Jun 9, 2011

Cultural Obstacles to Economic Empowerment

Certain cultures are described as dynamic. It means that such cultures are open to changes as long as they are changes that can bring prosperity to the people. Certain cultures on the other hand are rigid and impervious to change. In such conservative cultures, it is normal to find poverty and social backwardness.

I am somebody who agrees that to have education is to have the third eye. When you have education, you are in a better position to understand your environment better and be in a position to subdue it rather than a situation where the environment gets you subdued. Education teaches one that the bigger the demand the higher the market and the more the prosperity. With education you can for instance, understand that your chance to economic freedom is slim if you insist on growing crops that are more native to you in a bid to preserve your culture. This is because only the small population of your village will buy the crop. Furthermore, education builds one’s capacity and enables him to aspire to higher jobs that pay higher wages thus paving the way for economic emancipation.

In Africa, communities holding on to the primary cultivation of native crops are among the poorest. One the other hand, communities that have come to embrace crops like corn and rice whose uses are universally have moved away from poverty for long.

Legislators from Northern Nigeria have often found themselves in dilemmas. As educated representatives, they are aware that legislations that help encourage formal education can help their subjects to move away from economic captivity. This however has been difficult to accomplish as cultural practices demands that girls should be married immediately they attain the age of thirteen. A girl aged thirteen is at the ripe age of enrolment to secondary school. Once married, the road to education simply closes. A piece of legislation mandating Nigerian girls to marry only after attaining the age of eighteen was rejected by subjects from Northern Nigeria as it goes contrary to cultural demands.

The culture of polygamy that is practiced by many across the whole continent of Africa has helped to entrench poverty even more. This is because polygamy encourages people to have more children. Caring for all the children for many who have them is an economically insurmountable challenge.

There is the need for governments and generous organizations to include teachings on the significance of cultural dynamism in their efforts towards economic empowerment of peoples.

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