I have often asked myself the question, what would have happened if Africa hadn’t been colonized? What if we had been left to find our own solutions to the development challenges affecting us then using those solutions to generate global influence? We would know how to overcome hunger, understand the need for peace in view of regional cooperation and have set up strong economies with the ability to withstand all forms of pressure. I believe Africa would have become a military powerhouse with monopoly over world mineral markets, and the African culture would be deeply rooted in global media.
This is a far-cry from the Africa we live in today that has learnt to live from hand to mouth and languishes in the doll-drums of poverty. We have been made to believe that Africa is in a deep state of political, social and economic decay that can only be redeemed through adherence to standards and the culture of the ‘developed’ world at the peril of our dignity, self-belief and sovereignty. The colonization of Africa undoubtedly took away our self-belief and robbed us of the opportunity to ‘become’. I liken our colonization to rape, it wasn’t only an injustice at that time, but the psychological and physical repercussions are being lived out in the lives of African children today.
The spirit of colonization continues to reign in most development initiatives focused on the African continent in this age. We are being robbed of the opportunity to take responsibility for our development, and to identify and apply home-grown interventions for sustainable growth. Funds and expertise are being channeled to cure negative manifestations in African development like hunger and disease, instead of focusing on prevention efforts that build the intellectual capacity of countries to safeguard their own development. True development support should not just give people the ability to survive today, but the power to decide their tomorrow; anything else is tantamount to colonialism.
A people that have no power over their present, have no hope for their future. Self determination is the spirit of development, as a people develop the skills and strategies necessary to flourish in their environment and exert influence on environments around them. As Africans, I believe it’s time we focused more on finding our own solutions to the development challenges affecting us and to set our minds on influencing global culture. We must realize that we have something to give the world, with over 1.3 billion minds, strong voices and owners of resources with unrealized potential to establish global dominion. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the African revolution.
Taking a step at a time to create the ultimate developmental journey.