Reflection Part 1: The African Reality

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 633 Views 0 Comments
Reflection Part 1: The African Reality

Several decades ago, most of Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa was colonized. Its people were, and in some circles still seen today as sub-human, sub-standard, primitive – indeed they were by the Europeans’ standards – and not very much different from monkeys in the jungle. The African was enslaved in his own land. Forced to labor for hours unending without any pay and provided only with the bare minimum of food to keep him alive. The African was shackled in chains and shipped to Europe and America to continue working for their slave masters. Even back home, the colonialists established racist, segregationist and illegitimate governments to ensure white dominance and further enslave the African.
THEN, came the cry for independence in many African countries and the rising unpopularity of colonialism even within Europe. This wind of change and desire for independence that swept across the African continent in particular and the world at large was greeted with enthusiasm by people of goodwill throughout the world. It was seen as an institutional drift, which will tilt the continent towards self-governance, economic growth and economic development. It was seen as the harbinger of the formation of inclusive institutions that will create an atmosphere of innovation, teamwork, intellectual property rights, civil political dialogue and the respect for the human person irrespective of race, political affiliation or religious creed.

BUT alas!!!! We or rather the people of good will were DEAD WRONG.
Call it not, DECOLONIZATION, Call it RECOLONIZATION.
Call it not, INDEPENDENCE, Call it DOUBLE DEPENDENCE.

The so-called independence of many African states was a mere handing over of the same colonial, morally bankrupt institutions to an African elite who cared the least about the sufferings and poor living standards of his countrymen. In fact, independence was giving the colonial exploitation machine a cosmetic rehabilitation rather than an institutional change for good. In essence, it was painting the “white faces” of the colonialist BLACK thereby creating an illusion of independence.
The so-called post-independence period or rather the recolonization period has witnessed the outpouring of aid from European governments to their African stooges who loot their countries’ resources with impunity. The results couldn’t be different. Corruption, human rights abuses, political suppression – just to name a few – have metastasized while African presidents, ministers, and other politicians and their families spend vacations in luxurious hotels in Europe and North America. Pregnant African women die from preventable birth related deaths while a politician is evacuated to Europe for a mere headache. With preferential benefits like this, the mere thought of economic growth and development threatens the economic advantages of the elite, hence an increase in efforts to stifle any progress. There has been a rise in the number of foreign companies on the continent but no corresponding increase in the living standards of the poor African.

We have been sold by our very own and it is the duty of the common man to rise up against the institutional injustices of the times and make the change that he/she desires.

It is time for the common African to get rid of the extractive colonial machine and put in place a framework that we ourselves would be accountable to.
It is time for the African to take the lead in creating the dream continent that we only fantasize about.
It is time for the African to begin to prepare for the worst, with the hope of a better outcome for our nations, ourselves and our children’s children.
The struggle must begin now and the search for true leaders beholden to no neo-colonial power should be taken seriously. If we can’t find those leaders, THEN WE LEAD.

Melaine Nsaikila

Nsaikila Melaine is an economist, data analyst and development professional/Enthusiast from Cameroon. In 2013, he moved to the U.S to study under the Fulbright Scholarship Program for a Masters in Economics.Currently serving as Economic Policy Analyst at the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation in Cameroon.

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