Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Building Appropriate Capacity

The visible capacity of a society is usually relative and project specific. For example, capacity developed to run highly regimented societies a la central planning or fascism is different from capacities geared towards nourishing democratic life and attendant economic and social organizations. Like other regimes before it, the system which is currently operating across the globe is very much dependent on the stock of existing skill/talent. It is this human capacity that has refused to look outside of the box and is still sustaining the structures, processes and institutions of the global status-quo. Don’t forget, the project of the existing global order is, first and foremost, to perpetuate the prevailing polarizing globalization. Unfortunately, this conviction has also been endorsed by the victims as well. The new capacity Africa is trying to build, must therefore take this grave disequilibrium/shortcomings into serious consideration, with a view to bring about liberation in all spheres of modern existence; economic, social, spiritual, etc. The task requires, amongst other things, the re-examining or rectifying of all the curricula in the formal education system across the continent!
When a young person in Ethiopia, or for that matter anywhere in Africa, comes out of the mills (universities) his or her general outlook on matters of serious importance, say economics, (local or global) is already formed by the indoctrinating institutions of the inter-state system. Because these fellows have swallowed (without much chewing) too much junk, they are willing to defend an oppressive system that is purposely structured to make us all slavishly dependent, in the material as well as the non-material world. By inculcating a deep sense of inadequacy in our human persona, the system has reduced us into zombies who can hardly think for ourselves.
In this regard, some elements of the African Diaspora, (residing in the west) is completely lost to our cause! Not surprisingly, the very absence of agreement between us, (at least in regards to the future trajectory of Africa) doesn’t even restrain these individuals of two countries from freely pontificating on our behalf. Just because they have phony & cozy relationship with the power that be, (both on the continent and abroad) they have taken it on themselves to decide on our future fate! Since they are mere pawns in the prevailing order, we will not spend precious time arguing their case; rather, we will try to look at the avant garde ideas that have started to take shape inside the bowels of empire itself. See Alperovitz’s article on page 50.
Generative economy is a new phrase coined to signify alternative approaches to the existing exploitative economic order. It is obvious the prevailing global system continuously and unsustainably sucks the blood out of both the natural and the human world. Consequently those who are already on the front line of creative global discourse have started to map out the possible features of the coming new economy. Going forward naturally will not be easy, as the entrenched interest will do everything in its capacity to frustrate the growing global support for the new initiatives. But the first salvo has already been fired! (Arab Spring, Occupy Movement, etc.)
Taking the hue from the western beast (human mass) African states must allow/give space to those emerging ideas, so that they take root within the grass root. From institutions that serve primarily the formal private sector to the more public spirited ones; there is an urgent need to severely interrogate the world view which we have uncritically embraced. If truth be told, Africans have never been given the space, mental or otherwise, to articulate and execute their own objectives with a view to sustainability and egalité. The prevailing regime in Africa is something that has been imposed and directed by global powers. Nevertheless, suffocating debates that dominate public spaces in Africa (media, etc) must be toned down in favor of ascending alternative trajectories. Discussions that foster fresh approaches to the enduring problems of the system must be encouraged at all levels, starting from the various political parties all the way to state functionaries and government bureaucracy.
To come up with new institutions that promote sustainability and egalité requires, at the minimum, a critical mass of people who are willing to go against the flow. Naturally this is easily said than done and hence requires sacrifices of all kinds. We are acutely aware that the existing but exiting global generation has a lot to lose if change is forced upon it, but change is the one fixed constant in our ever changing universe! In the mean time, the narcissist’s view that operates inside the psyche of billions must be fought hard, if humanity is to usher a new system that is avowedly pro-life. The teachings of the donkey, as interpreted by the old Ethiopian saying, must be avoided by all means: “Once I am gone, I don’t care whether the grass grows or not.” Mr. Jackass. Good Day!