Analysis: ROBBIE MUSAKUZI
REGARDLESS of how flamboyant the Africa Freedom Day celebrations will be across Africa this year, they will be shadowed by the disasters and critical events over the past year.The past year was bedeviled by events such as the international media’s revelation of the slave trade and auctioning of black Africans in Libya, the death of thousands of Africans from West and East Africa, while trying to cross the Sahara Desert and sailing across the Mediterranean Sea just to get to Europe.
There was also the intolerance and rejection in many African countries of democratically conducted national election results by the opposition leaders and their supporters and the rise of a new breed of Africans who are ready to injure and kill their fellow Africans who have a different political or religious opinion.
What has happened to the dream of African freedom, unity and hope of prosperous African countries with happy and smiling citizens that the great African freedom fighters Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Haile Selassie, Kenneth Kaunda, Sir Seretse Khama, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, and Gamal Abdel Nasser sacrificed their lives fighting for African freedom from colonialism?
Some of these architects of African freedom have died but they must be restless in their graves and wondering what has gone wrong with African nationalism, freedom and the covenant they made with the African people.
Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963. It was a follow-up to the First Congress of Independent African States that was held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15, 1958, which was convened by then Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and comprised representatives from Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon.
Africa Day is celebrated in all countries across the African continent, as well as around the world. This day is celebrated to mark the onward progress of the liberation movement and freedom and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign socio-economic and political domination and exploitation.
It is a pity that in less than a century, the foundations of this African continent are shaking and many are wondering whether the foundation was built on a solid African rock or on quick sand.
Many African socio-economic and political analysts and scholars agree that what Africans across the continent have lost over the years is personal sacrifice, respect, obedience, love and African nationalism and citizenship. In the absence of these values and virtues in most Africans has arisen greed, hedonism, regionalism, tribal and religious cult sentiments and African socio-economic and political supremacists who feel they alone know what should happen in all African countries and continent.
This group of African supremacists present in almost all African countries are ready to use everything and anything to get what they want, be it wealth or political power. They will use tribe, skin colour, language, regions and origins to divide their fellow Africans and countrymen. Of late their trend ideology is to support and finance those that have no respect for elected leaders, governments and commemoration of national days such as African Day. These African supremacists who live abroad, especially in Europe, will stop at nothing in painting gloom and doom on social media about the African countries, continent, governments, products, goods and services.
They are the ones who are causing other Africans to trek, sail and die in the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea trying to get to Europe.
Africans need to be reminded that it is now not easy to live in Europe as a refugee or even work as an expatriate.
Every African must therefore do everything possible to cherish our African freedom and make others contribute to maintaining the peace and stability in the African countries even within the socio-economic and political challenges.
Many countries across the world which are far much older than all the African countries are still trying to perfect their national constitutions, fighting socio-economic and political challenges and corruption.
Therefore, as African Freedom Day celebrations go on across the African continent this year, there is a need to remind all Africans on the premise of our forefathers fight for African freedom. There is a need for Africans to find ways for the restoration of African socio-economic freedom and turn it into a concrete reality. African social and economic freedom must not be a religion that the African people should by faith hope for that one day it will come.
Hard work and sacrifice is the way the founding fathers of the African freedom looked at their situation and in many cases at the expense of their life, families and personnel development. Happy Africa Freedom Day!
The author is an international associate at the African Centre for Disaster Studies.
Analysis: ROBBIE MUSAKUZI