Africa's immense contribution to the world.

Author:Muzawazi, Kwame

Africa's contribution to the wealth and power of other regions has been immense but it remains poor and disunited. Why?

When the US decides to send food aid to the hungry and needy people of the world, it packages the gifts in bags branded "from the American people". You have to know and be reminded of the generosity of these good people. Yet when we consider the contribution Africa has made to America and the majority of the world, the continent should be foremost in the list of 'global donors'.

Among other entries, the list would read: 'The US--built by Africans'; 'European wealth--created by Africa'; 'World War II victory--thanks to Africa'; 'Chinese resurgence--courtesy of Africa' and so on.

The problem is there are people in high offices, both in Africa and other powerful world governments, employed to conceal these gigantic contributions from Africa.

In schools on both sides of the Atlantic, the story of World War II is told in terms of how the US, Britain and their European allies won the war and subsequently world peace. There have been countless movies and television programmes depicting the heroic exploits of mainly White soldiers, spies and so on.

The story that is not told however, is that over a million and a half Africans fought in the war and many lost their lives or limbs.

Nor does popular history tell the story of how essential Africa's resources--such as diamonds, gold, platinum, cobalt, copper, steel, coal, timber and food--were to the Allies. What is more a curtain is drawn over how these resources were obtained, who paid the price, who made the sacrifices for a war that was taking place thousands of miles away over issues that had nothing whatever to do with them.

It would take a whole library of books to give an account of how Africa over the last 500 years has been at the centre of economic development of other places in the world.

By and large, this is an accepted fact not warranting much debate. Rather, the burning question is why this system of sucking the life and energy out of Africa continues half a century after Africans claimed they had woken up and effected a revolutionary change on who runs the affairs of Africa.

The question should be "What happened to the African revolution?" Ayi Kwei Armah, commenting on the leaders of post-colonial Africa, gives us the answer in Remembering the dismembered continent: "They opted...

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