19.06.2006 Feature Article

Africa Must Unite

Africa Must Unite
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The first president of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr.Kwame Nkrumah, said;"the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is link to the total liberation of African continent as a whole". This is indeed true for a son of Africa. The Africans need nothing more than their unity to get propelled into the hinterland of life devoid of abject poverty and its concomitants: hunger, sicknesses and diseases and other thorny social problems crippling her development.

Why is it hunger in Africa? The answer lies in the bossom of you and me. It is pity that some of our people are still wallowing in hunger. The issue of food shortages and its attendant problem is something that Africa can conquer within a twinkling of an eye. Is it that we lack lands to farm on or what? Or there isn't enough capital to kick starts it?

I believe we are in this situation because we want to. The current crops of African leaders seem to have abdicated their responsibilities. Some of them are of the view whether knowingly aware or otherwise that, issues especially concerning food shortages in Africa continent can best be handled by the so-called developing partners. Africans have done it and so, it is not an unusual thing for us.

But the fact is why are we still suffering? Where are our farmers and those in the agricultural domain who can best help in this thorny issue? So, let us even say the preliterate farmers were not equipped skillfully to handle the situation. What about the current agriculturally trained specialists who have been trained by Africa taxpayers money? Or is it the neo-politico elite who by virtue of their intermittent affinity for power will do everything nasty to the latter to maintain status quo (hunger, sicknesses and diseases) etc. so that the continent will always remain in that state?

Arguably, some of the problems in Africa are the cause of our own kith and kin who by virtue of their political position have grappled the little resources that are available in the continent.

There are some schools of thought who are of the view that,Africa was not ripe for independence; they claimed they earlier leaders should not have allowed the whites to left the continent; we should have allowed them to remain on Africa soil. They claimed.

Thankfully, some of the colonial leaders did remained in Africa. From South Africa to Namibia to Zimbabwe and a couple of countries you can find some of these whites.
Now, the facts are let us look and reflect upon the legacies and footprints of our colonial masters� particularly in countries where they are still residing.

The British who colonized South Africa, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Namibia can still be found there. These southern African countries suffered emensely from the hands of Britain who used both crude and civilize method to control these countries. In South Africa, there was the infamous system of apartheid where the natives were considered second-class. Can you imagine a situation where a foreigner come to your country, establish himself/herself and afterwards referred to you as a second class citizen?

These are some of the thorny issues that grappled Africa and in a way contributed to the stifling development of our continent. The colonial masters are still moving freely in southern Africa particularly South Africa where they are controlling virtually most of the big businesses in the country.

Indeed, in the era of so-called globalization that we are in now where the bigger(Wetern nations) countries are controlling the smaller(Africa)countries, it will be quite difficult for one to realize the magnitude of the problem that we are in.
The only way for Africa is unity! This is what the west will find any means possible to foil that aim. Why?

Most of the so-called developed world depends a lot on Africa in terms of resources (natural, financial, human and capital) to survive. Because of this they will try their best to ensure that the status quo (life of dependency) continue to exist and exist in the continent. The whites have done and still doing their utmost to ensure the continuity of this wickedsyndrome not because they are superior to us but simply they have been able to diagnosed our disease, i.e. the desire for luxury.

There are a lot of things happening within the circles of Africa politics today that are contributing to the retrogressive movement of Africa standard of living. Almost all our leaders are corrupt or are been surrounded by corrupt ministers-of-state who have no mercy of plunging the continent into economic inferno.

With all the resources (natural, human) etc. abound in Africa soil, the level of poverty with the average citizen is alarming. Ironically, there are others, too, whose life is exceedingly okay. Most of these people are the politicians. They have been able to legalized certain things in respect of their political life by giving themselves huge sums of money. Call it car loan, astronomical per- diem or whatever. We need to look at things in our own context before making any decision that in the long run will not help us. Why should we be spending huge sums of money on government officials? Most of these people are in the position to live comfortably without the support of their respective states.
Taking Ghana as an example where Members of Parliaments were given twenty thousand dollars (U$20,000) last year as car loan. Ironically, there are some of them who have been in the house since the inception of Ghana fourth (4th) republic parliament. Implying that, they have benefited from all the other car loans that were given to them prior the ascension of the current party ----- New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the supreme office of the country ---- presidency.

It is generally believed in Ghana that the only time when the majority members of Parliament and their minority counterparts agree is when it comes to giving of car loans to MPs. What a pity! Africa needs a paradigm shift of attitude, which will help the continent but certainly not these lifestyles that we are leading now.

We, as Africans need to realize the fundamental problems that are facing us before making any hasty laws and decrees which tend to make the bad lifestyles of some of our leaders legal. I think it is high time we take our leaders to task and stop the chameleon attitude.

Finally, food-for-thought from former Ghana Head-of-State, General Afrifa in his letter to General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong (also Ghana Head-of State from 1972-78)if you cheat you will be cheated someday, somehow by somebody.

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