Oliver August’s piece, “A Sub-Saharan Spring?”, centred on the identical premise I proffered in two recent articles – “A Rising Africa!” in New African, Nov. 2011, and “African Renaissance” in Corporate Africa, June 2011.

Oliver appears to share my view that the uprisings in North Africa may well spread to Sub-Saharan African countries, though I disagree with his analysis and the insinuated impacts of factors like the Boko Haram movement.

Most countries in the region could do worse than countenance mass civil unrests (despite the social costs and pain it would entail) that may force corrupt and ineffective leaders out, hopefully, once and for all.

Everything else appears to have failed, including pressure from Western donor countries.

Africans urgently need an all-important catalyst to expedite the transformation that will raise standards of living across the continent, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. My view is that these social unrests may be the avenue for the mass populace to show that they have had enough and insist, for once, on good governance.

If this happens, and Sub-Saharan Africa gets the development it has missed out on for decades, then, perhaps Africa may start to take its place at the table of global economic and social development, much to the benefit of the man on the street in Lagos, Accra, Harare, Lusaka and elsewhere.

© Sigi Osagie 2011

Categories: Africa, Leadership

Comment made on Economist.com, 24-Dec-2011, in response to the online article “A sub-Saharan spring?” by Oliver August, 17-Nov-2011