- Yet, in spite of all, there is reason to hope. All may rest assured that the country will emerge transformed. The present paradigm is influenced by change, which is always accompanied by uncertainty. Despite my optimism, there are provisos; conditions upon which the successful emergence hinges.
Tanzania is experiencing an existential challenge of immense proportion. These circumstances are made more strenuous by the economic reverse seen in many sectors.
Yet, in spite of all, there is reason to hope. All may rest assured that the country will emerge transformed. The present paradigm is influenced by change, which is always accompanied by uncertainty. Despite my optimism, there are provisos; conditions upon which the successful emergence hinges.
Among these is the necessary collective effort we must bring to bear in crafting the solution. However, given the nature of our inherited political systems, one could conclude that we may not soon cooperate on the political front; at least not on the matter of crafting a unified strategy for economic recovery. The reason is clear; for, by design the political dialectic encourages a willful cleavage of economic strategies, as opposing factions in government often pursue different objectives.
In addition, sensing political weakness, a long exiled opponent may see an opportunity to improve its political fortunes through the non-performance of its counterpart in power. From my observation, I see no evidence that such is the general case of the local opposition; even if some disgruntled supporter might conceivably cherish the thought. Whatever the case, we may set such possibilities aside as an inherent feature, endemic to politics.
Yet the political divide is real, as firmly rooted as the economic challenges. Therefore, any call for crafting a unified economic strategy with the opposition would be sheer naivety. It may not soon materialise, given the prevailing state of affairs. Still we hope. So, in spite of differing views on economic models, we evoke that importunate desire for alliance, which is advisable.
However, accepting the unlikelihood of cooperation; how may we – meaning those with vested interest in the country’s success - address the challenges? And what are the possible solutions to the hurdles? Before addressing this point, it may be helpful to say that I have an idealistic view of the solution. And alongside my idealism, stands the fact that my opinion should remain subordinate to any local solution. But having read Diop and others, I have a bias for Africa’s historical solutions.
Africa has built sustainable economies that thrived for centuries based upon the principle of justice, democracy and law. Yet, there is no need to illuminate this argument here beyond referencing it; there is greater value in looking ahead. Often when I think of the problem, I imagine that we may forge a new concept, a type of idealism which I dub, Post Modern African Idealism. It may be a political and literary concept forged from history and fused with a thoughtful analysis of modern scholarship.
Central to the idea should be the elimination of the Zero-sum approach in political governance, where the winner takes it all. The concept might be taken further; infusing its principle in science, education, religion, literature, and economics. In all, our basic concern should be the forging of a sustainable state which promotes the welfare of the continent.
I considered the idea, because the modern economic theories have not delivered the goods. We have tried them since the last century. Having sent our civil leaders to the same institutions as other bureaucrats, we have failed where other countries have succeeded. The IMF, the World Bank, Capitalism, Communism, Dictatorship, Constitutional Monarchy, and all else, have not saved us. In fact, injustice, poverty, ignorance, and disease are still too prevalent.
In speaking of solutions, our ancestors embraced the principle of Prudence in governance. In the book Morals and Dogma we read, “The people that would be Free and Independent, must possess Sagacity, Forethought, Foresight, and careful Circumspection, all which are included in the meaning of the word Prudence.
It must be temperate in asserting its rights, temperate in its counsels, economical in its expenses; it must be bold, brave, courageous, patient under reverses, undismayed by disasters, hopeful amid calamities,… She must, above all things, be just, not truckling to the strong and warring on or plundering the weak; she must act on the square with all nations, and the feeblest tribes; always keeping her faith, honest in her legislation, upright in all her dealings. Whenever such a Republic exists, it will be immortal.”
In considering our new concept, we may hold the above objectives in mind; for shaping a viable and sustainable economic path ahead, we must do so together, or perish together. Herein lays our salvation.
The writer is the CEO of Grand Africa Literary Initiative Ltd