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Privilege, lack thereof and hope – for Africa.

The realities of the world around us are at most times difficult to handle. When you look at a country like Zimbabwe, you’re facing ever rising inflation, gross human rights abuse, a significant percentage of the population living under the poverty line, dysfunctional industries, just a dying economy and no hope for things ever changing. Some of the things that I have listed above are also true for other African countries, there is very little stability and comfort. These present realities effect our futures in ways more than one, and they are the ones to determine just how successful a country will be. At the back of all these, there are a multitude of forgotten people, forgotten children and the existence of such ills resulting in massive inequality is our undoing as a country and as a continent.

Our present reality is difficult. The divide between the rich and poor is jarring. More so the fact that very few people see anything wrong with this. I do not think I can blame any of us, for in this climate the goal for most is to fulfill their lower needs, and then maybe get to a point they can level up the hierarchy. We’re all so consumed with fighting for survival, such that there is a whole multitude of people (read youth and children) left out, in the darkest corners of this very country. What hope is there for a nation who’s population is at the brink of starvation? What hope is there for a nation with more underdeveloped areas than the developed ones? What hope even is there for the people forced to live in such heartbreaking conditions? It is when you delve into such things, that you realize the inertia within our current situation, and how if nothing is done there will be no acceleration to catch up with the rest of the world.

Our dreams are a result of that which we see. We can only aspire to so much depending on the environment in which we are in. According to the Borgen project, 74% of children in rural Zimbabwe live in poverty, I’m yet to find the statistics for urban areas. But working with this statistic, we’re looking at a large number of children marginalized, and with very little potential to escape the throngs of poverty. Those are children who will experience very little to no education at all, which means that such a society has so little potential for growth and development. There is a correlation between education and teenage pregnancies, education and child marriage and other societal ills mostly rampant in the poorly developed areas. The lack of opportunities for those less privileged propels us backwards as a country and as a continent. Continuing on this trajectory means continuing the cycle of poverty.

As long as the gradient of inequality stays as is all over the African continent we’re fighting a losing battle. The next great innovation could be by a young girl in the heart of Kitsiyatota, but exists in an environment that leaves no space for her to thrive. All I’m saying is that for Africa to thrive, for it to be the next big thing, we need to ensure a level playing field. Facilitate schools all over, ensure equal opportunities, eradicate the thick bushes, go on electrification schemes. No one deserves to go through hoops and jump over barbed wire to access an education, to access clean drinking water, to access lighting. Over and over, we lose the potential for change and innovation because a lot of people are fighting for survival. They aren’t thinking about the next big thing, but the next meal, the next bucket of water, the next bundle of firewood. Competing on a global scale when riddled with such challenges is difficult. It’s only a few people who can ascend into such places, and that simply is not enough. In an environment where poverty is rampant, having little is a privilege. If you have what others don’t, existing in an environment where what you have is scarce, you’re king, and you’ll get into spaces where others won’t.

The widespread poverty that affects more than half of the population has ramifications throughout society. It delays our economic endeavors and has a negative impact on everyone’s quality of life. It is the responsibility of our generation like it or not to right the wrongs of the previous generations. Imagine new realities, create efficient systems that allow for dreamers to come from the most unlikely places. That way, we can realize our full potential as a continent.

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3 responses to “Privilege, lack thereof and hope – for Africa.”

  1. Its makes the announcement of Uganda’s president about middle income status sound like a lie.
    Africa is still living below the poverty levels and this is because of our selfish leaders.

    Liked by 1 person

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