Considering Singapore and Taiwan as models for development.
Philosophers have long proclaimed that “once there is the will, there is a way.” Mankind has come a long way in developing the wonders that surround us today through sheer willpower. From electricity, automobiles, jet aircraft, ships, submarines, even footprints on the moon. Through willpower, sweat and toil man has truly taken great strides and accomplished great things.
Nations such as Singapore and Taiwan provide a great inspiration for the Igbo nation. Singapore gained independence in 1965, a nation of just 693 sq km, less than one fifth of Anambra State, with a population just under 5 million people. Lacking any natural resources, and in spite of a severely limited landmass, she has demonstrated the possibilities embedded in the human spirit and the positive virtues of discipline, willpower and leadership to overcome overwhelming odds and create an economy that has become one of the richest in the world.
Singapore presently hosts some of the best universities, research institutes, and has one of the best infrastructure and national airlines in the world.
Taiwan presents a model of development that should likewise inspire the Igbo development project. Incidentally about the same size as the present day Southeast zone, with a population just short of 30 million, she has risen through indigenous technology that initially produced substandard products to become one of the foremost producers of goods, thereby creating one of the richest economies in the world.
Singapore and Taiwan are nations whose successful development models represent a nexus that showcases the possibilities that can be unleashed when human resources and other extant potentials are well harnessed. As we highlight the practical benchmarks and other projects necessary to begin this development initiative, it is important that the Igbo strive to gravitate their dreams and aspirations towards the loftier magnetic pull of peoples and nations like Singapore, Taiwan etc which has proven that progressive societies can be built through simple organisation, planning and execution.
Finally, in contemplating the way forward for the Igbo nation, we have chosen to be more of realists in providing a vision for the economic, political and cultural development of Igbo land. The Bible rightly acknowledges in Proverbs 29: verse 18 that “a people without a vision perish.” It is our fervent hope that this vision that we put forward, though not perfect, will provide the fulcrum and synergy that will unleash the abundant yet untapped human and material resources in our native land to herald a mega-prosperous Igbo region.
We believe that Igbo land should be for the Igbo what Israel is for the Jews, we also believe that a synergic accumulation and concentration of Igbo enterprise, industry and creativity in Igbo land can help us achieve this strategic development agenda for the Igbo nation that can help us build a society comparable or even surpassing Singapore or Taiwan. The Igbo Council of Europe work group hereby present these proposals that will hopefully unshackle the Igbo nation into fulfilling her destiny.