by Adrian Joe
Africa is a continent in the world map. It is the second largest and the second most populous continent in the world. Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the North, the Indian Ocean to the South East and the Atlantic Ocean to the West. The continent is blessed with 54 fully recognized sovereign states which include countries like Namibia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Madagascar, Algeria and Morocco. The word AFRICA originates from the word AFRI-KA, meaning “a sunny place”. According to Wikipedia, it is believed that Africa, particularly the Eastern Africa is the origin of humans. Africa as a continent suffers a great exploitation from the Europeans. The continent was firstly partitioned by the European powers such as Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal e.t.c at the 1884/85 Berlin conference which subsequently paved way for them to take full occupation of the continent. The European powers established different steps in order to capture the Africans, for instance, France introduced policy of assimilation and association in their various colonies while British introduced indirect rule. Faced by this exploitation, Africans although benefit from the policies these Europeans introduces because it gives African citizens the opportunity to be educated but at the receiving end, the Africans are the major losers in the sense that most of their natural resources were been taken abroad to develop the industries of the European powers.
After a long and terrible experience of colonization and the independence of India in 1947, nationalist movements erupted and they embraced the spirit of independence. This action was also spear-headed by Resolution 1514 adopted by the United Nation which could see the end of colonization. Nationalist like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Nelson Mandela of South-Africa and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania exhale and started the crusade of independence. The year 1960s were regarded to be the years of African countries because 17 countries (with Ghana been the first in 1957) got their independence, though political independence in nature, and later that year 16 of them joined the United Nation. Furthermore, since the end of the cold war and the appreciation or practice of capitalism and globalization making up a Unipolar world, African continent has witnessed a great number of turbulent actions ranging from ethnic crisis, terrorism, deadly disease and politically motivated violence against the state. These issues need to be tackled in order to make the continent a peaceful and conducive environment for its citizenry to fully participate in the development of the continent. However, there have been many issues which are not satisfactory or needed to be addressed urgently within the African continent. Africa as of today is regarded as a “backward continent”, not because they can’t think or implement good and reasonable policies that would move the continent forward, but because of problems such as sit tight syndrome, corruption, and lack of technological knowhow put them in this quagmire. Some of the contemporary issues facing the African continent include:
- Bad, corrupt and autocratic leadership
- Xenophobia in southern Africa
- Migration in Northern Africa
- Terrorism and Ebola epidemic in West Africa
Let us now examine them one after the other: Continue reading “Africa and the Current Issues, by Adrian Joe”
by Adrian Joe
Women are the salt of the world, so the Bible says. They are also the mothers of the world, they are created by God to help men and take good care of their families. A critical look at the institutions that help in running and functioning of the state one would begin to wonder and ask the question that: why did women feature insufficiently in key political post and political institutions?, why are they insufficient in holding those offices? Are they not well educated or do they just lack the requisite to get or apply for those offices or they are been incarcerated by poverty or they ignorantly refuse to take profound impact in participating in politics? Is the problem caused by our cultural legacy of our dear country that men are supposedly superior to women? The answers to these framed questions make the core analysis of our discussion.
Since the end of the Fourth Conference on Gender and Development in 1995, held in Beijing, following similar previous conferences in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985), strenuous efforts have been consciously up in place to maximize the development of gender equality in political affairs and International representation by women. To buttress this point, Article 8 of the United Nation laid emphasis on the need for gender mainstreaming and development at all level of political participation and representation. As for Nigeria, a country that got her independent in 1960 has a very low women participation in all branches of government. This is not to say that women have not been working in all these branches of government in Nigeria, but it’s obvious that their representation is very low in holding key political post. During the struggle for self-determination a number of women political activist erupt such as Mrs Magaret Ekpo (a women’s right activist and a social mobilizer), Mrs Janet Mokelu and Mrs Young were all prominent members of the Eastern House of Assembly. There were also political activists such as, the late Mrs Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti of the Western region and Hajia Gambo Sawaba of the Northern region.
