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GAMBIA-L  January 2004

GAMBIA-L January 2004

Subject:

*** WAS AFRICA THE DARK CONTINENT? NOT REALLY.

From:

uga479 <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Gambia and related-issues mailing list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:47:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (100 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Roy Pathara 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 5:40 PM
Subject: [unioNews] WAS AFRICA THE DARK CONTINENT? NOT REALLY.


CAN AFRICA AFFORD TO REMAIN ON THE SIDELINES IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS?   
  
 "When the Portuguese explorers first visited West Africa in 1444, they were encountering a civilization that was essentially comparable to that of Europe."

   "The Africans were certainly on an economic par with Europe.  The basis of wealth was agriculture.   Despite the problems presented by the jungle and the insects, Africans were among the best farmers in the world.  They had variety in their crops, used fertilizers, and raised cattle, sheep, and chickens.  In addition to being skilled agriculturists, Africans were excellent artisans.  They had remarkable knowledge  of basketry, textile weaving, pottery, woodwork, and metallurgy.  They knew how to weave cotton into cloth.  The Ashantis of Ghana wove rugs and carpets.  Pottery making was a skill known to Africans from antiquity.  By the 15th Century, Africans made and used a wide variety of iron tools.  They also worked in gold, silver, and copper.  Trade both by land and sea, was highly developed between the African states and with Europe and Asia."

  "Excavations in the Congo have revealed the existence of the ISHONGO people who lived eight thousand years ago and used a primitive abacus or multiplication table."

SLAVERY ROBBED AFRICA  OF IT'S BUDDING FLOWERS

   "The African slave trade perpetrated the largest migration in recorded history.  No one will know how many millions of Africans were captured, sold into slavery, and taken in chains to the western hemisphere.  It has been estimated that at least five million and perhaps twenty million Africans were brought to the New World between 1517 and 1860.  Historians generally believe that for every slave sold on the block in North and South America, one other was killed resisting capture, committed suicide to escape slavery, or died en route to his bondage.  That would mean that perhaps as many as forty million men and women were lost to the African civilizations in four centuries, and nearly all were from West Africa. 
       Moreover, the slave traders took only the youngest, strongest, healthiest, most intelligent, and culturally advanced men and women."

Professor John Hope Franklin described the effect of the Slave trade upon Africa in the most emphatic terms:

       The removal of the flower of African manhood left the continent impotent,
       stultified and dazed.  The encouragement which Europeans gave them
       to fight among themselves, with explosive weapons detonated by the
       Europeans, further debilitated them and removed the last vestige of 
       opportunity to recover from the body blow which the slave trade had dealt them.

       Africa, that culturally was within some measurable distance from Europe at the beginning of the 15th Century, received the worst possible influence from her Christian neighbors to the North, and under these adverse circumstances she began a recession that in time was to be accelerated by the imperialistic enslavement that was to be thrust upon her in the 19th Century."

Adapted from Slavery In America, pp14-19
By Robert Liston. 

Lanre's Commentary:
   The loss to the African continent in terms of its human resources was no doubt a major setback to its development for nearly 400 years.
   But can Africa recover from these earlier setbacks from slavery?  Definitely, Yes.  But we need dynamic leaders who will not bow to the imperialistic masters, who use an archaic organizations like the Commonwealth Heads of State meetings to expel fellow African leaders like President Mugabe.
   The Nkrumahs, Lumumbas, Awolowos, and Nelson Mandelas of yester-years were true leaders to be cheerished.  
   May be the internet could be utilized to awaken the youths of Africa to fight for the destiny of the continent, from these corrupt leaders.  Already, the Democratic Presidential Candidate, Howard Dean has shown by his innovative use of the internet as a powerful political tool.

     May be our internet guru, Oga Dele, can help with the innovative use of the internet in Africa, especially Nigeria, to raise the political awareness, despite its limited availability.  Although, NEPA, the all-powerful eccentric electricity monopoly may be a set-back, Africa cannot wait longer.
     After centuries of slavery, the current "militarilization of Nigerian politics" needs to be ended with the emergence of a youthful, dynamic leader who can lead the nation, and the continent in the 21st Century.  

The 2007 Presidential elections in Nigeria, is very crucial for Nigeria, to emerge with a leader that can leap-frog the Nation out of its present snail speed. 

This forum can be the starting point.


Regards,
Martin 'matto' Akindana
Moderator.
_______________________




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