Friday, April 27, 2007

African independence still a debatable question

FOR centuries the African continent has been under brutal foreign occupation by the Arabs that invaded North Africa and the Europeans who invaded all parts of Africa.

After centuries of slavery and colonisation, the Europeans began to grant independence to the African countries. The first to gain this so-called independence were Sudan in 1956, Ghana in 1957 and Nigeria in 1960. Other African countries followed and South Africa became the last in 1994.

But the nagging question remains: Are the African countries actually independent?

Indications exist that Europe and the US still, through manipulation and military coups, determine who rules African countries.

For close to 20 years, the Structural Adjustment Programme, with its devastating effects, was forced on the African countries by Europe and the US. Realizing that it was unworkable, they later withdrew it. But they refused to render any apology or compensation to the African countries it had devastated for decades.

Many African leaders do not read their annual budgets until they receive pledges for financial hand-outs from Europe and the US. Independent countries in Europe, America and Asia have set up scientific, technological and industrial manufacturing systems with which they developed essential products, built their economies, military and security systems, and social-welfare systems.

But in Africa, Nigerian rulers use the Nigerian independence to waste the abundant natural and human resources of that country; they steal billions of dollars and hide them away in European and American banks. While they ravage the country, Nigeria’s productive population continues to scatter all over the world looking for survival.
This week a radio advert had somebody crying that he has a dream that the high rate of killing, rape, diseases, racial hate and xenophobia in South African might soon lead to the demise of the country. The advert ended by questioning whether that was what South Africans had done with their freedom.

The waste of abundant human and natural resources in Nigeria, dependency on foreign hand-outs by most African countries, and violent crime and xenophobia in South Africa, all seem to be rooted in the consumer tendencies of the Africans. And no country will actually be independent if it consumes rather than produces.

Recently Ghana celebrated its 50 years of independence. The discussion hosted by the West African Students Union (WASU) at Wits University suggested that Ghana had not made any meaningful achievement in the 50 years. On April 27 three African countries – Sierra Leone, Togo and South Africa - celebrate their independence. Within this period, Nigeria held elections for a new president, governors and legislators.

WASU, held a seminar on April 26 with the theme: Interrogating the Independence of African Countries. Five speakers from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo and South Africa took part.

Link to VuvuzelaOnline - African independence still a debatable question