WHY AFRICA WAS COLONISED AND THE WAY FORWARD

This subject has elicited alot emotions, at best condemnation by the colonized and oppressed and at worst denial by the colonizers and oppressor side.

While some Africans have tried to diagnose the cause of centuries of subjugation by the remnants of colonialism to-date, like colonialists, even the oppressed have in some cases adopted the attitude of denial.

These is one African president who claimed that had Africans been united, the west had no enough firepower to defeat the continent because their guns were primitive, which everybody including the author agrees with.

But that is the the point right there, Technology doesn’t only constitute weapons of war, but like Jeremy Rifkin noted in his work ‘The Third Industrial Revolution”, in order to attain an industrial revolution, a country or an empire must excel and command at three technologies:

1. Energy e.g Steam, hydrocarbons, hydroelectricoty, renewable solar, wind, nuclear etc

2. Cheap and modernised Transportation.

3. Cheap communication

4. Agriculture. (A plus added by the author and not Jeremy Rifkin)

The Europeans having used shipping for exploration and to rapidly harness these technologies managed to communicate with each other to the point of bringing together the Berlin conference while Africa could not communicate with itself to protect the whole territory.

It was this lack of technology which was at the core of Africa’s colonization, the lagging behind of Africa in key technologies.

It is this leadership in technology which enabled the Europeans to navigate the oceans, the British to excel and become an empire after the invention of the train, telegram as a communication means, learning of and expanding shipping as a means of transportation across seas and the use of steam as a source of cheaper energy.

It was technology in the form of hydrocarbons, commercialisation of the automobile in addition to their Continental railway network and the discovery of the telephone that catapulted the Americans to global dominance. Machines and enterprises could be run cheaply and information received at the speed of light, military dominance followed.

It has been the Chinese’ harnessing of electrified Transportation and leading in electric cars, highspeed trains, invention of 5G and internet of things and their leadership in the renewable energy field which has enabled them to dominate manufacturing, overtake the United States’ GDP in purchasing power terms and the modernisation of their military.

While political analysts like John Mearshaimer observe that a large population and big economy are the currency to global super powerdom, which is also true, and Africa atleast qualifies half way by these measures, it is important to understand that a strong economy is built on Science and Technology which help the springing up of industries. An organised population then makes it possible for a country to become a super power.

Yet with all this understanding, Africa continues in a fragmented state; science, technology and research neglected and therefore no advancement in critical key technologies in order to spark an industrial revolution on the continent.

This is the reason why our continent, which we must and are going to change in this generation, has continued to be in the shadow of the western world, dominated and humiliated daily and robbed of resources which should help it advance forward.

This state of affairs must be changed by the Pan Africanists of this generation, the neocolonial groups disorganising the continent must tactically be expelled, the continent unified and rebuilt rapidly.

 

 

Kwame Gonza is a PanAfrican member of the African Continental Unity Party, a Mechanical Engineer and architect of the African Railway Triangle Network Master Plan (ARTNMP)

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