By Kingsley Alani Lawal.
The End of the European Empire on African (R.I.P) 1884-2006.
"The past is what makes the present coherent," said Afro-American writer James Baldwin, and the past "will remain horrible for exactly as long as we refuse to assess it honestly."
In an address to the Liberian College in 1881, Edward Blyden said the following:
"The African must advance by methods of his own. We must possess a power distinct from that of the European."
At the close of 1950s, Africa was so powerful that no country around the world would dictate its internal affairs. The united front would do anything for national interest. This is evident when the colonial powers were sent out of different regions and the local leaders took their place. The idea that united we stand and divided we fall was in effect. Thus the leaders decided to form the OAU- the biggest white elephant it has proved so far.
More than fourty years have past since the creation of the organisation and yet Africa is more divided than ever. In our history we register the Pacification of African kingdoms and yet today we think this is how Africa was meant to be -pacified. Many kingdoms were divided and shared by European companies. The division was done for the interest of these companies yet still we as Africans still pay homage and respect to the lines drawn by those who exploited us.
The real state of the matter is: Africa is the richest continent on the face of the earth. It is far much richer in natural resources that USA and Canada let alone England and Japan. But alas, it is at the bottom of economies. The population of Africa is tour times that of USA but compare the land. Yet we register the highest starving population on earth.
Our leaders are so proud their empty portions of land. In some of these lands their currencies are so low that one needs to over 4000 to exchange a single dollar. They don't see anything wrong with that. The power they claim to have is not really theirs. They have a seat in the UN but cannot voice out anything. We have fewer people but our budgets depend on donor aid to survive. The office term now ranges from 5 to 10 years after which everybody is ready to throw stones at the former president. When out of office you are cast out like a rabbied dog ready to be put to death or in chains behind bars if you are lucky. To some they are overthrown or assassinated so that someone else takes over the throne. Only one problem, the outsiders are laughing when they see us fighting each other over what they consider a rubbish bin/ pit. Indeed like two beggars on their rich massive dump waiting for the dumper yet still very territorial.
Take a look at the facts, there has been meetings to help reduce the gap between the poor and the rich economies but reality is the rich countries are now 70 times richer. These meetings are mere media propaganda. Take a look; Africa is crying for food and the USA and Britain have spend more than 300billions dollars in the Iraq War. Try to gauge the goal.
OAU was toothless for 40 years and all we had to do is change its shirt and let it continue bathing in the mud pond under a different name AU (African Union) Why do we have to copy the Europeans Always?. You might call it paranoid but i believe change takes a day and transformation as long as a plan. If today we say all Africans are to walk with the same passport under one flag carrying the same currency true change and power is going to be created. Whether we are Malian, Malawian, and Egyptian or from Lesotho it doesn't matter. The fact still remains, we are an African. The rest of the world considers us that. In Asia people there don't mind which country you are from, they are content to just call us African. What it means is that the people in Africa need their true identity back. It is a major crime to rob people of their identity let alone to perpetuate the robbery.
The world policies change everyday. Today, removing governments is in style. It happened in the USSR and quite recently in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran next on the list, then the long waited Cuba, and most suspected Venezuela for causing unstable supply of oil to the world self appointed watchdog - USA. Who knows what policy will come next. May be the "super power" will say that all governments that can't provide for their people will be toppled down. But sovereignty is long gone, today all poor countries are told what to do in politics or economy. They are told what to sell to whom and at what price. For example Ghana produces cocoa but has to sell the seeds to Europe so that to make "high" chocolate to sell in Ghana and the rest of the world. Ghana cannot sell chocolate to England, it is 'low' grade they say.
Angola might be one of the richest countries (naturally) in the world yet it has never known what it feels like to have peace. Diamonds, Oil and all other expensive natural resources are in large quantities in that country. The western world uses it as a chess board and its leaders as pieces all in the interest of gaining control of the Oil and Diamond fields. The American mining giant that controls the diamond mines makes billions per year but none of the money is retained for use in that country. We as Africans constantly ask for aid from foreign nationals such as the US and Europe, but little do we know that the money we borrow rightfully belongs to us. They come to our countries in the name of investors and tap our natural resources which they later take to their countries and refine them thus beefing the value. When these are sold to their pals in Western Europe they make over 100% profit and when we ask for aid all they give us is the profit from the natural resources they took from our country. This has been and will always remain their main objective for having Africa still on the planet. To make matters worse they ask for interest on the loan we get and look at our leaders like they are damn fools.....typically which they are anyway. Look at how they tried to squeeze Libya and failed in disgrace because its leader stood firm and refused to be used. If we all stand up for what is right we will understand the benefits of having a strong minded leaders that stand up and say "I will not be fooled". What we need in Africa are leaders like GHADAFFI or CASTROS and believe me Africa will move forward and be viewed not as beggars. Or people like Nelson Mandela who stood up even when beaten down even to the point of death for cause of Africa. Believe it or not, if Africa was a company, it would have filed for bankruptcy a long time ago and a day time open take over would be in place.
