Wednesday July 30 2014

Is Africa’s liberation complete?

The African Leadership Dialogues on July 28 featured the 20th Kwibohora celebrations in Rwanda. Kwibohora celebrates the liberation of Rwanda in 1994, but the meaning of the word goes deeper than liberation. It means freeing oneself: beyond liberation. And commenting during the dialogue, Tanzanian veteran scribe Jenerali Ulimwengu remarked that it will be shameful to admit having been colonised. Africa is not only admitting colonisation, but celebrating it. This is what explains such strange links as Commonwealth and La Francophonie.
The former is a relic of the British empire, and acts and behaves more or less like a global government, with a parliament, established structures, funds and investment vehicles, besides other organs. As we raise this, all ‘former’ colonies are in Scotland, participating in the Commonwealth Games. La Francophonie is more of a ‘feel good’ club than a supra-governmental, supra-national structure that the Commonwealth is. Perhaps the Americans heeded Jenerali Ulimwengu’s advice long ago: not only are they outside the Commonwealth, but they refer to their ‘independence’ day as National Day. This helps cover the fact that someone once ruled them. Yet these are actually descendants of Britain, among others. They would be more linked to the Commonwealth than any African country. That they evolved their own language, culture and world outlook in virtually everything, is what Africa needs to learn from. And the key question remains: what is the historical mission and role of the African youth in this Century? The Independence generation had their task clearly cut for them: Colonialism was here up and kicking; apartheid was crimson red and the world had two distinct limits led by the two blocs. Today, all is blurred. Has liberation ended?
Matsiko Kahunga,