New Year's Resolutions
Top Three New Year's Resolutions for Africa are to End Corruption, Eradicate Terrorist Violence, and Establish and maintain Good African Governance. Africa’s top three New Year's resolutions could actually be achieved; millions of ordinary people across Africa write down their aspirations and work to fulfill their New Year's Resolutions in the New Year.
Top Three New Year's Resolutions for Africa
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
New Year's Resolutions for Africa, End Corruption
Corruption is holding Africa back from becoming a world power. Corruption is endemic to the way of life in much of Africa. Transparency International, a global watchdog organization says 75 million people in Africa below the Saharan desert paid a bribe in 2014. Corruption has saturated all life facets African’s life from simple things like access to medical care, schools and jobs, to the grand scale of it all like award of contracts and use of public resources. The effect has been great inequalities both in access of services from government offices as well as opportunities for investment with many local and foreign firms discouraged and forced to close business. Misappropriation of public funds and biased awarding of tenders compromises on the quality service available to the members of the public.
As a result, the enormous gap between the haves and haves nots is huge. While some African governments are making strides to end corruption, the perceptions of corruption and level of trust from the average citizen show corruption is a serious life or death issue. In Liberia 7 out of 10 people in the country say they have had to pay bribes to access basic services like healthcare and schooling.
"Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy a lavish life, millions of Africans are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation," said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, in a statement.
New Year's Resolutions for Africa, Eradicate Terrorist Violence
Parts of Africa are under constant terrorist attacks and live with the constant threat of terrorism throughout their daily lives. The four groups responsible for the majority of the terrorist attacks or suspected are Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and Boko Haram.
Insecurity is rampant across Africa hindering progress at national and regional levels. From the urban crime to terrorist groups to civil wars and political instability, the examples violence is endless. The brutal insecurities affect all factors of life including loss of infrastructure causing colossal displacement of people, loss of foreign investments, and loss of innocent lives.
About the four groups responsible for the majority of the terrorist attacks in Africa:
Al-Shabaab means The Youth in Arabic is a Salafist jihadist group based in East Africa, mainly Somalia. Al-Shabab has staged numerous attacks in Kenya because it has sent its troops into Somali territory. In February 2010, the group is allied to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabaab has carried out more than 360 attacks in Somalia from 2006-2017.
On January 27, 2017, Al-Shabaab killed at least 57 soldiers in takeover of peacekeeping base in Kulbiyow, Somalia. In the middle of the day on September 21, 2013, al-Shabaab fighters stormed a busy Nairobi Kenya shopping center, throwing grenades and firing indiscriminately at shoppers for 4 days resulting in at least 67 deaths. Al-Shabaab was declared terrorist group by US on March 18, 2008.
Al-Qaeda means The Base in Arabic and is broad-based militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in 1989. The oldest of the Islamist militant groups operating in North Africa, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) came into being in 2005 when it changed its name from the Algerian Salafi Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) and announced its allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. In February 2017, 15 people were killed and 19 injured in Tiloa, Niger in an ambush attack by Al-Qaeda militants. Al-Qaeda was declared terrorist group by US on October 8, 1999.
Islamic State formerly known as ISIS
Islamic State formerly known as ISIS can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In 2004, a year after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which became a major force in the insurgency.
February 2017, Islamic State militants in Qandala, Somalia executed three civilians and three soldiers. In the same month, two Christians were killed by Islamic State militants. The first was shot dead and the second was abducted and later burned alive. Islamic State was declared terrorist group by US on December 17, 2004.
Boko Haram founded in 2002 official Arabic name, Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad" was initially focused on opposing Western education earning the nickname Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language. Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are the three Nigerian states worst-affected by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram declared terrorist group by US in 2013. About 11 people were killed Saturday March 28, 2015 and two more injured in attacks apparently by Boko Haram in voting stations in the northeastern state of Gombe Nigeria.
Boko Haram states its purpose is to institute Sharia, or Islamic law. Women and girls who were former captives of Boko Haram face marginalization and rejection by family and community members because of social and cultural norms related to sexual violence. Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it "haram", or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.
New Year's Resolutions for Africa, Establish and maintain Good African Governance
Africa needs exceptional role models for the continent. Many African countries are facing a struggle of good governance, Africa needs leaders who will develop their countries, lift people out of poverty and pave the way for sustainable and equitable prosperity. First, it was the struggle for independence from the colonial rule then liberation from dictatorships that merged from independence. The challenge for current governments is the creation and implementation of policies that reflect of the immediate and future needs of the people. Poor governance affects all healthcare, security, political stability, and development projects.
About 60,000 people are estimated to have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year, fleeing conflict and poverty. Since the 2011 uprising, Libya has been without a stable government, and the chaos has allowed trafficking networks to thrive. More than 1,800 people are feared to have died crossing the Mediterranean in 2015 so far - a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014. Italy received more than 170,000 of the 2014 arrivals, large numbers of which were from Eritrea.
Since 2006, Mo Ibrahim $100 million foundation funds an annual prize for the most honest African leader. Ibrahim believes that "nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important to African development than good governance."
"When I first started talking about the potential for investment and business opportunities in Africa some 20 years ago, I found myself an isolated voice. That turned out to be good for me – and the few others who saw, invested, and reaped wonderful rewards from that potential – but not so good for the continent." -Mo Ibrahim