The importance of establishing long-term development goals

Thousands of members of the South African Municipal Workers Union march through the city centre of Cape Town, on May 6, 2015, during a strike calling for better wages for standby staff and for female firefighters to retain their allowances during pregnancy. AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH
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A big problem faced by contemporary Africa is how to establish long-term economic stability  and  development  strategies.

African  countries  should  engage  the domestic populations in determined efforts to solve African issues through self-reliance and hard work, rather than relying on foreign assistance to get the problems solved quickly.

At present, lots of African countries are still very backward, so, we should not expect to solve all problems in the short-term. Toward this end, the international community should encourage African governments and people to have the faith and determination to work hard and persevere toward the achievement of long-term objectives.

For example, the important impetus for China’s development has been its ability to adopt a long-term strategy and to pursue it with a spirit of hardworking persistence. Therefore, in its aid to Africa, China has paid attention to supporting the construction of African infrastructure, as well as maintaining the political stability and sovereignty of African countries.

National ideas and national identity are the foundation supporting the survival, development and stability of a state.

Having a strong national identity means that the people living in a territory have a basic sense of belonging to their country and have recognition and respect for their country’s history, heritage, culture and national interests from the bottom of their hearts, and they take a sense of responsibility for the rise and fall of the state.

However, the long-term political unrest and ethnic separation experienced in Africa has often resulted in the lack of a powerful national identity and common core value system. This has made it difficult to construct a sense of national interest to maintain and mobilize the people. Given the weak sense  of the national  identity, competitive political groups and adversarial ethnic parties have not been able to jointly formulate and persistently pursue national long-term strategies and development objectives. This is a structural and conceptual barrier that must be overcome by African countries.

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