Africa is gradually coming of age. I can see it, feel it and even smell it
It is refreshing to hear so much being said about Africa lately. The attention can only be good. And the news is getting better.
From politicians (Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Szarkozy, Pekka Haavisto), diplomats of global acclaim (Kofi Annan), Global News Media (Financial times, BBC, CNN), private industry (Boston Consulting Group) to individual opinion leaders (Jeffrey Sachs, Mo Ibrahim), every one is talking with one voice, the Africa that is developing and works.
And Africans are talking as well. About economic, political, and cultural (yes, cultural issues)
A recent blog posting by my friend Karen McKlaren (www.karenmcklaren.com) on African cultural identity and western influence had quite a few comments from Africans who seem to share a common view that indeed African (or at least Ghanaian) cultural identity is closely tied to Western cultures. Talking is good. Probably it is a good place to start to build the African cultural identity? Like children start developing their own personal (and to an extent cultural) identities as they grow older?
I see the beginning of early adulthood for many African countries, for in the world of nations, the oldest nation in sub-Saharan Africa is only 54 years old (Ghana). Compared to the biological development of humans, African countries have undergone the usual problems of infancy and childhood. Like toddlers, African nations needed a lot of support to learn to craw, to walk, to talk and even to think. The teenage years have been rather problematic as in the human world.
The positive news should attract more investments, more tourists and maybe even a stronger voice for Africa within the global political economic apparatus. But what is even more significant is the confidence that it would generate among African countries and people – to appreciate the good and utilise them to build a stronger Africa.