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Monday, December 31, 2012

On The Last Day of 2012

On this last day of 2012, I would like to say thank you to all of you my readers and especially those who have signed up to follow my blog. I have learned so much from your comments, which have also emboldened me to keep plugging away and providing a forum for collective discourse of the most important and urgent issues of our time. 

Even though the challenges that we face may seem ever more daunting, I am hopeful and encouraged that we as global community have within our powers all the resources necessary to find resilient solutions to secure today for ourselves and guarantee a prosperous and peaceful future for our children.

The crisis of global governance and collective action remains unresolved and will become even more so in the years ahead.  I am mindful that we still have no concrete commitments to rid the planet of dangerous anthropogenic greenhouse gases. We are yet to figure out how to feed bigger, hungrier and thirstier world. Urbanization is now emerging as the biggest challenge of our civilization. The value of education in a connected and interdependent world is unclear. Moreover, we still do not understand how to educate our children for an unknown future. 

We are still shamefully divided by racial bigotry and the pettiness of narrow constructs of religion. I think that in many places around the world, religious fundamentalism is on the rise. The rights of women all over the world is curtailed in the name of God. Minorities are oppressed and their freedoms and political aspirations undermined by the so-called majorities. For a majority of African people, politics offers not hope but fear and terror. Government is overbearing and leaders are shamefully greedy. 

Amidst unprecedented global wealth, the world is becoming more unequal and poverty is on the march in the south and increasingly in the north. Our collective effort to rid the world of poverty, disease and hunger has faltered. 2015 is just about here but the MDGs are unmet. 

Here in Africa we view the China decade with trepidation. China portends both good and evil for Africa. Good for government and evil for the aspirations of African citizens who hope that government will be more accountable to the electors. In the China decade and the apparent decline of the global reach and influence of the US, we are headed for another unipolar and unbalanced global power dynamic. 

In 2013 I hope and pray that the global civil society will rise up and take its rightful place; check the excesses of state power and stand up for justice and equality for all of mankind. We have made it this far as a collective and we can only navigate a more complex and uncertain world if we are, each one of us, our brothers keeper. 

As JFK said, "Our problems are manmade – therefore they can be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit often solved the seemingly unsolvable – and we believe they can do it again". 

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