Nations and, by extension, continents, like people, have unique capabilities - natural and human resources; and destinies.
And just like some humans live almost their entire lifetime or die prematurely for lack of recognising and putting to redemptive use their unique abilities, equally so do some nations live oblivious or are simply too lazy to explore and harness their peculiar and often insurmountable potential.
Like circus elephants tethered to stagnancy merely by a weak string, they struggle with life, grapple with poverty and disease and are regrettably constantly ridiculed and exploited by those comparatively less endowed than they are. Such is the harsh reality - the sad story that is unceasingly told of Africa!
Almost everything we know about ourselves was taught by Europeans, including distortions to serve their selfish interests! But thank goodness for if there is any consciousness the Covid-19 pandemic should awaken in our minds as Africans is that we need to invest heavily in and develop, especially our own health and education infrastructure. We need to ensure reserves - in case disasters strike. To transform - across all spheres: spiritually; socio-economically; and politically, etc.
Africa needs to understand that her history is transcendental to Stone Age, slave trade, kingdoms, empires and colonisation and shoot for the moon!
As we journey through life, we juggle between its mystery, meaning and our beliefs.
We ought to reflect on our unique destinies and on our relationship with the past and the future, but above all with God. We need to reflect on the power and pain that accrue from our interconnectedness and contrive meticulously.
When the Europeans descended upon Africa, they replaced our management structures with administrative skills/abilities; and our innovation ability with creativity; yet there is a sharp difference between creativity and innovation.
For Africa to transform and sustain itself - socio-economically, spiritually and politically, it is extremely critical that the continent purposefully and strategically develops or revives distinctly and /or predominantly African values, models, and tools! We need to discard European political and economic models, not congruent with Africa’s needs and history.
From determining what name we would be called to disconnecting us from our culture and traditions, Africa’s fate had been decided, Europeans also set us against each other, mentally and socially, yet in essence we are and remain one and the same people! Europeans did not only condition our minds to bow to their selfish interests but also determined our destiny. And Africans remain oblivious.
Sadly, today, some Africans, against veritable abundance, still ignorantly and naïvely give themselves away into neo-colonialism, and (modern) slavery. Mental disorientation, self-hate, self-alienation, Africans’ obsession with anything Western against anything African, including now the adoption of filthy behaviour repugnant with natural order persist.
This points to lack of appreciation of our own coveted human qualities and natural resource potential; and ignorance regarding our own origins and history as a continent.
We need to examine her origins away from creation, before it even came to be called Africa. We must rediscover our history, redefine our purpose, reclaim and reposition ourselves to our divine ordained destiny.
African Leaders should stop playing small kings in small territories; and citizens shun neo-colonialists, rise in revamped and purposeful solidarity to support our leaders in deterring any perilous, unsolicited and irrelevant foreign impositions—however slight!
We must delete and/or open colonial-imposed borders and discard their systems and structures. Africans must learn to negotiate as brothers in one united voice — Sauti ya Umoja, and on one side of the bargain, as a bloc.
It is easier and more beneficial doing our business between the 1.2 billion Africans than as individual nations.
We must promote common and regional markets in Africa then, if necessary, embark on carefully selected strategic intercontinental partnerships based on mutual interdependence and respect as opposed to heinous exploitation!
Mr Katagata Jr. is the co-founder and executive,
African Potential Forum (APF), Buhweju District.