For well over 500 years, Africa has been controlled by foreign powers who have used African land to extract resources such as cobalt that is used to electronically circulate the world today.
The exploration of Spanish and Portuguese navigators led them into their “discovery” of what we call Africa today. The British, French, Germans, Dutch and Belgians would then divide each part of Africa as their own colony, in order to showcase their power to the rest of the world. Bearing in mind, the Berlin Conference of 1884 was at a time when European imperialism as at its highest, so competition was vital.
During colonialism, Africans had to adapt to European standards of living, which ultimately disrupted the way of life for many Africans. The respected gap between Africans and Europeans became so wide that Africans were deemed ‘uncivilised’ if they couldn’t speak English or French.
The reason why we are not independent from colonial rule is because of how we have been conditioned psychologically. Long after independence, many of us still have this subconscious thought in our head that whites are superior to blacks in every aspect. This mindset alone is one reason why we stay behind.
Another key reason is the attitudes of our leaders. They like to demonstrate authority and power over their people, but neglect the basic duties and responsibilities that come with it. Many African leaders are corrupt and have been harshly criticised for building their own personal wealth whilst their economy is plundered to the ground.
However, this is not to say that Africa is a failure overall! Despite the many setbacks we face, there is no denying that improvements and a better way of living have been made in many parts such as Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola etc.
Nigeria has taken over South Africa’s dominance as the largest economy in Africa in the last few years. This is great news because, for the first time, black Africa is showing the world that we are also capable. Botswana’s literacy rate has dramatically increased from 68% in the early 1990s to almost 90% in 2015.
I wish I could say the same about Congo, but our time will soon come.
Featured image, real photo postcard | simpleinsomnia : flickr
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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