Can Africa break free from its terrible past?
African history is largely a black chapter, with the presence of European colonialism thrown in for good measure. But this is primarily a recent development because as early as the sixties, very little was known about Africans in stark contrast to the European chapter in Africa. In fact, the 18th Century Scottish philosopher, David Hume ignorantly claimed that Africans weren’t known to demonstrate any special skills in any subject, which should be gifted praise, but modern Africa begs to differ.
In fact, the Atlantic slave trade had propelled great talents to travel away, because of the shackles, which slavery had placed on them, from their African lands to far away places, and nothing was done to fill this new vacuum in the homelands. The result of this was catastrophic for Africa because the social order faced a new kind of imbalance now, and it was powerless to protect itself from colonization.
Furthermore, when fellow African states, such as Benin, began to rise, the thirst for Europeans to have their own African slaves became almost unquenchable. The Kingdom of Dahomey, what is present-day Benin, used to act as a slave port, perhaps because many Africans born and brought up in that kingdom, were later traded off as slaves but later on the state shifted its focus to the trade of basic amenities, such as African palm oil.
In the West, not enough is known about Africa, save for it’s history chapters of slavery, wars of independence, new age political catastrophes, and Africa, as a continent, having states, which were colonized. But these are celebrated talking points enough, doused in praise and the hope of seeing much else, is next to nothing.
True, justice can never be done to modern Africa that way and African states do have many interesting sides, such as stories of aborigines and African culture but those should exist in the fabrics of the time that is spoken about regarding Africa, be it a time when states were colonized or the modern political developments, which aim to shape Africa as a continent. It can’t be separated as talking points, although certainly a greater body of work is necessary to be displayed for Africa.
With the advent of neo-colonialism, Africa is preparing for a future that alongside exploring modern developments, will also charter into a neo-liberalist form of westernized capitalism. European colonists were deeply interested in controlling new lands, never mind the structures built in those colonies were entirely empty – everything was a struggle of dominance of foreign power, instead of local power. And yet, no importance was attached to the idea of crafting beneficial ownership equations, which could greatly aide with lifting these ‘colonies’ of European powers out of poverty, and nurturing steady development or contributing to good nation building efforts.
The present is cutting through some of those mistakes in history: globalization, which is a recent invention, is pushing new-colonist thoughts into Africa. And as Africans continue to suffer, with no thoughts given whatsoever to the welfare of Africans (as well), their nations experience a new reality of privatization and trade, and this is happening with the rise of important markets.