My question is what is our vision?
From The Collection of Books, it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
We also know that a lot of technological advances were envisioned almost 60 years ago. I am talking about robots. Tablets, computer watches were all envisioned in the years that came later. We are now living in those imagined years.
And in all these cases and others, it all starts with seeing what kind of community we are looking for. First as thinkers in the science and technological fields and then doers. Yes, this sounds harder and longer than we might want. But in 2050, 1 in every 4 people in the earth will be African. And they all will be much younger than everybody else.
By then Nigeria will have a higher population than the USA. It will be a “world” by itself. So let’s imagine a road being built from Dakar in Senegal to Lamu in Kenya. Let’s imagine it. This highway would open Mali, Bukina Faso, Niger, northern Nigeria, Chad, northern CAR into South Sudan, into Kenya and to Lamu. We would connect 80% of the Africans. Then we can think about DRC, Angola and Namibia getting their road.
We should recapture words that belong to us and depoliticise them.Words like “Zinj” and Habesha" should be reimagined. We need to take interest in languages in Africa that have more than 200 million speaking in them and elevate them to African. So that while we learn Mandarin, because we will for trade, we use these languages to create new “spaces” for ourselves. Look at what “Naija” has done for Nigeria’s soft power and influence across Africa. By then we should have unlocked our French speaking brethren from the Franc’ Afric manipulation.
But before we do this on the ground, can we do this digitally? What virtual infrastructure do we need? How will we protect the African digital space from investors who are usurpers? How will we build trust among ourselves and strengthen that trust system? How will we trade and settle payments across borders? What can we learn from the ingeniousness of the West African “migration facilitators” and especially the Somali “Hawala” system? What are we learning from IrokoTV and Mpesa?
How will we start converting what we have gained in the digital to the physical?