Africa is a living soul, a spiritual principle, a foreboding enigma, a land of melancholy, full of mysteries. The thousand million questions that someone might ask is the habitability of the African continent?
Africa is probably the first home of mankind but it is the last to be made truly habitable. The Garden of Eden is partly barren a victim of soil erosion and decay. Africa still faces some formidable challenges in its efforts to improve the standard of living for its people.
The continent remains the world’s poorest region, political instability still presents tremendous risk, HIV/AIDS pandemic still continuing, low standard of living, the largest refugee problem, high population growth and access to education grows worsen each decade.
The hope of Africans lies in their leaders, whom they have entrusted their natural and human resources for their welfare. Have our leaders disappointed us or probably misled the masses. Has The Great Black Hope turned into The Great Black Disappointment?
Many have fled from their homes as a result of tyrannical government. The crisis of political habitation has led to migration of its valued human resources. The reasons why Africans migrate are of course varied. Many are abroad for social, economic and political reasons but if only our leaders are to create jobs, good infrastructure for transportation and communication, genuine policies for education and health as well as solid economic foundation to eradicate poverty.
Only such congenial conditions at home in Africa could reduce the volume of Bantu migration and provide an antidote to the woes of many Africans. Then the continent is said to be habitable but this may be the short term remedy.
What is clear is that the long-term solutions to Africa’s crisis of habitability lie in Africa’s gradual acquisition of two capacities: the capacity for self-pacification and the capacity for self-development.
ABENA M. N. DUGAN