So this is a special request that was made by one of my friends to maybe talk about something that we as African seem to be aware of but don’t do much about eventhough as an electorate we should be able to reject the people put in front of us.
Below are the ages of a few leaders around the world:
Obama – 53
Merkel – 60
Cameron – 48
Zuma – 72
Buhari – 72
Buhari is the new dude who took over from Goodluck Jonathan (His name still makes me laugh. Seems like his luck ran out :-p). Anyway why is it the electorate in Africa seems to agree with these candidates who are well into their retirement? It is very odd. How is it possible that there will be any fresh ideas that will be formulated? How can there be any innovation if there are retirees who are running and winning elections?
It is a problem which I mention in one of my other blogs (Titled the problems with black (Zimbabwean) people), about the fear of change and wanting things to be the same. Of course in Africa, the problem is some of these guys who run for president, such as Buhari, are very popular in the electorate. It seems as though people in some African countries would rather trust a retiree than a young man who has not been known and sort out has come out of the woodwork.
I would love if there could be actual studies done before local and national elections to actually see why us Africans vote the way we vote. Of course it wouldn’t be done because that would be a waste of money that could be better used elsewhere (use your imagination).
The reason why I put the ages of the above leaders was just to highlight an acute difference that we should consider. This is the year 2015. We have left 2g and moved to (in some countries) 4g, we have left dial up and moved to fibre optic internet connections (which up until about a year ago were no present in Zimbabwe), we now have prefabricated low cost houses that are built in a very short amount of time and the reliance on bricks and mortar is losing its appeal, there have been advancements in the improvement of solar energy technology with improved batteries and solar panels.
There have been medical and technological advancements that if some of these old leaders heard about they would never believe them to be true. The point I am trying to make is that one of the reasons why Africa stays as being a dark continent (there are some nations that aren’t as dark and there are others that are darker than others. I won’t point fingers but South Africa is kinda bright) is that advancements in the use of the technology that is available to us won’t be realised by someone who won’t use anything other than a Nokia 3310 (because that was their first cellphone. I am not saying that elder people prefer Nokia to anything else, but they have loyalty issues… some of them). We want someone who has tried all of the brands out and landed on a smartphone (preferably Samsung simply because I’m a fan boy).
The fact is we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. Everywhere else in the world when it comes to the electorate they decide who they will accept. We just take whoever is there. As a wise person once said to me, “Even if one of the candidates you could vote for was a goat, some people would vote for it.”