Africa must restore its dignity to be great

By Leana Bisa
On 22 June 2022 at 02:44

After many years of slavery and colonization and transatlantic trade, Africa has been left with gaps to fill. It is made obvious by different factors including catastrophic politics and extreme poverty among others. However, the inferiority complex as a result of tarnished dignity is one thing which is not given its rightful importance.

In Pre-colonial times, before slavery and transatlantic trade, Africa had unprecedented development. At the time, Africa was rich in culture, education, agriculture, medicine, philosophy their own technology and natural resources.

In that era, countries of West Africa and North Africa were the most developed.

Countries like Egypt were outstanding in architecture and medicine, same as a well developed civilisation. When you look at Ghana and Mali, they were countries with booming economies that the wealthiest man in History originated in Africa (Mansa Musa, Mali Empire).

If you read deeply the history of Africa, you can clearly see that the continent was full of intellectuals and outstanding leaders. The continent was advanced unlike the rest of the world at the time but this would have in no way benefited the white man.

During the colonial times and slavery years, colonizers had specific jobs, convincing Africans that they were an inferior race, divide and conquer them, get as much as they can from African lands and people. They succeeded to convince Africans that they were as inferior to humans as wild animals, they told them they are not worthy of humanity.

Therefore, it was easier to enslave Africans since they were not treated as human beings. They were equivalent to animals. That is why so many were slaughtered and enslaved as wild beasts.

Also, they used religion to teach Africans that God created the white man and put him above all other creatures. This oppression made Africans feel that they should be ashamed of who they were, they lost their pride and consequently their dignity.

Alas, it is still the case today. When you look at many parts of Africa at all levels, it is clear that in many places, white people are the priority and Africans are left to feel undignified, which I think this mindset is the reason why Africa is still behind.

In terms of service and customer care, the best of the best is given to the White man since their validation gives owners a sense of pride, if a non-African service is given faster and is prioritized.

When it comes to Africa’s Problems, leaders seek alliances with western and European countries, seek solutions from ‘African Experts’ who have never set foot in Africa, since their intellectualism is considered of high standard.

Even our economy has to be tied to other continents. It is an endless cycle that never seems to be broken. When you see Malawian parents trade off their children to Chinese men, you become aware of the deepness of their inferiority complex.

When you look at how Africans desperately try to mimic Americans and Europeans in everything, it is a pitiful reality to look at. Women change their appearances and their skin, we like their music more than ours, we like their food more than ours, we desperately want to dress like them than supporting our own designers, we desperately want to live like them

This is because, there is a perception that all good quality goods and products come from the West, Europe and Asia while they inspire themselves from cultures, our styles and our music to make their own.

Africans must liberate themselves from this sense of inferiority. We must focus more on self-sufficiency, in other words, reduce imports and increase in production.

Africans now account for 3% of global trade and are a part of the world’s 1.2 billion population. When you look at the number of imports compared to the number of exports, there is clearly a problem.

In 2019, the total exports from Africa to other parts of the world amounted to US$760 billion, compared to 481 billion from Oceania, 4,109 billion from Europe, 5,140 billion from the United States and 6,801 billion from Asia.

The fact that Africa is lagging behind in trade and development compared to other continents, does not mean that Africans are inferior to other races, especially since Africa’s development has on one side been affected by those who we want to imitate.

As history proves, empires rise and fall, it is a fact of life we can take for example the Greek, the Romans and also the Turkish from the Ottoman empire. It does not mean that they were inferior or that they are inferior.

It is therefore not the case with Africa, it is not inferior to the West or Europeans but for Africa to discover that and be great again, it must recover its lost dignity.