Saturday, January 18, 2010, I published an article on my blog, entitled, “Africa's Leaders of Tomorrow on Voluntary Exile"
As the bus drove through the well developed city, I could not help but imagine
how much work and commitment the good people of
country. I wondered what would have become of Finland, if a majority of Finns had a desire to live and work abroad. As I gazed through the streets, I noticed many Africans –
Mindful of the fact that today, Cameroonians worldwide celebrate 50 years of Independence, I decided to re-write this article, in a bid to highlight the need for Africa's leaders of tomorrow to step up to the plate.
agree that the future of a democratic, entrepreneurial and innovative
who can make a real difference to the economy and the society. But there is a problem – who will make a real difference – with all
leaders of tomorrow on voluntary exile?
During the many years spent at school (I have academic degrees to prove it), teachers often reminded us
that we are the leaders of tomorrow. Remember? We provided our teachers with hope for the
future. They did their utmost best to help develop and enhance
leaders they create would move the continent forward. Personally, I was very excited about the possibilities. Weren't you? While growing up, did you have the vision to move your country and
continent forward? What happened to the dream? Were your teachers wrong to consider you a leader of tomorrow?
Nowadays, the quest for "greener pastures" has stunted
growth and the prospects of a better tomorrow. Most of
leaders of tomorrow are on self-imposed exile from the continent. In other
words, many innovative and enthusiastic Africans live away from their native
countries – working to further develop developed countries. Does this help or hurt our beloved Africa?
Recently, I was looking at one of my High School group photographs: out of the 12
boys in the photograph, 9 – including me – are on “voluntary exile” from Cameroon. I am in contact with most of them and it might or might not surprise you
that NONE – is looking forward to returning home to lead in business, politics or civic life. Whenever we talk about returning
home to make a difference, discussions focus on entertainment – partying and
spending money lavishly to impress the people back home.
Is this what
our priorities? Many argue that they will NEVER return home unless "things
change". Who is going to effect the change we expect to see in the continent?
It is true that circumstances force people to travel abroad, but it is also true that a
ability to anticipate, envision and work with others to initiate positive changes in the continent. Unfortunately, Africans with these
leadership capabilities are on voluntary exile.
mistake – it is important to travel, educate and empower yourself. But keep in mind that your country needs you! You don't have to be a
politician or run for President in order to contribute to the betterment of
your country. Do you?
It is worth reiterating that today, 20 May 2010, is the National Day of my
celebrate 50 years of
I hope this article strikes a chord, as well as inspire my fellow Cameroonians and Africans – to make a move in the right direction and commit to improving the
continent, for present and future generations. We have the power to change the
destiny of the richest continent in the world – which is home to the world's poorest people.
A great American once said, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country".
*Photo of African safari lanscape, by Adorenomis
Also By Zuzeeko on Face2Face: The Portrait of a Leader