The Africa of my dreams is of a kind that progressively accelerates her industrial development without depleting natural resources, whilst allowing for everyone in the community, indiscriminately, to take part in the development process.
Africa has vast resources and undeniable energy among her people. The former gets exploited without consideration of the needs of future generations, while a majority of the latter remains disempowered amidst the plentiful resources under and around them.
In her development, Africa needs to employ innovative designs that yield to a circular economy, ensuring that products and materials are used for longer, and are more dynamic and easily manipulated to suit multiple functions, and can be eventually restored for a novel use. Africa’s natural resources will be used more responsibly and moderately to sustain the eco-balance and save the earth’s resources for future generations.
I dream of an Africa where every single dweller will be conscious of their actions towards their immediate neighbor and towards the environment; where the urge for rapid development will not leave the players oblivious to the need for conserving their water catchment hubs; where the impulse for constructing infrastructure toward connectivity will not render our wildlife and forests at risk of getting extinguished; where the increasing bulge of processing industries will not keep adding up to the carbon emissions; where the increasing demand for energy to facilitate and sustain the industrialization process will not lead to the progressive destruction of life underwater and life on land through oil spills and cutting down trees; where the need for disposal of wastes will not lead to the piling up of garbage hills and release of insufficiently treated wastewater into her streams, rivers, lakes and oceans; where the need for precious minerals and reserves underneath the earth will not demean the value of her foundations by unregulated extraction; where the consumption is leveled with production; where industrialization means a mutual and friendly venture towards her people and her environment.
The Africa of my dreams is that of her leaders being at the forefront of development, and in the best position to assent to policies governing industrial processes, and compliance to environmentally friendly and people-friendly activities, hence leveraging Africa from the disparity of her retrogressive environment and neglectful industrial development. In addition, having the will to let the state own and sustain life-changing innovations that come into inception every dawn from foreign nations and from within, and fostering the states to run by them as the primary operation mode, to enhance change and sustainability.
Nonetheless, the Africa of my dreams needs her people involved in her development. Even though it is irrefutable that a greater amount of aid for development, human resources, ideas, and innovation comes from foreign nations, it is also a great privilege that Africa is vividly capable of generating the same amount of wealth and even more to be able to facilitate her own development and also be able to participate in the development of other developing nations across the world if only she will take up and embrace innovative partnerships.
Africa of my dreams needs partnerships more than she does aid. She needs sharing more than she does charity. She needs to participate more than she needs to be wholly helped. She needs to adventure more than she gets information. She needs to create and develop more than she needs to be a custodian. She needs to be engaged from the beginning, just as much as she is at the end.
The development of the Africa of my dreams would not mean good if it is not for the benefit of all African people. Neither if it is not involving the people of Africa entirely. The old and the young alike irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, social class, religious beliefs, physical conditions, and educational background, ought to be equally involved in every level of industrial development. The Africa of my dreams will be a rejoicing Africa because of her people’s participation in industrial development and the ability of her people to equally build and run industrial entities. Africa will have steered her people toward being proactive and innovative. Africa will have sufficiently participated in global citizenship during her industrial development through proper participatory strategy.
The Africa of my dreams will appreciate effort instead of suffering liability, and she will be more aware of protecting her resources from mindless exploitation so her future generations will be able to depend on them adequately.
I dream of an Africa whose industrial development will foster the integration of Africa, rekindling of human values and ethics through sharing rather than exploiting; and strategically complement the development of other sectors including agriculture, security, water and sanitation, education, governance, health, wildlife, and climate action.
I have a dream for my motherland Africa that is not far-fetched. A dream that is attainable. I have a dream that is shareable with everyone. Africa calls for action. For everyone in Africa to play a part in the industrial development, while employing innovative methods to avoid depletion of her irreplaceable heritage.
Johanssen is a social innovator working to build social enterprises with young people to solve economic and environmental challenges. Johanssen focuses on conversations and actions that lead to positive social impact.