Once upon a time a close friend argued that all of Africa's woes was the fault of the white man because they enslaved us, massively exploited our Natural Resources and finally colonized us.
Even though I acknowledged his point and the damaging effect done by this historic anticident on the continent, I try to let him see the other side of the coin: which was the fact that we as Africans also helped to facilitate this gangantuan exploitation that still continues today.
Though he did not want to agree, considering his extreme Pan-africanist character, I was to some extent able to convince him that the continues milking of this rich continent of ours, especially in our time is most of the time not the fault of the white business moguls, politicians, lobbyist and the like in Europe, North America, Australia or even in Asia.
The enemy, I pinpointed clearly to him, were fellow Africans in the helms of affairs who weilded political influence sometimes supported by the much trusted traditional or local leaders.
If you think I was being too harsh or bias towards our own then please take a critical look at the scenarios below:
When the first European Explorers lead by Don Diego D'azambuja first landed on the Gold Coast together with his entourage way back in the 1400s, it took our local chiefs to receive them with our kind of African hospitality of which a pieces of land were given to these new strangers to build forts and castles; sparking a whole industry of barter trading such as exchanging valuables such as gold, ivory, diamonds, timber execetera and later human cargo for cheap things as schnapps, mirror, textiles, candles, cheap firearms you name them.
Our leaders, elders and people of that time never saw nothing wrong with this unequal trade.
During the years of the Transatlantic slave trade lasting for over 4 centuries, great kingdoms of the period such as Dahomey became notorious for waging unnecessary warfare; raiding and burning down villages just to capture people to sell to the white man on the coast.
Records even revealed how some local chiefs and parents even sold some of their subjects and children they deemed 'stubborn' 'disobedient' or convicted criminals without a blink of an eye or an iota of sympathy to localized arabs and wealthy black merchants acting as middle men in this trade of humans.
These middle men, ruthlessly marched these often young (including) helpless Africans many miles or kilometers to the coast to be sold like cheap merchandise.
Even worse, were the local ruthless task masters set over labourers in King Leopold's Congo who facilitated amputations by betraying their fellow black man to his white masters because he couldn't meet the unreasonable quota of rubber collection.
It was only in few places such as Ethiopia were these Europeans were met with stiff opposition against colonialism, culminating in the Battle of Adowa in which the Italians suffered a humiliating defeat hardly talked about Italy and Africa.
There are quite a number of examples of african to Africa betrayal seen in the numerous coup d'etat in the late fifties and throughout the sixties in stated such as my motherland Ghana, Former Zaire now DR Congo, Togo, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
In this our modern times, the game is changing. It is not only about Europe or North America, the World bank or IMF. Another dragon has reared it head and is fast entrenching itself. In states such as Zambia, it has now become a demon because of the actions and activities of its leadership.
This demon in question is CHINA.
The dragon Nation is fact hooking up it claws on Ghana as a result of our greedy and failed leadership. China, which didn't initially have cocoa is now exporting quantities of seeds of this golden pod to Europe after picking samples from Ghana to grow.
They didn't stop there! They have also learned to make one of our common delicacies called gari and even packaged it like rice. I am pretty sure we will soon see this on our market which will in the long run kill our local gari industry only if we don't do anything about it.
Let me not venture into the minning sector where because of greed, get-rich-quick attitude and unpatriotism, has given way for the destruction of our water bodies and forest reserve: prominent among them being the Atewa forest of which even international environmental -oriented Organisations are advocating against its depletion.
All these were done with the help of our own political, traditional and other local and influencial members of our own society regardless of the future financial and environmental damage and consequences. Moreover, I heated that, they have also turned their attention on our 'pona' yam, which is indigenous to Brong-Ahafo and the Northern part of Ghana.
The Chinese are now increasingly getting a foothold in Africa and who knows if the are even plotting to subjugate and finally eliminate us as our intelligence detection systems are still rudimentary.
Moreover, the earlier leadership realizes that poverty and deprivation is the underlying cause of all this woes the better because, whoever is hungry, thirsty and deprived of essentials like proper healthcare, potable water and proper sanitation, jobs among a host of others, does not care much about Intergrity and patriotism.
As a daughter of this land called Ghana, looking at how leadership loves to beg for huge 'salakas' from this "small-eyed' people further allowing and in some cases, protecting them to continue minning and polluting our mighty Pra, Ankobrah, and other rivers by mounting several Changfang machines on them, can true liberation and Development be a possibility?
Well, time will tell.
By Christiana Afua Nyarko
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