“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
In the wake of recent police brutalities, barbaric murders, and other racial atrocities being meted against Africans and people of African origin, it has instigated a lot of discussions, debates, and movements across the globe.
I believe it is time Africans vest our frustration and anger on ensuring the resources that the continent has becomes the catalyst for speeding up development. It is also essential that we begin to take our attention away from forcing nations to compulsorily accept Africans in the Diaspora but rather look at utilizing this passion to mobilize a united approach through the African Union, its sovereign nations and representative groups from the Diaspora to build capacity for the continent to serve as a home for all Africans, no matter what their needs or aspirations may be.
There is so much proof that Africa is a potential home, and can accommodate all Africans worldwide. The developed and powerful nations have over the centuries resorted to the resources of Africa to build their economies and the nation’s industries. The Portuguese, Germans, English, Dutch, Italians, Swiss, French, Arabs, Belgians, and others have exploited continent in many ways. Now we have China through its strategic diplomacy, trade deals, bilateral negotiations, foreign direct investment in countries, aggressive importation strategies, strategic aid, and other systems, is now stamping its presence in Africa.
This should challenge the African governments, authorities, and movements to ask serious questions. If there’s nothing here, why have thousands of ambassadors, emissaries, and explorers of world superpowers, been coming here for centuries? If people of Africa or African descent are credited for most of the world’s inventions (I stand to be corrected) and modern-day technology and innovations (Thomas Mensah, Patricia Era Bath, Ben Carson), why are we not reinventing systems and infrastructure in Africa? If the world’s all-time best entertainers in music (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston), films and arts (Samuel L. Jackson, Tyler Perry, Lupita Nyong’o), media (Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey, Robert, and Sheila Johnson) are of African descent, why not here? If the best athletes in football (George Weah, Abedi Pele, Marcel Desailly, Samuel Eto), athletics (Usain Bolt, Marion Jones), Golf (Tiger Woods), Tennis (Serena Williams), Formula1 (Hamilton Lewis), Basketball (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James), boxing (Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Anthony Joshua) are all children of Mama Africa, why not establish these industries here? The list goes on and on and on.
After four hundred years of slavery and its associated atrocities, the African race has come a long way. Recently, Ghana championed the Year of Return Initiative that brought in many people of African descent from America, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe. Over two hundred individuals were granted citizenship and other immigration support. Additionally, across the continent today, the emancipation of movement has been achieved, the difficulty of immigration is better than 100 years ago. The opportunity for partnership and investment on the continent has improved considerably. Infrastructure, industries, and democracy have also improved rapidly. I believe the opportunity of repatriation is more eminent today, than decades ago and should be a serious consideration in a time like this, more than ever before.
Let us take the State of Israel into account in this discussion of repatriation. For many centuries, the Israelites were scattered abroad, and across the continents of the world due to wars, and most conspicuously the Holocaust, notable genocides and other brutalities. Nevertheless, the Jewish people braved the odds, organized and strategized a plan of global repatriation. They consciously mobilized all their talents, skills, know-how, and resources, and used it to build today’s State of Israel as a start-up nation. Eventually, they repatriated to their original homeland in the Middle East, present-day State of Israel. Today, this young nation is the leader of innovation in defense, medicine, pharmacy, technology, agriculture, energy, and other sectors globally.
This example is a clear indication that something can be done if Africans put their minds to work. Is this article a call for Africans to boycott global development? No. But it is a call for Africans to play their independent role in global development and positioning Africa as an economic player instead of being a victim in almost all circumstances in trade, immigration, import and export, world markets, and global power share.
The Asian is better positioned in Asia to affect globalization better. Europe is better positioned to contribute to global economic growth when he or she is operating from Europe. An American can build and affect the world’s technology and innovation when he or she is established in America. If we believe, Africa was once the greatest of all places, where civilization began, where some of the world’s megastructures of history can be located, the world’s first university was built, and where the world’s super-wealthy once lived, then, it’s time to look back home and make Africa great again.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said, “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.” We, therefore, must remember that a fish can only live in water. A monkey lives on trees and a lion can only survive and reign in the Jungle. We must learn to make Africa a paradise and then we can have the respect of the rest of the World. So now it’s time for MENTAL EMANCIPATION. (BOB MARLEY said it all).
The AFRICAN IS MEANT TO REIGN IN AFRICA.
Stephen Selasie Asuo
General Manager, YALI TV