Kojo Botsio, Che Guevara, Kwame Nkrumah and two Cuban officials in Ghana during the Guevara visit in late 1964 and early 1965 when he toured several African states. Guevara would work to liberate Congo in 1965., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Africa Needs a Mental Revolution, Not Aid
By Honourable Saka
Patrice Lumumba underlines the urgent need for a mental revolution to be created in Africa
"The liberation of the minds of the African people will be a tougher battle than the eradication of settler regimes". -Patrice Lumumba.
These words of Patrice Lumumba, clearly underscores the urgent need for institutions to be created throughout Africa, with the sole responsibility to liberate the minds of the African people. It is for this reason that the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), a Pan-African initiative that seeks to create a "mental revolution" throughout the continent and strive for a better Africa, is currently underway. Fortunately, a few African institutions have shown their desire to support this initiative. This is desirable because we seriously need a change of mentality to free ourselves from colonial bondage.
One major challenge that currently faces the African people is not that of poverty. Neither is it the lack of resources. In the 21st century, the major problem we face as a people is what Bob Marley has referred to as "Mental Slavery". Bob Marley acknowledged that “none but ourselves can free our minds”.
We have all the resources here in Africa. In fact it is estimated that Africa possesses more than 60% of the world's natural resources. Yet, Africans are brainwashed to believe they are poor. Our economies have been held hostage by imperial dictatorships. Prices are pre-determined for our natural resources neither on the basis of their value nor their quality.
Rather, they’re designed to enrich the foreign capitalist’s interest. Africa's resources are been looted on a mass scale under the guise of ‘investment’ and ‘economic aid’. We accept this fate because we’re told we have no knowledge of how to explore these resources by ourselves.
“It is often said that the foreign ‘investor’ however self-interested he might be, would still be ‘doing Africa a favour’. This sort of argument reminds me of the man who, having found plenty of buried treasures in his neighbour’s garden, took it away and then told his neighbour that he was doing him no harm, because, until then, this fellow was unaware of the existence of such valuable resource”. –Kwame Nkrumah (Africa must Unite, page 20).
Instead of African leaders to unite and demand a fair price for the vast resources we have to benefit the ordinary African, we individually beg for aid and they take our resources barely for free. Africa needs fair trade; not economic aid with unfair conditions attached. The great millions of Africans are growing impatient of being the hewers of wood, the providers of unskilled labour, the drawers of water, as well as being the cleaners of Europe and America.
What Africa currently needs are leaders who believe in Pan-Africanism. For it is because of Pan-Africanism we attained independence from colonial rule. We need leaders who will see the benefits that come with our determination to stand together, struggle together, grow together and unite in order to fight against imperial dictatorship and Western exploitation. Just imagine how the entire African leaders were ignored by the US, Britain and France who imposed their wish upon Libya, murdered Gaddafi with impunity and threw the country into chaos. Even though the UN Resolution 1973 on Libya was abused, you can be certain that the ICC: the International Court of Criminals will never find anybody in NATO to be guilty of war crimes nor crimes against humanity. As of now, even though many evidences have found Bush and Blair to be guilty of crimes against humanity, the ICC still remains blind to these evidences. It is always African leaders whose crimes are seen by the international community. It is time for Africans to establish their own judicial systems to deal with crimes committed by Africans. The current imperial systems have outlived their usefulness; they have been corrupted and are now tools that serve Western interest but do not serve international justice.
When Kofi Anan became the UN Secretary-General, Africa was full of hope. When El Baradie headed the IAEA, Africa was full of hope. When Obama won the elections in America, Africa was full of Hope. A Gambian to head the ICC, Africa started Hoping. When Okonjo became the World Bank MD, Africa hoped and hoped. The new hope is that when African woman becomes the world Bank President, Africa will be better. My humble advice to all Africans is to end this illusive dream and take a cue from India, China, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea by putting their hopes only in themselves and working hard to develop their countries. Africans must stop putting hope in western puppets!! We must create our own institutions to deal with our own problems. This form of imported justice and imported policies must stop.
How Long Can We Cope With Apathy?
Thousands of weapons were poured into Africa by France and Qatar, ignoring all international laws. When two Western journalists died in Syria, the whole western world was outraged. Yet, in Libya, many blacks majority of them Nigerians were brutally murdered by NATO's rebels under the watch of the UN, while the West cheered and jubilated, calling it a success. No one pointed out that indeed what happened to the Gaddafis was not death by accident but a premeditated murder. This had already been discussed in the Western media, with Hillary Clinton herself calling on the Al-Qaeda rebels to “capture or kill” Gaddafi.
Yet, there was not a single word from those who declare themselves as ‘world leaders’, human right institutions nor the international “courts of justice”, condemning Hillary Clinton’s remarks and the killing of blacks in Libya. After all, the fall of Gaddafi and the oil contracts were all they sought after; not the security of Africans.
