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How African Charter on Democracy and Governance will help Nigeria

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Unarguably, democracy and good governance go hand in hand to achieve justice and equity for the citizens.

In spite of this, observers note with concern that good governance seems to be eluding African countries, including Nigeria occasioned by endemic corruption, among other malpractices.

In a bid to remove impediments to good governance in Africa, the African Union 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2007 adopted the African Governance Architecture (AGA) and African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The motive of African leaders in adopting these documents is to stimulate adherence to the universal democratic values and principles which include respect for rule of law and human rights.

One of the objectives of the charter is to ensure that change of government is achieved through constitutional provisions.

Nigeria adopted ACDEG in 2007 and ratified it in January 2012 but it has yet to implement the charter.

A training for journalists entitled: “Mobilising Civil Society Support for the Implementation of AGA and ACDEG’’ organised by Actionaid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation in Abuja recently was part of the steps toward ensuring implementation of the charter.

The charter has 42 provisions on virtually all the principles of democratic governance, inclusive of accountability.

It further provides that parties to the charter shall establish the necessary conditions to foster citizens’ participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairs.

It has ample provisions on vertical and horizontal accountability measures to strengthen democracy on the continent.

One of the facilitators at the training, Mr Yusuf Shamsudeen, said that by ratifying the charter, Nigeria had expressed its willingness to implement the documents.

Shamsudeen, a Programme Officer with Centre for Democracy and Development, noted that implementation of the charter was imperative for Nigeria because the core values of its democracy were under threat.

According to him, Nigeria’s democracy is plagued by weak institutions, leadership problems, poverty, human rights abuse, corruption, unemployment and conflict, among other challenges.

“Nigeria, being a state party to the instrument, is bound to adhere to its core principles by domesticating ACDEG and AGA in the country because it stands to benefit greatly from it.

“By domestication, it means national laws should be formulated, if not available, and certain actions should be taken by the government to implement ACDEG principles in the country.

“This charter will take away the weaknesses of Nigeria’s democracy and strengthen its electoral processes, create equality, increase adherence to rule of law and human rights, among other systems.

“It will also eliminate all forms of discrimination and enhance fundamental freedom, while enhancing rights of persons with disabilities, women, minority, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and other marginalised social groups,’’ he explained.

Shamsudeen observed that the charter has all the necessary ingredients for the accomplishment of democratic accountability in Nigeria, if implemented.

He said that for the principles of ACDEG to be achieved, state parties must be committed to the provisions of the charter as stated in the framework.

“As part of the commitment, political and public sector institutions must be strengthened to deliver democratic dividends, be accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the citizens.

“Also, elected government officials and public servants must see accountability as an obligation and part of the democratic rights of the citizens,’’ he said.

He insisted that civil society and the media must play their role by compelling elected and appointed government functionaries to be accountable to the people.

In this regard, Mr Tunde Aremu, a Consultant to Actionaid Nigeria, enjoined the media to effectively discharge their watchdog responsibility by holding leaders accountable in the implementation of policies, programmes and projects.

Aremu entitled his lecture at the training: “Understanding the Articles and Provisions of ACDEG and its Relevance to the Nigerian Democracy’’.

He said: “As journalists, you are the only profession that the constitution gave a responsibility to and that is to monitor the government and hold it accountable to its responsibilities, as expressly stated in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution.

“You are to act as the watchdog of the society and ensure that the government implements agreements it signed up to, especially the ACDEG and AGA Charter’’.

He also said that journalists should highlight the socio-economic challenges confronting the people in their reportage as well as interrogate government policies and programmes with a view to engendering development and improvement in the general well-being of the people.

Participants in the training, therefore, noted that achieving this goal will require investigating governments, companies, organisations and individuals in order to uncover, present and publish reports on facts that people try to hide.

Mrs Nkechi Okoronkwo, the Acting Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), also presented a paper entitled: “Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism’’ in which she underscored the importance of investigative reporting.

She told the participants in the training that the job of journalists was to let people know about happenings in the society and around them.

She observed that in many cases, people in government and positions of authority attempted hiding facts.

“It is the duty of journalists to uncover these hidden facts and inform their readers or listeners accordingly.

