Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Little Mathematics For Independence Day

This year (2010) 17 African countries will mark their 50 years of independence from colonial rule. Many people especially in Nigeria think there is nothing much to celebrate. Some go on to call Nigeria names like "fool at fifty". I am not going to argue for or against that point of view but I will try to make a comparison of Nigeria with the United States and see whether we have made any progress in the last fifty years. I picked the U.S.A because people often cite examples with the United States when trying to make a point about how backward we are.

The United States became independent in 1776, that is 234 years ago. If we are to assume both Nigeria and the U.S are human beings and the U.S to be an adult of 40 years old then how old will Nigeria be in comparison.
Using simple mathematics we can apply the following formula

50/234 = x/40

where x is Nigeria's age if it were human.

x =8.54 years

So Nigeria is only an 8 year old child compared to the 40 year old America. For a child of that age, I think we've not done too bad.

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