December 1, 2018 (Ezega.com) - Colonization is still alive and well in Africa today, writes Solomon Mboya.
Many people believe the colonization of Africa ended after the countries gained independence, mostly in the 60s. Time and again we’ve been lied to, and it’s unfortunate we believe the lies propagated by the Western countries. In this article, I want to prove to you that presently, Africa is still colonized.
According to the African Courier, none of the 54 African countries are truly independent. In one way or another, they are still weakened and manipulated by their former western colonizers who seek to gain from their abundant resources.
Let’s start by understanding the word ‘colonization.’ According to the English Dictionary, the term colonization “is the act or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.”
Three issues stand out in this definition; control, area (territory) and indigenous people (natives). In essence, once someone is able to control the natives in a particular area, it means they are colonized. Let’s go further. Colonizing people means controlling them in their own backyard. In this case, territory means land and minds. And yes, the mind is an important territory if you may ask. This implies that for colonization to be effective, there must be terrestrial and mental control.
Control of land
The issue of land is sensitive, especially in Africa. Many communities who claim ownership of land don’t actually have all the rights to their land. I mean all the rights associated with land ownership. What exists presently is a situation where landowners don’t have the rights to the resources on their lands. Rather, the resources-minerals and any other precious resources found in the soil- are owned by the state.
The most interesting aspect of these developments is that these governments mirror the colonial administrations that colonized Africa.
When the western countries set foot in Africa, they instituted regulations that stripped Africans of their natural right over the resources found in their lands and transferred them to the colonial administrations. Home administrations and corporations were given the power over all the resources resting on these lands.
The natives were allowed to live on the land, but upon discovery of precious minerals, oil, among others, they were forced out and resettled elsewhere. The natives were not called to the negotiating table, and they never benefited in any way from the wealth of their ancestral lands.
Presently, we have the so-called national governments perfecting what the colonialists started. The regimes in Africa enjoy the rights over all the minerals, and they selectively sell this right to corporations, mainly foreign-based.
In the process, indigenous people have been reduced to mere witnesses, nothing more. It is clear African states are proxies to western influence and control. A regime that is not ready to go to bed with the western countries is branded as evil and toppled, albeit with the aid of their African counterparts manipulated by the international press.
Colonization of the Mind
There is a raging debate about the influence of the westerners on our education, entertainment, religion, and psyche. As much as it is perceived that colonialism ended in the 60s, mental colonialism exists and has been intensified over the past decade.
For instance, the late pop star Michael Jackson’s decision to change his skin color, the disgraceful death of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, massive opportunities for bright students to go and study abroad, increased funding for the Christian programs in Africa, and the promotion of western culture in our media are all but psychological manipulation.
Though these aspects of life may seem unrelated, they serve the same purpose; to keep Africans glued to the western ideals, thus eroding our minds and making us think the westerners are superior to us.
According to a recent article published by ALJAZEERA, a leading international media house, the proposal by foreign countries to acquire land in Africa to mitigate migration is just but another attempt to colonize the continent.
Sometime last week, Germany’s commissioner to Africa, Gunter Nooke, suggested that “European nations should be permitted to lease, build and run cities in Africa” to stem what he views as “unchecked migration from the continent to Europe.”
While appearing in an interview with the BBC, Gunter said; “The European Union, or a body like the World Bank, should build and run cities in Africa to boost job creation and development on the continent. This will mean African countries leasing their land to a foreign body to allow free development of their land for 50 years."
According to Mr. Nooke, “free development of these areas would stimulate African economies and create growth and prosperity” thus, decreasing the appeal of the western destinations.
Nooke’s proposal has elicited mixed reactions. Some see it as a worthy economic idea that can help stem a composite challenge many countries in Africa experience. The idea can build on existing economic plans like the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). At the same time, his proposal has been met with widespread criticism.
Critics argue it is just but another way for the western world to colonize Africa. Germany has been singled out as a violent country. Its history in Africa is undesirable, especially the genocide in Namibia and Cameroon. In this regard, it has no moral authority to come up with such a suggestion.
The western world is trying to regain colonialism by formulating it in a neoliberal trend or philosophy while promoting for a return to a manipulative system of socio-economic organization. Those who support such retrogressive ideas do so in sterile and agnostic terms. Their focus lies on the economic parenthesis and the potential financial gains while leaving the most important element in their discussion---the people affected. Under this principle, African still offers labor and economic opportunities to the westerners.
Migration through the Mediterranean
An analysis of the migration issue along the Mediterranean indicates how modern-day colonialism is at its worst. Taking the death of immigrants as an example. It is quite clear the western countries have adopted hardline policies towards immigrants. Isn’t this colonialism?
The wave of migration is a result of the actions of the West's intervention in the ouster of Libya’s President Muammar Gaddafi. This is an issue that many corporate institutions and government-owned media overlook. Before the tragic occurrences, Libya was a safe haven for many immigrants from all over Africa, who went there for a better life.
The current situation can be blamed on the western powers who feel they are the sole custodians of absolute power and they believe they can have their way in Africa.
African countries must resist modern-day colonization, but this can only be actualized if we decolonize our lands and minds. Decolonizing only one of these will not result in good governance and a stable political environment necessary to spur economic growth.
Absolute land rights should be surrendered to the people and their communities, not the state or local administrations. African states must rise up and protect the interest of their people. In this regard, they must enact laws that serve the interest of their citizens, while providing education. African countries must also support and empower their people by getting them into complex consultations with local and international corporations where they can air their views and concerns.
Look at how countries like China are protecting its people and their religion, its education system and its media and entertainment industry. Africa must make an effort to address psychological annexation. Without which, all the concerted efforts to ensure good governance, economic prosperity (with Africans realizing the benefits) and political stability will not bear fruit. Our history has shown this over and over again. First, it was the DRC, then Libya. Until we completely decolonize, we are doomed.
By Solomon Mboya for Ezega News