Poverty refers to the state whereby an individual is below the level of income that is necessary to be able to buy the basic things he or she needs; such as food, clothes and shelter. It is generally the state of being poor, that is, the lack of major basic needs. Africa, as a continent, is able to end poverty in various ways.
To begin with, education is the most fundamental weapon that Africans can use to combat poverty. Aside from the credentials one obtains in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, education generally replaces a narrow mind with an open one. Through the school syllabus, one’s mind is broadened to identify opportunities around him/her, and how to grab them instantly. Life values and virtues are also instilled into the individual as he or she is taught how to relate with others. It is for this purpose that the cost of education should be reduced by education stakeholders – such that quality education will be affordable by all. An ideal is for free secondary and tertiary education to be implemented in all African nations.
Curbing corruption is yet another stepping stone to ending poverty in Africa. Since corruption is rampant among our top leaders, it is pertinent for every commission entitled with the mandate of fighting corruption to earnestly deal with officials found guilty. This will elevate the public’s confidence in their elected leaders as well as government offices. Corruption is responsible for the gale of public-funds’ looting in many African nations. Serious penalties should be put in place for individuals found promoting this vice irrespective of the rank they hold.
Sensitization of citizens to make use of the resources at their disposal to earn a living instead of waiting to be employed into white collar jobs is yet another way of ending poverty in Africa. Agriculture and farming, textile, building and construction industries are but a few of the resourceful places Africans can earn a living from and invest in. This initiative will help install creativity and innovation among the working class population; thus the creation of self- employment.
Financial management is another important factor that can be used to end poverty in Africa. This is an aspect that should be taught to all citizens, irrespective of age. It is basically the aspect of teaching people how to make money work for them rather than have them working for money. This aspect can help Africans learn how to save and invest wisely, no-matter how little their income maybe. Overspending and impulse buying are but a fraction of habits people can shun away when this concept is properly taught.
Bringing a stop to tribalism and nepotism in Africa is a bold step towards ending poverty. Bringing this vice to an end will ensure fairness in terms of resource allocation to the various regions in a given African country. It will also enable fair employment process – where equal opportunity will be accorded to all. Peace and love amongst all tribes in every African nation will help checkmate the growth of poverty.
To wind up, Africans should inculcate the spirit of empathy, compassion and volunteerism. As individuals, we can never all be the same, therefore those who have things at their disposal in plenty should have the heart to help out those with so little at their disposal without expecting anything in return. With this spirit, we would help each other rise up above life challenges and obstacles.
To finish up, I personally think poverty is not a condition but a state of mind. One can always get out of poverty when he decides to. It is all about changing your mindset.
With this, I believe poverty will be a story of the past in our beautiful continent, Africa.
Written by Winnie Opondo