Changing the African Mind-set – Alex Njeru Ndungu



Over a period of time I have been involved in an extensive outreach Project called the Caravan of Liberty-Kenya. This is a flagship outreach project of the Eastern Africa Policy Centre that aims to extend the basic tenets of libertarianism to University students in the country. For all our travails, setbacks hurdles and bureaucratic red-tape, we receive inspiration from the fact that we are doing something worthwhile for this continent, we are setting Africa for take-off, we are making young Africans know that the destiny of this continent lies in their very hands and more so at the application of their ingenuity.

Working with young people is inspiring, they are full of verve, are inquisitive, they are intelligent and are raring to go and make good for this continent. Many a time I contrast the optimistic, ‘can do’ attitude of today’s youthful generation with the pessimism and gloom of yester generations. When I was growing up I remember the words and opinions of my grandfather about the white colonial master. My grandfather a former plant operator in a textile firm was in awe and held the white man in reverence. Many a time, around the fire place he narrated analogies about how the white colonial master was the closest thing to a lion that he has ever seen.

My grandfather was not one of a kind he shared a generation with many who revered the white man and admired his abilities and looked down upon themselves and their abilities. Kenyans of the yester generation did not believe that they could be innovative, that the development of this continent depended on them. The folly that African countries faced after independence is that the generation which was supposed to midwife Africa’s path from colonialism to independence was not ready. It was a generation with an enfeebled mind-set, a generation that allowed the political elite free reign to loot and under develop the continent.

Africa is having a new dawn; there is a fresh vibrant, fledgling generation of young men and women on the continent that are not willing to submit to the fatalism of the yester generation. There is a new generation of young Africans which comes into the fray with a ‘can do attitude.’  Young Africans who are not at all fazed by development and modernization in the western world.

Perhaps, because of the spread of multi-culturalism due to globalization, young proactive Africans are beginning to realize that they have it in them to change the African continent; they are beginning to understand that Africans are as adept at development and innovation as any other people around the world.

Perhaps what is turning Africa for the better is that modern day African youth are beginning to vociferously oppose bad governance, corruption, misappropriation of resources and impunity on the African continent. Today’s African youth are using any tool at their disposal to clean up the governance and institutions in Africa.

Over time Africa has had institutions and systems odious to; youth ingenuity and innovation. The young, restless and raring to go have in more cases than not, found little room for manoeuvre. Indeed if there is a continent where individual ingenuity, enterprise and diligence has not been allowed room to lead growth, it has to be the African continent.

In the past Africa and especially her leadership has been averse to new ideas, ideas for growth on the continent have found repression rather than encouragement. But the information age we find ourselves in today has changed everything for the better, sharing ideas, information, knowledge and concerns has become fluid. Ideas are moving across the continent at the speed of light. It is becoming daunting to pin down a generation that wants the best for Africa, who come into the fray with a fresh and unbridled min-set, a generation that knows no horizons. Viva Africa!

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Young Africans are raring to go says Alex