We were born during the pacification and surely don't want to leave this world with a poor broken Africa. Many people are called Africans; we have African-Americans who need and believe that Africa is but one country and it feels good to say I'm from Africa. The rest of the world oppresses our people because they know we are more than capable to stand on our own. We started civilization but they call us barbarians and primitive savages. Our people in the US can't walk up straight because they are considered as the source of evil even to this day. One of the senators voiced out in the open what they talk about in the dark but we are given false hope by the very person who months earlier refused to comply with the demands of the Anti-racism summit in South Africa. Our leaders close their nostrils and refuse to smell the rat. They look big because we are divided. Build one Africa and see how just a voice from the motherland will have effect.
The world leaders know that the only hope for all the third world economies to pick up is when the mother land is one. The only hope for the Middle East crisis is when the mother land is awake. The only hope for the stop of racism and white supremacy is when the motherland takes its rightful place in the circle of life.
What is happening now is that those we chased say we will see. Let us divide them further. They tell our brothers to fight each other. They give them weapons and promote disintegration. They are out of the house but through the widow supply arms and diseases so that we hurt each other and fail to concentrate on the real issues. They use words such as politics which have no direct translation in our mother tongues thus we don't know how to use them.
All highly profitable regions in Africa are at war. Like a remote controlled set we are guided on what to think. Our leaders are satisfied with meager wealth they hastily get before they are booted from power. More 80% of the people live in rural areas without radios, power or TV and in their ignorance they are made to vote for leaders. They don't have a clue who the person is, they don't have their profile, and they don't even really care. In short the America type of politics doesn't work in Africa. We cannot even afford to keep two opposed candidates under one roof lest they fight. Opposition parties think their duty is to say no to this and no to that too. Across Africa people are so disillusioned but our leaders don't care. They feel honoured only to be called President even for as short as 5 years. What a shame. One billionaire in the US could be richer that more than five countries put together in Africa and yet still be able to finance budgets for a couple with still some money to sponsor golf.
Time is now when our children want to come home. Look at how much suffering our African children face in the USA and Europe. The leaders long ago made a grave mistake in slave trade and hundreds of years later we are still making the same mistake of not providing a resting place for the afflicted, they have no where to run to but constantly fight a loosing battle of freedom in a strange land. Back home we have war in our front, poverty in the middle and AIDS at the back; all killing us yet we still want to hold on to the system that doesn't work. Why should our leaders be so unfair, so inconsiderate and so greedy? You are only 52 a good number for a senate or council. You don't need the whole Africa to vote for a chairperson or the spokesperson, you can do it. Don't let the fight of who should be the first leader hinder you. Everybody should be ready to sacrifice. The power is in the council and all the leaders could retain the rights and privileges in their respective states but only answerable to the central committee. Union is what we want and union is what we shall get. If our leaders don't want; Students, Workers and all should rise and make the revolution begin. We cannot wait for another year to pass.
