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The Ethics of Development (From Mrs PORGHO, Lycée of Kongoussi)

An important point Africans ought to think about is that development is not a gift handed over on a platter of gold by other nations or peoples but, above all, an achievement through their own co-ordinated efforts, initiative and trial and error. In thinking about progress and their future, therefore, Africans should bear in mind that the required sweat, responsibility and sacrifice have to be principally their own and not the white man’s. They must become convinced that the burden of developing their continent rests essentially with them and that their constant expectations of help from advanced nations, in nearly all the areas of human need, are nothing but self-delusion.

The development of any nation is not an overnight enterprise. The process is often painful, slow and disappointing. What it entails ultimately depends on the type of people, their needs, their values and the priorities involved. Consequently, Africans should bear some of these factors in mind in their current bid for progress and prosperity.
Above all, they should build up and maintain trusted leadership. How African political leaders exercise their duties of office is, indeed, a serious concern of all responsible Africans. It is a known fact that inefficiency, irresponsibility and abuse of power and public funds constitute basic problems. A nation with corrupt or inefficient leaders is like a ship on the high sea with a mal- functioning compass. Lack of direction is the result.

CHUKUWUDUM, B. OKOLO, in Présence Africaine n°III

Guided Commentary

1) According to you, what are the criteria of under-development?
2) Who should be responsible for the development of Africa? Why?
3) Why are expectations of help from advanced nations nothing but self delusion?
4) Why is the progress of development painful, slow and disappointing?
5) According to the text, what are the causes of malgovernance in developing countries? Exemplify
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