22 Jan 2021
Can Africa be rescued?
I suspended writing for quite some time just to read and reflect on what others write and say.
At a personal level, the past few years have been profoundly traumatic for me. I could hear the bloody drumbeats with which Africa is usually associated sounding near home. Nigeria and Cameroon--two countries that matter so much to me have been embroiled in avoidable internal conflicts leading to thousands of deaths, the destruction of property and the dislocation of the lives of people on vast swathes of territory. I watch helplessly as predominantly young people (government soldiers versus militants) turn their mostly foreign-made guns on each other and also on innocent citizens while the leaders of these countries don’t seem to figure out how to extricate their countries from this quagmire. In the many senseless wars going on, we Africans have always been and always will be losers. The real winners are the foreigners selling us weapons to kill ourselves.
The last time I supported a war on the African continent was the war that ousted Mobutu Sese Seko as president of DR Congo in 1997. The forces of Laurent Kabila eventually won but that victory was indeed a pyrrhic one because, since then, more than 5 million Congolese have lost their lives in multifaceted conflicts of graft in that huge rich country. I since resolved not to support any acts of armed violence on the continent. Africans are paying a heavy price to conflicts mostly triggered by bad governance and fueled by poor anger management and intolerance. The fact that there has always been conflicts (mostly civil) on the African continent implies that Africa needs to be restructured in such a way as to move away from the many ‘pseudo’ sovereign states towards a supra structure in the image of the European Union and subsequently as the USA. Our heads of states have largely failed us because most of them cannot guaranty their citizens something as basic as security. And many of them underestimate the value of the real estates (countries) which they are controlling.
For your information, Africa is the richest continent in the world in terms of natural resources above and below the ground. Africa with a population of about 1.3 billion people has a surface area slightly bigger than the combined surface areas of the following countries; China, USA, India, European Union (28 countries), Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Vietnam. The above listed countries have a total population of 4.3 billion.
Can these African children one day beat the drums of hope? (photo: Njei M.T)
Africa is a coveted jewel and the eyes of powerful predators are focused on it. Our ‘pseudo’ sovereign states on their own do not have the ingenuity nor the power to ward off the imperialistic and destabilizing designs targeting the continent. It is my opinion that continental bodies like the AU should redefine their objectives to lean towards uniting the continent by starting from negotiating or imposing peace in all the conflict zones in Africa. As far back as the early sixties, true sons of Africa like Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere had pushed for the political and economic unity of Africa but some of their fellow greedy heads of states who were indeed lackeys of imperialism stalled and eventually killed the project. The consequence of that treachery is reflected in the backwardness of Africa and the perennial problems of insecurity and unemployment. Many of the countries that manufacture and sell arms and ammunition have no ongoing wars on their own territories. African countries import over $ 5 billion worth of arms annually from outside the continent and these arms are solely used to kill fellow Africans and dislocate life on the continent. Why on earth can we prefer war over dialogue in resolving our differences? As we die like flies from our bad judgment, the foreigners that sell us arms smile to the bank. The higher the number of our dead, the more secure are the jobs of those making weapons for us.
In comparative terms, most African countries have failed to thrive and they may never succeed individually. Their dreams of sovereignty are really nightmarish cogs in the wheel of progress on the continent. Look at where African countries were in the sixties and how they are still marking time today. On the contrast, look at where China, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea were in the sixties and where they are today.
This continent has more than enough resources and space to comfortably accommodate every person of African descent on this planet. It should be the goal of every right thinking African on the continent and people of African descent everywhere in the world to join such Afro-centric intellectuals and activists like prof. P.L.O Lumumba and Dr Arikana Chihombori Quao to see how we can save Africa from the current inertia and confusion.
To help you understand the impact of our missteps and where other African countries may be heading to, I strongly recommend that you create time and watch this 50 minutes documentary by RT on DR Congo.
Related article: Why Africans Risk their lives to go abroad
Njei Moses Timah