stop the blame game and move on

I am no apologist for colonialism. I am also not a fan of blaming everything on colonialism. Arbitrary borders, neocolonialism, assassination of presidents, unfair farm subsidies etc etc are the usual things we hear as explanations to why most of Africa remains economically backward. I say it has been more than 50 years and its about time we moved on. Colonialism had its evils, no doubt about that. However, it’s enduring legacy on the Continent has been the fault of Africans and their leaders. There are numerous other countries that have managed to take off even though they were also colonized and for some time were heavily dependent on the industrialised West.

Mobutu, Amin, Bokassa, Moi, Mugabe, Nimeiry, Gaddafi, Doe etc etc were all Africans who deliberately chose to mess up their countries. Nobody held guns to their heads to force them to do what they did. Guinea – at independence – is a clear case that it was quite possible to break free from the former colonizers. All the above mentioned men presided over wasted dictatorships. They killed and maimed and jailed thousands of their citizens but never attempted to do what Pinochet did for Chile or the dictators of the Asian tigers did for their countries. Instead they stole everything they could from their treasuries.

The reason I bring this up is because I just attended a talk on the legacy of colonialism in Africa where the general consensus seems to have been that European colonizers were to blame for most ills on the continent. I find this track of thought wanting. African failure should squarely be blamed on inept African leadership.

2 thoughts on “stop the blame game and move on

  1. Poor governance and incompetent, power hungry, greedy leaders has left Africa where it is even after many years of independence

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  2. I’m with you on that. Yes colonialism was crude and was all sorts of wrong. BUT, but but but…blaming all our problems on that sort of reduces the African people…meaning we are at the mercy of outside forces…it’s up to them if we fail or succeed…We’ve had our independence for long enough to sort ourselves out…or at least attempt to and yes I am aware of the whole neo-colonialism issue, but I refuse to believe we are just sitting ducks. Our politicians are to blame! Shame on them!! and shame on us for putting up with it!

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