While many African countries have now "enjoyed" at least 50 years of independence that independence has proven to only be an independence of the flag but has not resulted in any real independence for African governments to enact policies beneficial to its people rather than use its resources to fuel the economies of more powerful nations. The truth is no independence is complete without economic independence and without it even political independence is threatened. Maybe an example can best illustrate the position many African governments find themselves in. Imagine being a poor person. Now imagine being dependent on a rich friend to provide you with monetary assistance. Whether you like it or not the friend will have a huge influence on how you conduct your life be it directly or indirectly. it also gives the friend the power to make decisions for you. Will you really have the audacity to call out this friend and risk loosing funding from them? Now let's take a look at Tanzania's case. Tanzania's budget owes about 40 percent of its fundings from donor countries. How does this help the donors influence our policies? Well the ins and outs of it would involve a lot of explanation which would require a topic of its own. There is a simplier way to exam this influence . If one is an avid reader of Tanzanian newspapers they will not fail to encounter once in a while an ambassador from a donor country trying to dictate demands to the governments or making request which if not met then funding would be pulled. Well this money is called "aid" but apparently these aid does come with strings attached to them. So it should be clear to anybody that the only way to trully be independent is to get rid of economic dependency. It will take a lot of sacrifice and in the short run the effects of the few extra dollars taken away from our budget would be felt but in the wrong run it means that African governments would be that much closer to economic independence. The question is, do we have any leaders courageous enough to make such a move? I doubt any leader at this point will be willing to make that move especially if one has dwelved deeply into Zimbabwe's economic crisis. All evidence points out to a very long journey towards full independence. It almost feels like the Israelites wondering through the desert for forty odd years towards a destination which in reality should have taken a couple of months. It is the same in Africa's case. The destination doesn't seem to be so far away but it seems we a wondering hopelessly with no end end in sight. Who is going to be our Moses to lead us through this journey? One who like Moses will be willing to carry the burden and suffer the consequences even knowing that they themselves might possibly not make it to the promise land. Right now all we have is optimism. Some of us have such high optimis that we look like fools in the eyes of the many who feel that we are where we are destined to be and nothing is going to change unless God Himself decides otherwise. Because in order for the continent to change it is not only the leaders who have to change but also the mentalities of the people has to change. After all aren't our leaders chosen amongst ourselves? It is definitely going to take a lot but as the great Chinese philosopher Confucious once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Isaac Newton once said. "If I have seen further than others, it is upon standing on the shoulders of giant." We have such giants in our history as the Egyptians who build pyramids whose architecture still puzzles the greatest minds of today, we have Timbuktu which was home to one of the earliest universities in civilization where people came from far and wide to learn, we have such modern heroes like Kwame Nkuruma, Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel, J J Rawlings and Julius Nyerere to name but a few. What other giants do we need in order for us to see far? Great people do not complain about their problems, they find solutions to them. No matter what problems we face they are still our problems and they won't simply go away by ignoring them. No matter how challenging they are it is upon us to either tackle them head on or do what he have been doing for so many years and simply leave the problems for the next generation to worry about. It is important to remember that failure is not in trying but in failing to try. I will end with one of my favorite quotes. "I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulder." For those who believe in a higher being need not ask any further what those words mean and what they ask of us.