With this, one can easily conclude that women participation in pre-independence era was quiet impressive despite the fact that men dominated the entire liberation struggle mentioned above. Yet women still scramble to participate and eventually got involved. However, there was a dramatic change to women’s participation in politics during Babangida’s regime. This manifested when his wife Maryam Babangida institutionalized the office of the First lady in 1987. She became the first lady to hold such political post and then launch the “Better Life for Rural Women” program. Since then, the office of the First lady has been assigned to the wife of the President up to date, though the office is not constitutionally recognized. Other women who impart in Nigeria politics include the Harvard University scholar and economist Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who saved the nation’s record of billions of naira. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh also impacted in politics before she got involved in the corruption scandal involving her renovation of her official residence in 2007. Another woman active in Nigeria politics is Princess Stella Odua who was the disposed Minister of Aviation. Others include Mrs Obi Ezekwesili who is the chairman of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Professor Dora Akunyili. Moreover, with the explanation above one begins to ask what led to the paucity of women’s representation in Nigeria politics of today despite the fact that they have impacted in politics. There are many factors that led to this, but I am going to expatiate on three of them.
Continue reading “Paucity of Women Participation in Nigeria Politics, by Adrian Joe”
It is no longer malaria and tuberculosis.
In the past, the two diseases dominated any healthcare conversation when the subject was about Africa. Times have changed. Today, diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases are emerging as the top killers in Africa. Though infectious diseases remain a threat, the trendline is changing due to the rise of non communicable diseases (NCD). These used to be called the diseases of the rich but urbanization, smoking and the intrusion of western diets have broken the insulation African used to enjoy against these diseases. What is alarming is that African healthcare infrastructure are not currently able to manage these non communicable diseases.
In the weeks ahead, I will be delving into the issues of non-communicable diseases in Africa, the case for more funding of research to understand the rise NCDs and what governments need to do to avoid NCDs becoming the next malaria and TB.
By Yinka Ogunlana
Elections! Elections!! Elections!!! On the 28th March, 2015 Nigeria once again witnessed another wrestle of power in her political space, but this time, it was the battle of the fittest as the people’s choice determined the winner.
Many Nigerians became enthusiastic about the election process as some attended rallies, some stayed glued to their television set, some to their radio set, some to the newspapers and some even surfed the internet rigorously to stay turned with political events such as campaigns, rallies, conferences and news of political actors such as their decamp, comments, speeches among others.
Of a truth, the election was never as heated compared to what the electorates and even the politicians used to experience. However, we heard promises upon promises, several manifestos among other good will messages from different political parties. Though it’s not a surprise because many Nigerian politicians have always been desperate to either retain power or assume power. Politically, speaking, this is what ought to be as political parties are meant to keep the nation politically alive and active, though we cannot over-emphasize the fact that many of these political parties in their quest for power have bridged the rules guiding the game of polities as molestation, threat, blackmail, political violence and assassination of political opponents has gradually become a norm in our current political dispensation, most especially during the pre-election exercises of the 2015 general election. Continue reading “BEYOND THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, by Yinka Ogunlana”
By Olurotimi Odejayi
There can be no better time to be creative than now. The time is always right for young leaders to create or do something creative. Recall all the array of opportunities you had to access the internet, good teachers, helpful counselors, library of educating materials, access to information technology devices, and youth’s ability to ponder using the abundant potentials of the brain; as few of the encouraging reasons why you should be creative. Now and not later is the right time for you to unleash your creative potential. One important question calling for urgent answer is; “at what point will I become creative?” Simply put, when can youngsters give birth to a creative effort? The answer is, at the time youth become inspired. The key word to demystify in this column is the word ‘inspiration’.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defined the word ‘inspiration’ to mean ‘the quality or state of being inspired’, which simply means ‘the process that takes place when somebody sees or hears something that causes him to have exciting new ideas or make them want to create something new especially in art, music or literature. For example, dreams can be a rich source of inspiration for an artist. It could be said that an individual’s time of getting inspired is the beginning of creativity. So, give birth to yours today.
