“The liberation of the minds of the African people will be a tougher battle than the eradication of settler regimes”. -Patrice Lumumba.
These words of Patrice Lumumba, clearly underscores the urgent need for institutions to be created throughout Africa, with the sole responsibility to liberate the minds of the African people. It is for this reason that the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), a Pan-African initiative that seeks to create a “mental revolution” throughout the continent and strive for a better Africa, is currently underway. Fortunately, a few African institutions have shown their desire to support this initiative. This is desirable because we seriously need a change of mentality to free ourselves from colonial bondage.
One major challenge that currently faces the African people is not that of poverty. Neither is it the lack of resources. In the 21st century, the major problem we face as a people is what Bob Marley has referred to as “Mental Slavery”. Bob Marley acknowledged that “none but ourselves can free our minds”.
We have all the resources here in Africa. In fact it is estimated that Africa possesses more than 60% of the world’s natural resources. Yet, Africans are brainwashed to believe they are poor. Our economies have been held hostage by imperial dictatorships. Prices are pre-determined for our natural resources neither on the basis of their value nor their quality. Rather, they’re designed to enrich the foreign capitalist’s interest. Africa’s resources are being looted on a mass scale under the guise of ‘investment’ and ‘economic aid’. We accept this fate because we’re told we have no knowledge of how to explore these resources by ourselves.
“It is often said that the foreign ‘investor’ however self-interested he might be, would still be ‘doing Africa a favour’. This sort of argument reminds me of the man who, having found plenty of buried treasures in his neighbour’s garden, took it away and then told his neighbour that he was doing him no harm, because, until then, this fellow was unaware of the existence of such valuable resource”. –Kwame Nkrumah (Africa must Unite, page 20).
Instead of African leaders to unite and demand a fair price for the vast resources we have to benefit the ordinary African, we individually beg for aid and they take our resources barely for free. Africa needs fair trade; not economic aid with unfair conditions attached. The great millions of Africans are growing impatient of being the hewers of wood, the providers of unskilled labour, the drawers of water, as well as being the cleaners of Europe and America. What Africa currently needs are leaders who believe in Pan-Africanism. For it is because of Pan-Africanism we attained independence from colonial rule. We need leaders who will see the benefits that come with our determination to stand together, struggle together, grow together and unite in order to fight against imperial dictatorship and Western exploitation. Just imagine how the entire African leaders were ignored by the US, Britain and France who imposed their wish upon Libya, murdered Gaddafi with impunity and threw the country into chaos. Even though the UN Resolution 1973 on Libya was abused, you can be certain that the ICC: the International Court of Criminals will never find anybody in NATO to be guilty of war crimes nor crimes against humanity. As of now, even though many evidences have found Bush and Blair to be guilty of crimes against humanity, the ICC still remains blind to these evidences. It is always African leaders whose crimes are seen by the international community. It is time for Africans to establish their own judicial systems to deal with crimes committed by Africans. The current imperial systems have outlived their usefulness; they have been corrupted and are now tools that serve Western interest but do not serve international justice.
When Kofi Anan became the UN sec Gen, Africa was full of hope. When Obama won the elections in America, Africa was full of Hope. A Gambian to head the ICC, Africa started Hoping. When Okonjo became the World Bank MD, Africa hoped and hoped. The new hope is that when African woman becomes the world Bank President, Africa will be better. My humble advice to all Africans is to end this illusive dream and take a cue from India, China, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea by putting their hopes only in themselves and working hard to develop their countries. Africans must stop putting hope in western puppets!! We must create our own institutions to deal with our own problems. This form of imported justice and imported policies must stop.
How Long Can We Cope With Apathy?
Thousands of weapons were poured into Africa by France and Qatar, ignoring all international laws. When two Western journalists died in Syria, the whole western world was outraged. Yet, in Libya, many Blacks majority of them Nigerians were brutally murdered by NATO’s Arab rebels under the watch of the UN, while the West cheered and jubilated, calling it a success. No one pointed out that indeed what happened to the Gaddafis was not death by accident but a premeditated murder. This had already been discussed in the Western media, with Hillary Clinton herself calling on the Al-Qaeda rebels to “capture or kill” Gaddafi.
Yet, there was not a single word from those who declare themselves as ‘world leaders’, human right institutions nor the international “courts of justice”, condemning Hillary Clinton’s remarks and the killing of Blacks in Libya. After all, the fall of Gaddafi and the oil contracts were all they sought after; not the security of Africans.
Shockingly, the African leaders, many of them Doctors and Professors, averagely beyond the age of 70yrs, were simply relegated to the status of “children”, whose views were side-lined by NATO as irrelevant. This could only happen because there is no unity among our African leaders and as such they couldn’t have been taken serious. Most importantly, the strong ones in their midst have been tainted by corruption to the point where their voices cannot be heard on such important developments for the fear of putting themselves in the spotlight. The challenges facing our individual countries are getting out of control. It is only with a concerted effort that we can contain these problems. It must be understood that no single African state can stand against the wrath of imperialism, without needing the protection/support of the entire continent.
In his book Africa Must Unite (page xvi), Kwame Nkrumah wrote:
Imperialism is still a most powerful force to be reckoned within Africa. It operates on a world-wide scale in combinations of many different kinds: economic, political, cultural, educational, military; and through intelligence (covert operations) and information services. …Just as our strength lies in a unified policy and action for progress and development, so the strength of the imperialists lies in our disunity. We in Africa can only meet them effectively by presenting a unified front and a continental purpose.
Unfortunately, African leaders of today, many of them intellectuals still pretend as if they are never familiar with these words of our founding fathers. What happened in Libya and Ivory Coast clearly confirms the urgent need for African leaders to unite and be able to defend the interest of the African people. Africa needs leaders who see the need to work together bearing in mind the interest of all Africans, but not merely to seek their selfish interests nor that of their individual countries.