It is human to be sensitive and always adjust to his or her environment. This makes one of the characteristics of the human race in that they operate by thinking and the use of cognition as opposed to the animals who lead by instinct. The African Union, there is no doubt about it that they are made up of human beings who can aspire, attain, and think to get things done. The color of their skin as a means of identity notwithstanding, they are born as co-creators who are to create and add value to the world.
Placing the African leaders side-by-side with the objectives of the African Union, which can be summarized as promoting Africa’s growth and the economic development by championing citizen inclusion and increased cooperation and integration of African states, it becomes crystal clear to an observer who is looking for the nexus between objectives and performance, that performance here does not in any way match the objectives. If the purpose behind the formation of the African Union has anything to do with progress, one should expect by now that the fragile and unstable index of the world would not be topped by almost all of the best of the African countries, which include Yemen, Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, which is the most populous Black nation referred to as the giant of Africa. Nigeria is believed also to be the country with the largest economy as well as the strongest democracy.
It does not matter how big or strong any African country is considered. What matters is how able and available one country is to the others in achieving the overall objectives of the African Union. So far, the African states have not shown the required cohesion, discipline and the political will among leaders to take the continent to another level. It is becoming clearer to the perceptive mind that the African continent, rather than using its vantage position as a channel, though for good and evil as well as war and peace to negotiate at the international level for relevant and necessary inclusions, and a good example is the membership of the security council of the United Nations. At every state of global development, Africa is an irresistible channel being used to achieve the overall interest of the world regardless of its negative consequences as what the continent gets.
Are Africans truly united? Why are all the coups, insurgencies, banditries, corruption in government, political tensions, agitations for self-determination and all manner of crises going on? Waiting for the international community without taking advantage of this vantage position as global partners with the superpowers is like making a choice to chase the shadow and leaving behind the substance.
The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century led to the scramble for and partition of Africa. The objective among others was to look for markets for the finished goods of the Europeans and possible places to dump them. One of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution is what we have today in climate change, leaving the African continents helpless and as beggars for funding from the Western countries to mitigate and adapt to the problems of climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic also revealed the pitiable situation of the African continent. Had the COVID-19 impacted more heavily and negatively on the African continent as envisaged by the Western world, the effects would have been unbearable with millions of lives lost. Even when, by divine providence, the effects of COVID-19 were contained in Africa with a small number of lives lost when compared to the more advanced and Western, developed countries, the injustice in the unequitable distribution of the vaccine is a source of concern. Whatever it is that is holding the African continent back needs to be confronted head on, for until that is done, the world cannot be peaceful. One important lesson that COVID-19 has taught the world is that until all are safe, no one is safe.
Even though it’s a wise thing to say to a people not to put all their eggs in one basket, reality is now teaching us that the earth is that one basket, and until all are peaceful, no one is at peace.
The climate change also has taught us a new lesson that no one is safe, regardless of geographical locations, as long as the climate challenges are concerned. The world is just like a global village where no one is out of reach. We are far away from ourselves but share common problems that require cooperation at all levels. This also is a call for action to put all our eggs in one basket just as we need also to put all hands on the deck to combat our challenges.
On a final note, African leaders should understand that they are also a product of the dark room of the world. All negatives pass through the dark room of the world to re-evolve. This was the artificial evolution made possible by agreeing to the terms and conditions of the United Nations. As long as nations go through the dark room for processing, they come out automatically in black and white. The dark room has never succeeded in producing any other color apart from the black and white. The observable disparity in the products from the dark room is in the identity categorization as “developed” or “developing.”
The world has moved so far in technological advancements in such a way that at this time, the dark room ought not to be in use for the development of negatives, as pictures can be produced with no need of going through the dark room. The choice for continuity in the old-fashioned only paints a picture of selfishness and conservative ideologies, which indirectly is a negation of the United Nations charter of equity, fair play, transparency and justice. As long as some of the products of the United Nations, who in other words can be referred to as member countries, who evolved through the dark room, still carry the identity of “developing,” bear in mind that the practice of development or categorization through the dark room will continue, and as long as it continues, the producer will ever remain in the dark. All negatives that must be made to pass through the dark room, as long as they are not able to come out in any other colors apart from the black and white, they must therefore not suffer any identity categorization in the names of “developed” and “developing.”
When will the developing nations become developed? African leaders must take responsibility to be channels only of good and peace. If nothing else could unite the African leaders, let the African problems, which include poverty, insecurity, the negative effects of climate change, and the practice of democracy without dividend unite the African leaders. There is no place else that you can call home. Therefore, let your charity begin from home. God bless Africa.
Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju