The ability to dream is the greatest power on earth. The ability to imagine and incubate a vision is inherent in the human spirit and it manifests in the daydreams of a child. This gift of imagination comes from God Almighty and it provides mankind with the power to hope beyond the present. Without hope, life has no positive future.
Life was designed to be lived intentionally but most people of the world live under circumstances way beyond their control. They function under duress rather than live by destiny. It is said that the poorest person in the world is the one without a dream. The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life without purpose. Purpose gives meaning to life. The capacity to dream is the ability to keep living. As Miles Munroe puts it: “To have purpose is to discover hope,to hope is to dream, to dream is to possess a vision, to possess a vision is to have faith, and to have faith it to have a reason to live”.
Among the various “worlds” the most commonly encountered in the news was “third-world” which was initially coined by England in order to accommodate countries that were not part of European [Old World] or the New World [mainly the US and Australia]. Though the term “third world” is little used these days, Africa and parts of Asia used to belong to the “third world”. But whether it is called “third world” or “developing countries”, the fact is that of the over six billion people on planet earth,about four billion are struggling with the reality of a vision-less life. For most, history has robbed them of the capacity to dream. Hence, they’ve become visually dull -motivated only by a spirit of survival. These are the ones that have been defined as “Third-world” or “Developing” nations while the most technologically advanced and hence the most dominant nations live in the other “worlds”. But how is it possible that a minority lives in affluence and manages to control and keep the majority in a state of perpetual poverty, disease and hopelessness? Why do nations, with all the resources necessary to live decently and prosper as a people become so poor that they have to depend on foreign aid in order to stay alive – especially Africa? And yet, what most “third world” countries fail to understand is that the advanced world would never ‘help’ them reach full potential, because if that happens, most current political and economic theories would have to be abandoned and the world itself would be a different place. It means black Africans would cease to be the face of poverty on most international “aid” agencies’ posters, including the “United Nations” and the west would cease to be seen as benevolent benefactors – a current pedestal they seem to occupy in the minds of some Africans. However, every move of these “benevolent” countries and their programs wears only a thin veneer of aid while they advance their own political and economic agenda.
The formula that keeps most “third world” nations in poverty is simple: “Keep them in perpetual debt”. Most externally imposed economic models on close examination favour the country [or cartel] imposing or ‘suggesting’ the model than the receiving country. The ‘model’ normally seeks to take control of most economically viable and potentially productive forces in the country in the guise of modernisation. To complete the economic modernisation or ‘structural adjustment’ program, ‘easy’ loans and credits are made available in order to condition the ruling class to espouse and admire the results of capitalist productive forces without imbibing the rules and necessary discipline it takes. The leaders acquire a taste for everything foreign and help in destroying local industry by failing to protect or encourage internal productivity. Due to lack of fiscal discipline, fuzzy development plans, endemic corruption and total lack of protective or progressive laws that guarantee citizenship rights; education, healthcare and infrastructure suffer. Genuine democratic principles of equal representation and accountability are not instituted because leaders hate opposing views and anyone who tries to bring sanity to the system is systematically hounded and eventually destroyed through divide and rule tactics with the tacit complicity of a prostrate justice system. In the midst of embarrassing national failures the infrastructures that seem to thrive are the ones related to the exploitation of the nation’s natural resources and its export to the modernising country. For example, the rail system in Nigeria was first laid in order to get agricultural produce from the interior to the coast during colonial times and up till today nothing serious has been done to modernize or revive the moribund rail system in the country.
At the so-called independence of most of the ‘third world”, especially Sub-Saharan Africa which amongst the underdeveloped regions of the world appear throughout most of its history to be the favorite poster-boy of poverty and disease, there were leaders who were ready to move the region forward. But most of these leaders were prevented from gaining the political momentum necessary to actualise the dreams they had for their nations. These leaders were imprisoned, hounded like common criminals and some killed.
President Jonathan of Nigeria recently reflected on problems besetting Nigeria. I quote him in full; “Something must have gone wrong along the line from 1914 when the Southern and Northern Protectorates were amalgamated till date. When you look at the 1914 amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates, and between the period Nigeria got independence in 1960 and the time I was sworn-in as president, you will agree with me that I am not the problem of Nigeria. I have just stayed two years and the problems have been there before me. What we must do is to make a change for the development of Nigeria. We cannot check out like that of the television man…” I quite well agree with the gentleman to a point, because what were bequeathed to Africans were not nations but exploitable geographical entities led by willing puppets. However Mr President, Nigeria -and indeed the rest of the “third-world” nations have lacked visionary leadership. This has contributed largely to the state of these nations. We require a new breed of Leaders who are motivated by a sense of purpose. Leaders who will inspire confidence in their people. Leaders who will promote national visions that can birth the creative capacity of personal visions.
Taking Nigeria as an example, it is obvious that the wealth and resources of these so-called “third-world” or “developing” nations is immense, and if properly managed could well wipe out the poverty with which these nations have been commonly identified. The answer to their current dilemma is not more foreign aid, United Nations’ handouts,IMF debt-cancellation programmes or World Bank-loans, but the conception of noble visions and national ideologies. Only then shall we cease to be “third world” nations and take our rightful place as the cradle of mankind; the eternal flame from which the prodigal “others” come back to light their dying lamps – YES WE CAN!
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