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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Achebe on the Patience of Building a Nation

"This is not a time to bemoan all the challenges ahead. It is a time to work at developing, nurturing and sustaining democracy. But we also must realize that we need patience and cannot expect instant miracles. Building a nation is not something a people do in one regime, in a few years, even. The Chinese had their chance to emerge as the leading nation in the world in the Middle Ages, but were consumed by interethnic political posturing and wars, and had to wait another 500 years for another chance. America did not arrive at its much admired democracy overnight. When President Abraham Lincoln famously defined democracy as "the government of the people, by the people, for the people" he was drawing upon classical thought and at least 100 years of American rigorous intellectual reflection on the matter" - Chinua Achebe on Nigeria's Promise, Africa's Hope in New York Times: January 15, 2011

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