The African Dream
The Road to Peace and Security in Africa
Africa, the birthplace of civilization, a continent blessed with bountiful and abundant resources and a unique mix of people, animals, and plants, has long been grappling with the issue of attaining and sustaining peace and security within its borders. The idea of peace is not just about living without the sounds of guns and firearms ringing in your ears, but also about living in a state of tranquility, and harmoniously with others, free from oppressive and unpleasant thoughts and emotions. Security meanwhile is the state of living freely from danger and injury. Additionally security is also concerned with the psychological and financial well-being of an individual or people. Therefore, peace and security in Africa must be viewed from a more holistic dimension, embracing all the benefits that come with attaining and sustaining these ideals.
Being a young person as I am, and an African leader in the making, reawakening the consciousness of Africans in recognizing the potentials and beauty that lies within Africa is an important step in achieving peace and security in Africa. As such, we should prioritize the education, and sensitization of the “African Dream” to all Africans. This is meant to reach out to people individually, so that they can look within themselves and see what they have to offer Africa in an effort to make it a better place. Reaching millions of Africans and getting them to engage in this self-examination process may seem like an insurmountable task; however, it can be actualized only through the cooperation of Africans as independent yet interdependent people who are proud of their individual cultures but accept that diversity increases their uniqueness. Former United States of America president John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said “….ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I believe that this is a philosophy that we can use and practice in order to foster the spirit of Africa among Africans and improve the issue of peace and security in totality.
In many parts of Africa, the guns are silent yet the people are not at peace. In many African countries the economy is growing yet the people are still insecure. All across Africa, there is a growth in urbanization and technology, yet peace and security is still yearned for by the people. So then the question is what are we doing wrong, or what are we missing? Is there a simple detail that we may be ignoring? These are some of the questions that we should be asking ourselves, which may hold the key to us truly unlocking the full benefits that comes with having total peace and security. One thing we should remember is that infrastructural development does not necessarily mean that peace and security is assured to the people who may be benefitting from that development. Interestingly, economic and infrastructural growth cannot be sustained in the absence of peace and security, for they set the basis upon which we can grow and further enhance the lives of our people. In that light, strong institutions and implementation methods must be utilized in order to nurture our peace and security on this continent. The term “African Dream” is a concept that I think will strike a chord in the heart of many Africans across the continent, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, tribal affiliations, gender, socio-economic status or religion. In fact, these are the things which are going to add flavor and uniqueness to the African dream, once we realize as a people that diversity is not an instrument of division but rather a tool that can be used to unify and build patriotism within us.
The African Dream, the dream I have for my Africa, an Africa where men, women, children, the disable, and underprivileged can all sit on one table and fellowship together as brothers and sisters; an Africa where religion and tribal variations do not separate us and create an atmosphere of conflict but rather solidify our bond as one people, an Africa where governments, are governments of Africans, for Africans, and by Africans. This is my dream of Africa, and I believe we should be infecting other Africans with this dream, individual by individual, country by country, sub-region by sub-region. As leaders, we should focus on ways of building love and commitment for Africa by Africans; I believe that a society without love cannot sustain its peace and security. We must educate our children about the specialness of their home and develop the love they have in order for them to work together in building a peaceful and secured Africa for their children too. Africans must work to reawaken the zest in our adult population, and focus on pointing out the good in our continent and use our mistakes as a guide in helping us to avoid making these same mistakes again. It is prudent that we find that love for each other, for our homes, our countries, our neighbors, our land, and also our fellow Africans; this is a key ingredient in the achieving total peace and security in Africa. Peace and security in Africa is an issue that requires the attention of all of us, it needs the cooperation of all of us together as Africans in achieving our “African Dream”; how great the day when the “African Dream” becomes the “African Reality”. African leaders, especially young people, this is the dream that we can pursue, this is the dream we can share, and this is the dream we can work towards to build. Let us not be depressed nor flinch at the issue of providing our continent with the sustainable peace and security it needs in order to blossom into a much more beautiful continent than what it already is. Like the singer songwriter, Alicia Keys said, “We are here; we are here for all of us.” As Africans let us be there for each other and as a young emerging African leader, this is something that I pledge to do.
© 2017 Joshua-l-Alston