Why Africa is 25 years behind the developed world
I have always prided myself on being fortunate; in my public and professional life over the years. I have cultivated friendships and acquaintances that have remained faithful and close to me especially during difficult times. They have demonstrated over time that their respect and admiration has never depended on my high status in society or in government, but out of their genuine affection for someone they hold in high esteem. From time to time they’ve also amused me with funny stories and anecdotes some of which I have shared with others, while I simply chuckle to myself with others and then moved on. Yesterday I received one which is not only amusing but which I believe is food for thought, hence I have decided to share it with readers of the Puawui column. The subject matter is “WHY AFRICA IS 25 YEARS BEHIND THE DEVELOPED WORLD.” And here is why. (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)
African Leaders – Average Age 76 years:
Abdulai Wade, Senegal, 83 years old. Hosni Mubarrack, Egypt, 82 years. Robert Mugabi, Zimbabwe, 86 years. Hifkepoinya Pohamba, Namibia 74 years. Rufiah Banda, Zambia, 73 years. Mwai Kibaki, Kenya 71 years. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia 75 years. Colonel Gaddafi Libya 68 years. Jacob Zuma, South Africa 68 years. Benga wa Mtalika, Malawi 76 years.
Now compare the above with the First world – Average Age 51 years:
Barrack Obama, USA, 48 years. David Cameron, UK 43 years. Dimitri Medvedev, Russia, 45 years. Stephen Harper Canada 51 years. Julia Gillard, Australia 49 years. Nicolas Sarkozy, France 55 years. Luis Zapatero, Spain 49 years. Jose Socrates, Portugal 53 years. Angela Merkel, Germany 56 years. Herman Von Rompey Belgium 62 years.
Difference 25 years
Interesting though these figures may be, they do not tell the whole story. For example our own youthful Ernest Bai Koroma is not mentioned neither is anything said about the architects of German and Chinese economic miracles Chancellor Konrad Adenaur and Deng Sia Ping respectively. It is amusing all the same provided it is remembered that statistics turn out what is fed in them or what they are required to do.
By the time this column is read, in all probality Miatta French would have been approved by Parliament as a member of the National Electoral Commission NEC. Here is one more example of this government completely ignoring genuine and legitimate concerns raised by the opposition SLPP. It has already been pointed out that the young woman had been in the employ of NEC chairperson Christiana Thorpe as a member of FAWE before she was recruited to NEC staff to a position for which a Masters degree was a prerequisite. These were the rules as published in the official Sierra Government Gazette by the NEC chairman herself who then immediately flouts them by Miatta’s appointment. Next she nominates the young woman for the position of NEC member thus joining another previous staff employee Steven Mattia. Would these two people ever take independent lines in the deliberations of NEC, realizing that they owe their previous appointments and present nominations to chairman Thorpe? The critics who constantly accuse us refusing to cooperate with the government have kept sealed lips on the subject. But, as I have always said, “dis na Salone!.” Posterity is bound to judge us.
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