The time has come when Africans should be courageous enough to stand against those who are in the way of their well being as people entitled to a decent and dignified life. It’s not resources which are lacking to achieve better standards of living for populations, but the greed of political leaders and their irresponsibility which are the obstacles. Ben Ali is gone. Hosni Mubarak’s exit was completed on Friday 11th, 2011. The list of those on the African continent who need to go is still very long.
Before the 60s, the oppression of indigenous people was perpetrated by the colonials and their local subordinates. It officially ended with the period of African independences. By 1963, the majority of the countries had gained their political independence. Unfortunately, past oppressors were quickly replaced by locals who in some cases made the situation worse than it was before. In fact, there are still corners of the continent where people lived relatively better than they are today.
Tunisia and Egypt examples are now there to demonstrate to the rest of the continent that relatively peaceful change is possible. There is no need of setting up rebel movements or starting guerrilla wars. That time has finished. People by taking in their hands their own destiny and being determined enough to see wanted change through, can make it happen. All depends on how much suffering people have been enduring and how far and how long they can hold on their pain without screaming that enough is enough.
Western support for African dictators has been and continues to be a constant on the continent. They work with whoever guarantees their own and selfish interests. It is not a fallacy to argue that until the Egyptian uprising the whole Western world praised Mubarak and his leadership as a factor of stability for the country and the Middle East. Plenty other dictators are perceived under the same loops. As long the West benefits from the status quo or a different scenario they are comfortable with, they are not much bothered by the impact of these leaders’ policies on their populations.
Many countries across the continent are voting this year. Uganda will be choosing his next president and MPs on February 18th, 2011. The incumbent leader Joweri Museveni has been in power since 1986. He changed the constitution several times to remain in power. But Milton Allimadi, Ugandan editor of Black Stars Newspaper, wrote on his Facebook pages, ‘We are all Egyptians.’ We all want change particularly when what we have been experiencing for decades and for some their whole lives, is only absolute misery, lack of freedom of expression, corruption, unemployment, oppression and official discrimination from our leaders.
In Tunisia and Egypt, young people and use of new technology have demonstrated changing contexts within which current political revolutions occur. Same scenarios or relatively close will apply on the continent to make required change happen. Of course, not every dictatorship is the same. But symptoms and manifestations are everywhere similar. As oppressed in other parts of the continent have learned from their brothers and sisters from Maghreb, their dictators must’ve understood the new environment they have to face.
Unless people get out and cry out publically to their leaders that the situation has radically to change, nothing will change. It’s not elections which will change dictatorships in Africa. Africans need to stop being fooled by elections organised by dictators who don’t believe in democracy. It’s the other way around. Countries where democratic principles rule, fair and transparent elections are possible. Dictators should understand and we should make them understand that change is natural. By opposing it, they are going against the laws of nature. And us by not helping it happen we are jeopardising our well-being.