The pan africanists are fond of blaming the colonialists for most of the economic troubles blighting Africans.
Some African governments have even applied in some courts for reparations for the plunder of the resources by the former colonial masters.
Ironically, the people who complain of plunder have fled their own home countries to Europe and North America for seemingly better lives.
So, what explains the desperation of Africans to run to people who once treated them as slaves and plundered their resources for their benefit?
The answer may lie in the fact that in some cases the post-colonial governments became worse than the colonial masters. Many became merchants of deaths and sources of despair.
For instance, the countries which are endowed with infinite natural resources such as minerals and oil and gas, have experienced the worst poverty and dictatorship. The leaders, mainly military persons, turned the nations’ resources into personal and family fortunes.
Those who tried to oppose the status quo were either embedded in the looting spree, butchered or exiled. Others just gave up for personal preservation. Employment and careers are not open to skills and talents, but to whom one knows in positions of power.
Political power is also dominated and shared among particular ethnic groups. And in such circumstances, oppression and suppression of basic human rights has been the natural outcome. In the worst cases, this has degenerated into civil strife and war, sometimes involving ethnic cleansing.
The young, energetic and educated who feel oppressed and segregated against have sought refuge in Europe and North America, where rights seem to be respected and where there is hope of being employed. People have resorted to desperate means of fleeing their home countries such as daring crossing the treacherous desert and the choppy high seas. And many have paid dearly with their lives.
A few have fallen prey to the wiles of the human traffickers who have promised them a better life upon crossing to Europe only to be turned into involuntary human organs donors. And what have the independent African governments done about these despicable events? Many have kept quiet and failed to investigate why their people are desperate to leave their homes for the unknown!
African leaders need to value lives of their people. They need to democratize and respect the basic fundamental rights of their citizens. Most states in Africa have become vampires.
They need to put in place conditions that entice their young and skilled people to stay and develop their countries. They need to awaken economic potential in their countries so that standards of living are improved. The African states need to demolish the personal fiefdoms that seem to be bankrolled by the nations’ resources at the expense of the welfare of the greater numbers.