ACHIEVING THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE
To achieve the seemingly elusive African renaissance the leaders have to steer the societies and the peoples away from the current practice of reliance and expectation from the outside, to a firmly rooted belief in self and native solutions.
The persistent turmoil and conflicts in African countries, and the fight we are trying to wedge against poverty, poor leadership, corruption and a host of other problems on the Continent will still be long drawn until we sincerely decide to redraw Africa's political map along the long existed and still enduring and realistic cultural divides.
African societies need to be returned to their original precolonial autonomous ethnic national divisions. These new national boundaries will serve as the transformative agents that will produce the most needed attitude change in the people. The new attitude will in turn restore the peoples' regard for and allegiance to their indigenous values that are soundly rooted in non-materialistic cultural traditions.
This “radical” move of political and social structural adjustment will help to restore the peoples' faith in their selves and their lore, norms and traditional institutions. When the peoples are made to consciously and boldly accept and respect the realities of these existing differences among them, it will help them to voluntarily and intuitively choose from among their neighbors, who they want to relate with as citizens of the same country. Cultural and social assimilation do not happen through decrees and edits. They evolve over time through other means like; time itself and peoples' interaction among themselves, genocides and some other forms of cataclysmic upheavals.
Foreigners, the colonial Europeans could not have known better than the African peoples themselves who they would have chosen to relate with as fellow citizens of the same country and those they are better off relating with as international neighbors and friends.
It is only when the people can summon enough courage to travel through this “revolutionary” path that the long sort for Africa renaissance will come. Africans at that point will come to realize that separation from each other does not mean institution of enmity between each other. They will also know that when any union is riddled with mutual distrust and resultant permanent state of conflicts which in turn will not allow the people to pursue any common aspirations and collective social goals then the people are better off relating with each other from a distance than from an uncomfortable debilitating proximity.
When Africans can accept division as the most realistic road to progress, its peoples will quickly revert to believing in their selves again and abandon the present state of permanent confusion where one ethnic people are permanently trying to out trick and disrespect the other ethnic group to prove their superiority. The existing situation is creative- and innovative-numbing, and stunts every kind of positive growth.
It is also a fact that with this sort of confused mix as we have it today in Africa the people cannot develop enough necessary patriotic feelings which can enable them to innovate and achieve collectively and individually. (Patriotism though most of the time is displayed by individuals but in principle and fundamentally, patriotism is always a collective feeling. No one individual feels patriotic alone. An individual must first belong to a collective to which they feel real attachment and belonging before they can demonstrate patriotism when it is called for.)
The present collection of peoples into “countries” in Africa on the bases that the people cannot relate with as having any rooting in any of their indigenous cultural and traditional values further erodes the peoples' confidence in their selves. It has created the current condition where the people are always trusting that an external solution is superior to an internal solution. This is so because the present colonial countries are actually to the native leaders a no man's land where leadership positions are chances to transform the leaders, and opportunities to grab only for their own selves as every leader is his own lord with no allegiance to any people.
Under the prevailing state of things, as long as we selfishly insist on maintaining the status quo, the people will continue to look outside their selves to meet their challenges and solve their problems. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa is an example here. Almost all the help had to come from outside and in the overall the people and their leaders demanded and accepted assistances from outside like it was a right and the normal thing that should be.
Written by Osita Ebiem.