By Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI, MSP
In John 1:45-46, Philip said to Nathanael, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ said Philip.”
On the contrary, it is not the case that Africa is too small in size and people, like the case of Nazareth which made Nathanael ask such a derogatory question; but that Africa, through her leaders sold the birthright of Africa to the western world. This is because in the real sense of the word, civilization started in Africa. Where was the western world when civilization dated back to 3100BC in Egypt started?
Sadly, African leaders for self-centered interests, long ago, sold the rights of Africa to the western world. They did that by cooperating with the West against their own people through slave trades. They did that when they failed to develop Africa science and technology all for the benefits of the West. They did that when they failed to develop our arrows, javelins, local made guns to the advantage of western guns and grenades. They did that when they neglected Africa’s rich medicinal herbs, in preference to western medicines. They failed when they saw blacks as inferiors to colored skins, if you like call it whites.
They failed when they betrayed kings who were ready to wrestle with the cunning and deceitful white folks who used them against one another, and so succeeded in conquering Africa and subjected her to their own rules, known as colonization. African leaders failed when they preferred made in abroad products to African products.
Till date, African leaders continue to fail by selling her rich natural and human resources to the West, and the West returning the finished products back to Africa in exorbitant prices. African leaders keep failing by refusing to develop her own people so as to stand head high with the western folks in world matters. African leaders continue to fail by refusing to develop her various institutions and infrastructure, vis-à-vis, health, security, education, social amenities, industries, to mention but a few, just to patronize western institutions and products. No doubt, African leaders keep failing by their continuous borrowing from the West, and later on crying out for debt-forgiveness.
Believe me or not, the real problem of Africa is her leaders. Take a good look at all those either in the seats of power or corridors of power in Africa in the last four decades or more, you will discover that they are still the same old folks whose mental orientations revolve around western supremacy. The same ‘errand boys,’ now ‘errand old men.’ How then do we break the jinx? We can only break the jinx if as citizens we speak with one voice in all the countries that make up Africa.
Little Madagascar is getting it right because they have a president that is not of the old colonial ‘errand boys.’ Senegal and Rwanda are getting it right, because the presidents have decided to break away from the old ‘errand boys’ styles.
It is no longer news that the world is shaken by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic. A pandemic which at the time of writing this article has spread to nearly every nook and cranny of the world, infecting over 3million people world wide, and killing over 200’000 people world wide. Before the outbreak got to Africa there were already predictions from the western powers, the likes of Bill Gate, his wife, and even our own Ethiopian born WHO president, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on the devastating effects it would have on Africans should the virus spread to Africa. It was easy for them to predict such doom because of our leaders’ continuous reliance on the West, and our leaders’ failure to develop their own people and institutions. So, I wouldn’t blame any of them for the predictions of doom in Africa.
Lo and behold, in February the reality started staring us in the face here in Africa. In March and early April, with Italy, Spain, France, and the almighty USA having received their shares of the deadly blow of the virus, the world was now waiting for what would befall Africa. Truly, left for the old folks, it is business as usual, the cry to the West for help. Those already crying, I wonder the type of help they would actually render to those who are about to begin their own cry. But to show that they remain in control, the Westerners sent in some aids.
What about the drama of having Africans tested with the experimental vaccine as alleged by French scientists? All because of what African leaders have turned Africans into. But thanks to the ‘Ubuntu’ 46yrs old Mr Andry Nirina Rajoelina, the young president of Madagascar, and Mr Macky Sall, President of Senegal, who decided to rethink Africa. The results of their ‘Ubuntu’ initiatives are today evident for the world to see.
A ventilator machine costs 16,000 US dollars, but today Senegal has produced ventilator machines, with each worth just 600 US dollars, with massive testing kits all from the knowledge gleaned from African scientists.
What about the young President of Madagascar, his rethinking the African way has seen to the production of herbal mixture for the treatment of the dreaded virus. And the mighty USA is ready to fund the project, because the results are evident.
But despite the fact that most African leaders have failed Africa, good citizens of Africa have continued to prove to African leaders that truly Africans cannot fail themselves. Recently, the news went viral that His Grace, Most Revd Dr Samuel Kleda, the Catholic Archbishop of Douala in Cameroon, who has been in the herbal field for three decades has discovered a herbal mixture that could cure the dreaded disease.
Soon after, the popular “Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories” in Edo State, Nigeria, headed by the monk priest, Fr Anselm Adodo, OSB released a press statement on a new herbal mixture called CVD PLUS that is capable of battling this deadly virus. It is our collective hope that the Nigerian government will cooperate effectively with Pax Herbal Clinic.
The testimonies from African nations above have so far proven that indeed Africa can get it right if she rethinks Africa. It shows that something good can come out of Africa if only her leaders invest more in Africa. It shows that Africa can get it right, if African leaders look more inwards and do it the African way.
Finally, faced with the reality of COVID-19, let African leaders know that indeed, Africa is capable of leading the world in the global space, because Africa has all it takes to do so. I leave us with the words of the great Madiba of South Africa, “Time shall come where the white man’s country will no longer be safe for African leaders to travel to, they will be forced to stay and make positive change for Africans” (Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013).
I think the time is now. Let us stop the copy and past style. Let us rethink Africa. Let us learn to do things the African way.
Together we can!