Africa: What is our needs and wants?


Some eight years back, I was thought in senior secondary school that in life there are needs and wants. I never understood this simple life guiding theory until I started working and began taking care of myself. Suddenly, all my useless lavish spending halted and naturally developed the art of savings.

I managed to identify my needs and pushed behind my wants. Simply put needs are life’s surviving kits while wants are generally looking for better living conditions. If you put wants ahead of your needs you are likely bound to fail miserably.

Africa seems to be copying blindly and graciously heading towards complete failure. Leaders are talking about union or federal government in the continent when countries are still fighting over sovereignty – Somalia and Somali land is just a quintessence. People are thirsty and are not getting water to drink; others are starving and are out of food; we build huge hospitals but are empty of doctors and equipment and the list goes on and on and on.

These are some of the few problems plaguing the continent I expect our leaders to tackle instead of a far fetched dream of forming a union government for the entire continent. African leaders on Sunday again delayed concrete moves towards creating a United States of Africa, despite a long campaign by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi and other supporters like Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade, have been calling for years for an accelerated process towards a union government, saying it is the only way to meet the challenges of globalization, fighting poverty and resolving conflicts without Western interference, Reuters reported.

But they are opposed by other nations, headed by economic powerhouse South Africa, who see such an idea as a distant and impractical prospect.

Of course, it’s impractical prospect. Before we get to the level of the European Union and the US of A, we must come to our senses that they took decades to identify their needs and build their foundations very well in individual countries before coming to their wants.

Well, who am I to advice leaders who fail to listen to the plight of their people. Like the president of Malawi said on BBC this morning, “let those who are ready for that go ahead and form a union government.”

Is a union government a need or a want for Africa?

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