“In many other cases, governments, companies, organisations and individuals try to hide decisions or events which affect other people.

“Such actions border on selfish motives such as corruption, compromise, misappropriation, underhand dealings, abuse and breaking the law, among others.

“People have a right to know about the society in which they live; they have a right to know about decisions which may affect them, even if people in power want to keep them secret,’’ she said.

Okoronkwo said that people in power, whether in government, the world of commerce, or any other group in the society could also abuse power, be corrupt, steal money, break laws and do all sorts of things which harm other people or they might just be incompetent and unable to do their jobs properly.

“Such people would usually try to keep this knowledge secret and it behoves journalists to expose such abuses.

“It is also the responsibility of the media to watch how well people in power do their jobs, especially those elected into public offices,’’ she advised.

Okoronkwo, therefore, urged journalists to constantly ask whether such people were keeping their election promises and if not, they should be exposed.

She urged the media to be diligent in its duty, respect the ethics of the profession, fact-check their reports and present only the truth to the public.

According to her, when the media discharges its duties effectively and efficiently, the government will sit up, the rule of law will be upheld, policies will be diligently be implemented and the nation will be better off.

In his remark, Mr Arome Agenyi, the Campaign and Advocacy Officer of Actionaid Nigeria, said: “ACDEG and AGA are developed to assist African countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

He also said that the training was organised to enlighten journalists about the charter and equip them to communicate the importance of the charter to the government and the general public through the publication of reports on the principles of ACDEG.

He said that effective implementation of ACDEG objectives could be achieved only if conscious efforts were made to promote comprehensive ratification and domestication of ACDEG across the continent.

All in all, participants in the training called for the implementation of ACDEG to address the critical challenges plaguing African nations such as corruption, lack of accountability, disrespect for rule of law and human rights abuses, among others.(NANFeatures)

**If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

NANFeatures/Vol.12/No.100/2018 (Sept. 1)

How African Charter on Democracy and Governance will help Nigeria

By Angela Atabo, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Unarguably, democracy and good governance go hand in hand to achieve justice and equity for the citizens.

In spite of this, observers note with concern that good governance seems to be eluding African countries, including Nigeria occasioned by endemic corruption, among other malpractices.

In a bid to remove impediments to good governance in Africa, the African Union 8th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2007 adopted the African Governance Architecture (AGA) and African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The motive of African leaders in adopting these documents is to stimulate adherence to the universal democratic values and principles which include respect for rule of law and human rights.

One of the objectives of the charter is to ensure that change of government is achieved through constitutional provisions.

Nigeria adopted ACDEG in 2007 and ratified it in January 2012 but it has yet to implement the charter.

A training for journalists entitled: “Mobilising Civil Society Support for the Implementation of AGA and ACDEG’’ organised by Actionaid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation in Abuja recently was part of the steps toward ensuring implementation of the charter.

The charter has 42 provisions on virtually all the principles of democratic governance, inclusive of accountability.

It further provides that parties to the charter shall establish the necessary conditions to foster citizens’ participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairs.

It has ample provisions on vertical and horizontal accountability measures to strengthen democracy on the continent.

One of the facilitators at the training, Mr Yusuf Shamsudeen, said that by ratifying the charter, Nigeria had expressed its willingness to implement the documents.

Shamsudeen, a Programme Officer with Centre for Democracy and Development, noted that implementation of the charter was imperative for Nigeria because the core values of its democracy were under threat.

According to him, Nigeria’s democracy is plagued by weak institutions, leadership problems, poverty, human rights abuse, corruption, unemployment and conflict, among other challenges.

“Nigeria, being a state party to the instrument, is bound to adhere to its core principles by domesticating ACDEG and AGA in the country because it stands to benefit greatly from it.

“By domestication, it means national laws should be formulated, if not available, and certain actions should be taken by the government to implement ACDEG principles in the country.

“This charter will take away the weaknesses of Nigeria’s democracy and strengthen its electoral processes, create equality, increase adherence to rule of law and human rights, among other systems.

“It will also eliminate all forms of discrimination and enhance fundamental freedom, while enhancing rights of persons with disabilities, women, minority, migrants, refugees, displaced persons and other marginalised social groups,’’ he explained.

