Friday, 3 July 2009

Gambia: The untapped Mind-Field Of Talent

A country of under two million people, with a land size ranking among the smallest in the world, Gambia is blessed with sufficient talent to stare it towards African glory. Is this statement that of a crazy patriot?
The number of personalities with outstanding talents and capabilities is enough to put the Gambia on the map of Africa’s stable and human rich country. Why this claim and why now?
It is apparent that our country lacks natural resources to attract heavy FDIs from abroad, the only asset we have is human capital, the MINDS.
Britain for instance depends on its peoples’ intellect to control territories way beyond their size in every avenue. They relied on the intellectual class to control and dominate in excess of their capacity (the servicing sector). Can Gambia benefit from its mind-field of intelligent men and women to at least improve the living standard of the majority?

The Gaps:
A nation of a small population will naturally have a small intellectual and elite class. That on its own may not be a problem to provide the string box in creating an enabling environment for many. Mega multinational companies usually rely on a single inspirational CEO to innovate and break new grounds. Such CEO-rewarding traditions couldn’t be contemplated by third world countries to remunerate their national leaders. But why so?
People are stimulated by their leader(s), if good; the fundamentals get the appropriate attention. For us, our gab is lack of connection between what we may term as the elite intellectual class and the ordinary aspirant intelligent men and women.
The gap is the none-association; none contact what so ever between the engine and the fuel. Our elite intellectuals who may have had no assistance from those ahead of them in their own making also continue the trend of ignoring the upcoming youths, without care and abandoning them to oblivion.
It is not entirely the responsibility of the acknowledged in our society to mould and create the environment of academic exchange and interaction but opening up will encourage and foster the momentum of social advancement.
The gap continues to be the mistrusted and self-preservationist, only me mentality abound in the torrent of talented young youths. Our intelligent brothers and sisters go to school lacking direction and guidance and end up finding their own way in attaining whatever the society have in store for them.

The Disconnection
Highly advanced societies infuse the mentality of sharing, caring and strengthening the talent of others. The learned elders relish in guiding formable, dedicated individuals willing to sacrifice to be great. Youths get noticed, a pipeline is set for them: a teacher, lecturer, editor, adviser, philanthropist, just somebody willing to assist. These youths get spoiled by abundance choices; they can be whatever they want.
Our case:
Typically the few intellectuals aim to keep the touch-light on them selves for as long as it takes. They don’t recognise the abundant talents infested in the schools, colleges and streets. In fact, mainly it is a family connection that aids one to attain meaningful education.
Since poverty is an issue on a large scale, the elites too strive for survival but not on the same level with the majority. Where they should acknowledge, guide and even give incentive to others, they ignore and disregard the efforts of none close associates. The meeting of minds in intellectual exchange and interest gets lost. The need to advance on the route of having a society of readers, learners and experts is left dormant. What is left is the basking on the little efforts or glory of the few elites. Their efforts are mostly unbeneficial to our country. They are snatched away by International organisation and we are left with mediocre.
In this day and age, anyone can notice the other. You can provide whatever advice you feel is necessary to advance others. Acknowledge others and their products however nonsensical you find them. We don’t have to like each other to open up paths towards opportunities of self fulfilment.
Imagine how far our country will go if the few intellectuals find time to advice and mentor others. The opportunities available for sponsorships and how to tap into them, how to get practical experience in reputable bodies is lacking. These are all needs our upcoming talented young minds require. The first point of call is for the elders to end the cold-shoulder-mentality. The West became what it is because it respects knowledge and helps others in acquiring it.
How many Gambians are working in International Organisations around the world? These men/women are very discrete and hidden. They intend to remain that way, this is to avoid jealousy and its hazards, yet, the most damaging is disregard to create an enabling environment that shows the path.
The internet age has provided us with abundant opportunities to network and benefit from the work of others. Sharing and putting forward better ideas to contemporaries and like minded are readily made easier by the internet. It is about time we capitalise on this opportunity and make one another grow for the better.
But when we continue ignoring and cold shouldering one another, the spirits of graving for knowledge on the side of the youths will be lost. The small satellite group of close associate networking should be broadened to include other members of our society. Let the minds meet, interact, argue and actualise knowledge and ideas. We will not regret it. The ball is in the court of the elite, open up and share.

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