You can get inspiration for any creative idea through reading intellectual book, critical thinking, dreaming, listening to great speakers, among many other means. So, on what premise is this inspiration based? Continue reading “The Birth of Creativity, By Olurotimi Odejayi”
by Olurotimi Odejayi
Recall the recently concluded World cup held in Brazil wherein players at different times scored and their goals were overruled. The linesman would simply raise up the flag. The reason most times was the timing of the player when the strike was made, who was probably in the offside position. During the first half of the Nigeria match against France in the round of 16 matches during which Emmanuel Emenike’s goal was disallowed. The goal was scored, but the player was adjudged offside, the strike was taken at the wrong time. This is to tell you that every important strike must be done at the right time. It is wrong, if a good step is taken at the wrong time. Every important step in life has it definite time. And this connotes that thing must be done at its appointed time. Doing that thing at the right time is an imperative for the young leader. You are wrong whenever you do something good at the wrong time. Whatever every youth has to do must be prompt and done at the right time. Continue reading “Ignite: Do it at the right time, by Olurotimi Odejayi”
The word “value” (in economics), means “a measure of the benefit that an economic actor can gain from either a good or service.” Source is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/value. That is, a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged. The topic means that it is expedient for the youth to exchange the societal needed values for the corresponding payments in cash. Simply put, I give value and I am paid back in turn.
The Beginning is “the trade by batter” concept
The real essence of living is for man to fulfill purpose and this is possible through a proper understanding of how life works. One major principle is the truism that “Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and something ventured, something gained.” And this is possible when you give up your expertise for an exchange for cash. This all started during the Agriculture Age wherein you exchange agricultural products (Crops and farm animal) for benefiting from gained utility. The word utility means “the satisfaction you derive from the economic value of a good or and service consumed”. What people pay for is the value they derive from using a product, goods as well as services experts render. This is the 21st century, when you no longer practise trade by batter concept, what is obtainable today is the Trading Value Concept. This concept advocates the idea that you give-up your acquired skill in exchange for money. It is your skill that dictates what economic value employers of labour will place on you. You will be well remunerated if you have the value to trade off. What then is skill? The word skill here means “your ability to do something well.” The simple formula, Skill equals to Knowledge plus Ability, is a good example.
You can acquire relevant skill through any of these nine ways:
- Practise personal development.
- Master a field of specialization only.
- Undergoing trainings in your field e.g. go for internship programme.
- Amassing many years of working experiences in a field of endeavour.
- Network with other professionals for knowledge sharing.
- Acquire relevant professional certification(s) in your field.
- Update your knowledge via reading, practising, mentoring, creativity, e.t.c.
- Teach others whatever you know.
- Embrace innovation in your business.
- Dare to do critical thinking.
The Conclusion is: Continue reading “Skill Matters: Life Trading Values, By Olurotimi Odejayi”
To be creative requires having a clear mind for thinking as well as for receiving inspiration. This however demands that you have prior skill in a particular field of endeavour and be familiar with the kernel of this field of endeavour. This is preferably what you have been practicing on a daily basis. This daily practice gives you an insight into how you can go about doing things in your own unique way. The next thing is for you to ponder. By this, I mean you think deeply so as to be inspired. This must be a specialized kind of thinking that I call “out of the box” thinking, which should eventually produce a newest distinct concept or idea.
“Out of the Box” Thinking!
The phrase “out of the box” is an expression that describes non-conformal creative thinking. The term is used as an adverb to describe the thinking or as an adjective to describe the ideas. It requires openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore new ways going forward. Out of the box thinkers know that new ideas demand inner introspection and pondering. They stay put on this pondering status until a new way to doing things eventually come up. This further needs nurturing and support; they also know that having idea is good but Continue reading “Thinking begets Creativity, by Olurotimi Odejayi”