By Awine Theresa Atule
Sitting in Berlin in the year 1884 through to 1885, Britain, France and Germany and other western nations portioned Africa mainly for their selfish benefits. A continent as rich and great as Africa had its destiny shaped out already. The people of Africa trying to recover from the pain of losing relatives to the notorious slave trade, had to be ready to withstand the level of stealing and manipulations up coming.
One will clearly agree with me that these western countries did not have much manipulation work to do since they had already made the African man feel less important and inferior to them. Africa had to suffer because there was industrial revolution going on in western Europe and other parts of the world. After several wars over what is not even theirs in the first place, for example the Franco-German war of 1870, these nations realized the only way to fulfill their selfish goals was to partition Africa among themselves.
No one is disputing the fact that Africa got partitioned without the welfare of Africans in mind but for Africans to still remain in the same mental slavery they were in years passed, is so pathetic. Our warriors of freedom did well by saving us from what we could not possibly have thought of. We freed ourselves politically forgetting that political freedom without economic freedom is slavery in disguise. After liberating ourselves from slavery, we could as well erase that mindset of being inferior.
Several years after gaining independence, we still continue to hold on to that mentality that we can not do anything for ourselves. We allow our minds to be blank and still leave the affairs of our continent for others. It is true that almost all countries of Africa are free from colonialism but are we are really free?! We still sit down and watch the same people who wished us no good centuries back determine our destiny now again. We allow the power of neo-colonialism outshine us. Our leaders watch as our resources, both human and natural are stolen from us. But the purpose of this article is not to talk about the problem but to stir you up to fight for true independence of the African race.
We need to emancipate our minds from mental slavery. We need to eliminate that feeling of being inferior to other parts of the world. And this must be from the grassroots, our children should be taught who they really are. Our young generation should be taught that the interest of Africa comes first before any selfish desire. The western powers imposed their way of learning on us, making us feel ours is barbaric and so as to enslave us the greater way (mental enslavement) because they knew our minds are our strongest weapons. So until we emancipate our minds from this enslavement and teach our young generations never to fall victim to this, we are doing ourselves no good.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was not wrong when he said the independence of Ghana will be useless if it is not linked to the total liberation of the African continent. Muhammed Gaadifi of Libya was not wrong to think African states need to be united (United states of Africa). Africans have to start thinking beyond their geographical locations. Africans in South Sudan should have thr well being of Africans in Egypt at heart ad Africans in Malawi should have the interest of Africans in Togo at heart. We need to understand that in the stage we are in, we can’t fight the enemy as individual states because they are not coming against us as individual states.
One more thing is this, in the 1950s when Dr. Nkrumah found a movement, which stressed the immediate unity of the African continent, a division was created based on method of implementation of this plan. This went to the extent of we having the Casablanca group which believed that Africa’s independent states should co-operate and exist in harmony and that they should form a political federation and deep integration. The Monrovia group which believed that Africa’s independent states should co-operate and exist in harmony without forming a political federation and deep integration. Then finally, the Brazzaville group that stood for a gradualist approach to the concept of African unity, starting with regional economic and cultural co-operation. What then is my point?! This is it, the idea was suppose to unite them but at the end it even divided them. We should know a house divided against itself will go nowhere. If Ghana can’t take a loan from Kenya and Togo can’t help South Africa when they have issues, what shows we are from the same continent? Why do we feel comfortable borrowing from countries out of our own continent, why don’t we trade among ourselves rather than trading out of our continent? We should be able to solve our problems and stop running to foreign countries for loans when we can actually help each other grow.
Moving on, the African union established in May 1963 to deal with the continental affairs of the emerging independent Africa from European colonialism is now made up of African leaders who seek to sell Africa to the same people they are suppose to protect Africa from. The political leaders of Africa have to some extent disappointed the people of Africa by their inactions. The AU is now an organization that’s based on selfish desires of various political leaders in Africa and this is so because, the people of Africa have chosen to go after political parties than people with good minds. We have made our political leaders gods for so long and they are now behaving as such. Some are even going to the extent of manipulating constitutions to make them presidents for life. Leaders are supposed to bring the best out of their people but in the case of Africa, leaders are undermining the efforts or in other words capabilities of Africans. For Africa’s unity to be practical, the African union must start working for the interest and well being of Africans.
Powers from the outside world are going to continue molesting us until we break that chain of neo-colonialism and set ourselves free. We must come up with ideas that will not prosper just our individual states but Africa at large.
AFRICA IS YOURS, SAVE AFRICA NOW!!