Shamsudeen observed that the charter has all the necessary ingredients for the accomplishment of democratic accountability in Nigeria, if implemented.

He said that for the principles of ACDEG to be achieved, state parties must be committed to the provisions of the charter as stated in the framework.

“As part of the commitment, political and public sector institutions must be strengthened to deliver democratic dividends, be accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the citizens.

“Also, elected government officials and public servants must see accountability as an obligation and part of the democratic rights of the citizens,’’ he said.

He insisted that civil society and the media must play their role by compelling elected and appointed government functionaries to be accountable to the people.

In this regard, Mr Tunde Aremu, a Consultant to Actionaid Nigeria, enjoined the media to effectively discharge their watchdog responsibility by holding leaders accountable in the implementation of policies, programmes and projects.

Aremu entitled his lecture at the training: “Understanding the Articles and Provisions of ACDEG and its Relevance to the Nigerian Democracy’’.

He said: “As journalists, you are the only profession that the constitution gave a responsibility to and that is to monitor the government and hold it accountable to its responsibilities, as expressly stated in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution.

“You are to act as the watchdog of the society and ensure that the government implements agreements it signed up to, especially the ACDEG and AGA Charter’’.

He also said that journalists should highlight the socio-economic challenges confronting the people in their reportage as well as interrogate government policies and programmes with a view to engendering development and improvement in the general well-being of the people.

Participants in the training, therefore, noted that achieving this goal will require investigating governments, companies, organisations and individuals in order to uncover, present and publish reports on facts that people try to hide.

Mrs Nkechi Okoronkwo, the Acting Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), also presented a paper entitled: “Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism’’ in which she underscored the importance of investigative reporting.

She told the participants in the training that the job of journalists was to let people know about happenings in the society and around them.

She observed that in many cases, people in government and positions of authority attempted hiding facts.

“It is the duty of journalists to uncover these hidden facts and inform their readers or listeners accordingly.

“In many other cases, governments, companies, organisations and individuals try to hide decisions or events which affect other people.

“Such actions border on selfish motives such as corruption, compromise, misappropriation, underhand dealings, abuse and breaking the law, among others.

“People have a right to know about the society in which they live; they have a right to know about decisions which may affect them, even if people in power want to keep them secret,’’ she said.

Okoronkwo said that people in power, whether in government, the world of commerce, or any other group in the society could also abuse power, be corrupt, steal money, break laws and do all sorts of things which harm other people or they might just be incompetent and unable to do their jobs properly.

“Such people would usually try to keep this knowledge secret and it behoves journalists to expose such abuses.

“It is also the responsibility of the media to watch how well people in power do their jobs, especially those elected into public offices,’’ she advised.

Okoronkwo, therefore, urged journalists to constantly ask whether such people were keeping their election promises and if not, they should be exposed.

She urged the media to be diligent in its duty, respect the ethics of the profession, fact-check their reports and present only the truth to the public.

According to her, when the media discharges its duties effectively and efficiently, the government will sit up, the rule of law will be upheld, policies will be diligently be implemented and the nation will be better off.

In his remark, Mr Arome Agenyi, the Campaign and Advocacy Officer of Actionaid Nigeria, said: “ACDEG and AGA are developed to assist African countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

He also said that the training was organised to enlighten journalists about the charter and equip them to communicate the importance of the charter to the government and the general public through the publication of reports on the principles of ACDEG.

He said that effective implementation of ACDEG objectives could be achieved only if conscious efforts were made to promote comprehensive ratification and domestication of ACDEG across the continent.

All in all, participants in the training called for the implementation of ACDEG to address the critical challenges plaguing African nations such as corruption, lack of accountability, disrespect for rule of law and human rights abuses, among others.

(By Angela Atabo/NAN)

 

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Africa speaks

Changing the African narrative

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In a recent controversial tweet on the internet, it was argued that Africans have failed to become successful producers except in the area of reproduction. To cement the argument, the writer observed that, while scholars around the world are cracking their heads in an attempt to find the COVID vaccine, Africa is on the sidelines waiting to receive whatever shall be produced and possibly have it freely donated. The statement has some elements of truth which point to the narrative that Africa has created for itself for so many years despite being a continent blessed with an abundance of resources that the entire world longs for.

