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City of Banjul
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Stopping the blame game

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This could not have come at a better time. As the continent continues to suffer from the problems of poverty and bad governance, it’s about time we reflect on the real causes of our current malaise, and work towards harmonising our resources to eradicate our despondency. The real development of our continent will start with affirmation of realities that plague us and are mainly the direct consequence of our own selves.

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The blame has gone on for too long and it has done nothing to ameliorate the myriad of problems that Africa is in the grip of. The core of our problem is more internal than external. What we should now venture into, is the increment in quality education and encouraging the academic performance of the younger generation. Development is null and nonexistent if it’s not grounded in sound and quality education. The illiteracy and ignorance levels in the various African lands, is amazingly daunting. Africa like any other continent, owes its progress in the productivity of its youth force, and the best way of ensuring a productive youth population is in investing in its education.

 

Ideologicalising and blaming ‘Babylon’ will not take us far in our quest for the proper decolonisation of the African continent. One of the divisive factors of the post-independent Africa was the problem of various ideological schools among the leaders of the various countries. Inasmuch as ideology is key in the liberation of oppressed people everywhere, if it becomes a tool for dividing the people, then it becomes a monster and not a positive thing anymore. So in our fight for total liberation, we should not forget to remember that no matter our ideological thoughts, we have a common goal and that overrides the fanatical allying with one ideology.

 

Nonetheless, the West cannot be exonerated from the state of misery the continent continues to find itself in. Ever since our independence in the 1960s and 1970s, the former colonial powers continue to ever so subtly pull invisible strings, which determine the governing system of many countries on the continent. They have been instrumental in installing puppet leaders throughout the post-independence era, thereby destroying most of the hard-won fruits of the anti-colonialism movements. 

 

However, with the continent riddled with all kinds of problems – from religious extremism to young people illegally migrating to the West – we cannot waste much of our valuable time on the blame game. The truth stands that African leaders need to collectively work out a strategic and detailed path, which will pull us out of the abyss we continue to sink into. One of the main aims of the African Union and Nepad was to work such a track out. The question is how far have we gone into making that a reality?

 

We should never forget that at least for Africa, the road to development should be linked to the process of mental decolonisation. One of the major tools that is currently being used to keep us in poverty and want is the fact that we continue to look up to the enemy who demonises our cultures and traditions, while glamorizing their decadent and errant ways of life. 

 

In the fight against all forms of mental colonisation, the starting point should be schools and curricula. Many times the root of the problem is in the way students are taught and what they are taught.  Foremost, our educational system should reflect the intention of the African renaissance, which was developed by the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity. We should also develop curricula that is meant to give the young ones a sense of pride as Africans and awareness and responsibility.

 

The African personality that was envisioned by Nkrumah should be the byproduct of an educational system that is rooted in the realities of the African continent. To create that empowered person, we must restructure our education and enhance an empowered form of learning that serves an authenticated history and also inculcate respect for human rights and democracy.

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