A nation is similar to a family, as a nation we take the role of children whereas the government delineates the parents. From an embryonic stage we place reliance on our parents for support. Our parents nurture us from breast feeding to school lunch money. Furthermore it is in our parent’s capable hands that we seek guidance on moral and social deportment. Patently there will come a time in one’s life when they have to cut the umbilical cord and learn to stand in a solitary state and face the world alone. Most of us become of age and move out of our parents homes to seek a singly life. Homogeneously that is the case with hegemony and its subjects or at least that should be the case.
As an International Relations and Politics student studying in foreign land I have been privileged enough to interact with students from all corners of the globe. Some from the most wealthiest and developed countries, some from upcoming states similar to ours and others from crippling countries that struggle from natural disasters to an assortment of conflicts ranging from ethnic identity to clash of civilizations. Over a beer or two, sometimes wine on a good day we are bound to discuss problems detrimental to the development of our countries and comparatively analyze the conditions halting the germination process.
My outlook on the status quo at home has drastically changed. Though most critics would say it is because I am currently not swimming in the pool of problems with other Africans, I strongly attribute it to learning from other’s experience of their countries. That really in the broader scope of things we are as good as adults refusing to move out of their parents homes.
In my country, Botswana, the government acts as our parent and provides free basic education for all Batswana, something we take much from granted yet countries such as Namibia only introduced the scheme this year, Batswana have enjoyed decades of free education provided by the government that also includes a feeding program for students during school hours. Furthermore the government equips students with the necessary needed tools for learning, text books. At the drop of a hat we can all agree that Botswana has done in its might to provide affordable education for its people, that also include tertiary school. When most parents around the world go by their day to day lives saving for their children’s tuition Batswana are assured of the fact that their children will get a tertiary loan that also caters for living expenses. Very rare in a world where even prosperous countries are struggling economically.
Furthermore we are privileged enough to have a health care system that accommodates the lower class citizens. Health care is next to nothing in Botswana. Of course it is not the best health care system and infrastructure must certainly be developed to make sure that we are able to give to people services that are at par with the global village. When we compare Botswana to other countries in the same progressive calculus as us our education, health and social services are really what John Locke argued a government should be about, “for the people”.
Although my country has its benefits for the people I cannot turn a blind eye to the current dark cloud that hovers over it. We have gone short of water and electricity over time. A problem that maybe the government should have accounted for and rectified before push came to shove. However, like every nation though we do have problems, problems that can be solved by raising funds and implementing different strategies to employ the lacking resources from other countries.
The biggest problem I believe, not only my country’s people but certain nations across the continent is our failure to lose the dependency and entitlement mindset. Daily on social media the complaints of unemployment, degradation of the education system and the failure of government to provide social services is alarming however non bring about alternative methods of solving the problem. We youth have cultured out mental state to believing we cannot move until we have what we believe we are entitled to, such as employment and quality education – yet we lie on our backs and couch surf.
Daily when I engage in conversation with international students I realize the lack of innovation, entrepreneurial ambition and the drive to change the status quo. The truth is, there is only so much that your government can do for people. There is responsibility that needs to be shared among the regional organizations, the private sector and YOU, the citizen. At a point you have to mold into a responsible citizen and be independent just like when you move out at home to be your own person. Cut the umbilical cord. No employment? Create it. Become your own young Africa!