In fact, Africa suffers from a paradox of plenty in that, despite the huge endowment of both human and natural resources and attaining political independence from colonial masters, it still remains highly underdeveloped. How possible is it that the continent with the most of the worlds’ natural resources, hardworking labour force and favourable climate conditions could have earned the title of being labelled poor and be reduced to beggars than those that have less resources?  The scenario that Africa has created of being rich but not prosperous has presented a paradox whose puzzle needs a careful consideration to spot the missing link to enable Africa retain its rightful title, “The prosperous land of opportunity.”

Free Trade Area

Tired of being considered a third world continent and dependence on the western world on increased trade, African leaders from 44 nations gathered at the African Union Summit in March 2018 and signed a treaty to create what will be considered the world’s largest single market called the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The aim of this treaty is boost intra-African trade by making Africa a single market of 1.2 billion people and a cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over $3.4 trillion.

Actually the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has estimated that the implementation of this treaty has capacity to increase intra-Africa trade by 52% by 2022 and even double the share of intra-Africa trade in a decade. In addition, the AfCFTA is expected to enhance competitiveness for various firms through the exploration of opportunities for high production, access to larger continental markets and better allocation and usage of resources in the nations.

What is worrying about Africa is the fact that it trades more with countries outside the continent more than among member countries.  The share of exports from Africa with the rest of the world ranged from 80 – 90 percent for the period 2000 to 2017 (Economic Development in Africa Report, 2019) while intra Africa exports averaged only 16.6 percent. Worse still, the report indicates that sub-Saharan Africa has the highest cost to export compared with other regions and this implies the benefits from trade are lessened.  

The question that begs an answer is, why doesn’t Africa trade more with itself? What is puzzling more is the fact that Africa exports materials in their raw form and imports the commodities after they are processed by highly industrialised countries at a higher cost. It is a wonder why Africa is still poor despite being the major supplier of raw materials that are highly demanded around the globe, where does Africa get it wrong? The lack of effective collaboration has been a major hindrance to the progress of Africa.

African countries can develop better if they begin to collaborate in diverse areas of development by each analysing their comparative advantage and combining synergies to achieve a common goal. Industrialisation can best be achieved when the current existing market within the continent is harnessed and tariff policies that increase the cost of trade are dealt with. Africa needs to define what it would want to achieve, identify opportunities within, create policies that harness the potentials from different countries for the benefit of all and work together because a united Africa with concentrated efforts will achieve much than a divided one working in Isolation.

Entitlement syndrome

It is interesting to note the underdevelopment statistics that Africans are ever posting in a bid to get support from developed countries. At times, it seems leaders are competing to show that their countries suffers more and needs more donations but this has created a dependence syndrome that is eventually becoming perpetual. Africa needs to come to terms with the fact that, we are not entitled to the help rendered and the more we act as beggars, the more likely we fail to progress. Whenever negotiating, Africans must never go to the table as beggars but partners in the achievement of common goals.

Africa’s overdependence on the west on basically everything makes it vulnerable to exploitation and thereafter, inability to develop. But to overcome the entitlement syndrome, there is need for the collaboration and efforts of individuals, countries, leaders and basically all who want to see a better Africa. Some of the most accomplished people in developed countries are originally from Africa but have been offered opportunities in these countries and are making an impact. Africa should not think it is the duty of anyone to help it overcome the diverse challenges it suffers but it needs home grown solutions and the contribution of various stakeholders.

The world is currently faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and while others are working to mitigate the impact and create the vaccine, Africa is waiting to receive but what if the west refuses to share with Africa, what is the next step. To change the narrative, Africa needs to realize that no one owes it a living and as such, self-reliance techniques must now be put to practice.

While it is true that Africa is not yet advanced and has challenges to overcome, the sooner it begins to believe in its capabilities to change the narrative and harness its potential, the quicker it shall be to develop. The continent is indeed a force to reckon with but only needs a push which must begin now because it’s time to think and Act Smart.

