Where Do We Go: An Open letter From An African Youth To African Leaders
The Youth of Africa,
On The Continent and In the Diaspora
Heads of States and Leaders of Africa,
The African Continent,
I write to you as an African youth; like any African youth in the 21st century. One who is fighting the struggles of joblessness and desperation on the continent or lack of identity and strength in my heritage whiles living in the diaspora. This letter is written by one who echoes the voices of the millions of African youth who believed your promises and put their faith in you for a better tomorrow. We write now to claim those promises and ensure our survival. We enumerate two key grievances in no particular order of precedence as we expect both to be treated equally. Each is vital!
From a continent so blessed in natural resources we will be remiss not to put forth our fear for these. We see each day our natural resources being extracted and sent away and we reap no benefits from it. No that is a lie, we do reap benefits; benefits of destroyed farm lands, polluted water and air and death from conflicts and disease. You watch and pat our backs with trifles as our treasure chests are looted. Some of you protect these vandals and thieves and turn against the very people you claim to represent. You do all this for thirty pieces of silver.
Maybe you have no desire to change this. The profits far too big and your time far too short to bother yourselves with what the electorate and the populace need. Maybe in a very dystopian existence this will fly as an acceptable excuse. But then you tie our hands and prevent us from changing it when we get hold of the reigns of governance. You sign agreements that will live long after we and our children have long since become relics of the past. For a full meal today, you sacrifice the sustenance of generations yet unborn. We dear sir/madams are can no longer sit and be bound. We choose to have control of our destiny and really manage our own affairs.
Next we turn our attention to the matter of security. For us, this issue is of direct personal importance. After all we are enlisted to serve and fight in the conflicts you create amongst us to satisfy your personal greed and ambitions. And when we aren’t enough (because too many of us have dies in previous conflicts) you turn to our younger siblings, a generation who should know nothing of the atrocities of war at that age. These kinds of conflict over political power and resources we know of and sad to say have become accustomed to seeing. But now a new kind of security threat faces us. We are being asked to deal with organized terrorism. We the youth of a divided continent, whose leaders cannot set aside personal greed to hearken the voice of Lumumba, Toure and Nkrumah, this is demanded of us. These terrorist who have seen the sense and power of unity are taking advantage of your lack of foresight and unity to perpetuate such violent and sacrilegious acts as the sacking of Timbuktu and the murder of innocent shoppers and worshipers.
How do divided sovereign, independent nations counter organized, united and strategically sound terror? By taking hints from the terrorists I say. When Nkrumah declared Africa Must Unite, he knew our independence and freedom connected with it. Unfortunately fifty years ago in Addis Ababa not many others saw that, our need to get a framework on proper cooperation in place, as never been more vital than now. Even if it isn’t the solid union of the USA but a working system like European Union, we advance the cause of freedom further. We the youth of Africa, the sons and daughters of Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Lumumba and Du Bois do realize that our independence and sovereignty can only truly be safe guarded by a united African front. Ask the United States and china and India and Pakistan why they fight so hard to preserve their unions.
Your excellencies, honourables, majesties, we seek to make Africa a true citadel of excellence. We have bright hopes and visions for our hope. We care deeply for this land of ours. We hope to catch up with the rest of the world as soon as we can. Please do not set us back another century.
The Youth of Africa
Ps. the postal system might not be working or the workers on strike. Might take a while to get a response.
Bernard Botchway is a Ghanaian student at Colby-Sawyer college in New London NH. He is the Executive director of The New African Project and a Resolution Project fellow.