By Omisore Samuel Iyiola
Foreign powers like china and America now have military bases in various strategically important parts of Africa. I am not anti- American. I am rather an admirer of American democracy, entrepreneurship and make great again spirit. These bases are a threat to Africa’s truly won freedom. We can clearly see that the advent of fifth columnists have exposed the fallacy of trying to banish imperialism and colonialism in Africa.
Africa from time immemorial has been a very complex continent. The problems of Africa did not start yesterday. It started in 1884 when the Europeans partitioned Africa in Germany. It was a period known to historians as the “New imperialism”. That was the first conquest of Africa. The interest of the Europeans in Africa was economic and its still economic. They have no permanent friends and no permanent interest. Neither their interest nor their friends are permanent. My gentle readers might be wondering, why is the writer is going through this? Unless you know the background, you will not know the root causes of Africa’s problems and would just be looking at the matter superficially. After the first and second world war, the birth of the United Nations Organisations with it’s declaration of human rights and its support for the struggle for freedom brought new hope for the enslaved and colonised peoples of the world. From the 1950’s, Africans at home and abroad were no longer supine. Waves of nationalist and freedom movements began to sweep entire Africa and African settlements. The maroons of Jamaica as well as other Caribbean nations were not left out. They showed gallantry. Black nationalism was born, independence was gotten, and the imperialists were shaken.
But as time went on, conflicts between progressive and reactionary forces sharpened. There were coups and counter coups as the imperialists were able to exploit our weaknesses. Foreign powers like china and America now have military bases in various strategically important parts of Africa. I am not anti- American. I am rather an admirer of American democracy, entrepreneurship and make great again spirit. These bases are a threat to Africa’s truly won freedom. We can clearly see that the advent of fifth columnists have exposed the fallacy of trying to banish imperialism and colonialism in Africa.
Greatness starts from within and not without . You cannot teach greatness. Williams Shakespeare in his twelfth night listed ways into how individuals become great. The ways can also be said about countries. Some countries and continents achieved greatness.
What is the problem with Africa? Most African leaders are docile and uninspired. Africa has almost half the world’s natural resources. It seldom have natural disasters. There are enormous arable lands.
Many African leaders cannot provide security intelligence and ward off criminals without interference from foreign countries. We should praise the French speaking countries in west Africa for breaking from the financial bondage of France. With the lynching of the president of AFDB Akinwunmi Adesina by the neo-colonialists, will Africa come of age and achieve greatness? This is a food for thought. This question should remain glued to our hearts.
The era of territorial conquering colonization is over.
China is the world’s second economical superpower and is eager to restore itself to it’s former glory like the days of the former Han empire. She is desirous to claim most countries in Africa by giving huge loans to African Governments and also dangling investments.
Simon kwawepwe said “if Africans should not safeguard their independence very well, the colonialists will come in as investors”. I remember when Zimbabwe ran into financial crises due to the sanctions from the U.S.A. and other European nations as a fallout from the seizure of white owned farm lands. China intervened by giving out loans to Robert Mugabe but on strict conditions that state infrastructure be used as collaterals. In Zimbabwe, state owned assets are gradually been handed over to china in exchange for debt relief. Not only Zimbabwe, a lot of African countries have kowtowed to Chinese pressure to use their state assets as collaterals. In Ethiopia, the Saudi Arabian rice plantation is a 10,000 hectares project. The rice plant produces thousands of tons of rice exported to Saudi Arabia with Ethiopia getting nothing. With this irony, Haile Selassie will roll over in his grave. Lest we forget, Colonialization started with the establishment of trading posts on coast of African countries. The Chinese say “one step in the wrong direction causes a thousand years of regrets”.
We hear Russia-Africa, Japan-Africa, Saudi-Africa, China-Africa. The continent is been sandwiched under the pretence of summits. Hence, the beginning of the second conquest of Africa. Our leaders must embark on a difficult project to develop Africa for Africans first and the world at large. We should neither face Washington, Moscow, London, Beijing, or Paris we should face forward!
Omisore Samuel Iyiola is a Public Affairs Analyst.