Between Africa’s Natural Endowment and Modernization: Inspiration for Growth (Part 1).

Revival Ojedapo

From the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to the falls of Mosi-oa-Tunya to the Pyramids of Giza (an endless list), Africa lacks nothing in natural endowment. With a population of over 1.2 billion, Africa is filled a variety of culture and art. It is this beautiful diversity that attracts an average of 50 million tourists a year. However, these awe-inspiring wonders don’t necessarily translate into a feeling of pride for the young African.

The past 50 years or so have ushered in an era of great technological innovations, evident in the everyday life of people. Architectural innovations of buildings and other infrastructural developments have been a great source of attraction, even giving a sense of wellbeing. A walk through the heart of New York is enough to leave you stupefied. But, so is the sight of Mount Kilimanjaro seen from plains of Moshi.

The heritage sites that are so much respected across the length and breadth of Africa are characteristic of the vast serenity of the continent as a whole. But, despite the mesmerising hills and colourful valleys, the African youth is still yearning for a greener pasture. This is evident in the incessant migration of African youths into Europe. However, there’s a fast growing appreciation for the African continent in academics and also the media.

Students of history and African studies are in the business of rebranding Africa’s image. Likewise, the media (even foreign media) is starting to paint the continent in colourful images, as should be. Take the movie “Black Panther” for example, and you’ll discover the cultural connotations behind the idea. As Tre Johnson wrote, “Black Panther is in many ways a love letter to black culture”. The African people are indeed a colourful blend, with a rich history. But, there is still a longing for modern development.

The path to modernization has always been arduous; from the Industrial Revolutions in Europe and America to the development pattern of the Asian tigers. The African youth must realize that they’re at the heart of a transition as well, and must persevere to see the effects they desire. It is however necessary to take inspirational from the splendor of the African continent. Not only from the landscapes, but also from the human endowment and cultural richness. Globalization has indeed caught up with us, and we sometimes feel the pressure of having been left behind. There are all sorts of technological gadgets in the African market, but they’re mostly all fruits of other countries’ labour.

It is easy for the African youth to be carried away by the modern wonders of other countries. When they stare at their phone’s screen, they can see the disparity. It only breeds a sense of covetousness, and a desire to migrate. However, when we look within ourselves, into the soul of our continent’s beauty and endowment, we’ll find the strength to conceive modern and dynamic wonders.

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