Dereje Amera Personal Posts

Two & Three Colors of Africa

Posted on: 25 Sep 2017

September 25, 2017

Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent (the first being Asia). At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of its total land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition.

Being the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent is not warranty in securing better life in terms of economy, psychological and social make up of its people since its leaders are not capable enough to translate into action those human and leadership virtues within their administration. It is obvious to mention that good governance is still a question the continent is starving like the many millions of its people seek for piece of bread as well. When the quantity of people is going in conformity with the quality of life and its people, success and progress are rest assured.

In such process of life, Africa is still looking for better way of life, though certain economic progress are observed in past few years, which are till questionable in terms of the betterment of the quality of life its people should enjoy. Most Africans live with fear, confusion and frustrations due to the leadership styles such governments establish. A society that lives with fear is sick, and none can remedy such illness unless such fear is removed by its own citizens.

This creates such continent to have different features and colors of life in terms of its way of life and thinking in past and present in which its past history is mainly colored with oppression and depression it faces from European powers and most want to point fingers to such powers is one cause of failure. Such blame shift, which is psycho make up of its political leaders should be over since the current feature and color of the continent is not far from such powers and people. Its history of oppression in past was by force, but at present is done by will and choice.

In both scenarios, fear is common factor in which there was fear induced by external powers in terms of colonization in past as there is a different color of fear that is going in the present day society, which is made by its own citizens who take offices and assumes power and authority in terms of leadership. The first fear was made by colonial powers and the second fear is made by its own citizens. In such fear nurtured society, citizens are forced to have different color and features of life in which what the past tells and what present day society faces are two different colors and aspects of its life.

The two colors of Africa are those nations who were colonized and governed by European powers in times of colonization, in which most parts of Africa in one aspect were colonized, and there are in another aspect only two countries that were not colonized by any European power, namely, Ethiopia and Liberia. These two colors of Africa, the colonized and non-colonized nations are one given aspect of African nations.

The three colors of Africa is going in today due to the fact that current African nations are going different political make up, characteristics  and behaviors in terms of choosing and deciding their given political leaders. The first ones are having relatively fair and free election such as Ghana, South Africa and the like in which the winners and losers accept the election results peacefully; the second ones are those African nations that do not accept election results in peaceful manner such as Kenya, The Gambia and the like. The third ones are those African nations who conduct election for the sake of doing since they do not show any kind of change in the government and they do stay in power for decade, if possible for centuries.

Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized almost all of Africa. Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century. In the late 19th century, the European imperial powers engaged in a major territorial scramble and occupied most of the continent, creating many colonial territories, and leaving only two fully independent states: Ethiopia (known to Europeans as “Abyssinia”), and Liberia. Egypt and Sudan were never formally incorporated into any European colonial empire; however, after the British occupation of 1882, Egypt was effectively under British administration until 1922.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa. Using 2014/2015 Afrobarometer data from 36 African countries, this analysis examines public perceptions of electoral management institutions and the quality of elections. Overall, public trust in national electoral commissions is moderate at best. Although a majority of citizens say their most recent elections were mostly free and fair, citizens express serious concerns about the fairness of vote counts, corruption during elections, and the safety of voters during campaigns and at the polls. Citizens’ views of electoral commission performance and election quality generally mirror the opinions of country experts found in international assessments.

Interestingly, among those with significant recent decreases in trust are countries that have high levels of electoral competition and are generally viewed as relatively democratic, including Ghana, Benin, South Africa, Cape Verde, and Zambia. This may reflect citizens’ rising expectations of what constitutes a high-quality election; increasing oversight of election processes, especially by opposition parties and civil society; and the view that even minor irregularities in elections may influence the outcome in very tight contests.

While such theatrical dramas of African life is going on, one wonders as to the impact of being colonized and non-colonized, in terms of the electoral process going on since there are nations that are not colonized by any European power, but they do not even scape from installing dictatorial political system as there are also nations that were colonized by European colonial power, but they have installed relatively fair and free electoral process within their system and nation. This theater of colonization and non-colonization is not warranty in securing better life to the society at large as well.

What is quite interesting in today is that Africa lives in confusion and contradiction since its citizens are willingly and knowingly flying to those Western nations in seeking better life and they eat day and night western commodities for their own survival. In another feature, its citizens are seeking liberty and freedom from such nations as well. Such paradoxical thinking and way of life exist in Africans, which is sign of perplexed mindset and thinking. The decolonization factor is on stage, not by force, but by will and choice.

In such confused mindset and thinking, Africa is also raped by religious mindset, Christianity and Islam, in which most consider as life and death thing, by ignoring the indigenous heritage, whom they consider as the sign of their identity. Religiously, Africa has added an extra item from abroad, and most sound that they are confused since the external and imported beliefs are dominating what the original heritages dictate and tell.

In such process of life, while Africa consumes day and night, what it has imported from outside, at the same time, Africa is struggling to achieve its freedom and liberty from external influences. Such confused struggle will come to an end, by, first identifying and sorting out, two things; the first one is ignoring economic dependence from such nations and, secondly, cultivating its own cultural and historical heritages to meet to the need of the age, otherwise, the song will remain same and as time goes by, such confusion of identity crisis get worse since economy is the core of any given civilization. And is this something possible to do?



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