Difficult Dialogue — Action Matters
Personally, June has ushered in a wave of emotions — some fresh wounds due to racial and class equity, and old hurt — that I hope to heal in this unpacking podcasting, professional advocacy, and writing process. To you, on this Unpacking Africa journey with me, I appreciate you. Thank you.
“Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times.” — Barack Obama
The heightened challenges from the health pandemic, extended lockdowns and economic shutdowns over the last four-five months have exacerbated global protests. In some contexts, the pandemic has led to increasing calls to break down exploitative structures and historical legacies of inequality. In the United States in particular, recent protests have increased focus on the plight of Black people and their encounters with racism.
The calls to address unequal dynamics of power should extend to deconstructing the neocolonial nature of economic arrangements in the Global South, and especially on the African continent. Some of us are honestly feeling emotionally exhausted and yet, the call to action on policy change, the demand for youth-activism, and sustainable action for what the “Africa we want” is, is paramount.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” — Winston Churchill
The British wartime leader’s WW2 quote, famously parroted during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, makes me cringe. Our efforts and attention spans are heightened in the here and now. It hints at our global apparatus’ reactionary solutions to grand challenges, and the limitations of our collective follow-through to mobilize long-term investments. It also offers insight for those of us who are future-casting for our best Africa. We need to accept that conventional wisdom tends to lean towards de-prioritizing resources and collaborative efforts, which lead to equitable society-building for the future and favors today’s interests. And yet, here we are:
#InForAfrica alliance, a for-Africa-by-Africa campaign for solutions during the pandemic, has been engaging celebrities, influencers, and opinion leaders on various issues. I had the chance to share on the need to focus on economic fundamentals & opportunities for entrepreneurs at an #InForAfrica webinar last week. Watch here.
In the coming days, powered by The Brenthurst Foundation: Dr. Greg Mills (co-author of the book, The Asian Aspiration), H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo and I will dig deeper and discuss leveraging lessons-learned from other spaces (geographically, philosophically and politically), and different industry frameworks for economic growth to help navigate the much-needed recovery and realities we face in this COVID-19-present world. If you are keen to join and want an SME or student waiver please click this link.
As part of my own personal intervention, I have come to appreciate arts & culture’s relevance in validating our experiences. I was privileged to share my definition of ecosystem building in Vuuqa, a digital lifestyle arts & culture magazine. To support the Vuuqa community’s work, check them out here. You can also follow them on Insta here and read June’s edition here:
Be well, be safe, be loved
Originally published to Unpacking Africa newsletter’s 15,000 + subscribers on June 04, 2020.