From Vision to Action was the tagline of the 2011 World Economic Forum on Africa hosted in Cape Town in the first week of May. Over 1000 political heads, businessmen, activists got together for the meeting where the ‘next steps’ for our continent were discussed.
Having now attended WEF for three years running one can’t help but start questioning just how much ACTION emanates from the meeting. There are so many good ideas, so many great statements made and promises we would love to see kept.
As Africans we need to get better at ACTION, at remembering and then honouring our commitments, if 10% of the promises made during the three days of WEF are ACTIONED with the passion they were made we would all see a tangible difference on our great continent.
On Day one, one of the main speakers coined the phrase ‘Impatient idealism’. Stating that we need to move past a talk shop, we are now as a ‘people’ of one continent starting to show impatience against corruption, impatience against crime, impatience against poverty etc. The spokesperson went on to say that all 53 African states need to unilaterally buy-into Vision 2025 so the billion people of Africa can take their rightful place on this planet.
My feeling is that there is a new reality, you can see it and feel it. But we need, as Africans, to stop apologizing for everything, stop looking for individual glory and rather collective glory and stop depicting every African as someone who lives in a village. Rather tell great stories to anyone who will listen of the mega-cities on our continent.
In the last two or three years I have visited over 10 African countries and I believe there is an energy and passion that is African and there is so much that we have to be proud of.
I look forward to the discussion, the review and hopefully new promises that will be made at the World Economic Forum to be hosted in Ethiopia next year.