The African community has always lived in the shadows of their colonial masters even decades after they’re gone. The fact that our rights and dignity were violated by the brutal and selfish quest of the white man to reap where he barely sore and ride on our “strong backs”, has been manipulated by greedy black “messiahs” as an excuse to rob us of the little that the imperialists left. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the post-colonial period and neo-colonialism have greatly undermined the transit of the black man into the modern age but now that the people have the power, how is it helping him to develop himself into a fully independent entity? What if we cut off corruption, mismanagement of resources, social injustices and inequality and instead cashed in our strengths and abilities in equal distribution of government resources, advance our education and health systems, better administration of state facilities, tackling land issues and promoting administration of justice without fear or favor?
What if we held ourselves back from fighting each other and dedicating our diversity to influencing a positive change in socioeconomic development?
Africa is, I believe, among the top continents with vast naturally endowed resources which could be invested in to reciprocate a great injection into our dwindling economies the subsequent growth of our people. If our leaders could for once understand that their positions are established to serve and not otherwise, set up tangible structures under the management of accountable, independent and competitively deserving minds to efficiently tap the peoples’ selfless efforts into various production channels our national debt curves will steepen away as we realise the African dream.
Let’s make an example of Congo in our case. A beautiful country with not only a rich history in the origin of the biggest community in Africa, the Bantu, and a forever reference to the heights of injustice done to the Africans but also a state with a right the land with most natural resources in the world. A historian, Dan Snow, talks in detail about Congo’s rich land in his article dated 9/10/2013 – DR Congo : Cursed By Its Natural Wealth. Here he states that the current warzone brags of a large mineral resource mainly comprised of diamond, gold, uranium(used in making the first atomic bomb) , copper, tin and coltan(material used in mobile phone making), a vast quality wood coverage and still a top rubber producer despite the crude exploitation by the greedy heartless Belgian aristocrat, along with large, clean water rivers( Congo River is the world’s second largest river) and a pure talent in the art of music. The central Africa nation has been a victim of its blessing which is the the cause of the slavery that claimed about ten million African lives in the colonial times and the ongoing civil war that has lasted for decades and even worse after the assassination of its most vibrant, focused pan-african figure and Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, in a conspiracy brewed by the West and betrayers of the fight for independence by our forefathers who went on to plunge Congo into a blood bath defending their insatiable appetites for riches and power while their fellow countrymen suffer.
One, Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, “the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, goes from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake”, made himself ruler and god over a people who so deserved a break from oppression considering their suffering under King Leopold ||. He built himself a 100 million dollar castle with an airstrip to facilitate his shopping trips to Paris while thousands died of starvation, diseases and ethnic clashes till the day he was ousted from power and replaced with Joseph Kabila who went on to watch the suffering and humiliation of his people and now when the people are tired he’s forcing himself to remain at the top of the food chain where he feeds on the sweat and blood of his people.
If by any chance Brazzaville woke up with a vigorous straight thinker to sponsor the cohesion of the Congolese and be the guide in a healing journey so that a convenient environment can be created for the laying and operation of infrastructure that could help extract the potential of their land then Congo will only headline the business news and not a feature on war and human rights documentaries on international media. Someone or some people to draft a road map towards improving child education so that the future doesn’t die with boy soldiers in the cold disease-infested forests of Zaire; a representative and defender of the people’s rights, interests and vision and dedicate his/her service to fighting the cartels funding the mining wars and stealing from the people.
I want us to imagine a Somalia that took advantage of its stretched access to the Indian Ocean and invested its capacities in developing a major ocean trade center out of its naturally deep harbors. Somalis who could be proud of their achievements because they made it from the love of their people in a fair, peaceful system and not because they won green cards and some little favors as refugees to or in foreign countries.
We would all like to watch CNN without slave trade reports from Libya because west African citizens can pursue their dreams within their borders rather than being sold to mean racist masters or served to sharks in the Mediterranean on a quest to “greener pastures” in Europe and Asia.
I wish to see a drop in the poverty rates in most countries in this region because parliamentarians are dedicating their full attention to essential matters about the economy, health and security not spending months on sittings approving their increment in salaries or making amendments to favor the parties in power.
We want to wake up to the end of butchery of Nigerians and abuse of our daughters by terrorists because our youths are too busy involved in building the nation than sitting idle, unemployed hence opting to join these misguided evil courses, a day in South Sudan where President Salva Kiir and his vice Riek Machar put aside their political differences aside and decide to unite their people in peace love and unity; who wouldn’t share in the joy of diminishing figures on the HIV/AIDS calamity claims on the lives of poor South Africans because there’s a system in place to educate the people on their lifestyles, positive culture and health programmes to provide sufficient service to the people.
There’s so much positivity that the African people can realise by just investing in their potentials and the greater in their land. Governments should work towards implementing policies that empower the so called “common man” to be self-reliant, making use of the resources and skills readily available to him rather than soliciting aids from the international community which only help a few citizens or none sometimes. There should be mechanisms in place to ensure that the people enjoy the fruits of their labor and not waiting around in queues for food aids while a few men and women jet out in first class to posh vacation destinations in Europe, Asia and America.
You see the world is being eroded by calamities each day and soon the United Nations will have their mouth full so the behavior of always waiting on others to save us has to end whether we like it or not. They said beggars can’t be choosers but we forget that true beggars got no fertile land to plough nor items to trade, they have no cattle to herd nor an opportunity to better. We are not beggars! We have a responsibility to do and leave better than we found. We can not sit day and night praying for manna when God gave us food to come from soil in the lands we own, when we got phenomenal ideas rotting in unemployment and young lives wasted in crime. There should be a system that opens the doors for the people to share in their ambitions and determination for change.
We need a Robert Mugabe when he made the bold decision of reclaiming African land from the white settlers in Zimbabwe as it’s so sad that in this age Africans are still living as squatters in their own motherland, land being the source and foundation of growth. Land distribution and allocation has become a maiden challenge in this continent despite the fact that a large chunk of land lies idle or underused. A few people in some countries as we see in examples like Kenya are entitled to owning very large productive tracts of land, most of it inherited as gifts from the colonists or grabbed from the public, while the majority are congested in the former reserves where farming is minimal due to the poor climates and unavailability of the resource since most is used for residential purposes. Africa brags of large percentage of land that can be used for agriculture and it makes no sense that hunger is a an issue in our news today. Most intellects talk about implementation of various agricultural research proposals and farmer education as ways to tame the food situation but what is place of the millions of squatters in such a vision. This is an issue that needs to be dealt with for starters if we are to walk the path of economic independence.
We need a Patrice Lumumba to be vocal of the issues facing our people and work towards empowering our people not selling their rights and dignity to the West; a Thomas Sankara – commanders of African unity and prosperity, a revolutionary! Individuals that establish their visions and principles in the pillars of justice (for all), unity and complete independence. Even when the oppressor has had his way with snatching revolutionists from our midst, there’s a saying that “they can’t kill of us” and we are at war with our dreams: to imagine bigger, our potentials; we can do better and the looters living for their selfish courses.
We need a Mwalimu Julius Nyerere to unite our people and encourage exchange between them, whether in the context of development ideas, physical and emotional help, trade and skills so that we grow together and stronger.
We need less politicians and more leaders, less promises and more fulfillments, Less borrowing and more creating. Africa needs to grow up and leave his mother’s house.