Week #4 Cheetah Generation

  • In Africa there have been generations of people that have not had access to the resources to advance their own country out of the perils of debt and dependence on aid. A new group of young leaders needs to be at the forefront of Africa leading it away from its past into a new a bright future. This new group is called the “Cheetah” generation, one that will “Throughout Africa and especially in emerging countries, a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs is rising to the top of government bureaucracies, civil society organizations, and businesses”(Emerging Africa Ch 7) that focus on the future development of their countries not continually looking at past abuses. The old “Hippo” generation is stuck looking at the past and the wrongs done to its people, making more noise than actual results advancing the countries. The cheetah generation many who are educated abroad do not wish to look back at the colonial abuses or slave trade as a means for aid or assistance, they know that if they actively try to advance their countries with the use of technology the gains made will spur international investment, which will be greater than aid from bad feelings. To really advance these African countries the cheetah generation whether educated abroad or at home needs to know the ethics and proper ways to govern a country as many have issues with corruption, the only way to solve this is raising the next generation of one who is willing to make hard choices to advance the country without cutting corners or taking the easy way out.


  • The cheetah generation is at the forefront of bringing new technologies such as mobile phones and Internet to developing areas, which have benefited nearly every industry from agriculture to tourism. The “old, slow-moving “hippo” generation, which Ayittey sees as stuck in the past complaining about colonialism and imperialism”(Emerging Africa Ch7) reflect their style of government trying to have short term fixes for past problems rather than trying to think of the latest and greatest way to advance the country. The ability of a farmer in rural Africa to check multiple market prices from a mobile phone rather than blindly trying one market has increased profitability and efficiency in the market on all levels. Without the ideas of the cheetah generation advancing the governments in these countries past corruption these technologies would not have had such a large impact on society. With the advance of education in Africa the results of the cheetah generation will grow exponentially as those who are gaining power are part of this group, they will foster growth in areas to truly advance the economies of the countries. This “cheetah” generation unlike the “hippo” generation know that aid will not solve the problems of the country they need to develop true economic markets that will have a chance to thrive in the international landscape. If these countries have the ability to grow sustainable environment for business to succeed then they will be able to get out of the cycle of aid and oppression. When these markets are seen as viable and show regional growth and stability they will be able to attract investment into different sectors of business not just attract aid.



  • With the creation of the Cheetah generation the role of NGO’s has become somewhat uncertain. The new generation tends to avoid these organizations because they are so deeply rooted in aid and that is something they are trying to get away from. They however have been willing to work with NGO’s that want to foster communication and Internet access. The adaption of mobile phone technology by so many in Africa is something seen as a victory for the cheetah generation as they are tackling unique problems with new solutions. Mobile phone technology has allowed the people of Africa “with the infinite opportunities they offer for connection and communication, are able to transform ordinary citizens disenchanted by their governments, into resistance fighters”(CNN Ogunles) giving those previously without a voice a strong voice heard across the world. While some NGO’s have helped with this transition of new “cheetah” leadership some issues still remain about their role going into the future.



  • Women have been an integral part of the Cheetah generation’s goal of attracting African scholars abroad to foster growth in their home nations they left for better prospects. Woman like “Liverian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-who herself returned after the civil war to lead her country in a fundamentally new direction” (Emerging Africa 128) shows the role of women like her for the future of Africa. Also with the advances of mobile phones and Internet woman are gaining evermore access to the job market with new ways to earn. Many women are starting new businesses not available before these new technologies and the cheetah generations coming to power helping spur development.


  1.  Emerging and developing countries have a number of challenges facing them when trying to become a developed state. Problems such as the cycle of aid that has plagued much of Africa never truly allowing them to foster true growth in the countries. They are stuck playing games with the IMF and World Bank to insure they can continue to get loans to repay old loans while cutting programs that would help allow people to start businesses or grow the economy. Also the people in these areas have access to such little education that they are set up to fail. They do not in many cases have the technology or means to find out the best day or market to sell grain at and go aimlessly to one hoping it was the right choice. If they go when prices are down they are loosing out on income that could have helped them invest in a cow and grow their financial prospects. With so many issues plaguing much of Africa the emergence of the educated cheetah generation will continue to work for the advancement of education and services to help their countries prosper and get out of their developing countries our of the cycle of aid collection to true advancement.
  2. Sachs discusses the failure of MDG’s because they are too general and do not look closely at the individuals needs that should be addressed on a nation-by-nation assessment. The clinical diagnostic checklist Sachs proposes is to look at individual countries and the reason for poverty in the country. By finding out the true facts of the nation such as “what proportion of households lack access to basic needs in schooling, health care, water and sanitation, electricity, roads, an nutrition”(Sachs 83) by getting this facts the problems of that country can be addressed individually. When problems can be addressed with facts instead of having just having lofty goals of the MDG’s as guidance action can be calculated to make a serious difference. Liberia & Namibia are countries that would benefit from this diagnostic because they have had problems meeting MDG goals in the past. Three diagnostics that Sachs believes are valuable when evaluating a country are life expectancy, GNP, and access to water. For Liberia the figures are 60 for life expectancy, $410 GNP, and 63% access to improved water source. While Namibia’s figures are 64 for life expectancy, $5,870 GNP, and 87% access to improved water sources. These two developing countries from even only three of Sachs diagnostics we can see the same policy’s in both would not be appropriate. When we find out the intricacies of what is going on in these countries we can attack problems more easily. In Liberia access to improved water source is much more important than in Namibia and while tackling in it one would help raise many out of poverty it would not have as large effect in the other.





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