Those of us, who understand the depth of inferiority complex among so many African leaders, know that they will not pay attention to the statement of Mr. Bush that Africa is not as important as say Middle East. They will not pay attention because they have no sense of pride; they have no sense of self-worth; they have no shame, after all, to them, "White" is a spirit. Instead of evaluating what REAL leaders are doing to move their countries forward vis-à-vis their style of robbing their own people to pay outsiders, they continue to find some more excuses to visit the West (ostensibly to "learn Western democracies") only to invest in Western countries. Now, ask them to organize serious Economic Summits to discuss and stop this madness of self-destruction - the craziness of starving their own people to death by investing their countries' funds abroad - they will quickly change the subject by telling you that the solution lies squarely with "democracy" as if democracy, as a concept, can transform a hard-core, sadistic rogue into a saint. Ignorance is a deadly disease! All told, the robbery of African only to pile up the loot in foreign countries is the number one problem facing African today, and the mentality [driving such madness] is rooted in massive ignorance, inferiority complex and pure lack of common sense. Worse still, a substantial number of the old ones are teaching the youth how to starve their own people, and they are doing this by being very VERY proud to have foreign bank accounts. Now, you ask: How do these leaders define patriotism? What is leadership to them? Our fellow Africans, this is a tragedy! This is a calamity! So far as that mentality that African money is better invested in foreign countries continues, nothing else will work; in fact, all other problems (such as, inter-ethnic rivalries, intra-ethnic conflicts, alarming unemployment rate, armed robbery, crimes, diseases, corruption "419," starvation of the masses, closure of schools, etc., etc.) will get worse because a hungry man is an angry man, and as they say back home, "man must wac."
Am using these opportunity to tell all African that as far as our politicians had fail us we should all join hands together and depend less on them, We should leave them alone and allow them to rule themselves, we believe that is because people follow them and listen to them that is why they continue with their selfishness act without considering the masses.
"We do not need western countries to tell us how to solve our internal problems. They should leave us with our problems without telling us how to go about it. We are ready to solve our problems alone."
There is nowhere in Africa an indigenous education system designed to meet African needs.
There can be no true development without education of and by Africans for African purposes. Neither can there be democracy and peace without a populous prepared to be both self-governing and mutually respectful with a commitment to Africanization, leaving behind the divide and conquer hatreds of colonialism which are the source of so much of current internal strife. Beyond the influence of family and religion, education is a key to the prevention of such events as the Hutus and Tutsis, Igbos and Hausas and human emancipation. The basic issues for an educational policy designed to liberate Africans from their state of decency deal with concept of man, his role in a special historical context, and the right perspective on which to base education work. This education must be centripetally oriented-base on local realities and directs its intellectual efforts towards the achievement of cultural freedom.
Prior to the industrial revolution, Africa was as advanced as any part of the world- a combination of empires and village societies, viable for the time and location. The continent was first shocked by the slave trade with its own people as the slavers but the future industrialists as the customers thereof. But with industrialism, the countries of Europe became competitors with each other, putting up trade barriers against that competition and in need of both raw materials and new markets. Africa was an obvious target for both. Note the transportation systems of African nations-ports and railroads obviously financed and constructed by European industrialist to bring raw materials out from the enclaves and market goods in the satellites, not to encourage interrelations among and between other African nations.
We believe that the scramble for raw materials and markets might have culminated in the wars among the European powers which might have enabled Africans to play them off against each other. But diplomacy closed that door in 1884-1885. The colonial powers of England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and, interestingly, King Leopold II acting for himself rather than Belgian met in Berlin to divide up the continent. Pre-existing governmental structures and institutions and tribal relations were ignored in favour of which raw material, what surplus labour or what export opportunity was most coveted by the European nations. Even with the eventual end of military colonialism after World War II, that pattern has never changed. Those indigenous leaders brought to power by the European imperialists became the neo-colonialists when the European political and military governors were driven out or withdraw, but Europe never lost its economic and cultural dominance of Africa.
A partial exception of this story is South Africa (and for a time Rhodesia) where the Europeans came to live and dominate, not just exploit from a distance. An important weapon in this colonial imperialism was imported education systems. These were designed to exalt the image of European societies, train a cadre of low level clerks and administrators to serve the needs (and ultimately become the neo-colonialists, though that was not the European intent) and shield from any intellectual or skill development those who were to be the wage slaves of the farms and mines. For these of the latter who resisted conscriptions, either land was taken away or tax schemes were imposed to remove all alternatives.
Africa's debt burdens, says Jesse Jackson, "are the new
economy's chains of slavery" (Los Angeles Times, 9/29/98).
"It is not charity, it's an investment. Because if you take somebody who is very poor and you make that person less poor, then he becomes a consumer of goods and services from the developed world."
