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Individual Development as the Pathway to African Development

Man is the measure of all things. He forms the bedrock of any society, and his nature determines the state of the society. It is paramount for the individual to be developed if a nation is to achieve sustainable development. This is because without first solving the problem of the individual, it is almost impossible for any nation to develop.

Juxtaposed, this will imply that the extent to which an individual can affect a nation depends on the position occupied by such individual. It will be rare for a society to experience development if her top leadership positions are occupied by underdeveloped individuals. The reverse will be the case when leaders are developed.

By individual development, I mean the moral and intellectual uprightness of an individual. Whilst the moral aspect of an individual determines his will and character, his intellectual uprightness promotes his competence via a powerful reason. With a spirited will and a power reason, an individual can be said to be developed.

Unfortunately, the absence of individual development has proven to be the cause of Africa’s underdevelopment. Most African leaders lack the intellectual integrity and the moral courage to live up to expectation. They are ruled by their appetite rather than by reason. Once in power, they gradually begin to nurse the hope of staying there for life. Many African leaders impugn on the fundamental rights of the citizens and eventually become dictatorial. It is apparent that the gales of looting and corruption in the continent is as a result of the absence of character (spirited will) in leadership.

A leadership that is individually developed will place the interest of the people above that of the self. It will have a proper understanding of the dynamics of the continent’s underdevelopment in a rapidly globalising world. Such leadership will put in place measures anchored on democratic tenets – in which the people chart a course of economic recovery. It will frown at corruption. This is what Africa needs.

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