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The tragedy of a disunited Africa

Uganda discovered recently that it had a cache of gold ready for mining that is worth trillions. No one is surprised because this is Africa, which is rich in metal and mineral resources, including oil and gas. The irony is, in spite of the tremendous wealth in resources, it is still the poorest continent on Earth.

Kwame Nkrumah, the former President of Ghana, fought for a fully independent Africa

In the past, Africa was ravaged by European colonisation predicated by the Berlin Conference that dissected Africa into shares where European countries had the consent and agreement between them as to which countries they will dominate. But of late, by its own continued neocolonialist attitude fostered by its leaders, that is the problem. When we look at the ideals that have made countries such as America great, they were very simple: “One nation under God”, “From sea to shining sea”. Yes, these are simple statements but profound in their application.

Kwame Nkrumah many years ago begged, pleaded and laid the argument before other leaders of Africa to be one nation, with one system of defence, one judiciary and one currency. Some of us will remember also that the Caribbean, when independence was first considered, was to be under a federation. Africa is not even a confederation; it is 50-plus “independent” countries with 33 different currencies.

Only 15 per cent of the African economy is intercontinental trade between states and regions, with a massive 85 per cent of trade being between them and the international community. While the pan-African aspirants have talked for years and have even clamoured for reparations that are morally due from the West, trillions of dollars of resources are being eaten up by other nations, facilitated by self-serving leaders — themselves the least bit interested in uniting Africa.

America is one country, China is one country, Europe is under the European Union and India is essentially one country. The African continent is 55 countries because the leaders enjoy what they have become accustomed to. They will rather remind their populace of the struggle against colonialism and independence than talk about the unity of Africa, which would necessitate total accountability. They keep their minds shackled by the thoughts of independence when that independence only serves to keep each nation divided from the others and their leaders rich.

When Nkrumah and folk were looking at independence back in the 1950s, it was meant as a step out of subjugation towards unity, but instead it became a recipe for sustained division where ethnicity and tribalism remained a vehicle through which others exploited. It continues today even in small places such as Bermuda where outside influences with a little money can get anywhere they want to go by co-opting the leaders.

That tune must end because without a united focus on making Africa a united continent with real human principles of governance, much in the way that the United States was formed, real growth and prosperity will not happen. The leaders will become rich but the wealth will be extracted by greedy nations and the people will be recolonised. It is happening in small jurisdictions such as Bermuda, where, piece by piece, the country is being recolonised. This is not xenophobia, it is economic reality. Globalisation is inevitable and diversity is a natural outcome, but this is not simple globalisation; it is treason when leaders sell their people down the drain for their own personal benefit.

This old but new ideal of the dignity of mankind within jurisdictions also supersedes differences. Africa is a continent of human beings. It is two billion in number and has an extended diaspora of another 200 million or more throughout the Western world. We need somehow to build the ideal of one country with equality for all with a legislature that is committed to that union. It will mean exposing the corruption of our present ways, but only then will all prosper and the resources not be stolen. At the moment China through no fault of their own are probably celebrating the discovery of gold in Uganda more than Ghana, the whole of Africa or the diaspora — and that's because there is no united Africa.

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Published July 04, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated July 02, 2022 at 7:27 pm)

The tragedy of a disunited Africa

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