In several of my previous opinion pieces, pieces, I have shed light on colonial effigies littering the world. I would like to push the narrative further since I regard this as the dawn for colonial symbols in Africa to be systematically felled and African countries redressed.
Colonial masters exploited their respective colonies subjecting their subjects to slavery and misery. Many African countries were colonised officially from 1884 to the 60s. Some countries like Angola, Cape Verde, Comoro, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Seychelles were under colonialism in the 70s while others such as Zimbabwe and South Africa were still under colonialism in the 80s and 90s. This makes the period of Africa’s colonisation to be over 80 years. African slaves in the US, Latin and South America were enslaved for almost 350 years. They were energetic young men and women who would have contributed enormously in developing their mother continent. Those who were taken to the Far East and Middle East were exterminated after their services were no longer needed.
Many Africans were killed for refusing to work as slaves by perpetrators who today teach Africa human rights. Germany and its conspirators were forced to redress acts committed against the Jews. Israel thus enjoys special treatment from rich countries. On the flip side, the international community never talks about redressing Africa. Instead, everybody is scheming about how to exploit and make it poorer.
All countries or parties that benefited from colonial crimes must be forced to redress their victims. We know many so-called international banks and institutions that benefited from these crimes.
Slaves contributed hugely to the industrial revolution that saw Europe’s economy lead globally. Tonnes of natural resources such as minerals and timber were stolen from Africa. Countries like Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the US profited from slavery and colonialism.
Switzerland, Isle of Man and other tax heavens are not swimming in lucre simply because they’re smarter or endowed with humungous resources as Africa is. Some of our leaders stash our money there. If such countries can be forced to redress Africa, Africa would become as strong as Israel.
A globalised world should make it much easier to protect the rights of everybody in the world. Poor countries that are adversely suffering from global warming that is caused by the activities of industrialised countries must be compensated. Powerful nations must not condemn other nations to the International Criminal Court (ICC) while the powerful nations have refused to sign up to the ICC which they call a kangaroo court. They should not protect their markets while they force developing countries into the so-called free market. They should not impose visa restrictions against us while they walk into our countries freely. They should not overthrow many competent African governments in order to prop their stooges to keep on colonising Africa by proxy as happened in Burkina Faso, CAR, DRC, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.
If atrocities committed against African countries are addressed, the continent will develop, catch up with countries that are much ahead, and avoid begging. Africa will never develop by keeping quiet while those who exploited it are enjoying the loot. The wheels of justice must create a conducive environment to rectify past historical crimes and errors that enable some to while disabling others.
By Nkwazi Mhango.
The author is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe and contributed many chapters in scholarly works.