AFRICA LIBERATION DAY – A ROMANTICIZED IDEAL

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Africa-DayBy Nyang Njie

Africa has been frozen at a crossroads for a longtime finding the trajectory that will lead her to the light at the end of the tunnel. This trajectory has been an elusive quest and the mirage in the oasis that should have sprouted development across this beautiful continent. As we celebrate African Liberation Day today, we should pause and ask ourselves what is there to celebrate? Yes many will say that the continent has broken the yolk of colonial dominance and I will openly retort by asking so what? The colonial liberation of Africa in my mind is yet to yield a tangible and sustainable socioeconomic dividend that calls for celebration. The footage dominating the African airwaves in recent weeks puts us all in shame and the African Union NEED to reprimand the government of South Africa for not protecting the Africans living in South Africa. We do not need to hold brief for the brutal excesses of the South African by finding excuses for their actions. Africa is really light years away from political convergence and the dream of continental unity is more elusive now than ever before.

The harsh reality of the African is that love for self is missing in our deliberations and interactions with each other. Recently, we have seen the outrage of Angolans against their fellow Africans. This is surely not a sign of a liberated Africa. The Stone Age has since past, but the African psyche is as regressive as that of prehistoric man. Fiefdoms being perpetrated by political dons with disregard for the interest of the greater good, Visa restrictions on the movement of people within the continent, lack of serious trade amongst ourselves and the perceived moral superiority of some over others have exhibited our folly and this has been dragging us to the sidelines of the global development boom.  

Politics and the governance of the polity have shifted from the Europeans to a class of Africans who think and behave like the plunderous European colonialist. The Average African leader operates a Swiss Bank account, he/she cannot decipher public assets from private assets and the interest of the greater good is secondary. We tend to blame most of our misfortunes to imperialism and Western hegemony. What an escapist mentality. We need to take responsibility for our actions and we the educated and enlightened African are Africa’s problem. Africa cannot be seen as a liberated continent when militias such as Shabab and Boko Haram are ravaging the countryside and towns of this beautiful continent, when looting and plunder is a way of life. The 2% of Africa has willfully held hostage the 98% by muzzling growth, prosperity, entrenchment and perpetuation of the colonialists’ agenda. The alpha and omega of service to Africa starts and ends with the promotion and preservation of the welfare of the 98%.

A rich continent like Africa should not have destitute and disease ravaged populations. A meaningful social contract with the governed is a prerequisite for a liberated Africa and it starts with freedom of information act where the governed have access to documents regarding procurement and exploitation of our resources, educating and empowering the African youth. Africa is yet to be a liberated continent because the 98% are not enjoying the endowment and riches of this continent. Therefore we need to reflect in retrospect and genuinely ask ourselves have we done justice to our motherland dearest (Africa)? AU, ECOWAS, COMESSA & SADC are not serious about the integration of this continent. If that were the case, we would have had seamless border-less states from Cape to Cairo with less or no passport controls. It’s easier for me to travel to the USA than South Africa. The mass exodus of Africa’s youth folk and the professional brain drain will not happen in a liberated Africa. A liberated continent trades with each other. We have romanticized the liberation of Africa by negating the realities that beleaguered us. The Inaction of the masses have entrenched the absolute disregard of the minority who has systemically impose their will on the 98%.


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