There’s an upsurge of high-level Asian activities in Africa that Africans in America should note. Most recently President Hu Jintao of China visited Nigeria
in late April to sign a $4 billion deal to develop oilfields and infrastructure. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi brought an astonishing 121-member delegation of political and business leaders to Ghana on a 3-day visit in early May. A South Korean delegation
then arrived in Ghana shortly
afterwards to solidify a multimillion dollar infrastructure contract.
Why is this relevant?
Well, as so-called “African Americans,” why aren’t we heavily involved in African affairs? What do Asian
leaders know about Africa that Black leaders don’t know? These questions resonate being that Africa is nowhere incorporated within the Covenant with Black America blueprint. Yes, being besieged with poverty
and destabilization, on the surface Africa certainly seems more like a calamity than a remedy. But such thinking overlooks Africa’s strategic importance to Western expansion
and the fact that we are native to the most resource-rich continent on earth, of which all industrialized nations are
Well, as so-called “African Americans,” why aren’t we heavily
involved in African affairs? What do Asian leaders know about Africa that Black leaders don’t know?
is no other historical instance of a formerly enslaved people who valued integration with their former captors to the point
where they completely abandon the superior wealth of their own homeland. If Euro-Americans were native to Africa instead of
Europe, you can bet that Africa would be “fully developed” today. And there’s no way they’d neglect Africa and all its
richness just to integrate with us. It’s therefore altogether backwards to prioritize our attachment to Euro-Americans
above rapprochement with Africa. The disconnect of Black
America’s human and economic resources from Africa’s human and natural resources, contributes to the poverty and
powerlessness of us both.
Meanwhile, Europeans (and now Asians) entrench themselves deeper and
cling to Africa for dear life because their economic and military might cannot otherwise be sustained
strategic resources. Instead of being spectators as foreign governments and multinationals heist daily tons of resources from
our homeland, we should be integral to the production, management, processing, and international distribution of African resources.
This is easier said than done since Western “brands of democracy” operate in concert to forestall
such arrangements… Colonialism was the graduated continuation of slavery. Colonialism thrived by virtue of slavery’s
success. Together they comprised a singular force to fuel the dual process of European development and African demise. The
interrelation and long-term impact of these “bookend institutions” explain why Europeans reign spaciously
atop the present world order, while Africans are scrunched down at the bottom fighting for survival.
urgent and imperative therefore that all leaders of African descent understand the “geo-strategic economics” of
how the world was fashioned into this current state. Otherwise they are, by default, perpetuating a world system rooted in
To maintain the current “balance of power,” the U.S. government has historically
sought to minimize Black America’s interactions and impact in Africa. To make sense of
this, you must understand that the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements ran concurrent with African Independence
Movements. Since resistance to Western injustices was the common denominator to these movements, the U.S. government regarded Black activism in America and the revolutions in
Africa as fractional particles of the same struggle—differing only in location and
expression. America guarded
against the fractions from operating in parallel, so that no rubbed-off African influences would possibly (God forbid) augment
the “Civil Rights Movement” into a “Sovereign Rights Movement.”
America did experience uncertain moments in 1957 when both Dr. King and Malcolm X attended
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s inauguration in Ghana. It was a frightening omen to see two of the most visionary Black men in America interfacing ideals with the president of the first African nation to seize independence.
This unprecedented meeting-of-the-minds between the “formerly enslaved” and “formerly colonized” should
have opened a new advent in “world history.” But here we are nearly 50 years later, still (psychologically
and economically) detached from Africa and still preoccupied with
notions of equality, while Asians now prosper from our homeland’s wealth.
With or without
the Covenant, we must fast awaken to the “geo-strategic economics” of this world, or we risk self-induced political
extinction. Regardless of how many non-Africans invest in Africa
or how far Black America assimilates into Americanization, we’ll still face joint-related issues with Africa that require
joint-related solutions. The Government of Ghana realizes this fact, and as part of its 50th independence
anniversary in 2007, Ghana is subsequently launching the “Joseph
Project” (recognizing the Biblical Joseph who triumphed after being enslaved and reunited with his brothers). Among
other things, this historic and multifaceted initiative aims to reconcile Diaspora relations and generate wealth for ourselves.
Although the unknown and uncharted course of African relations is not a cure-all, the known and well charted
course of Americanization is not a cure-all either. Certainly our collective long-term interests as African people
would be advanced if we mended both history and relations. Based on the singularity and common origin of our struggles, our
interdependency for parallel movements will not vanish with time. Undoubtedly, a nucleus of us will reestablish a significant
presence in Africa and ensure that unlike 20th century-Africa, 21st century-Africa will not be an “Africa without so-called African
Copyright © 2006 Ezrah Aharone
AFRICA MUST UNITE AND AFRICANS MUST UNITE!