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Africa in the Shadow of Colonialism


Africa Diaspora; brain drain and brain gain

Here then lies the truth about Africa, why so many of its best children are not found within its borders, but outside it confines, a living glory of other nations and continents. Never blame Africans who labour to build the glory of other nations, if they were to be in Africa, they could have ended like Steve Biko, or Gani Fawehinmi, or suffered the fate of Anwar Sadat, Samuel Doe, Samora Machel, Moshood Abiola or Thomas Sankara. Or be wasted like Dele Giwa, Chris Hani, Pa Rewane, or Nana Drobo(remember the Ghanaian herbalist that was found dead with bullet holes in his head, not long after he successfully treated a dying French man with AIDS ,who was sent to him from the Ivory Coast). Or worst still, they could have been subjected to a living, hopeless walking corpse-‘zombie’, like millions of Africans are today in Africa. The glory that such African children (those in Diasporas) enjoyed in other continents of the world today could have been a shame ,had it been, they were to be in Africa. Presently, 140 million people of African origin are recorded to be domiciled in the Western Hemisphere, compared to the 800 million at home i.e one out of five Africans stays abroad from Africa, the statistics is increasing annually. Africa Diaspora is now a major phenomenal crisis of some sort all over the world.

‘There’s only one good, knowledge and one evil, ignorance’. Socrates

For Africa therefore to come out of the doldrums, it must as a matter of not only necessity but also compulsion, begin to do what the Europeans did during what is now called the Renaissance period; invest hugely on education-research and knowledge. In other words Africa must make very strong conscious effort to invest into intellectual capital development. In this century just as the last three centuries it is evident that those that would lead the world or those that would not be left behind or suffer similar fate like the reign of the dinosaurs, must be those with ‘brain power’ and not those with ‘brawl power’. The Jews are a little people, but through great investments into intellectual capital are presently leading the entire known world in almost every facet of life. The British Isle is far smaller than Africa, yet the British used their mastery of the sea waves, knowledge of the use of the compass to conquered two third of the world. The Americans touch every life on earth today in every field, not by the abundance of its weaponry in its arsenal, far from it, but by its investments in intellectual capital. The Japanese inhabited an unfriendly geographical terrain, a very small Isle, saddled inadvertently and fortuitously between two seas along a perilous fault, yet the Japanese learnt the arts and science of taming the elements of its peculiar environment through its knowledge and investment in technology. Today, Japan is a world power in technology; the world’s largest supply of electronics, appliances, and maritime equipments had its source from a little Isle in the Eastern corner of Asia, Japan.

No people, society or nation can develop and survive the stormy water of existence without taking conscious and not accidental steps to invest into the development of its population.

Moreover and much more, Africa must deemphasize on material or natural resources, which are the foundation of every societal decay in African societies,as it were today and a cause of all the wars and fraternal battles common with the African nations for the past half a century. Laying much emphasize on this, continue to propel men and armies to contend aggressively and brutally for land, power and control and thereby subjecting the continent of Africa to much more agony, despair and poverty. Today, African nations patronized what it has no use for; purchase what it can easily produce with obvious comparative advantage and amassed wealth it cannot sustain. Africa is always at peace with his neighbors, but buying guns and guns for use against its own people! A consuming people, heavily dependent society, that hardly produce its staples and means of livelihood can never survive the brutal reality of the 21st century.

Oh Africa, how I wished you honour your children for your own glory?

To survive, Africa must learn to gather all her children from the Diaspora or from every angle of the world back to Africa. It is believed, that Africans in the Diaspora has the potentials to revitalize Africa, improve themselves and their fatherland. A situation where an African would find pleasure abroad and doom at home must fade away like the reign of the dinosaurs. The Africans of this world – the Barack Obamas, Philip Emeagwalis, Gabriel Eyinbos, Olaudah Equianos, Chinua Achebes, Wole Soyinkas, Felix Konotey-Ahulus, Victor Anomah Ngus etc must all come back home, to Africa that would greatly welcome them and appreciate them.

Wealth of a Nation

Africa must borrow a leaf from the age long political and economic conclusions of Adam Smith in- An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (generally referred to by the short title-The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776), that “The greatness of a nation is not in the abundance of its material resources…” i.e natural endowments like oil, gold, diamond etc, “but in the creative ability of its people”.

Conclusively, Colonialism could not be said to be an outright evil per se in its entirety. History abounds with nations that had come forth from the pains and gory tales of colonialism into astounding fame and glory, thereafter. However, the colonialism and decolonialization of Africa is a different thing entirely. As of the time of African’s quest for independence, European nations had almost exhausted all her resources, and Africa offers a ready and willing prey with abundance of untapped resources both human and natural resources, too tempting to let go. Therefore, for Africa to realize its dream of an independent ‘people’ under God, it must take cognizance and holistic appraisal of its weakness and peculiar history.


By :Shola Adebowale

Shola Adebowale is a prolific freelance writer, syndicated columnist, researcher, and blogger. He specializes in telecommunications, Internet trends, and investment portfolio.


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