Africa’s choice: Sink or reach the high ground

The founders of AfricaPositive believe that, for moral and survival reasons, Africa faces two mutually exclusive scenarios:

According to Ted Sceales, the low ground scenario is leading the continent down a steep, slippery cause-and-effect spiral of growing unemployment, poverty, hunger, disease, violence, declining literacy and education levels, group polarisation, distrust, rampant corruption, environmental destruction and lawlessness. In combination, these factors will culminate in the loss of hope and freedom for all, escalating despair and a war of good versus evil. If the process is not forcefully challenged and jointly confronted by the millions of like-minded, talented, industrious Africans, this Hobbesian war of ‘all against all’ will make the previous great wars look tame.

The high ground scenario is an option or choice which is derived from the proven values of the world’s great religious leaders and philosophers. It is nourished and inspired by Africa’s rich environment, proud history and the legacy of its outstanding leaders from all professions, who were and are committed to real economic development. This campaign or movement needs to evolve into a massive self-help, mutual help and collective effort driven by the vision of a pan-African philanthropic and free market economy which replaces despair with hope, hatred with friendship, and stimulates a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and sharing. By so doing it identifies and develops opportunities individually and collectively. instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Through the continent’s vast reservoir of natural resources and talents, creativity, faith and diligence, we can chart a positive new course and grow in prosperity as part of an evolving, caring and environmentally aware global community. In short, our goal will be to create work and real wealth for all.

This high ground option will require a commitment to mobilise Africa’s millions in manpower and money terms, driven by an integrated multimedia campaign which cuts through all the barriers of party politics, class, race, gender and geography.The process was successfully started in the 1970s in South Africa by far-sighted entrepreneurs, innovators and professional and business leaders who have consistently worked towards a new, free African economy in which everyone can earn a place in the sun.Unfortunately, in 2011, the old racially based political divisions are once again rearing their ugly heads, spurred by petty partisan politicians. In their ignorance or anger, the advocates of these divisions are hell-bent on destroying our chances of generating real wealth for all. Their unstated goal seems to be the polarisation of an African society and consequently spreading Afro-pessimism and other social pathologies.To counteract this vicious downward spiral proactively, AfricaPositive calls for sanity and for earlier re-unification processes to be resurrected. These processes need to be driven in print as well as digitally this time, by pioneers from four generations of enlightened and innovative leaders who believe in the high ground option and who will operate across the continent’s racial, economic, religious and geographic barriers.The leaders comprise the following groups:· The founders of the Southern Technical and Economic Movement in the 1970s, which improved the lives as well as literacy and awareness levels of thousands of black and white South Africans;

  • The creators of Enterprise magazine in the 1980s which was a platform for all innovators and entrepreneurs along with its Black Enterprise Trust . This was a means of generating thousands of new investors and entrepreneurs as well as empowering those who had created hundreds of thousands of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, with hardly any access to collateral or capital;
  • The enlightened political, business and professional leaders who planned, canvassed, debated and then negotiated the South African constitution as a global model designed to protect hard-earned economic, media and other freedoms and human rights for all; and
  • The new generation of open minded, talented, educated, well-trained and well-connected 21st century business and professional leaders  who are not bound by the chains of prejudice, greed, cronyism, corruption and prejudice.

These leaders from four generations span the continent from Cape Town to Cairo. They confidently move around the capitals of the world – trading their skills, products and services directly or digitally – without fear or favour. Yet, despite the shenanigans of petty party politicians and corrupt civil servants, they retain their belief, pride and commitment to Africa.

In summary, AfricaPositive’s purpose is to unite and mobilise this peaceful but resilient army and turn our high ground economic strategies and projects into a global super highway across the continent and throughout the diaspora.

Ted Sceales© September 7th, 2010.