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Why wait for 2063?

The just-ended African Union (AU) Summit that was held in South Africa begs more questions than answers. If my auditory canal swum in the right information, the summit savoured a tone of empowering women by the year 2063.

What I admire about African leaders is that they are very much focused and they can see Africa in 50 years to come; they have an impeccable vision for the continent yet they can’t realise the problem the continent is facing right now.

I am a supporter of the women empowerment campaign by all means; I wish to see women being empowered and with that, I give my last breath of congratulations to our leaders on gathering across the continent to discuss how women can be empowered.

But Africa can never achieve the women empowerment goals if the basics are not realised. The 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have not been achieved yet and no one bothers or is ashamed to rethink why this has failed and we are busy thinking of 2063.

Just to remind ourselves, the MDGs focused on the following: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to combat HIV and Aids, malaria, and other diseases; to ensure environmental sustainability and develop a globa l partnership for development.

Now Africa has failed to achieve one of the above goals and here it spins around to think of women empowerment by 2063.

In simple terms, we need quality education for our children (regardless of gender) and if a women has quality education; automatically she is empowered because she will understand things in a better way; she will not need a politician to empower her, she will have a direction. If Africa becomes self-reliant on food, it will be very easy to achieve other developmental goals, because the citizens will be productive in thinking.

Diseases like malaria, HIV and Aids are still claiming lives of most Africans; we have failed to combat these diseases by 2015, yet we are touting of women empowerment. If we can achieve MDGs, Africa is dry and home.

It’s sad that as a continent, we are failing to solve the problems that we are facing; wars have tramped on the continent with 15 countries still in war contention. What is the AU policy on wars? By which year will these wars end?

Every day, we hear of illegal immigrants entering Europe from Africa, some of them have drowned in Mediterranean Sea; and Africa seems not to be concerned; I have never heard of any policy from stopping this trend. Are we not concerned with the trend that is claiming lives of Africans? Is this not a sign that Africa is failing to meet the basic standards for its citizens?

Democracy has been raped; most leaders have become indispensable, seeking third terms or clinging to power and Africa seems to turn into a blind eye. There is nothing concrete that has been discussed to save the people of Burundi who are crying for freedom; when leaders were busy discussing 2063, in June, 2015 some people are being lost.

The rumour that the president of Rwanda wants to seek another term is worrisome considering that Burundi is contesting against the same emotion and the two countries have a bad History to share.

Empowering women is not an issue of discussing; it’s an issue of doing. Our citizens can be empowered by giving them the basic amenities. This whole noise of women empowerment becomes political in the sense that people think empowering women is by choosing them into powerful positions, that’s very wrong. It’s not an issue of number but an issue of bringing results. If we have well-educated people on the country; there is no harm having women in big positions.

The appointments of women in big positions because of political will is affecting the fruits of companies- hence many are not well-qualified; they tend to be threats in the companies they work; resulting into creating frictions with their bosses or workmates.

As a continent, we are failing to do the needful for our people; we are failing to find ways and means of saving our continent.

African Union seems not to change the face of AU. If one winds back the clock back to 1986 one finds Yoweri Museveni – then a fighter, fresh from the bush – arriving to address an OAU summit. Museveni told shocked Africa leaders to their faces that he believed they had betrayed his nation by looking the other way while some 750,000 Ugandans were killed by successive regimes. “Tyranny,” he said, “is colour-blind and is no less reprehensible when it is committed by one of our own.” Ugandans felt a sense of betrayal, Museveni said, that most of Africa had kept silent while tyrants killed them.

Failure by the AU to tackle urgent issues doesn’t give hope to the continent. You cannot empower a woman who is facing war in his country; you can’t empower a woman who is hungry, has no basic education, is vulnerable to diseases.

Africa let’s be realistic on our goals.

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