On Monday, in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and across the country, Nigerians came out in their thousands to protest the corruption and poor standard of living in the country under the governance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The protests were historic not because of novelty (protests have become a part of our culture), or size (compared to the last national rallies, it was a small number), or because of the reaction of the government (the vice-president and national leader of the ruling party were forced to react).
They were historic because of what they represented: a change of the way that the Nigerian voters hold accountable the leaders of the country, irrespective of votes, interests, loyalty, relationships or regret.… Seguir leyendo »
In 2000, The Economist made a bold declaration about Africa: it called us the hopeless continent.
We screamed. We protested. They are insulting us. It's time for us to tell our own stories.
By 2011, the foreign media had gotten the message, and the narrative changed: Africa, they declared, is now rising. BRICS, MINTs, N-11... the hopeless continent is now bustling with hope. The middle class now has more pot-bellies. And all of us cheered.
Pride restored. Victory secured. Battle won. But what exactly did we win?
The fact that many over the last ten years have succeeded in spite of broken down systems cannot blind us to the reality -- that nations cannot grow based only on outliers.… Seguir leyendo »
Disclosure is important: I have been part of a team that worked for the new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari -- from building the cache of photos that defined his image to getting fliers across the country in all of our languages.
I have gone from grudgingly voting for him in 2011 (I made up my mind an hour before voting) to enthusiastically putting relationships and business on the line for what seemed like a quixotic quest.
But long after Muhammadu Buhari is President of Nigeria's Federal Republic, I will still be a citizen. And as a citizen, I know, that by this evening, the honeymoon will be over.… Seguir leyendo »
If you are a young person living in Africa right now, it can be pretty confusing knowing what to believe: is it a hopeful place or is it trapped in a vicious cycle?
Is it the site of the world's fastest growing economies, or is it a place where more than 200 schoolgirls are kidnapped and held captive for two weeks with no hope of recovery?
On the one hand, much more than half of the employable young population is out of a job and there are many caught in wars and rumors of wars, from Sudan's two sides to the Central African Republic.… Seguir leyendo »