On July 1st, three African countries, namely Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia, gained their political independence. Anniversaries make us reflect on past events. More than half of a century since the 60s, it does not appear difficult to realize that a number of things did not work out as expected for these countries. Unfortunately the picture is almost the same across the continent. It’s a fact that the majority of African countries got their independence around that period.
Some years back, after analyzing the early period prior to African independence, I found that many years passed since the Manchester Conference of 1945 held by the pan African movement had some impact. It took some good years to the Nkrumah, Kenyatta and others alike who those days were prying for changes then necessary in Africa to make a breakthrough. It took particularly to Ghana twelve years. Others demanded even more time.
History books or elders don’t miss any opportunity to tell how the forefathers of African independence fought both internal and external oppressions of the masses. It was not easy at all. It was even harder to sustain whatever gain had been achieved.
The oppressors tried to hijack the outcomes of years of sacrifices. They often succeeded to regain the lost ground. They changed strategies to impose themselves and continue their exploitation. As in the previous periods, they counted on unscrupulous and selfish African leaders ready to sell out interests of their people. It took decades to the victims of yesterday to realize their mistakes.
As in old times, it was going to be around a limited number of enlightened sons and daughters of Africa that the continent’s destiny would depend on. They understood the issues involved, particularly the double speak and hypocrisy of the corrupt leaders always plotting their indefinite stay in power they had stolen from the people.
The new generation of enlightened true sons and daughters of Africa could deconstruct the plans of the internal masses’ enemy and external forces. They had learned the hard way, being themselves victims of the forces they were ready to stand against. They had role models among the forefathers. They had seen how their elders, namely Sankara, Kaddafi or Mugabe had been crashed down or weakened by the imperialist forces.
The 21st century had however brought a seemingly renewal even among the usually complacent and African elite in governments that serves the West. These were talking of Renaissance. But it was a mere caricature of what was needed to fundamentally change the oppressive and sometime tragic situation of African masses.
It was under that period that the continent experienced the most of its deadly tragedies in many parts of its regions: from Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast to Somalia passing through Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a paradox, it was at the same period that the continent is portrayed as the future of humanity because of its immense resources. And the multiple wars fought on its land being seen as a necessity for the salvation of some global powers in declining influence.
2011 saw the northern African youth claiming more of its share of dignity from the corrupt elite in office. As time passed, there were again severe disappointments. They realized they had been used and betrayed. The experience added to the fact that the awakening of the necessary minority in the forefront is there. Strategizing is the key, but at the same time avoiding mistakes committed by those who came before them.
The new wind of African independence hangs on the shoulders of that enlightened minority of individuals on the continent and in the Diaspora, finding each other, developing synergies, protecting each others’ back, and coming together for action, not necessarily as one, but moving in the same direction. All these will be the ingredients of their success.
There are battles against imperialist forces that are being won in South America. It took these countries years of educating masses and organizing. They are getting there. The same way the forefathers of African independence learnt from their participation to western fronts against Hitler fascism, the new generation of aspirant African political leadership must get involved in the Latin American wars against global imperialism led by US, Canada, UK, EU and their multinationals. At the end, everything comes down to economy or war of resources. Those who can control them can impose their views onto the rest.
“In the past, we were colonized and enslaved. Our stolen labour built empires in the North. Today, with every step we take for our liberation, the empires grow decadent and begin to crumble. However, our liberation is not only the emancipation of the peoples of the South. Our liberation is also for the whole of humanity. We are not fighting to dominate anyone. We are fighting to ensure that no one becomes dominated,” Evo Morales, President of Bolivia. http://climateandcapitalism.com/2014/06/20/evo-morales-liberation-whole-humanity/