Aurthor: Nchimunya Muvwende is an Economist

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Africa speaks

2020: A year to remember

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Matthew Odu MA Taxation, FCA

The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 70 million people, has caused over 1.6 million deaths and has subsequently led to the suffering and heartache for billions of people the world over.

From an economic perspective, the once in a century event created a slump not seen since the second world war. The International Monetary Fund estimates the global covid-19 cost at $28trn in 2020 lost output.

The pandemic suffering has also been skewed by race. According to The Economist a 40-year-old Hispanic-American is 12 times more likely to die from covid-19 than a white American of the same age. In Britain, an official inquiry found that racism and discrimination suffered by the country’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic people has contributed to the high death rates from covid-19 in those communities.

A topic that is in need of more attention is the injustice felt by students caused by the covid-19 fallout. The past 12 months have witnessed the most severe disruption to global education systems in history, which during the peak of the crisis – led to more than 1.6 billion learners out of school. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that the pandemic is threatening a loss of learning that may stretch beyond one generation of students. In the global south, school closures are likely to erase decades of progress made by educators.

In Africa, although ed-tech surged during the summer, it wasn’t enough to overturn archaic disparities and make-believe generation next infrastructure. Data suggests that a combined total of just 19 million regular users had access to online education platforms, compared to the at least 450 million children aged 14 or younger that live on the continent.

Fortunately, Covid-19 has not just brought about the need for change, it also points a way forward. Just last week world leaders in education met virtually to help set in motion far-reaching changes to education in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

RewirEdX focused on three main issues in the education sector; youth and future skills, education financing and innovation in education. Leaders driving the change at the event included former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, now the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education and Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia & Chair, Global Partnership for Education.

Chief amongst the discussion was the vital importance of connectivity in underpinning effective distance learning and so making education accessible to all.

Giving every single African child access to quality education is one of the visions for HESED. A lack of access to quality education and the sluggishness in adopting new methods of learning has immediate and long-term effects that countries on the continent cannot permit to spiral out of control.

Even before Coronavirus struck, education was in crisis but now we have an opportunity to turn things around.

HESED is an initiative and my own personal contribution to providing quality education to Nigerians, as a borderless structure with an unrestricted curriculum. The e-learning platform compliments the current school system by using a national curriculum with the option of studying an international syllabus.
It’s time to rethink education. Let’s give our children a head start in 2021.

By: Matthew Odu MA Taxation, FCA

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Africa speaks

Take Responsibility of Your Life – Henry Ukazu

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Henry Ukazu

Being responsible is one of the attributes of a reasonable rational being. Nobody wants to associate with an irresponsible man or lady. In fact, once you are perceived as an irresponsible person, you’ll lose not only credibility but also opportunities. It is instructive to note that you are the architect of your life. According to the Book of life, your joy is your joy, your sorrow is your sorrow, no one can share it with you.

Taking responsibility for your life is understanding that you are fully in charge of your own destiny through your own decisions. Taking responsibility for your life means that you acknowledge that no one has the power to determine how your life turns out – not your friends, not your parents, not even your spouse.

In the journey of life, we are always instructed to take care of our life. As a student, you are advised to take your academics very serious, as a man business man or woman, you are expected to make prudent decisions, as a Christian or Muslim, you are expected to be of sound moral character in order to not derail from the teachings of Christ or Allah.

When you take responsibility for your life, you are simply taking ownership of whatever concerns you. You don’t wait for anyone to create an opportunity for you, rather you create the opportunity yourself. Whether you fail or succeed, it’s up to you. Most of the time, we blame other people for the misfortune that comes our way. As much as you may reach out to cerebral minds to advise or suggest their kind opinions to you, it’s imperative to you know that the buck stops with you.

If you really want to get any work done, you’ll create the pathway. Isn’t it true that the whole world sets apart for the man who knows where he’s going? You may be experiencing many challenges in your personal life, marriage, professional work, academic, or business. In order to reset the button, you must take charge.

Let’s share some practical ways of how you can take responsibility for your life.

