniting) abroad! Unite for the Africans (Africa unite) a yard!”