Africa's goals: forget the past, look to the future.

Position:This Month's Prize Letter - Letter to the Editor

I am a teenager who has just completed a number of 'O' level courses. As I await my results I have become a 'magazine worm', surfing through your analysis of Africa's economic situation, and looking for the opportunities that might lie ahead.


I have been strongly motivated by your magazine, and wish to write to you as a member of the African community to express my appreciation of the spirit of enthusiasm, pride and optimism that your magazine conveys regarding our continent.

I have to admit, from the outset, that not too long ago I was among those in despair over Africa's recovery. I attribute this to a sense of isolation. I live in a small district where there are few means to access the international media. Even accessing the web is difficult--there are no internet cafes.

But I was very fortunate to come across your magazine which filled me with hope. At last I could see some light at the end of the tunnel. Unlike so many other magazines that purport to describe Africa, it seems to me that you are able to reflect all the positive things about our great continent without shirking from describing the problems we face in realising our full potential.

I believe that you are a source of inspiration for many Africans who, like me, respect your unbiased reporting. You talk business, you talk economy and hence you talk development. You are thus 'a conduit to Africa's revival'. Soldier on!

Although I lack the political sophistication of many of your correspondents, please allow me the opportunity to express some of my ideas regarding Africa's liberation from dependency and poverty.

If we focus on the economy, as the bedrock of civilisation, it is clear that to elevate Africa's economy we will need to obtain maximum value from our abundant resources. And to the list of our resources that include oil, precious metals and agricultural goods we must add the entrepreneurship and skills of our peoples. Your story about African nurses being 'poached' by Western nurses clearly illustrates this point (African Business March 2004).

However, we seem to continually face a problem of being unable to raise sufficient capital for our industries. For that reason, and others, we must see it as imperative that we succeed in persuading the international financial institutions to cancel our debt.

Next, let us focus on the Millenium Development Goals--but let...

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