Dear Irene Yaa Frimpomaa Sasu,
I write to you from a future I am not happy and proud of living in, and I hope this letter guides you at least to forge a better future than I currently find myself in for yourself. I am sending you this letter from a place where our continent has been invaded and is no longer ours, a place where many young people have no dreams anymore and the old folks have all lost hope.
Our resources; the diamonds of Botswana, the gold of South Africa, the cocoa of Ghana and all the resources that some years ago were ours now belong to huge multinational companies and conglomerates. We no longer have working governments but puppets controlled by these companies. Our forests all gone, our waters all polluted. I am quite sure you still have fish to eat – here, there is no fish and I miss it.
Our salaries are nothing compared to what our masters make. All of the money we work so hard and tirelessly for never stays here at home in Africa – all of it is sent away in large planes to the west which is the home for these huge companies. Our economy is dictated to us and we almost have no say. The Africa we used to complain about some years ago in terms of growth and development is now worse off – everything has fallen apart.
And you know those things you people call trees? We don’t have them here anymore; we cut them all to produce furniture for countries abroad and to build homes. All we have now are some artificial ornaments that look like trees – an invention by these companies propelled by electricity and that’s how we get oxygen to breathe.
You know some years ago the United Nations came up with the Sustainable development goals, right now in this place – there is no way we can achieve that, everything has fallen apart. I mean how can we achieve sustainable development goals when we have multinational companies dumping waste into our water bodies, mining our forests and pumping poison into our air space?
Irene I write this to you because I believe more in you and in your generation and that you would not end up the way I have. Africa is not just a place like it is for the rest of the world – for us it is home, the place where everything great can happen. Even as I write this to you – I feel the heat of the sun rays even more than it used to be; experts say something called the ozone layer has now completely depleted.
Irene your generation has the numbers – you have the highest number of young people as compared to any other place on earth, use these numbers. You have the power to create the largest businesses in the world; you have the power to decide how you want to be ruled and controlled, and how this continent should look like in the next one hundred years. There is no end to what you can achieve.
You have goals; sustainable development goals and the African Unions Agenda, let these be your commandments.
Build sustainable cities, and control your waste so you don’t have it polluting your waters and killing the life in there. Continue to enjoy the beautiful breeze your trees produce and refuse to exploit your natural resources. Your generation is smart, intelligent and creative – explore ways you can unite to create jobs for yourselves and at the same time protecting your environments. Take charge of the opportunities this continent has to offer before some others do.
Unite with one another from all countries across the continent and build it, remember Africa is not for sale. Only you have power to make it happen – no corporation does. When you do these, in the years to come when you still have access to fresh water, clean air and still have tress that were made by God, you’ll have yourself to thank for making it happen and taking control. Irene, when your stories are told some day, by the next generations that come after, you’ll always be remembered in their books of history as “the ones who did not let Africa down’’ and you will never be forgotten.
Your generation is phenomenal and has all it takes. Make it happen.
Your 66 year’s old self.
Columnist: Irene Yaa Frimpomaa Sasu