Shockingly, the African leaders, many of them Doctors and Professors, averagely beyond the age of 70yrs, were simply relegated to the status of “children”, whose views were side-lined by NATO as irrelevant. This could only happen because there is no unity among our African leaders and as such they couldn't have been taken serious. Most importantly, the strong ones in their midst have been tainted by corruption to the point where their voices cannot be heard on such important developments for the fear of putting themselves in the spotlight. The challenges facing our individual countries are getting out of control. It is only with a concerted effort that we can contain these problems. It must be understood that no single African state can stand against the wrath of imperialism, without needing the protection/support of the entire continent.
In his book Africa Must Unite (page xvi), Kwame Nkrumah wrote:
“Imperialism is still a most powerful force to be reckoned with in Africa. It operates on a world-wide scale in combinations of many different kinds: economic, political, cultural, educational, military; and through intelligence (covert operations) and information services. …Just as our strength lies in a unified policy and action for progress and development, so the strength of the imperialists lies in our disunity. We in Africa can only meet them effectively by presenting a unified front and a continental purpose”.
Unfortunately, African leaders of today, many of them intellectuals still pretend as if they are never familiar with these words of our founding fathers. What happened in Libya and Ivory Coast clearly confirms the urgent need for African leaders to unite and be able to defend the interest of the African people. Africa needs leaders who see the need to work together bearing in mind the interest of all Africans, but not merely to seek their selfish interests nor that of their individual countries.
When commissioned, the PPA's major objective will focus upon unlocking African minds for the freedom of the African people as a whole. Our problems can be surmounted not merely by individual efforts but by a collective action with a common objective. Therefore the minds of the African youth must be empowered to take the future of our beloved continent from the hands of the current batch of leaders who continue to stab one another in the back for their own selfish gains. Some of them have blindly taken the imperial powers on trust, falsely believing that their selfish ambitions will be protected forever. They don’t seem to understand that imperialism has a permanent interest but no permanent friends/servants. Most of them fail to understand that the forces dictating to them are actually manipulating them against one another.
Security, Our Collective Responsibility
Nkrumah held that, no single part of Africa can be safe, or free to develop fully and independently at a time when any other part is torn up in conflict; remains unliberated or under the control of puppet regimes. Africans must be able to picture the continent as one human body. All the “states” together form the “organs” and the “systems” that must work together to make the body complete. No single part of Africa can succeed in isolation. Like the human body, any problem at any part of the body affects the entire body altogether. This is why problems in Sudan should not be seen merely as a problem for the Sudanese, but as an African problem which must be tackled by our collective efforts. The problems in Nigeria should not be seen as Nigeria's responsibility alone but something that requires our collective input. Many of such problems can never be solved by the state in question alone.
Meanwhile there is also the danger of such problems spilling over to other neighbouring states if not properly contained. Today, the conflict in Libya which many African nations pretended they did not know about has had serious repercussions, with many of the weapons making their way to various corners of the continents. All the anti-aircraft missiles which landed in the hands of the rebels/terrorists currently pose a great danger not only to the Libyan people but to any African country where commercial airlines fly. It is the same with Somalia, Uganda, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and others. The problem of any single African state has to be tackled by our collective efforts as our problem.
This lackadaisical attitude where certain African leaders behave as if they can leave in isolation, when their neighbour’s borders are in flames is unfortunate. It has been said that Africans must unite, for they have nothing to lose but their chains. The time is right for us to unite and fight for our freedom. For freedom is not given by consent but as a result of determination to attain it.
“Freedom is not a commodity which is ‘given’ to the enslaved upon demand. It is a precious reward, the shining trophy of struggle and sacrifice”, -Kwame Nkrumah.
African leaders need to establish a joint security force whose major responsibility will be to defend the African people from terrorism and foreign aggression.
On the security front, Kwame Nkrumah thus wrote:
“Unless we meet this obvious and very powerful threat with a unified African front, based upon a common economic and defence policy, the strategy of the imperialist will be to pick us off and destroy us one by one” (Africa Must Unite, page xvii).
We in Africa do NOT need NATO. We rather need unity. We do not need AFRICOM. At the same time, no NATO country, will accept African troops on her soil. The US will never allow any foreign troops on her soil. Therefore why must Africa be the testing ground for NATOs 21st century missiles? We already know the track records of NATO in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Libya and other places. Apart from the huge untold deaths of millions of civilians which but for WikiLeaks, had always escaped the headlines, the effect of the depleted uranium bombs and the WMDs used in these countries has resulted in many babies born with disabilities and untold consequences of cancer. Africa must not allow our motherland to become the new ‘Middle East’. We must be ready to take the future of our continent into our own hands. Time is running out for Africa to unite. We will have nothing to lose but our chains!
"Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world". -Kwame Nkrumah (I speak of Freedom).
Kwame Nkrumah (1963) “Africa Must Unite”, Panaf Books: London
Project Pan-Africa, www.projectpanafrica.org
The author is a regular writer and a political analyst on African affairs, and a well-known social commentator in Africa. Hes is currently seeking the establishment of the "Project Pan-Africa" to create a mental revolution across Africa. He is the editor of “The Doctor’s Report”, your most reliable source of critical analysis on African affairs. He is a strong Pan-Africanist, a youth activist and the founder of the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, a transformational and inspirational group of possible future leaders. Please visit his blog at: www.honourablesaka.blogspot.co.uk and Email him at: email@example.com