*COOPERATION AND COHESION AMONG DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS IN AFRIKA TOWARDS A BETTER AFRIKA*
There are over 3000 different ethnic groups in Afrika and uniting Afrika means uniting these ethnic groups. This seems very challenging due to the fact that there are currently many ethnic tensions even within the same states in Afrika suggesting that coexistence is far-fetched. These tensions have undoubtedly contributed so much in holding Afrika back.
Reconciliation between ethnic groups who are at loggerheads is not optional. It is a good foundation for a better Afrika. A simple but very strong motivating factor here is that the poor attitude that most of us have shown one another has done us no good, so we must endeavour to part ways with it. Humility is called for. We have suppressed our humanity for too long. It deserves a chance now, for Afrika deserves the best.
The basic key to establishing cohesion among us is giving tolerance a chance. This is possible as we all have equal right to tolerance. It would also be prudent to include the aspect of tolerance in our school curricula.
There were also ethnic tensions during the days of our ancestors but there was a good degree of coexistence. We must embrace this kind of tolerance too. Our differences do not mean that we cannot live together.
Ethnic balance of running a state is one way of killing negative ethnicity. It is a way of enhancing sense of belonging hence cohesion. Political parties should not be formed along ethnic lines. Voting too should not be along ethnic lines. We must understand that we have a common goal which is to move Afrika forward. We cannot allow our different ethnic backgrounds to hinder this. We are one people.
Most at times we spend our time blaming the leadership of the central government forgetting that the people in the central government belong to some ethnic groups. Cohesion among ethnic groups would contribute in building future leaders with strong sense of humanity. We must start cooperating with one another irrespective of our different ethnic groups if we truly want to move forward.
We have already been through a lot. Hate must give way for love now. A principle that guided our ancestors is the Ubuntu Concept; the idea that we need one another irrespective of our different backgrounds. The idea that being kind to someone whether we know them well or not is not optional. Giving this concept a chance in our respective niches would undoubtedly contribute towards an Afrika that is not conducive to ethnic tensions.
We can cultivate the mindset that we are one people living in different places. The approach is simple; we should think and talk about this fact always. We should live it at the slightest opportunity. That is, we should bring out the best in us even when we are dealing with someone from a different ethnic group. We should treat them the way we would like them to treat us. This is a simple attitude that Afrika also needs in order to move forward.
The question we should all ask ourselves is, “What kind of Afrika do we really need?”
Well, the answer is what it is.
We should not expect people to come from elsewhere and live this kind of Afrika for us; we can actually do it ourselves.
It starts where each one of us is now.
Let us pursue this Afrika patiently and relentlessly.
Aye B. Kiven
July 11, 2020