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Africa must exploit its unmatched riches

POVERTY, famine, crime, genocide and AIDS are words which plague Africa today. They are the demons which bring shame to Africa.
That’s what they say; some think you are full of heathens with no sense of religion and a home to animals and animism; a land of savages.
They have coloured you black. Others say you are a continent of the five Ds: debt, disease, drought, dependency and desertification.
Dr James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey, an intellectual, missionary, and teacher said: “My people of Africa, we were created in the image of God, but men have made us think that we are chickens and still think we are, but we are eagles!
“Africa, stretch forth your wings and fly. Do not be content with the food of chickens.”
Patrice Lumumba said: “The day will come when history will speak. Africa will write its own history. It will be a history of glory and dignity.”
Africa, you have already written your history. You are the home of great leaders, ideas and minds like Dr Aggrey, the father of African education, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, pan-Africanist, and Nelson Mandela.
Mandela’s magnanimous personality helped to heal the rift between white and black people.
You have produced Haile Selassie, an inspirational figure in the movement for African independence, Dr Christian Barnard, who performed the first heart transplant, Martin Luther King Jr, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere, Dr Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Africa’s first female President, Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General; Dr Ali Mazrui and Dr Philip Emegwali, who is said to be the father of Internet, according to the CNN.
You gave us Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Robert Mugabe and Thabo Mbeki.
Going back into time, Shaka Zulu, military genius, Mzilikazi and Bishop Samuel Ajavi Crowther of Nigeria, first African Bishop of the Church of England.
And then there is Tertullian, Origen, Clement, and August, some of the greatest minds and influential leaders of the early church, Queen Cleopatra VII (47 BC), who formed an alliance with Julius Caesar. Olaudah Equiano, the first black person to write about his experience as a slave.
Africa, you have also produced biblical characters Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry the cross, the treasure of Queen Candice of Ethiopia of the Bible’s Acts chapter 8, who brought the gospel to Sudan, and Robert Moffat, who translated the Bible into an African language.
The Africa I know is kind, does not envy, is not provoked, thinks no evil and bears all things.
Your culture exceeds that of the Greeks, you are a continent of amorous populates, a continent of patriotic men and woman. Africa, you are a continent of shelter and vintage hospitality. Of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs. A land of whom my grandmother sings on the banks of the river.
Africa, full of untold treasures from the ancient temples; pyramids in Egypt to the great Zimbabwe ruins, not forgetting the stunning natural wonders and wildlife in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.
Before they colonised you, you comprised 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
You are the life filled with the noise of natural things. The pounding of grain like thunder in many rural communities.
Roosters crowing at every mood of the sun, fires crackling with ancient memories, children laughing and disappearing in the tall grass.
You need to have the mindset of Christ and fly like the mighty eagle.
God is leading you, Africa, to a place of greater service and usefulness. Africa, you can prepare yourself for unexpected opportunities by getting to know more about God.
No-one understands you better than God who created you. Look for the areas where God has gifted you and seek opportunities to allow Him to use your gifts.
You experienced colonisation and hardships. You prayed, God welcomed your honest prayers, but be careful not to overlook the love, strength and rescue that God provided you when you were in that situation.
When a cry of despair goes up around you, consider the larger perspective.
The author is a writer and a student at Rusangu University.