By Obioma C. Appolos
The United Nations Environment Climate Change Coordinator for Africa, Richard Munang PhD, has stressed the need for Africans; governments and people to purge themselves of all forms of excuses regarding the seemingly backwardness of their continent in terms of development and economic growth as seen in other climes.
Although he noted that a progressed Africa; amounts to global progress, he however warned Africans not to waste their time and energy blaming the West for the continuing underdevelopment of the black continent or lay idle waiting for people from other part of the world to bring development and progress.
Baring his mind in response to some questions from The Labour, regarding some undertone voices that the western world would rather have Africa remain underdeveloped, the Cameroonian born Dr Munang, insisted that it has never happened under any civilisation that a people will idly wait for foreigners to come develop their cities or better their lives. He added that Africans must take the bull by the honey and take the leadership in developing their continent.
“Africa’s progress is global progress and not the other way around. If we have zero Africans crossing the Mediterranean in
search of illusive greener pastures abroad, I think this is good for everyone – Africa and the developed countries in the West.
So Africa’s progress is beneficial to all.
“But the big paradigm shift that must happen is that Africans must come to terms with the fact that they are responsible for the continents’progress – and no one else will come in to develop the continent. It has never happened under any civilisation before and will not happen in Africa. So, Africans must take the bull by the horns and take the leadership in developing Africa.
- “And as we do, let us be encouraged by an African proverb, that “he who fears the sun, will not become chief” –Innovative Volunteerism, the model by which all of us can engage and meaningfully participate and take responsibility of developing Africa, is not easy. But the rewards are there. It is how your skills will deliver value and provide bread for you even as you develop your continent by turning challenges into opportunities.
“If you faint because of the challenges, then Africa’s ascension and development will remain a pipe dream. Let’s therefore
encourage ourselves and engage.” He said.