African people: Changing our changeability

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

In his philosophical writings, St. Augustine of Hippo (354AD-430AD) came out with a concept known as efficacious grace and predestination. According to this concept certain individuals are predestined to receive grace.

This means that those who will enter heaven have already been chosen per the above principle. As people, have Africans already been condemned relative to development? The answer is a big no.

In his article, “African natural resources: solving the great conundrum,” published in the prestigious NewAfrican webpage in January 2014, the great journalist, Baffour Ankomah, presented a dialectical analysis of African natural resources and poverty level on the continent. The reputable journalist asserted that Africa is the richest continent in the world by natural resources but ironically the poorest buy bank accounts.

From my novice opinion, this is very true and the blame must be put on contemporary African leaders. We must raise development of our country above partisan party interest. The composition of our governments must be based on merits and taking into accounts ethnic, religious and regional integrations as well as rule of law.

We must discover our identity as Africans and deconstruct our education, economy and every aspects of our developmental endeavor from its colonial structures. The Singapore’s benevolent dictator, Lee Kuan Yew is an example of how a good leader could turn the fortunes of a country.

Tribal loyalty is a great enemy of Africa which the leadership must be concerned in dealing with it. In his book, “From Third World to First, The Singapore Story: 1965-2000, page, 357, Lee Kuan Yew wrote that he was not hopeful about Africa.

In less than 10 years after independence in 1957, Nigeria experienced a military take over and Ghana a failed coup. I realized that their tribal loyalties were stronger than their sense of common nationhood. This was especially so in Nigeria, where there was a deep cleavage between the Muslim Hausa Northerners and the Christian southerners as well as the traditionalists.

In Ghana, without this north south divide, the problem was less severe, but were still clear tribal division. Unlike India, Ghana did not have long years of training and tutelage in the methods and discipline of modern government. Today, many African countries Such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya have long years of training but we are still lacking the discipline of the modern government.

People who lead a successful life always provide proper care for their aged parents while those who struggle in life accused their parents of witchcraft. “A causal stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

There are some African leaders who continue to torture, imprison, and intimidate their fellow countrymen under the pretext of preserving their countries from western imperialism. One President has vowed to rule his country one billion years because the British colonized them for about 400 years. Leadership failure in Africa is the problem. The new Tanzania Leader, John Magufuli is a prime example of what a good leader can do.

How long are we going to blame the colonial masters for our woes? All that we need to change is our unpredictability. In his book, Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust, Slavery and the rise of European capitalism, John Henrik Clarke wrote that Pope John Paul III, asked the Indians and the Africans to forgive their captors and their enslavers.

This was in the Pope’s speech in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The pope said, “Forgive all those who during these 500 years have been the cause, of the pain and suffering for your ancestors and for yourself.” In the name of Jesus Christ and as pastor of the church, I ask you to forgive those who have offended you, the pope said in a message to the hemisphere’s autochthonous peoples.

It is true that slave trade and colonization did not help us as people. This notwithstanding, love is stronger than hate. The fact that many leaders on the continent subject their fellow citizens into servitude, negate our moral rights to condemn the most egregious holocaust in the world: slave trade and colonization.

We cannot go back to our past us people but can start something new for a better future. Ethnic cleansing, intimidation, torture and massacre cannot help us as people. Once we know our history then we know where we are going. The British political theorist and philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729-1797), asserted that: “people will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”

In his brilliant scholarly article: “the ancestors and the nation-building, Aluta continua, my own history lecturer, Nana Kobina Nketsia VI, the chief of Essikado in the western region of Ghana stated that: “although we are still reeling under the cultural imperialism, the ancestors are still waiting as we fight an illusory fight with ourselves… we have sacrificed our ideologies on the unholy alters of Eurocentric convenience.”

What we need to change on the continent of Africa is our changeability. There is still hope on the continent of Africa with right leadership. I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing (Socrates). I humbly stand for Corrections.

Writer's e-mail: padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw