AFRICANGLOBE – President Barack Obama’s recent remarks urging Africa to stop making “excuses” for the continent’s economic doldrums based on history of colonialism were not only unfortunate and ill-conceived but also insensitive. I’m not sure whether Obama has deliberately developed selective amnesia not to realise that the wealth accumulated by the country he now leads has been through the blood and sweat of those from the cradle of mankind.
Here is the leader of the so-called “free world” who has been mum over the unrestrained bombardment and culling of innocent civilians in Gaza yet he wants to walk the moral high ground and lecture the historically and perpetually traumatised Africans on morality and righteousness. Africa’s socio-political and economic problems are a direct consequence of slavery and colonialism.
The African generation, post slavery and post colonisation, is traumatised with and equally affected by arrested prospects for development. The generation pre-slavery and pre-colonisation was the continent’s most innovative and progressive. This is a generation that did not live on borrowed values, borrowed traditions and borrowed existence, a generation that smelted and forged iron. What we are left with is an ‘educated bunch’ whose greatest invention is a dusty path towards the nearest Aid Agency assembly point.
The African continent has no choice but to completely divorce itself from the disastrous construct of dependence on aid and firmly root itself into the tangible Mugabe-inspired trajectory of economic emancipation. It is only via total economic emancipation that Africa is going to upgrade the lives of its permanently deprived citizens.
Obama should have a look at the contents of ZDERA 2001. If he is so concerned about resolving the continent’s economic difficulties the first step is to repeal ZDERA 2001 rather than maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe for addressing historical inequalities through redistribution of land and wealth. It seems Obama’s remarks were aimed at containing the African quest to free itself from the one-sided and overly dependent relationships and move towards mutually favourable and respectful development partnerships.
Africa is on a journey, an African journey and a journey that requires Africans and them alone to carry them forwards. No charitable champion is going to command the survival of the continent with no motive of their own; not even Mr. Obama. No selfless knight in shining armour is going to descend from lands afar and rescue Africa from this permanent predicament that has continued to stall the continent’s long overdue development. Mr. Obama, Africa does not make excuses but suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following years of abuse and misuse by the very country you lead today.
By: Bernard Bwoni
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