Marriage

Marriage is a sacred institution for mature minds. In law, before you go into marriage, you must be of age and capacity. Capacity here means maturity. If you are not fully prepared for marriage, you are bound to experience challenges when you get married, Therefore, it is highly advisable for you to take care of your financial life by having a stable source of income nor matter how little it is, in that way, it will help in planning. You’ll only enjoy your marriage when you decide the buck stops

Another area you need to fix is emotional life and this has to do with your mental state of mind. When you are not mentally rich upstairs, you can make a little problem a big problem, but if you can mentally strong you can make a big problem little the way you handle it.

Finance

One of the best ways to study a human being is to see how he or she spends his or her money. Just like you can use time to decipher the interest of someone, in the same way, you can use money to know what someone likes. The true test of financial maturity is being able to control your appetite and buying only what you need as opposed to what you want. If you don’t take care of your finances it will control you like a slave. No one is responsible for your money or lack of it. No one can make you broke if you don’t give them permission. Have you ever wondered why some people are able to build wealth from humble beginnings, while others remain stuck in the same place despite having better incomes? To build wealth from your current income, you might need to spend money on a strict budget.

Professional work

To succeed in work, you must be ahead of your game. If you need a promotion, you must be proactive and detailed. No one is responsible for your performance or lack of it. So long as you believe your boss is against you, you’ll never grow in your career. You’ll grow in your career when you realize you’re responsible for your professional growth. You’ll never be fired from any job when you know you’re responsible for keeping your job.

You Start Achieving Your Goals

This is one of the greatest benefits of taking responsibility for your life. Here’s the thing about success – it is never accidental. If you want to become a star athlete, you have to sacrifice your morning sleep so that you can train more. If you want to build a successful business, you have to sacrifice the weekly night out with your group of friends so that you can work on your business.

Quit the blame game

One of the hallmarks of someone who has not taken full responsibility for their life is the propensity to blame others for everything wrong in their life. Whatever kind of life you want to live, not one will give it to you or take it away from you.

Stop Complaining

Just like finding someone to blame, complaining about your situation or circumstances puts you in the position of a victim who has no control over their life. The reality is that the world is not an ideal place, and therefore, things will not always go your way. If things don’t go as expected, or if something happens to put you in a position of disadvantage, instead of complaining about the situation, focus on what you can learn from the situation and think of what you can do to get in order to get yourself from the situation.

Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.

To take responsibility for your life is to take responsibility for your powers of thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting, because this is the structure of all human experience. You create your life with your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. You take responsibility when you accept that the thoughts you have, are your thoughts coming from your mind. How you feel happens in your body and is a result of your thoughts. The words you speak come from your mouth and voice. The actions you take are taken by you.

What this means is that nobody can make you think, feel, say or do anything. Nobody can push your buttons, because you are the button maker!

Make yourself happy

Taking responsibility for your happiness is liberating. Firstly, to realize that happiness does not come from outside of you. It is not the job of your partner, parent, friend, child, to make you happy.

To be happy is a decision and the gateway to happiness is gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal and you will find lots to be happy about. Also, do things that make you feel happy. Listen to your favorite music, surround yourself with beauty, express your creativity, do acts of kindness, etc. According to Miya Yamanouchi, “Don’t let society fool you into believing that if you don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend then you’re destined for a life of misery. The Dalai Lama has been single for the last 80 years and he is one of the happiest people on earth. Stop searching for happiness in places outside of yourself and start finding it where it has always been: within you.”

Also Read Closing The Gender Gap: An Interview with Dream Girl Global (DGG) Founder, Precious Oladokun

Live in the present moment

Life is now. There is only one moment, now. The past is history, the future is a mystery, so there is only now, this moment. Take responsibility for this moment and make the best of it to redeem the past and create the future you want.

It’s easier to blame your partner. It’s easier to blame your boss. It’s easier to blame a father who was never there for you. It’s easier to blame the economy. It’s easier to blame an errant boyfriend. It’s easier to blame a controlling woman. It’s easier to blame a misfortune in your past. While losers blame others, winners take responsibility for their lives.

Therefore, the first step to taking control over your life is to quit the blame game and acknowledge that everything boils down to you. Once you do this, several positive things will happen in your life.

You will start achieving more of your goals, your health and finances will improve, you will enjoy better relationships with others, you will become more courageous, your decision-making will improve, and your life, in general, will become better.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a self-discovery expert and works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. 

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