The fragmentation of Africa social fabric is not new at all. The factors to blame are numerous. They include bad governance, corruption, wars, and the list is endless. All these happened because of the politics of greed and deception practice by the leaders themselves.
From the colonial era to present, the continent largely remains untransformed. Instead of adapting the philosophy of performance and productivity to transform the continent, African leaders have resort to looting their own continent’s resources for their personal benefits, a move that shows no difference from colonial exploitation of the continent in the dark-ages era.
For example, no one would believe DR Congo can’t be underdeveloped despite being rich with natural resources. It’s not Congo problem alone but even Nigeria which is the continent’s largest economy still has the majority of citizens living under the poverty line. South Sudan, Somalia, Mali, and many others have the same problems of poverty in addition to illiteracy and unabated insecurity.
The hunger for power in Africa among the political players over the competition for wealth has caused bloody wars. Democracy disappeared as the incumbent Presidents used gun violence to keep a grip on power while the opposition on one hand resorts to rebellions to fight back to seize power. Sometimes military takeover remains an optional way to changing dictators in most African states though it is opposed to the African Union charter.
It happened in August this year in Mali when young army officers staged a military coup and successfully overthrew the then Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his government. The coup leaders explicitly said they want to restore Mali social fabric that was already plagued by insecurity, poverty, and rampant corruption orchestrated by the Keita government and promised a new path for democracy in Mali. Of course, the coup received some resistance from ECOWAS and the continental body AU but was later legitimized, a move that was embraced by African young people across the continent.
Another example is the South Sudan political turmoil which started in 2013 and 2016 respectively between armed opposition faction led by Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir faction. The number of rebel groups increased after the country struggles for peace.
All the rebellions are meant to unseat President Kiirwho had been in power since 2005 after the demised of then the Moment’s leader Dr John De Mabior in July the same year. Until now, the African youngest state is struggling to stand on its feet despite 2018 September peace agreement currently under implementation.
There are many other examples including Egyp and Zimbabwe among others.
What causes wars in Africa is greed for power by those in power who routinely violated their countries’ constitutions. Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is one of the dictators who always used excessive power to deal with his political opponents ruthlessly. Mr. Museveni has ruled Uganda for 34 years now but he had done less to liberate Ugandans from poverty apart from cheating them and continues to violate Uganda constitution just to keep himself in power.
Yahya Jammeh, the former President of Gambia was another ruthless African dictator who ruled Gambia since 1994 until 2017 when he was forcefully removed from power by the regional bloc of ECOWAS after he lose in Presidential election to opposition leader, now President Adama Barrow.
Again, the list of these dictators is long. They are dictators because they are thieves who are stealing from their people. Democracy hardly survived in Africa before and after independence.
Even with the establishment of the African Union, nothing has change in the continent until now. Imagine, even their vision to silence the gun in 2020 is visibly challenged with intricacy of the encounters befalling the continent from all directions north, west, south central and east.
Instead of defending and protecting the African people, the continental body is defending and protecting dictatorship. For example as highlighted above, if any civil unrest is staged by the civil population to change their brutal system like what happened in Nigeria now and some countries in the past, the AU will always bark loud in defense of that autocratic system even if they know there are genuine reasons why the citizens want change.
The worst of all, most African leaders have used the west or colonial powers as an escape-goat. Our underdevelopment is not the west-making problem but it is African leaders own-making. The west didn’t tell our leaders to stay longer in power even when they don’t deliver the services to the citizens. They choose on their own to violate their countries’ constitutions by amending them every time their terms expired.
It’s highly time for us Africans to avoid accusing the west or colonial powers for our own failures. Let’s blame our African leaders for failing their own citizens in all aspects of life. In the nutshell, we must admit the reality that it is the politics of greed and deception that is responsible for African backwardness.
The Author Mr. Joseph Oduha is a South Sudanese. He can be reached by email@example.com