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The African independence illusion

I seek not to embed victimhood into Matabeleland’s political model but merely state the obvious; Matabeleland has been on the victim side of Zimbabwean independence. Today’s biggest failure for the independent Africa has been the lack of political will, if not incentive, to revamp previously racialised socioeconomic and political systems and structures. If anything, systemic racism has been substituted with tribalism, cronyism and even more brutal reverse racism.

There is no better way of putting it but the longer African states have settled into their independence shells, the less independent African public has become. A forensic socioeconomic analysis indicates that a disabling transference of resources from the poorest to the richest and from minority ethnic groups to the majority has been the central theme of African independence. Western complicit cannot be ignored; Western governments cannot claim to be unaware of the crippling political indiscipline pervading many of their African economic and political partners.

Mwampembwa (2014)
Cartoon source: Mwampembwa, G (2014), an apt depiction of Africa’s economic, social and political vulnerability. We have become reliant on anyone but ourselves for our development

Independent Africa remains at the margins of the global politics and economy; it is either being conveniently cut off from the rest of the global socioeconomic and political systems by global powers or the continent is using its independence to withdraw itself from global systems or both. My suspicion is: both are at work and there is unfortunately only one winner; certainly that cannot be and is NOT African ordinary citizens!

A structurally and systematically chaotic and weak Africa has given birth to an incoherent Africa unable to create, compete or defend itself in an increasingly coordinated Western biased global system. It is an Africa that is not only involuntarily systematically compliant to foreign power dictates but is no match to an organised exploitative West.

Independent Africa’s greatest problem has been weak local legislation and a generic imbalance between production and consumption; Africa is over-reliant on consumption of almost anything Western while production is dictated to by Western demands. The systemic imports at the expense of home-grown interventions has resulted in systems grossly incompatible with the continent’s socio-cultural needs. What often qualifies for ‘development’ in much of Africa today are enclaves of Western replicas with absolutely nothing African about them while the rest of the continent has stagnated, if not regressed.

We have learned that the only way of achieving true independence is true economic independence. Africa needs to prioritise funding scientific research and socioeconomic innovation if we are to be in charge of our destiny. An Africa politically unwilling and incapable of funding and coordinating its economic activities from within will never be at peace with itself. Peace cannot be built on an unstable base; stability achieved through the suppression of minority ethnic groups’ rights, exploitation of the poorest and through alliances of convenience with the West is only short-lived.


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