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4 new african february/march 2021

(We received a very large number of messages lauding our ‘100 Most In fluential Africans’ feature in the last issue. Due to space constraints, we cannot publish them all but the letter following sums up the feelings of most of you, dear readers – Ed.) Just the tonic we needed Your ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ feature (New African, December / January 20/21) was just the tonic we needed in these troubled times. With news of doom and gloom everywhere and the social media confusing us all with fake news and dire warnings, it was wonderful to wrap oneself around this issue and enjoy it page by page, personality by personality.

What I, and my entire family really enjoyed was that near-total absence of the ‘usual suspects’, the politicians and tycoons who dominate the media in Africa, hardly leaving room for normal people to be seen or heard.

To be honest, I had never heard anything about most of the people featured in the list of 100 Most Influential Africans so it was a very pleasurable journey of discovery. I can see myself and my family in the story of so many of these remarkable people, who have made their mark in so many different ways and in so many different areas of human endeavour.

This issue also gave a tremendous boost to one’s ego and selfconfidence, especially for those of us who live in the diaspora and are often looked down upon and dismissed by the societies we find ourselves in. The feature was a slap in the face to those who belittle Africans.

I made sure that I shared my digital copy with as many people as possible and the response has been overwhelming. I feel so proud to be African! And your editorials always hit the intellectual bull’s-eye.

I would also like to extend my thanks to all the other writers in your magazine, the wonderful columnists who tell it like it is and move us intellectually as well as emotionally, and the investigative reporters. New African, I have no hesitation in saying, is the best in the world! Give me more.

ALICE THOMPSON,

Miami, Florida, US.

Nothing more important than education The Special Focus features on the power of knowledge in your last two issues make for not only a wonderful analysis of the current status of education in our continent, this is very timely as the future of Africa depends solidly on the level and quality of education we are able to impart to our young populations – the largest such grouping in the world.

Education, in any region of the globe, whether rich or poor countries, has always been the backbone to fight illiteracy and lift the living standards of its citizens.

In the least developed countries it has always been a continuous challenge to boost and improve the quality of education. This has been due to lack of suffi cient resources to finance the evergrowing sector.

There is no doubt that education plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of any nation. Throughout history, all development or lack of development has been based on the level of education available to citizens. Only the few countries that live off resources such as oil or gas have been able to develop their infrastructure without having a solid knowledge base. But they are aware that once the resource runs out, unless they have a strong foundation in knowledge, they will be in severe trouble.

Today, the entire world’s economy is based on knowledge, with both the arts and sciences playing a key role. Countries such as India, China, the Asian Tigers have reached new levels of prosperity because, like Western countries, they have ploughed huge resources into acquiring knowledge.

Please keep up the good work by hammering on the need for quality education in Africa. You have a voice that reaches far corners of our continent and the youth are listening. Are the politicians and leaders also listening?

KOKIL. K. SHAH,

Mombasa, Kenya

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