Opinions Sat, 5 Jun 2004

Is God Saving Africa for the Last?

It seems that it will take a miracle to save Africa. Every statistic in the world rates Africa as the worst. The worst in poverty, aids, development, education, stillbirth rate, infant mortality, life expectancy ? you name it, Africa is last. It is as if the Creator is punishing Africa for a reason.

The irony though, is that, recent discoveries point to the high probability that the first man on earth walked on the African soil. In fact, President Clinton acknowledged that fact while in Ghana during his tour of Africa as the first and only US President to do so. Africa is also probably more endowed in natural resources than any of the other continents.

If the Christian theology about creation bears any semblance to what actually happened, then, at the least, I am convinced that one claim ? the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden ? could be false. I think, if there was ever such a garden, it could have been located at no other place than Africa. Why? For now, let us put aside recent findings with respect to early forms of human life on the continent. Let us just talk about common sense alone. Sometimes, common sense is just enough to explain many hidden truths to us. Most of the scientific discoveries in the world have come about from theories postulated by the application of common sense. A lot of us, though, have the tendency to ignore what is obvious. So, it would not surprise me that many will think I am being simplistic. But, you know what? Most things are simple, are they not?

Let us say that you are God. You have created the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth and everything in it ? the trees, the rivers, the seas, the flowers, the fruits and all the various animals. Now, you are about to bring about your last creation ? man - and you want to give him the most beautiful garden in which to live. This man is going to be naked because he doesn?t know how to make clothes ? not as yet. So, the garden must be warm all year round. He has to roam about this garden eating fruits and vegetables growing in the wild all year round, because he does not know how to harvest, process and store as yet. He has to keep company with all kinds of animals of the world because his human companion is not as yet invented. Now, if you were this God where on this planet called earth would you put this man? Doesn?t common sense tell you even today that the only place on this planet that fits the description of the ?garden? is AFRICA? Where on earth do you see fruits growing wild all year round, warm weather all year round, animals of all kinds roaming around all year round? Or, would you put such a man in Europe, Asia or the Americas where it is so cold, wintry with uncertain and dangerous climatic conditions such as earthquakes and typhoons. Where in Africa do you find such extreme weather conditions?

So, the Garden of Eden is not a myth, after all. We had it all along, You and I live in it, as Africans, and we don?t even know it. Not long ago, as a child, I picked and ate bananas, oranges, pears and berries from their trees free of charge, just as Adam would have done in his garden millions of years ago and nobody would raise an eyebrow. Where else could you do that except Africa, the Garden of Eden.

It is said that when the first man sinned against his Creator, he was sent packing from the beautiful Garden. He was on his own. He had to learn to gather, plant and hunt to feed himself. He had eaten the forbidden fruit and as such had become just a little wiser so it was a little easier to know how to plant, harvest, cook and hunt to feed himself. He had learnt the first principles of survival. Then he started wandering around, seeing, experimenting and creating. Common sense tells me that if this man wandered into a colder climate, then, one of the first things he would create is clothing to keep warm. The animals were not so friendly any more. So, naturally, he had to learn to protect himself. The weather wasn?t so friendly, so he needed to create shelter. When he had learnt these fundamentals, he was free to roam about anywhere and be able to survive. As he roamed farther and farther, the Garden became deteriorated. The flowers turned to bushes, the trees became forests and the wild animals took control.

Man left the Garden of Eden, but, there was a promise from the Creator that he would return. He would return after he had gone out and explored and learnt everything he needed to. The world has suddenly turned its attention to the Garden of Eden ? Africa. Africa is on the lips of every world leader today.

Most parts of Africa are still blessed with great weather, natural resources, vegetation, less environmental degradation and natural beauty. It is a continent that is as diverse as it homogeneous. In fact, it is the only continent that was naturally occupied by one race ? black people ? until Arabs conquered it in the North and white people only recently raided its shores. I say ?only recently? because in the scheme of things, 1400 AD, the century of European invasion into Africa is recent.

Adam is returning to his roots. The whole world is coming back to Africa now. The Caucasians, the Mongols and even the Africans who recently left its shores in slave ships are coming back. They ?re coming back home where it all began. They are coming back with money and the knowledge they?ve acquired during their sojourn in other lands. They are coming to re-develop the Garden of Eden again into what God wanted it to be from the beginning of time. Is God?s promise being fulfilled? Are you ready to take your rightful place in the promised land? What a wonderfully beautiful place it?ll be!

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Ntiamoa, Ken