What is Wrong with Africa?
Effects Of Slavery & Colonialism?
Africa, the continent that has been at the receiving end of some of the most severe human injustice there could ever be. Termed the cradle of human civilization, the continent during the era of slave trading, was almost robbed naked. Natural resources were pillaged and transported back to Europe, the men, women and children of were captured and sold into slavery, across the Atlantic to pick cotton and live in perpetual servitude.
There was an onslaught on the continent by the Europeans, I mean at a point during the African pre-colonial era, Europeans met in Berlin to partition Africa amongst themselves, to decide who gets which part of Africa and what name to call them. At this meeting, there were no African representatives. Was there even need for one? Africa were already a conquered people, so there was no need seeking their opinion in the matter.
The continent was stripped off its essence, its language, culture, tradition and entire identity. New names and identity were imposed on them, new language and religion - those of the colonial masters.
Different tribes and cultures were merged together, given new names and forced to coexist, whether by peace or war, as long as the colonial masters weren't disrupted in the plans at pillaging.
A people having been stripped of their history and identity, are left to run in circles, perpetually and that sadly has been the case with Africa.
Playing down the effects of Africa's encounter with Europe as the reason for its present underdevelopment would be stupid, BUT when does it stop? When will Africa take charge and take over? When will Africa stop portraying itself as a charity case to the developed nations?
Many African countries are richly blessed with both human and natural resources. In fact, Africa has the largest deposit of Gold and Diamond, Africa has some of the largest crude oil deposit in the world. Africa has the capacity to become a supercontinent, but what is the problem? What is holding it back?
Some of the most popular and strongest African countries got their independence some 40, 50, 60 years ago but what have they been doing since then? I am not saying that that is big enough time to fix up and become as advanced as the Europeans, but where is the progress? That is my point.
The Chinese, as powerful as they are were once a colony (parts of it) of Britain, but when they fought back and took their country back, they did their best to erase any trace of the Europeans in their country, and preserve their identity as an independent, self-determining people and since then, they haven't looked back.
What Is Wrong With Africa?
When I was in school in my high school days, I was told that only multinational companies were responsible for cash flight. They set up their companies and organization in these countries, rake in profit and then send it back all home. When I became aware of my surroundings as a discerning adult, I realised that African leaders had upset this status quo. I mean they are robbing their own countries and sending the loot to Europe to stash in banks. They set up multi-million dollar businesses abroad. Imagine the fuckery!
I don't entertain the conspiracy theory that the Europeans are still the piper in Africa and its leaders are their puppets. I mean it could quite well be true but it doesn't even make sense. Why would Africans help Europeans to keep Africa poor and underdeveloped? It is a possibility, one which makes my stomach turn, which is why I don't entertain the theory. Yes, I am in denial, it's better that way, because WTF?
They'd rather be the rich and influential few in their respective countries, than work towards developing their countries and making them rich and influential countries in the global scheme of things. Are there any more self-sabotaging set of leaders anywhere else in the world?
Mugabe stayed in power for more than 35 years, his administration made Zimbabwe worse than it was during colonial rule, he never made any tangible progress nor did he bring any sort of development to Zimbabwe but he was one of the richest African presidents.
Paul Biya has been president for more than 30 years; Cameroon is still poor, backwards and under the thumb of France.
The current Ugandan President has been in power for 35 years, he has amended the constitution several times to extend the number of terms a president (he) can rule, while in turn using the military to hound and kill his opposition, making Presidential elections in Uganda in fact, a no contest.
Africa is blessed by mother nature, even at the rate and velocity at which it was pillaged and looted by the colonial masters and the slave masters, it still reserves rich natural resources, some exclusive to just Africa, others the biggest, in comparison to other continents. What the hell is wrong with those ruling Africa?
Have we given in to the idea of a conquered people so much that we have handed over the keys to our lives and minds to the developed countries? Have we lost our capacity at self-sustenance and determination?
We can't think of a cure for Malaria without running to Europe for help, we can’t even produce the medicine for Malaria, talk more of finding a cure to eradicate it, a disease that kills us, Africans in our thousands daily.
We can't think of settling our own territorial disputes without begging Europe for their military intervention.
We can't research like other continents and find a cure for diseases bedevilling our continent and when these cures are made available, instead of us to be a self-respecting people and pay for them, we beg to get them for free. We beg for aids and loans every year from Unicef, UN, WHO and the Worldbank and when we get these funds, which usually come with exploitative T&C, African leaders loot 70%, send it back those countries in the form of personal deposits and investments and then the remaining 30%, 25% are shared amongst themselves and their friends and relatives, then the remaining 5% is put into the projects they were collected for. Rinse and repeat.
China practically owns some African countries and control their resources as it now because these countries have signed away their lands in return for loans. They are so indebted to China, that it might be outright impossible to pay back these loans. What's Colonialism again? This time, there is absolutely no sign of forceful entry, we invited them in.
During the Covid-19 lock-down, African countries got all kinds of relief funds from Europe, America and Asia, but did their countrymen, the ruled class benefit from these relief funds? Even the medical equipment sent for disbursal to the medical and health workers were cornered, hoarded and used by the political class. (Sighs).
The covid-19 vaccine is out, countries that couldn't produce theirs are placing orders to buy, but African countries are patiently waiting for a handout.
What the hell is wrong with Africa?
We might have become "independent" of the European ruler but it is obvious we are still mentally enslaved.
Why do we portray ourselves as weak and mentally dependent, as a global charity case?
Do you see the way Hollywood depicts Africa in its motion pictures? Yeah, as crude, uncivilized, tribal people running around naked and barefooted, the best they do when they want to portray a developing people? They depict the whole of Africa as one big ghetto. But who can blame them? African isn't covering itself in glory, who should?
Before I posted this article, I visited Pixabay to get a lead picture, I typed Africa in the search bar and all the result returned were those of lions, giraffe, dry land, deserts, malnourished kids. (SMH) Is that all that Africa is about? The rest of the world seems to think so, but who is gonna help change the narrative?
We can't even tell our own stories, the way we know them.
We have the natural resources and the human thinking capacity to go shoulder to shoulder with some of the most developed countries, why can't we make it happen?
Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World cup and they have built some of the best stadiums in the world. The Arabian gulf are rich in Crude Oil deposit, just like most African countries, they have successfully turned their region with these resources into a world wonder and can boost of some of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world. They used their oil money to make their countries better, and the tourism continues to bring in more money and development follows.
They generate wealth from their own backyard, they keep the largest chunk of that wealth within and develop their countries with it, no cash flight and the economy breaths good air.
What Is Wrong With Africa?
Weakness In Diversity?
Europeans relationship with Africa during the slave trade and the colonial rule was purely for profit. The Europeans only ruled Africa in the way they could maximize profit best. It is safe to say that the way and manner Africa was colonized had nothing to do with Africa's slightest interests. Divide and conquer? Amalgamation?
When the colonial masters came to Africa, they saw people of diverse cultures, religions and traditions, so to make it easy for them to rule Africa; they had to band these people of different cultural, traditional and religious beliefs together.
The colonial rulers after banding these people together put in place, stringent administrative and policing apparatus to oppress, intimidate and exploit them, as well as making sure this apparatus protects them, the masters by any means necessary. One of the tactics employed by the Colonial masters was, they always favour one of the amalgamated tribes and use them to rule the others (Indirect rule). They did this in many African countries they ruled over and the effects are still reverberating in those countries till this day.
When the Chinese (Hong Kong) broke away from the shackles of the British, they were able to rally together, dismantle the administrative structures set up by the British, bring everything down, rebuild their country and their identity and purge themselves of any traces of the British. They were able to do this because nothing else mattered, nothing else was more important than their identity, because they had just one, one identity, one language, one culture, and one tradition. There was no second-guessing themselves; nobody had any ulterior motive bigger than the common good.
When the British and the rest of Europe left Africa to self-rulership, the African countries, unlike the Chinese, were too diverse for their own good, had no common goal nor identity, they didn't dismantle the structures the colonial masters had set up to rule them with, because they were busy tussling amongst themselves about who gets power, who gets to rule over the rest and enjoy the power and protection the Europeans once enjoyed. They couldn't come together to dialogue and agree to disintegrate amicably the same way they had been brought together by colonialism. The regions that control power oppress and intimidate the other side, any region that manages to get hold of power doesn't like to hear about the other side seceding. This cycle continues and every thought of growth and development as a people, is replaced with the common goal of merely being in power and looting their country dry.
Europeans forcefully mangled together different diverse African nations long time ago, Africans in power continually force these unholy matrimonies to continue.
The genocide of Rwanda, the Nigerian civil war and the civil war currently going on in Ethiopia is testament to this.
The Africans in power continued in the way of the Colonial masters, this time, exploiting, intimidating and oppressing their own people with the same apparatus set up by colonialism. As of recently, many countries in
Africa were ruled by military regimes, military set up and trained for the purpose of oppression by colonialism. The ones that pretend to practice a more people friendly system of government (Democracy, Parliament) often amend the constitution to accommodate their quest to stay in power forever, and when the people rise up to revolt, they are killed in their numbers using the military forces.
What is wrong with Africa?
...To be continued(Most definitely)