The question of Africa’s development is more acute than ever as we enter the second decade of the third millennium. At this stage in the historic march of humanity, our continent continues as in the past to point to the last place of the peoples. It still remains the field of expression par excellence of civil wars (now complicated by jihadism), political violence, epidemics with the resurgence of the Ebola virus, famines, illiteracy, etc.
Certainly for a few years now, international institutions, in particular the IMF, have announced a situation in constant improvement in Africa with an overall growth rate above 5%. It’s a good indicator. But is our joy therefore perfect?
This high economic growth rate may give a boost to morale, the fact remains that in practice, it still does not translate into an economic and social boom for the populations: the still paltry standard of living and omnipresent poverty still remain the thing best shared in almost all African countries. Growth remains appreciable only at the macroeconomic level, when the endless evils that have always made Africa’s bad reputation remain! The terrible epidemic of the Ebola virus which strikes several countries of the West African sub-region which are unable to overcome it, brutally reminded us of all the precariousness of the global situation of our continent!
This sad reality, which was veiling us all these speeches and projections on economic growth, must today more than yesterday decide each African to an awareness around the issue of the development of our countries: each of we, as individuals, must appropriate it and no longer leave it in the hands of our political decision-makers. Félix Houphouët-Boigny, founding father and great builder of modern Côte d’Ivoire, launched this memorable exhortation to the daughters and sons of this country regarding their supreme duty to work for its multifaceted development: “It is time, high time that each Ivorian wonders: “have I done, well done for my country what I need?” “.
This exhortation, in view of the delay that our countries show on the development ladder, strongly questions all of Africa. At the moment when, under the impulse of our political leaders, our peoples are engaged in the march towards the emergence of our countries, it is the place for each African to question his actual contribution and his possible contribution to the essential joint effort in this crucial phase of our historic march.
Fortunately, some of us, brave, proud and worthy daughters and sons of Africa, by their visions and their daily works in the fields of science, technology, economy, public administration, l education, culture, sports, social work, the search for peace and the promotion of social cohesion, etc. show us the way. By their hard work, their creativity, their entrepreneurial spirit, their self-giving, etc. they impact our societies so powerfully in the positive and noble sense, that they alone constitute powerful engines of progress for our countries. “What if each African, we ask ourselves, sacrifices himself to build a work similar to theirs?” We would then have found the key to the development of Africa! Because put together, these works would have an even more powerful impact on our countries and would significantly boost their progress on the development scale.
This is why the 225 Foundation has made it one of its main missions to promote the works of these women and men as models for development action. So that each African can appropriate them and the emulation thus created, multiply these initiatives at the scale of each country and, in extenso, of the whole African continent.
To better highlight this promotion of development actions, the 225 Foundation has teamed up with the Safam Com International Group based in Abidjan, the target of journalists for peace and the maintenance of democracy and other structures pursuing the same goal of an Africa that flies towards development through the primary involvement of Africans themselves, to create the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT AWARD (PADEV).
It is to this distinction, created in 2006, and whose first edition took place in 2007 at the Hotel du 6-Février in Lomé in Togo, that we dedicate this website.
That the works of these women and men, by their quality, allow their respective countries to take a significant step forward on the path of development and above all inspire many others!
Yours sincerely, African sisters and brothers.