Saturday, June 26, 2010
Introduction to Upcoming Book on African History
For thousands of years when the people of the Europe lingered in an observable fact of savagery and barbarism, the African continent enjoyed remarkable peace, prosperity, and good governance until poor and famished Europe woke up to an era in the 15th century that came to be known as the Renaissance with France becoming the first in continental Europe to seize the opportunity to effect change to its people’s living conditions politically, socially, and economically. Despite being called names pejoratively by the people of Europe, the inhabitants of the mighty African continent have never at any given time in history sought the help of Europe in any way whatsoever in the past. Instead, after suffering unmitigated hunger and general deprivation for many years, it was the leaders of Europe who embarked on surreptitious projects that in the end reduced the African continent into a bleeding mess.
Until we realize what the major factors are that continue to hold back the poor African continent through the eyes and mind of the African intellectual, we may never understand the general dilemmas of the African and Africans. From the very moment when Europeans started to involve themselves in African affairs, the rate of human suffering has been quite alarming. While the rest of the world is accelerating in terms of development, to the contrary, the African continent has experienced tremendous deceleration-not because of scarcity of natural resources and human capital, but because of European mistreatment.
After unleashing slavery and slave trade as a precursor to its protracted ravenousness and profligacy, the leaders of Europe persistently plundered Africa through imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, commercial misgivings, trade imbalances, the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and most recently through the World Trade Organization (WTO)-an organization whose mode of operations favor allies of the United States and the European Union while imposing hefty tariffs on African raw and manufactured products that are perceived as having inferior quality.
With the exception of oil and other industrial mineral exploits and rubber plantations that are either owned by or managed by western multinational corporations (MNC) and Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa that is farmed by underpaid Africans in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mali, and Ivory Coast respectively and consumed heavily as beverage in the western hemisphere, Africa’s vast natural resources-exploited and unexploited-remain in commercial limbo for failing to secure internationally accepted legitimate market value.
Despite the abundance of diamonds in Sierra Leone and Namibia; gold in South Africa; rubber in Liberia; oil in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Libya, and Tunisia, persisting colonial vestiges, embezzlement of state coffers and despicable corruption hinder prospects for progress and serendipity. It is quite common for the very African leader who is himself a product of colonialism to heap blame on his nation’s former colonial master be it be Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, or France respectively. Britain and France, the two major colonial powers that are central to the adulteration of African affairs continue to misguide their servants through the formation of proxy blocs known as Anglophone and Francophone where participating states are required to comply by laid down rules and regulations dictated from London and Paris. Ironically, majority of African leaders who subscribe to any of the two opposing rims, Anglophone or Francophone, came to the helm through vote rigging or through coup d’états. Thus, aspects of political and historical significance that failed to capture the imaginations of many writers in the past will be unveiled as you read the pages of an upcoming book on the history.
The subsequent rise of the Axumite Kingdom of Abyssinia before the advent of Christianity and Islam, the golden age of the Kingdom of Ghana, the wealth of the Kingdom of Mali under Mansa Musa, the Songhai Empire, the thriving civilizations on the Swahili coast of Eastern Africa, the great ruins of Zimbabwe and the forces that built it along the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers will be thoroughly scrutinized in the most scholarly manner.