African liberation, the realization of African nationalists’ dreams seem farfetched. Africa has never been the continent that Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Frantz Fanon wished it to be. It has turned to be a continent of regrets. A region that its population does not produce or manufacture to the level that it should, and those that do not trust its products. A continent that is at war with its citizens. In a nutshell, the motive behind the intermittent and protracted war against the colonial regime remains unfulfilled. Instead, more dawning revelations continue to diminish our efforts to make Africa great.
Africa has never been a continent of its means. It’s a continent of dependence. It is where all the states are orphans and their only remaining godfathers are the European nations who dictate to us what is valid and invalid. Fifty years after independence, we have never learnt to appreciate to use our vast available resources. A continent that through the politics of incapability and inadequate capital, they have failed to not only develop industries but also even sustain the local industries that were left behind by the colonial powers.
Africa, endowed with a knowledgeable population, has never provided a conducive working environment culminating into brain drain, industrial actions which have actually hampered service delivery, and expedited poverty. Our overdependence on the West has resulted into the continent being indebted hence lowering our political, economic and social leverage in the international system. The heavy debt and dependence on foreign aids have made us be subjective to our Western financiers. “Independence cannot be real if a nation depends on gifts” Nyerere once said
Africa has become a continent which has adopted the structures of democracy simply for political mileage. The continent has adopted democratic structures that do not seem to work. The tenents of democracy, a western based ideology, are theoretically contained in African constitutions. Elections for example though regular, rarely meet the democratic tests for credible, free, fair, accountable and transparent elections.
The election outcomes have rarely represented the majority interests. Rigging, violence, assassinations, threats and intimidation have marred and characterized African elections. Unfortunately, the independent entities such as the judiciary due to threats and corrupt deals have given a clean bill of health to democratic processes that have been globally condemned. Instead of acting as a watchdog to the state, non state actors and state actors have continued to serve as puppets of existing régimes. African countries systems actually seem to malfunction.
Mandela’s dream of having an Africa which is at peace with itself has never been realized. Hiding under the prism of national interests, African countries have engaged in intermittent interstate warfare and protracted domestic conflicts. African nations have never thought to use litigation or out of court settlement of dispute to end their woes. The opposition parties for example have led citizens to demonstrations that have culminated into destruction of political order and loss of lives instead of petitioning their cases before courts. Interestingly, states do not have confidence in their own courts such as the African Courts of Justice. They have disregarded their own courts and have preferred the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Instead of changing the constitution to meet the peoples’ needs, politicians have drafted constitutions that actually suit their own narrow self-interests with majority of African leaders arm twisting the constitutions to make them life time leaders. Our continental leaders do not actually seem to care. They have justified their illegitimate regimes through force and intimidation. It is a continent of many odds.
African electorates are to be blamed: We have opted for underperformers at the expense of performers. Our level of being inquisitive and holding leaders accountable is indeed wanting. We actually need to keep the spirit of our liberators burning. Their desire for an all-inclusive continent characterized by all the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit should indeed be put in practice.
Kaudo Philip Misori is a student of political science, a writer to several platforms on political issues and a political commentator currently for Equator FM.
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