There are many reasons for the debt crisis, both political and economic. During the Cold War, corrupt African leaders were often able to gain financing from major powers anxious to retain their loyalty. The creditors received what they paid for -- support in the Cold War. Yet the debt burden remained for future generations to pay. In its last 15 years of defending white-minority rule, the apartheid regime in South Africa accumulated more than $18 billion in debt, while its regional war forced its neighbours to incur more than $26 billion in debt. Yet investors say "responsibility" in paying these debts must take priority over redressing racial inequalities and rebuilding from war. In the 1960s and 1970s, international lenders readily pushed a high volume of loans on many African states. Neither the lenders nor the borrowers anticipated how high the cost of repayment would rise. For African countries with agricultural exports, both unpredictable prices and natural disasters increased vulnerability to debt, just as for farmers anywhere in the world. World oil price hikes in 1972 and 1979 dramatically raised the cost of imports. Even countries that exported oil and other minerals faced boom and bust cycles that raised the odds of incurring unsustainable debt. When interest rates skyrocketed in the 1980s, interest payments jumped. Trying to pay off more debt with less income allowed unpaid debt to mushroom. With all these factors at work, the impact of every additional mistake in economic policy was multiplied.
I believed our LEADERS should stop any form of debt payment to our creditors and even cut any form of economic relationship with the European and reject any form of aids they render to Africans, because i believe that without them Africa can survive.
Africa is being controlled from the western world and our leaders listen to them because of our debt problem and the aids they supposedly say they are giving to African, Did any African know that in every $1 they gave to us being by loan or aids we pay them back $3? That is the truth, so we are now saying that we can survive with what we have and even we can do business we those who respect us and believe only in what we called TRADE BY BATA.
But we need a more encompassing economic co-operation with nations of similar plight in Asia, South America, and wherever else they are, in order to form a formidable economic bloc. Call it an economic cartel or what you may, but the fact remains that the whole developed economies have been operating like a cartel all these years in their unanimous transfer of poor technology industries to African nations; erection of tariff structures that exploit Africa's natural resource bases; etc.
The truth is that the EUROPEANS HATE THE CONTINENT AFRICA and is time for us to realise the truth and face our destine alone, with them we will only sink forever.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
The impact of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS in Africa is so great that it presents one of the most significant threats to the well-being of millions of people, both now and in the future. Health is a fundamental right recognized in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Constitution of the World Health Organization26, as well as a requisite for all development. Preventing and treating communicable diseases are both a means to achieving development goals related to poverty and an end in themselves. Improvements in health translate into progress in terms of conditions for women, higher incomes, greater economic growth and enhanced family planning. Yet in 2000 alone, 2.4 million people died of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and twelve million children have been orphaned. Such staggering statistics clearly indicate why HIV/AIDS and other preventable, communicable diseases destroy the social fabric of families, communities and countries throughout the continent.
What may be less apparent at first glance is the role of poverty in driving epidemics, as revealed by the fact that 95 percent of HIV/AIDS sufferers live in developing countries while an estimated 45% of deaths in Africa in 1998 were due to infectious diseases. While poverty and poor living conditions contribute to the spread of many communicable diseases, African health care systems have been particularly overwhelmed by the drastic increase in individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, spending on health fell by 50% in the 42 poorest countries in Africa during the 1980s, resulting in clinic and hospital closures, chronic understaffing and a lack of essential medical supplies. At the same time, in 1997 it was estimated that sub-Saharan Africa was transferring four times the amount they were spending on health to Northern creditors. It has been estimated that interventions against communicable diseases and malnutrition could save 8 million lives per year by around 2010. In the case of HIV/AIDS, however, the lack of necessary funds to implement large-scale prevention and treatment programs have led many African
politicians to avoid discussing the pandemic. For HIV/AIDS sufferers, this has meant that they are denied the life-prolonging treatments which people living with HIV/AIDS in Northern countries have benefited from. The user-fees that result from the privatization of health care and the high cost of medicines from Northern corporations create even larger barriers within Africa, limiting access to treatment to smaller, more privileged segments of society. The report touches on the fact that the spread of infectious diseases especially HIV/AIDS - jeopardizes Africas development on several interrelated fronts.
We should be proud of our continent and give chance to our capacities because If Africa as a whole is to prosper, the majority of its citizens will have to produce more, fashioning goods or providing services that the rest of the world wants to buy. African can eradicate poverty; eliminate diseases by itself because before the occupation of the Europeans on African our forefather cure their diseases alone without dependence on anybody. With their spirit and existence of National sentiment we can eradicate all the African problems.
NO TO EUROPEAN MADE!
YES TO AFRICAN MADE!!!
ANOTHER AFRICA IS POSSIBLE!
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!!
MAY THE GOD OF AFRICA BLESS US (AMEN).