Introduction to the African Tiger Strategic Development Agenda
French philosopher Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) once said that “each generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it.” Like Fanon said, the greatest mission that beckons the Igbo of the present generation remains the rapid development of their native lands by any means necessary. It is a divine mission that stands in great need of fulfilment. Therefore in furtherance of those objectives, the Igbo Council of Europe on the 30th of November 2007 constituted a work-group to understudy the present-day social, political, and economic malaise bedevilling the Igbo nation with a view to proffering practical, common sense solutions. It is thus, with great faith in God that we present these observations and recommendations in what we hope would incite the needed paradigm shift that would engender the exploitation and maximisation of the abundant human and material resources in aggressive industrialisation and modernisation of Igboland.
Since the cessation of hostilities and particularly in the last decade, many have become increasingly alarmed at the increasingly dwindling fortunes of the Igbo in all facets of national life. The Nigerian state has remained unrelenting in the deprivation and marginalization of the Igbo, and many amongst the Igbo have themselves become willing tools in helping to advance and actualise the agenda of subjugation by the Nigerian state.
The consequence is that a new cult of disunited, and mendicant Igbo political class who have no sense of history has been foisted on the Igbo public by outside forces, desirous of perpetually arresting the development of the Igbo nation. As a direct consequence, no unified strategic plan for the development and advancement of the Igbo nation exists and schemes to creatively exploit the abundant human resources within the Igbo nation that has served to develop places far away from Igbo land is yet to be initiated.
The federal government has locked the East out of every critical infrastructure that could have helped in maximising the abundant potentials that exist in the area, create millions of jobs and stem migration. It has therefore become increasingly urgent that the Igbo undertake certain extraordinary self help measures to create an industrial capacity in the East that can aid her self sufficiency.
The Nigerian state has, owing to the excesses of successive leaders continued to fail, but the Igbo need not fail along with Nigeria. It is possible with a little bit of vision and leadership to create an oasis of prosperity in a desert of despair. Progress has many friends, while failure is an orphan. Once we begin to take the giant strides of development, we will compel the respect of both our friends and enemies. Ours has been a tragic history, which makes it all the more urgent to create a capacity for self sufficiency in the East. As a distinct people who constitute one of the three single largest black African cultures and ethnic groups we stand challenged to succeed. Our destiny and future is in our own hands.
It is thus as a response to the plight of the Igbo nation that the Igbo Council of Europe has decided to intervene at this great historical juncture to seek to provide ideas and solutions for the construction of a cohesive and mega-prosperous Igbo nation. We also stand ready to partner in the mobilisation of the millions of Igbo in the Diaspora who constitute a core and strategic arm of the Igbo nation that can play a critical role in fund raising, provision of expertise and skilled manpower in the economic development plan.
A foreword written by Senator Mark Dearey.
Models of Development
Considering Singapore and Taiwan as models for development.
Broad outlines of strategies for industrial development
Build Sell and Recycle.
Various practical strategies for creation of employment can be employed as listed below.
Power generation continues to present a major challenge and remains an impediment to industrialisation.
Security remains an incentive and a crucial element in attracting local and foreign investors.
Summary of The African Tiger strategic agenda.
Language and Culture
The rich heritage of Igbo Language and Culture
The way forward
How we can make progress