Focus on Africa
The bottom line to my submission today is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been fundamental for global prosperity and the West will ensure Africans remain impoverished so that their economies can prosper.
When the Europeans set their colonial and imperial eyes on Africa, only one objective was on their mind; to plunder our natural resources even if it meant annihilating the ‘natives’.
To achieve this goal they had to draw long-term strategies to take care of their economies for eternity. Their strategies were to be unfurled over time, changing and being realigned with the changing times. First was to find what was on the continent that could benefit them.
The question was how to go about it. They thought we were savages that could be tamed by either a direct confrontation or by religious chicanery. So the Crown and the Church commissioned ships to sail to discover what they thought was the Dark Continent. They came with the Holy Bible in their armpits and told our people of an omnipotent God whose son died to save mankind who subscribed to their faith, not by idol worship.
While their missionaries got the people’s attention to their God, their explorers were busy looking for economic opportunities. Aside from natural resources they surmised that the fastest was the human resource for their plantations in the Americas and Caribbean. The Slave Trade was thus kick-started. And the Crown and the Church took commission on each slave delivered to those lands alive.
Meanwhile, the missionaries established schools to ‘educate’ the ‘natives’. They built forts and castles on our coastlines, armed with cannons, to ward off rival European adventurers. Many of these forts served as dungeons to keep slaves captive till the arrival of ships to cart them away. Some of the castles served as their schools.
Those ‘natives’ who opposed the Europeans were subjected to brutal attacks and raids on their lands. Asante resisted and fought the British, Ethiopia resisted and fought the Italians as did Libya. Hundreds of thousands of Zulus under King Chaka in Azania were slaughtered. Indeed, because they had superior firepower, the Europeans were able to subdue some of the people, except Ethiopia.
It must be stated quickly that while the Europeans were arriving by sea to sub-Sahara, Arabs were also making inroads by land through the northeast of the continent with their Quran in tow. This focus on Africa was from many directions.
The colonialists started to establish systems of governance in the areas they had taken roots in. Having indoctrinated our forebears into their religions, the next strategy was numeracy, not education, to make our people behave to suit their taste. The missionaries established mission schools on strict doctrinal principles.
I say numeracy because our forebears were already educated on the norms and nuances of our culture and appreciation in the fields of farming, fishing, governance and religion. The colonialists could be credited with bringing numeracy and formality though.
Having established their governance they then set to plundering our minerals and other natural resources like gold, timber, cocoa, coffee, iron, among others to enrich their economies back home.
They pretended to trade with us, but ended up dividing our ranks by pitting one ethnic group against the other.
Things began to change after our men went to fight their war in Burma, a war that had nothing to do with us in Africa, and realised that even the Europeans could die in battle. It became apparent that the Africans could manage their own affairs. This was the catalyst for independence agitation. Prior to this, the impression was that the Europeans were invincible against any adversary.
In effect, the colonialists have so far brought us religion, democracy of their type and lately LGBTQ+. We have embraced their religion and we are resisting and rejecting their LGBTQ+. Their democracy is not working on the continent the way they want it to.
Taking a step into the past, it was not easy for them to grant us independence. It was a struggle. The Mau Mau uprising saw hundreds of the people of Kenya murdered in cold blood by the British. Their women were raped and maimed. Is it not a paradox or irony that in spite of their disdain for the Black Race, these Europeans found attraction in our women’s genitalia?
The Germans also unleashed terror on the people of Namibia, killing the people for sport just as the Belgians and French did in the Congo Basin where millions of our people were killed. It is estimated that more than twenty million people of the Congo were murdered. Now, when only six million Jews were gassed by Hitler’s Third Reich the whole world has been brainwashed to call that a Holocaust.
What name would they give to the millions of Africans killed? I charge African leaders to find a nomenclature for the genocide against Africans. Then we can harp on this every minute of the day so it registers on their minds.
Having granted us independence, their strategy of keeping us in perpetual penury was kick-started. Neo Colonialism was triggered. They set up the Breton Woods institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pretend to lend us money when we are unable to balance our books. They give us conditions like cutting public jobs, infrastructure development, and devaluation of our currencies so they can buy our raw materials cheaply.
It becomes a never-ending cycle of dependence on these financial institutions to the detriment of our own progress as a people. Sadly, for the African continent the West finds it more convenient to deal with our corrupt leaders. They keep these leaders on a leash of blackmail to dance to their music. These leaders abound on the continent. When a country’s leaders are criticized by the West, that government is doing the right things for their people.
How many of us have noticed that all the Patriots who led our countries to independence were educated in the West? Having lived among their colonizers, these Africans saw the strengths and weaknesses in their systems and their people. This spurred them on to come home and fight to take their countries’ destinies into their own hands.
These were selfless, nationalistic and patriotic individuals whose vision was the political and economic emancipation of their people. The Francophone had the likes of Sekou Toure of Guinea, Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal, Modibo Keita of Mali, Francois Tombalbaye of Chad and Maurice Yameogo of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). We had Ahounmadegbe in Benin, Grunitzky in Togo, Patrice Lumumba in Congo and many others.
The Anglophones were Siaka Stephens of Sierra Leone, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Milton Obote of Uganda, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Tafawa Balewa of Nigeria, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and our own Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. The list is endless. The Lusophones did not have things easy. Augustino Neto and Louis Cabral will tell you.
These were people who never amassed personal wealth for themselves. There are virtually little policy landmarks in their various countries that were not in the master plans of these visionary leaders. Everything they initiated was in the interest of their people. Their former colonialists realised they were losing out and had to revise their strategy.
First, the British came up with the Commonwealth of Nations. The French also had their Assimilation and France-Afrique. In spite of this they began to fund the opposition in these young countries to undermine their governments. Where there was no credible opposition, the military was courted to overthrow the regimes. The result was the spate of coups d’etat from the mid-sixties into the seventies.
I will soon do a five-part series on France and its atrocities in Africa, but let me state quickly that Dr Kwame Nkrumah gave Guinea under Sekou Toure ten million British pounds to get that country started after France took even the minutest of items as office pins when they were packing out of Conakry.
Any progressive leader in Africa must be taken out. In many cases, those who removed them did not fare any better with their paymasters. Once they found out they had been used by the West and the cloudiness cleared out of their eyes, the West was ready to take them out too. It has never been a win-win situation for Africa.
Today, the weak leaderships on the continent have allowed Western military bases on their soil. To me, this is colonisation all over again. Who is Ghana fighting to want an American military detachment in the country? France has military bases all over the continent under the guise of protecting their former colonies from Islamic Jihadist attacks. This falsehood flies in the face of our knowledge that these soldiers are on the continent to protect the loot of our natural resources by their surrogate companies.
And we have leaders who pander to the whims of these colonialist economic vultures who rather have the effrontery to tell us what to do with our lives. The least they can do is to back off and get their soldiers off our soil and territories. Left alone, we have the capacity to manage our own affairs.
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By Dr. Akofa K. Segbefia