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Africa-Reborn or Perish? Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Dereje Amera, Ethiopia Oct 28, 2004
Culture , Human Rights   Opinions
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Africa is a continent blessed with potential natural and human resources. But, today the continent is crying with begging hands for it is in the depth of many problems looking for assistance, even though there is a claim that Africans can give African solutions to the African problems. Whether we like it or not, all of us are accountable, and this is not something that few people are responsible for, it is a common problem to which common effort and collaboration is required. Differences in mentality should assist in a way that ornaments our goals and objectives, which may lead to an understanding and reality of applying fuel to the fire.

We have seen many treaties, protocols and meetings held which is by far greater than the number of countries in the continent, to eradicate the problems that the continent has faced and is facing, but our sophistications are still a challenge, and all the signed agreements and the speeches made in the profound words and articulations have never offered reliable solutions to the continent at large. Our own orientation towards our own identity is something that needs new ‘mental settings’, that we still live with the mind set we had been through in the periods before [colonial and slavery], that our independence is still a challenge.

Many African countries are tied up with an enormous amount of loans, which inhibit the economic development of any nation in a way that a particular nation wants to be. Practically speaking, in one to one human relationship, if some one takes a loan from another, there is indeed a feeling, which one is not comfortable with until the loan is settled. And the person who borrowed the money mat not be confident and independent before the other, for he feels that there is an obligation not fulfilled, and may not be qualified enough to express himself freely, for he is tied up with an unfulfilled promise. Since there is a mental setting already created and resulted due to the interaction between developed and developing nations, those who do have strong economic reserve have been influencing the others, and the influence and the effect it has is beyond economical and political matter, rather it has captured emotional attention and influence. It affects every one who lives in the continent that one’s identity is expressed in a way that other people wanted it to be.

Poverty is one of the challenges and complications we inherited from the generations before us, and we are still striving to eradicate it. Other epidemic diseases like malaria and recently HIV/AIDS are other complications we are going through. Irreconcilable political differences are the very complicated issues that we inherited from the people before us. These problems are today beyond challenges and rather they are the sign of identity to any African. They become the manifestations of our reality, and other people who reside outside this continent perceive us in a way that our reality [mentality] is as dark as our skin color. Wearing a black skin is considered as a sin, in which our whole entirety is referred.

The sign of identity and the freedom we need to enjoy is not yet ripe, that every time we are facing difficulties that our beloved continent is still in a prison, which is hard to realize, whose boundary line is not even conceptualized by its denizens. We can move from place to place, in which our ‘tagged identity’ also moves anywhere with us, and we cannot escape from the labeled identity we are already identified as. For instance, if a thieve escapes from a prison, and if he is well-identified as a thief by the residents of a town, whether that man lives in prison or outside the prison area, it does not matter. He carries his name wherever he walks in the town. The same is true for any African, whether one lives in Africa or any other place, that ‘labeled identity’ is still there, and nobody can remove that.

Currently, our people are getting addicted with the products of past technology, in which our people are highly falling in love with such products, and we are somehow still with such romanticism that we tend to forget our culture and identity. Technology is the primal promoter of individualism, and our African cultural setting is communal in character. Both are like fire and water, in which both cannot exist in one container, but rather there needs to be great adjustment and deep thinking to balance both, otherwise if we are obsessed by these strange products, we may somehow lose where we stopped before and may get in the middle of nowhere. We are getting obsessed with such products, which are imitations of foreign technology. Whether we like it or not, we are imitating not only the products but also the concepts behind these products, which may be useful or harmful, but we may need to think a little bit further before we get confused.

Many Africans are busy and excited with new [for them], but old [for the inventors] products of technology; CD, DVD, and other entertaining stuff, which does not give enough time for us to think and meditate on essential aspects of our life and development, but some how colonized us in the world of consumerism. This attitude and way of life that many people in the continent are practicing is directing us to a situation, which never helped to abolish our poverty and diseases, but rather put us in vicious circle of problems, to which we could not jump out. We are trapped with products that we do not know, which we kill most of our time in consuming them, not even thinking and analysing on how these products are made. These products may help us to facilitate and satisfy our needs nicely, but may hinder us from the development and progress we aspire.

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Writer Profile
Dereje Amera

Writing is a powerful instrument to promote one's ideology, so as to transform and galvanize the whole of humanity to have a better perspective about this world.

Words are just combinations of letters, but the power they exert in every human frame is still a mystery to all.

Writing uses these mysterious forces of words as a tool to introduce, induce and create vibrations in society, which do have an influence on every aspect of our life as human beings.

May the power of WORDS prevail over all!!

cultural identity
jasper bakyayita | Aug 22nd, 2008
Thanks for the excellent article! The root causes are inherited by post independence leaders who only care for their masters. colonial masters left policy structures about everything for their benefit and interests mainly in subjugating and mineral exploitation. Colonial masters did not foster a technical education to harness the vast mineral potential for Africans,instead,give scholarships for us to study in their countries subjects not relevant to the African settings. This is the time Africa to use its leverage with mineral potential to root out incompetence.All countries are looking ar Africa as it undergoes a new phase of colonialism by Turkey,Japan, and China

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