As most people across the globe applause and celebrate what will be remembered as the victory of “the people” over 27 years of tyranny and dictatorship in Burkina Faso, we need to remind ourselves that the real challenge only start today. The need to hold the country together becomes an urgent one.
We still have to prove to the world that beyond the people’s revolution, there are men and women capable enough to give a real meaning to the revolution and a sense of pride to this generation of Black Africans. The time has long come for things to start moving in the right direction.
The people at the helm of power today in Burkina Faso only need to turn the latest page of African history and take a look at South Soudan. The joy and pride were immense among the world population, and specifically among people of African descent as that country won its freedom not so long ago, after many years of bloody civil war. The deception was also equally immense as we watched it descend into chaos after just a fewer months of freedom.
The liberators of yesterday became the oppressors of today. African History is full of that.
This revolution will be useless if the new leaders in Burkina Faso are not able to turn it into a vehicle that will use all the energy of the young people we saw in the streets of Ouagadougou to inject new blood of hard work into the population.
Among thousands of urgent things to improve in the country, education will be the key that will help uplift the population out of poverty.
Burkina Faso with a population of almost 18 M people, only 17% have access to secondary school. As a consequence, the literacy rate for adults is about 32%, one of the lowest in the world. (If not the lowest).
It is also urgent to re-open the book of the green revolution, which President Thomas Sankara started many years ago and which was unfortunately closed by the now “gone president”.
During my last trip to Burkina Faso, few years ago, I was amazed to see how dry the land is and how fast the desert is expanding. It will be wise for the new leaders to use all these young people we saw during the revolution in a vast program of three planting, which will not only give Non-OGM fruits to the population but also prevent the desert to expand any further.
The responsibility that lies on the shoulders of those who have been given the immense task to rule the country during this new era of liberty is huge.
Their country men and women hope lies on them.
The world will be watching, Africa will be watching.
These are just thoughts of an ordinary African man.