This article has been reproduced from the Socialist Standard (August 2000), the monthly journal of The Socialist Party of Great Britain
Africa has been politically backward and naïve throughout the last century with so many atrocities, anomalies and injustices. Its children thought that, one day, things will be better, but since the era of independence dawned the situation has remained the same or even got worse. Ills, evils and self-destructions of all kinds continue to plague the African continent. Africa has lost its natural, human and material resources to wars and massacres. Coups and counter-coups have continued to play havoc with African society. Should confidence have been reposed in the statements of the likes of Kwameh Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara and Patrice Lumumba, to the effect that Africa’s problems will turn to brightness? Is there any optimism for Africa? Will African children live to see this happen?
One may ask why Africa has remained the poorest continent the world has ever produced. The answer is simple.
Firstly, the self-centredness and mass corruption of African leaders plays a pivotal role in the continent’s Waterloo. Most African heads only came into power to enrich themselves. The poor and the underprivileged are always the victims of these despots. Statistics have revealed that millions of African farmers go without a piece of farmland when their leaders have uncountable hectares of farmland in and out of the continent; millions are dying of sicknesses and diseases everyday when potential medical facilities would be more than enough; millions are suffering from starvation and malnutrition when there is sufficient food; and millions more are living in absolute poverty when individual leaders are saving millions of dollars in foreign banks for their own interests.
Secondly, the intolerance and lack of respect for one another among Africans, combined to invite trouble in Africa. Africans are killing each other and destroying the continent’s resources all because of these leaders’ power hunger. It is enough to mention the gun rule and slaughtering of people in Algeria, massacres in Burundi, Angola, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and killing of innocent civilians in Cassamance (southern Senegal) among others. These indicate that African leaders are themselves responsible for Africa’s underdevelopment and political mayhem. With this era of political ignorance and naivety occupying Africa, there is more than ever need for a continent, indeed a world, without leaders or political borders.
As we entered the dawn of the new millennium, intellectual sycophants
have started howling and trumpeting that it will be a millennium of
African peace and development. One renowned intellectual was quoted as
saying that “in the next millennium, Europeans will come to Africa as
Is it not during this prelude stage of the millennium that floods occurred in Mozambique, killing hundreds of people? That hunger and starvation entered Ethiopia? That thousands died in Nigeria as a result of the religious wars? That mass religious suicide occurred in Uganda? That the senseless land dispute heated up in Zimbabwe? And the wars in Rwanda, Cassamance and Burundi intensified?
With these madnesses in our midst, only the insane would predict a bright future for Africa. Until socialist politics is introduced in Africa, the gloom of this “Heart of Darkness” shall continue. Author: Sheriff Bojang J.R., The Gambia
Back to the Politics Index
Back to the World Socialist Movement home page