Yes, Your Country is Backward – The Urgency Factor
I visited Mauritius with the bae earlier this month. I thought I was going for just a holiday but I got lessons in business, citizenship, leadership and loyalty. We had fun! It was totally worth it. It was not my first time in Mauritius but the earlier visit was for work. I can now safely say that I will be visiting for more business and leisure purposes.
It will take me a series of posts to go through the lessons I learned during the trip. But I have to mention the fact that Mauritius is very deliberate about the business of tourism. They are the masters and somehow, they have inculcated the spirit of friendliness into every soul in that beautiful country. Before I digress, I should focus on the topic of this post.
I was fortunate to visit the campus of the African Leadership University. It was not planned but somehow in a few hours, I found myself meeting with two officials of this great institution. When all is set, I will be able to expand on the reason for the visit but you can be sure that the vision of the ALU is one that is key to the development of Africa. The University understands the importance of revolutionizing learning in Africa. They understand that education must be multi-faceted, combining classroom, practical, critical thinking and deep reflections. I had a good time discussing these topics with them.
What struck me is the agility these guys possess. Decision making is very fast and void of bureaucratic tendencies. The agility is the reason ALU situated their first 2 campuses in 2 countries with most likely the best business-friendly, agile and progressive nature. Mauritius and Rwanda. ALU would not have situated their campuses first in most African countries knowing that it will take years to get approvals for the most simple things. Earlier today, my good friend – ‘Gbenga Sesan tweeted an appreciation to the Government of a State in Nigeria for approving their life changing program after 9 months. The State can be seen as progressive as other states have not even replied. Now, this is not a program that the States have to pay for. They just have to approve that it can run in their public schools. ALU would have struggled to go into such climes. And it is not limited to Nigeria but most African countries.
It seems that anything that does not offer some form of rent-seeking attached to it would suffer and might never get approved. It is especially disheartening that Africa that has the youngest population in the World coupled with the bad educational structure has not recognized the need for an urgency in solving the capacity building and education problem.
In my discussions with the ALU team, I got a very interesting and mind-blowing testament of the agility inherent in Rwanda’s government. The founder of ALU had gone to meet with the President of Rwanda and they discussed the ALU campus that was starting in Rwanda. The President asked how he could help. By the time the ALU founder landed back in Mauritius, the Rwandan government had allocated land for building the ALU campus. That campus is opening its doors to students any moment from now.
Why is your own President slow in making life-changing decisions? We also know how easy it is to register new businesses in Rwanda. For Africa to blossom, one of the most critical things we need is the will to make decisions very fast and also do good. I am excited about the journey of the ALU and I look forward to them opening more campuses in many African countries. But can you please tell your politicians to make it attractive for organizations like ALU, PIN Africa, etc to do business in your country? Can you tell them that the governments of Mauritius and Rwanda did not seek ungodly things to make things happen?
Only Africans can really develop Africa. So let’s do it!