Relations between Africa and the West …lessons for African independence

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INDEPENDENCE came to Africa as a result of great sacrifice. The struggle was bitter and arduous. Many lives were lost. Many people were maimed. The level of commitment to that struggle was very high. It depended in great measure on the unwavering solidarity between the people and their leadership.
A leader was the symbol of the struggle. He was the epitome of the peoples’ aspiration for liberation and freedom. He was, for that reason, a marked man by the enemy. To destroy him was to destroy the struggle and the people’s aspiration for freedom. The quality of leadership during the liberation struggle, therefore, determined the triumph or failure of the liberation movements in Africa.
The situation is still the same in Africa today after attaining independence. The triumph of independence in African nations today continues to depend in great measure on the resoluteness of the people and their leadership, never to give up the struggle, or surrender the gains of independence to the enemy, for the price of money or false glory that the enemy of the people may promise to bestow upon African states or nations.
The betrayal of African independence today lies to a significant degree in taking advantage of the uninformed youths on the sacrifices their people made in bringing about the freedoms they now enjoy and making them believe in looking up to the same West that we fought yesterday to get the so-called human rights and individual freedoms which, in actual fact, are meant to lead them into perpetual enslavement and surrender of their heritage to the West.
As Marcus Garvey has said, independent African states must guard against selling their people ever again as slaves to the West if they are to move forward as truly independent nations. African states that are truly sovereign never mislead their people, especially the youths, into believing the self-demeaning idea that bowing down to the West will bring true recognition and honour to Africans as a people or nations. Doing so will only turn Africans into shameless underdogs of the West who have no pride in themselves or believe in themselves and their own capabilities to develop themselves as independent African people or nations.
Truly independent African nations are confident in the capabilities of their people to bring about development and never allow other races or nations to rule over them and preside over their affairs as an African people or nations. They make sure that if other races or nations come to them as visitors, they must conduct themselves as visitors and never execute control over the affairs of African people as independent states or nations.
African states that are truly sovereign will, of course, accept the friendship of other races and nations for what it is worth, and nothing more. They are aware that the interests of other races or nations can never truly be the interests of the African race or nations. They ensure that the interests of their African nations are served first before the interests of other nations are served.
Truly sovereign African nations inspire their people to believe in themselves and their own capabilities and to be disciplined, self-confident and self-reliant and committed to work hard to make their race or nation the highest expression of human idealism and live up to it.
The role of a revolutionary leadership in independent African states is never to divide or create confusion among African people, but to unite the people and treat all the people as equals in spite of their different languages and backgrounds, and strive to make them proud of their land and their race and culture and their history as their common heritage.
Again, as Marcus Garvey has said, the role of a true revolutionary leadership for Africa today is to inspire the people to realize that the power to rise and develop lies in them and only in them. And that God does not go out of his way to give people positions or jobs or to give them good conditions such as they desire. The people must do that for themselves out of their own talent and fullness of nature that God has created for them and everybody.
God does not build cities, towns, or homes or factories for nations. Men and women build them. All those who want them must work for themselves and pray to God to give them strength to do so. The best tribute an African people can pay to God, therefore, is to use God’s and nature’s gifts to develop and preserve themselves as an African race.
When Africans do otherwise and belittle themselves and bow before other races or nations, they are in rebellion against God and nature.
‘A leader was the symbol of the struggle. He was the epitome of the peoples’ aspiration for liberation and freedom. He was, for that reason, a marked man by the enemy’

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