African countries must do this – if they are to become globally competitive

Sadia Mariatu Sannoh – Webb: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 February 2020:

Having just watched the video clip below, posted by an intelligent black African, explaining in very simple language why Africa’s economic systems are lagging behind others; as black people, we should brush off what white racist say about black intelligence. They are merely insecure, jealous and frightened of black intelligence and success.

My responsibility as an educator is to reassure black people of how powerful we can become, intellectually and socially when given high quality education. I see these qualities in young black Africans I teach and mentor in British schools.

Black children show exceptional intellect and talent when given the right tools and opportunities to flourish.

The messages relayed in this video by one of our own – a young, vibrant black South African brother, were eloquently put; and without a shadow of a doubt, knows his stuff about world economics and what makes countries globally competitive:

The irony is, there are plenty more like him living in Africa whose talents have been ignored due to incompetent governments. And not to mention the millions of talented black Africans living in foreign countries, who are unable to return to their motherland – again because of poor governance and weak economic systems in their own countries that aren’t designed to reward competence.

Individuals like myself have been able to establish professional careers in foreign nations because we exhibit high competencies – well above our white counterparts. I say this without bias but with evidence of black talents in these parts of the world.

For a black person to succeed in a white economy, you have got to be firing on all cylinders and bring your ‘A – game’ at all times to the table.

I work in education in Britain and have done so for almost 20 years. I have had to prove over and beyond the competencies of my white counterparts in job interviews to secure jobs and to reap the rewards in my profession.

So my advice to our African politicians and leaders are simply this:

1. Create societies that reward talent and competency, to attract people like myself.

2. We don’t believe in connections to be successful, because we have proved that you can succeed by being highly competent.

3. In addition, until Africa’s economic systems are drastically changed to reward efforts and not connections, the continent will always lose its best talents to old industrialised nations with favourable economic systems that reward competency and talent.

4. It is not rocket science if our leaders and politicians really want to attract the best talents back to Africa, or to prevent talented  Africans from leaving the continent in the first place. All  our governments need to do, is to build economic systems that reward competency. The result will be a significant shift of power in geo-economics in favour of Africa, and improvement of the continent’s competitiveness.

About the author

Sadia Mariatu Sannoh – Webb is an Educator and Trade Union Representative in the UK.


  1. Contents of the attached video along with the author’s commentary hit the nail on the coffin. Our beloved nation Salone, is entrench deeply today with this premise and economic system. Our 2 major political parties thrive and flourish in such mantra— reward party supporters and sympathizers with lucrative jobs irrespective of their talents, IQ, or qualification. We saw this happening during the EBK regime and it has even become worse and glaring under the Bio regime.

    Sadly, the only qualification you need to obtain a job while either of these 2 parties in governance is to be an ardent and vocal advocate for the leadership of the party. In other words, just become a praise singer. Praise and fight for the leadership and the party regardless of how their actions are detrimental to our national survival. As time progress, you will be shortlisted for a lucrative job within the administration. Ironically, we have participates in this forum who in many respects have ulterior personal motives. You can see it in their posting, putting party politics first above national interest.

  2. Our lazy brain and inept leaders and politicians must read this and watch the video. The truth is that the system in most African countries like Sierra Leone is wired such that highly intelligent and competent Diasporans are deliberately being kept out of investing their skills in economic development. Even the country’s constitution has been rigged to ensure that Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora do not partcipate in high level governance in the country.

    Look at the people running big indigenous businesses in Sierra Leone. Most have made their money through corrupt political connections rather than hardwork and competence. What did old pa Siaka Stevens once said? “Den say Bailor Barrie you say Davidson Nichol”. Sad. And our nation is still blighted by that tribalist and backward comment from an old fool and dictator.

    Too many misfits running the country and making life-changing decisions for society.

  3. Agree with the writer; rewarding talent,and competence,instead of relying,and building the foundations of a nation on structures of nepotism,tribal,social,religious,and politically motivated attitudes,and convictions would easily bring about the positive,rewarding, progressive,sustainable change Africans have been hungering,and thirsting for scores of years gone by.

    No doubt,this would be a step in the right direction,a bold,good start on how to first crawl,before we walk,run and fly.But Africa’s daunting problems are much more complexed than what firsts meets the eye. Our societies are in shambles,because they are intricately,colorfully interwoven with tribal sentiments,cultural beliefs,and emotions that promote,and prioritise doubts,suspicions,and mistrust,among our people. Every fine,delicate thread,and strand in the fabric of African societies,if examined points clearly to an era when trust in deities,oracles,traditional,and spiritual powers for daily provision,riches,and success was a celebrated way of life;Instead of depending on creative efforts,hard work,and careful planning for the attainment of ones goals,they burned incense,danced,and performed rituals,and sacrifices to strange gods,made of wood,and stone.(lol)

    Such a mindset easily facilitated attitudes of gross indifference,complacency,and laziness,that can be seen in our societies even today. That some men are born into riches,and others in the ditches,and tenches of abject poverty is understandable,but to languish,suffer,and remain unperturbed,and contented in such a deplorable condition is totally unacceptable. Again, Africa’s, uninspiring,incompetent,self-centered,corrupt leaders is another big reason why nations remains stagnated,backward, and unprogressive.

    Men,and women,countless,with running noses,wearing diapers,who still don’t know the difference between their knees,and their elbows could be seen in Africa holding on to strategic positions of authority,and power.(lol)But have some patience,my good brethren,a change is coming;On its way,at full speed,that you can all believe in…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  4. I don’t believed in this type of examples; comparing Africans with facebook tycoon. What Africa needs is good government. Lets us not compare Africa with the western world economy. The differences between the black continent and the western continent are: Africa has excess raw materials, while the west has the opportunities and power. So tell me how can Africa develop to that level. People forget our culture has been destroyed.

    So stop blaming Africa. In Sierra Leone they arrested BAI BUREH; in the Caribbean Christopher Columbus said he discovered Jamaica; in Australia they seized the lands of the aborigians; in America they seized the lands of the Indians. Tell me how can we inprove in this cruel world. Let us pray to the lord; lord forgive us strength and protect us from this evil.

    • But then you asked for independence: to live your own life and make your own bed as well. just as the Europeans are living and making theirs. Africa is still struggling to make a life and living of their own…why? In my view, it is because Africans still dont know how to make and put good policies in place to make life better for it indigenes…henceforth we are always behind.

      Take a Look at Sierra Leone for example, the past administration was plagued with corruption because of it’s ineptitude to implement and follow standard and stringent policies to curb corruption. Now here we are again, with the current one. The leakages he pledged to block, new ones are now opening up on a large scale, more than the ones he pledged to block or seal. All of this tells you that, most African leaders still don’t know how to develop a nation…Know how is our problem..

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