Eric Annan
5 min readMar 2, 2020


A lot can change in 20 years! I lost my father during my final year at the university; needless to say, I was devastated by that experience. I was a full time student activist leader, enjoying goodwill from the political ecosystem in my country, Ghana. Everything changed in 2014 when I got to know my ‘purpose and gift’ and I deliberately reshaped my worldview. Contrary to what was popular at the time, I never traveled to Europe or America in search of better opportunities; in hindsight, I realise that I didn’t need to do so to add value to my life. In 2015, I went to Nigeria, which in my experience turned out to be an amazing country! It’s the Powerhouse of the world, not just Africa.

It’s often said that 99% of greatness is achieved out of one’s comfort zone. As at today, I’ve traveled to over 15 African countries and shared in their diversity; therefore, I’ve been able to bring these differences on the table to achieve inclusion and to articulate a strong voice without fear of judgment in my journey. In early February, the third Africa Tech Summit was held in Kigali. Attending the sessions sparked deep inspiration within me, as I got to see possibilities & results that happen when people have the desire, determination, commitment and passion to achieve what they set out to do.

Rwanda is indeed a shining example of the African Spirit and President Paul Kagame’s understanding of strong institutions backed by the ‘rule of law’ has been key to the influx of foreign direct investment into the country and confidence to grow the economy and social sector to create net worth. I’m convinced that with access to these new investment opportunities, enthusiastic youth are the main drivers of the continent’s future.

Looking back to when we use to listen to BBC radio, CNN and other international media outlets about deadly civil wars from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Chad, Eritrea etc where dozens of families were displaced and became refugees and they countlessly touted the continent as a home refugee world, where aid was like our birthright, I reckon now that the narrative is fast becoming a thing of the past, with a total renewed hope and aspirations from the teeming youthful population of Africans. There is a saying, that when you forget your history, your story will be told by the writer and the storyteller according to their editorial direction. Our stories have been told and misrepresented for centuries! The consequences of this among Africans have been low self esteem, feelings of no opinion especially among the elites who are supposed to show leadership.

Why am I been overly optimistic of the future of Africa? I have two major reasons for my optimism. Firstly, there’s Rwanda and the agile youthful population of Africa. Why Rwanda? Here is a country that has seen more than 3 genocides, the worst of which was the one that broke out on 7th April 1994. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandese families were massacred due to long standing hatred sold to them by the wielded Belgium colonizers. Despite the complexity and the collaborative support of those who could have averted it, yet looked away for this to have happened to the magnitude that it did, there was a man who rose above the odds and made a conscious effort to lead Rwanda into a land of promise.

After twenty six years, Rwanda is one of the cleanest country in the world, the most investable destination, the most structured country with a strong rule of law. This man, Paul Kagame, is a strategic thinker, a visionary, a long term planner and a builder who has not only brought dignity to Rwanda, but also to Africa. This man not only inspired this massive restructuring of Rwanda, but also became a strong voice for Africans to have free movement within their own continent through a free trade zone which was adopted during his term as the AU Chairman in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Despite the effort of the imperialist to continue to keep us against ourselves, efforts to thwart our unity using the back door have not paid off due to a strong voice by Africans to wake up and take up their minds off the indoctrination of the past. Some of us will keep celebrating the likes of Kagame not because he is a perfect human, but because he is the type of leader that Africa needs at this stage of our journey. He’s the most conscious and audacious leader since the likes of Patrice Lumbaba, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta Julius Nyerere among others who fought for Africans to unite and trade among themselves. To be brutally plain, Africa has always been a fertile ground for Europe, the Middle East, Asia, America and Russia. The hard fact is that Africa can stand alone without any of the above but none of the above can stand alone for even a year without Africa’s support directly or indirectly to some extend by force as we know.

Lastly, our strength as a continent for me, not even the rich mineral abundance but the caliber of smart young people of this continent stands out. We remain the most fertile continent from natural resources to human capital and talents. The world’s future is being unveiled in technology and data is going to be the next turf for power play. Africa will have the largest data deposits. My point in writing this article is just to highlight the narrative of our collective strength as black people and the promise we hold. We should remain positive, eschewing confrontation and embracing creativity, innovation and productivity to build this land for ourselves and our children’s children. The continent is not poor; it has never been poor and will never be poor. If we can all come together with open mind, talk without fear of judgment and expose our talents and all joins hands, we can build a world where a “son of nobody” can rise with no connections but through hard work become great and empower millions of people.

Africa is a continent of diversity, culture, traditions and most importantly, originality and thus, it needs more entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, innovators, industrialists and tech driven businesses to drive our economy into a world class stage.

Our political elite need to understand that our collective responsibility is to see a better community, state and country during their tenure is no negotiable and their long term political interest. It pays nobody to have fat foreign bank accounts and estates while the millions you lead remain in abject poverty.

Let’s begin to be more abundance and generational thinkers, rather than scarcity short term thinkers. We need more impact driven leadership, which has traits like empathy, compassion, kindness and above all, vision for the greater good of all. I love our continent and I remain overly optimistic about the untapped potential of our continent, whose wellbeing is for the greater good of the entire world.



Eric Annan

A Techpreneur on a mission for Economic Liberation|Collaboration key business philosophy|Gratitude|Empathy|Compassion|Kindness|Selfless Team Builder|Talent Hunt