Who better to stand up for a misrepresented and misunderstood people and continent than us?
Nelson Muffuh (Cameroon) is an African and a global citizen. He considers and projects himself as a humanist working for the wellbeing of people and our planet.

Influential, educated, well-resourced, connected, and privileged Africans - at home and in the diaspora - should take note and reinforce their agency.

After all, we are increasingly no longer powerless and can marshal our impressive intellectual, cultural, economic and political clout to irreversibly transform the narrative about - and destiny of - our beloved motherland.

As African commentators, elites and influencers, we have certainly all experienced and been upset about the flawed portrayal and positioning of the continent in all circles, be it anthropological, historical, geopolitical, economic, cultural and otherwise.

The unfolding covid-19 pandemic and it’s associated devastating public health and socioeconomic losses give us good reason to pause and adjust approaches so as to ensure the continent recovers better and sustainably. Initial dooms day projections are being valiantly countered by robust measures and encouraging leadership across the continent ensuring we wash hands, wear masks, adhere to physically distancing as well as test, trace and treat, and above all cushion the impacts on livelihoods through immediate palliatives whilst also pushing for more meaningful fiscal and debt relief measures.

We should be encouraged by how African leaders and citizens have rallied behind measures to reduce the impact on lives and livelihoods but the impact is sobering and the task remains daunting. As recently explained by the Chair of the African Union, “To date, there are over one million people infected with the virus in Africa, and close to 28,000 people have lost their lives. Beyond the human tragedy of the lives lost, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on national economies.”

I take solace in, and I am encouraged by, the boundless optimism, activism, intellect and entrepreneurial ethos of the millions of young, talented and impatient Africans who are endlessly working to change their circumstances and that of their families, communities, regions, nations and the continent.

Our challenges are plentiful and non-negligible. For many embarrassing and preventable reasons, our people are not allowed to fully enjoy and exercise their rights. They are also not equitably benefitting from the fruits of their labor and riches of their continent. The potential of the continent’s greatest assets – its millions of youth and women – is also not yet being truly fulfilled and unleashed.

It is now time to dig deep, come together, liberate our mindset, shirk governance lapses, appropriately deploy our resources and work tirelessly from Dakar through Accra and Lagos to Addis Ababa, Buea, Nairobi to Kigali, and from Tunis to Casablanca and Johannesburg to set our people on a truly sustainable and transformative trajectory of competence, excellence, dignity, wellbeing underpinned by the spirit of ubuntu.

If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
We owe this to our forebearers, ourselves, our relatives, our neighbors, our children, and our grandchildren.

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