Africa has always been a great continent. The only thing that derails our development is poor leadership. We are a region with talented youths with innovative minds and our lands are rich in minerals and other raw materials.
Nigeria is an oil producing country but somehow poverty is a menace. The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in minerals but somehow its citizens are wallowing in poverty with endless war tearing apart the country. Kenyans are hardworking people but corruption is costing us our development.
When Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, Europe and the US were experiencing alarming death tolls. The virus has killed thousands of people and it continues to unless a cure or helpful treatment is discovered.
Health systems in the developed countries are struggling with overwhelming numbers of Coronavirus infections. With the virus penetrating into local communities in various cities in Africa, the world is worried about the continent having more infected people, which will be a disaster considering the poor health systems in Africa.
It has reached a point where every country has to help its own people because every government is struggling. Some time back, the US was accused of diverting cargo meant for another country due to the shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment.
Nevertheless, despite Africa being a disadvantaged continue thanks to poor leadership, there are positive things to point out following the outbreak of the virus that has caused thousands of deaths.
It is obvious that Africa has the minds and capacity to improve the tough life its citizens are experiencing. Madagascar has discovered a tea they claim might help manage Covid-19, although more scientific research is required about it and the WHO has said the tea is not a cure for the virus. Nevertheless, it is an effort.
Kenyatta University students invented ventilators to help reduce the shortage of the equipment in Kenya. The Kikotec company in Kitui is doing mass production of masks and PPE’s for the country. The Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’i says police overalls will no longer be imported but will instead be made locally.
Safaricom announced making profits from data services and M-Pesa a the government encourages Kenyans to work from home and maintain a social distance. A tailor in Kibra started making cloth masks and distributing them for free to many people who could not afford them. Children have invented hand-washing tools considering running water is not a privilege for every Kenyan.
These are a few of the things happening in Kenya, which show that Africa can do well with minimal help from the developed countries. We have the resources, the manpower, and brilliant minds to invent the technology we need to push ahead.
It is high time Africa started investing in its own people, manufacturing more items locally, and collaborating to boost development. Just because some countries developed before us does not mean we should remain where we are. They are not any better than we are. We need to have the yearning to do better and live better lives.
It all starts with electing the right people for political positions. We have a long way to go but we can do it if we believe in ourselves and stop relying on western countries to help us with everything. We can do better and even compete with developed countries. They are not better than we are.