Let’s begin by discussing geography; when compared to other continents, Africa doesn’t exactly have the most advantageous terrain. There are a number of elements that contribute to the formation of an environment that is particularly unfavorable to the process of growth. Some of these factors include deserts, a lack of rivers, and stagnant waterways.
Continental trade has been delayed and is still being slowed down by the difficult topography (mountains and deserts), and as a result, the dissemination of ideas has also been slowed down. For example, the mosquito population has grown significantly as a direct result of the stagnant waters.
On the other hand, the problem of geography more often than not disguises itself as a “Greek gift;” for instance, the plow was briefly introduced and then abandoned in Southern Nigeria; the question is why it was done.
The South has always been and continues to be a breeding ground for TseTse flies, which caused the livestock that was necessary to move the plow, such as cows and horses, to perish from trypanosomiasis, popularly known as “sleeping sickness.”
In spite of this, the people who lived in the South did not perish from starvation since the woods produced enough wildlife to sustain them during the planting season.
However, with the benefit of hindsight gained from looking into the future, we are aware that the development of the plow made it feasible for fewer people to engage in agriculture, which meant that those individuals could instead concentrate on improving their other abilities. This is an illustration of what is known as a “Greek gift” to geographical areas.
The second factor is the system of slavery; it is impossible to deny the reality that the loss of 20 million or more of your inhabitants has a detrimental effect on your country. When we discuss slavery, however, rather than focusing excessively on the transport of slaves over the Atlantic, as we so frequently do, we should discuss the repercussions of slavery.
The deaths and instability caused by the wars that were waged in pursuit of slaves, the disruption of commerce, and the continuous practice of local slavery long after “the abolition” at local plantations to feed the industries of Europe throughout the time of the “legal trade.”
Finally, we have colonialism and its more contemporary offspring, neocolonialism. Colonialism was, in essence, a state-sanctioned monopoly in which the people who were being oppressed were forced to hand over money in order to acquire the tools that were being used for their subjugation.
For example, between the years 1900 and 1940, Southern Nigeria gave the WAFF more than forty percent of its total budget. This occurred during the WAFF’s existence. Despite the fact that the colonial rulers in Southern Nigeria were considerably more tolerant than their francophone counterparts or their equivalents in a settler colony, this was the result.
People frequently forget that African traders were prohibited from trading directly to the colonial home state or with foreigners; that they traded exclusively with monopolies (UAC); that these monopolies dictated prices and required them to obtain foreign goods in exchange; and that traders who refused to comply were imprisoned and their communities were destroyed.
The spirit of enterprise on the African continent was likewise strangled by colonialism. People have a tendency to forget that it was formerly against the law for African traders to engage in business with either foreigners or the state of origin of the colonial power to the extent that the colonists aggressively forbade everything beyond basic education, with a special focus on blocking the establishment of businesses.
In addition, the native governmental structures were in a state of disarray, and from there I will transition into a discussion of neocolonialism.
They overthrew governments that were opposed to them during the cold war, and they overthrew governments that were allied with their enemies.
The Colonial Masters ruled using a system called “divide and rule,” in which collaborators were used to governing the indigenous masses at the expense of both the newly trained educational elites and the unschooled masses; after the nationalist agitations, they rigged the system to leave their friends in charge; they overthrew governments that were opposed to them during the cold war; they over (an extreme example is US aid in the ascent and continued rule of Mobutu Sese Seko).
For the most part, during the course of the history of Africa over the past century and a half, the governments of the continent have had the priorities of their countries defined by interests from outside the region.
The erosion of traditional morality and ethics is the fourth problem that has to be addressed. People who do not have a culture or, even worse, who do not believe in their culture are analogous to blind people who are carelessly teetering on the precipice of a chasm while laughing and having a good time. The ineptitude of those currently in charge of our country is eroding the long-standing value of having respect for one’s elders.
The ideals of community, which maintain that I am because we are and that because we are, I am, are progressively being displaced by the individualism and single-minded capitalist pursuit of the West. Community values hold that I am because we are and that because we are, I am. These beliefs are putting an end to the long-standing custom of showing respect to one’s elders.
In the small town where I spent most of my youth, for instance, doors were never secured, the drink was routinely left on the porch for the thirsty passerby, and children were frequently trusted with the mother’s homefront business since, after all, who would purposefully harm a child?
Eventually, during my time in secondary school, which would signal the conclusion of the story, the sentimental longing I had for more innocent days would fade away. The unlocked doors were the first thing to go; the Village River, a major source of white sand, had begun to dry up (by the way, climate change is real); it was formerly the largest source of employment; unemployed youths are not a good thing; politicians found them ready employment as political thugs and everything changed; disagreements that used to be settled by at worst ambushing the offending party and giving him a beating now had guns involved; as the rivers continued to continue to dry up, It was determined that a grandchild who lived close to the victim’s home had been poisoned.
When the first child was taken from their home, I was in elementary school. Since then, no one trusts their neighbors, and anyone from outside the community are treated with contempt and are considered to be pariahs.
My generation, which includes those who were born in the 1990s, may very well be the last to remember a time when we all believed that Nigerians placed too high of a value on life for them to be willing to take their own lives by engaging in acts of suicide terrorism. During that time, we all believed that Nigerians valued life too highly to be willing to engage in such acts.
Fifthly, corruption, which can be defined as the misuse of authority for the goal of gaining personal gain, is a disease that has hampered growth all over the continent. Corruption can be described as the abuse of power for the sake of acquiring personal gain.
For instance, the National Security Adviser of my country stole $2 billion that was supposed to be spent on the purchase of weaponry, and then he labeled as “cowards” the troops who deserted their posts in the face of an adversary that was better equipped. This exemplifies what we mean when we talk about “greatness” in my nation.
A country that has so far made more than half a trillion dollars in profit from the sale of oil but does not have 5,000 megawatts of electrical capacity or an institution that is considered to be among the most influential on the African continent.
The crony rich marry each other and pass on their wealth from generation to generation, which results in a situation in which the country is split between a super minority of the fabulously wealthy, a middle class that is on the verge of extinction, and a majority of people who live in extreme poverty. The crony rich marry each other and pass on their wealth from generation to generation. This circumstance makes it difficult to advance one’s social standing, which is an even more serious problem than the corruption that it spawns.
The sixth justification is that religion is steadily losing its status as the arbiter of right and wrong in society. Islam, Catholicism, and Anglicans are all examples of orthodox forms of religion that are practiced in the African continent. These branches, although having flaws, do not constitute a serious risk to the congregation they serve since, at the very least, they adhere to the terms of a conscious social contract.