Slightly updated: 8 April 2009
In less than 7 days my time in Australia will be over – at least for now. It’s really hitting me more and more what a loss I am feeling. Fantastic people live here. The physical land is wonderful. Other things that I think were visionary include superannuation and the social support services. I wish the whole world had! The current leadership has vision and wisdom to lay the foundation for future prosperity, because high speed internet access is to the future what iron was to the iron age.
When I first visited Australia I heard whispered about it that it was “the lucky country” and now that I’ve been here for 9 years, I have learned WHY it became the lucky country. It’s because they took care of things like retirement, they have systems in place to protect marriage and children. Communities exist to tie people together. Private enterprise is encouraged. These are the foundation blocks for a “lucky country”. The national anthem has highly positive words and messages in it, which foster a bright outlook on the world and the future. These are great foundations for a country.
And now I am about to visit another glorious part of the world, South Africa. And I can’t wait. I’m so excited by what I hear coming from that part of the world. Democracy is the strongest in Africa. The rule of law is strong and increasing. Private enterprise is encouraged. I have family and friends there who feel that they are a part of growth and life and they see opportunities opening up. The church is strong and outspoken. All of these are fantastic building blocks for the future.
I really like what I am hearing from leadership…
If we are to achieve a better Africa like the Warrior of light in Paulo Coelho’s book. We should not be paralyzed by the fact that other countries have more opportunities than we do. “A Warrior tries to make most of his virtues”
“He knows that the gazelle’s power lies in its legs. The power of the Seagull lies in the accuracy with which it can spear a fish. He has learnt that the reason the tiger does not fear the hyena is because he is aware of his own strength. We have to define for ourselves what we can truly rely on”.
We should rely on our human resources. The regions and the countries that show sustainable growth and human development have all paid special attention to education, skills development and health. We must prioritise these in the continent as we do nationally.
We should rely on our fertile African land – develop our agriculture.
We should rely on our abundant natural resources. How we manage these will determine how quickly we reach the African dream. Squander and plunder for the benefit of the few will defer this dream.
We should preserve the environment as part of a global effort so as to bequeath future generations with a liveable planet.
Rich cultural heritage
The private sector on the continent has to be the catalyst
As this generation we like Paulo Coelho should ask ourselves how will our actions ‘affect the fifth generation of my descendants? because everything a person does has enduring consequences and he needs to understand what kind of world he is leaving behind for the fifth generation.’
A better Africa will also have to assume its share of global responsibilities. In this context South Africa was honoured to serve in the United Nations Security Council in 2007 and 2008. – Source: Address by Minister Dlamini Zuma during the State of the Nation Debate: “A Better Africa and a Better World”, 9 February 2009
There is a lot of African wisdom in those words: “He has learned that the reason the tiger does not fear the hyena is because he is aware of his own strength”. This is how a country – and a continent – becomes a “lucky country/continent”, by being good stewards of what God has blessed them with. It’s the central message of the parable of the talents.
And one other even more important thing, a country becomes lucky if it is blessed by God… and that means acknowledging Him and revering Him, working with Him.
America started in a blaze of blessing and it lived off that for a long long time. From the sixties to the 90’s in particular the blessing was taken for granted, spent frivolously, drained off and wasted away. Thanks God, that blessing is being renewed now. That blessing is coming to Africa. It is coming to Australia, I’ve seen the green shoots of prosperous growth here and I’ve blogged about it – you have read it and you know it’s true.
As I leave, I’m still troubled by that one prophecy God gave me for my life – the only one that hasn’t come true. Maybe I will find I am complete without it. I am certain that He knows what is best for me. My life is in His hands. He is my Shepherd. His staff (for guidance) and His rod (for protection), they comfort me. Take comfort in Him O my soul.