Africa, Colonialism, and Queen Elizabeth II


Ghana got her independence from Britain in 1957, that is 65 years ago. That will be five years after Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne.

Countries like Somalia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Part of Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, The Gambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Swaziland, all got their independence between 1960 to 1968.

The latest to gain independence from Britain will be Seychelles in 1976 and Zimbabwe in 1980.

To put this in proper context, none of the countries that gained independence from Britain is less than 42 years old. While Ghana marked her 65 years of independence in March this year, Nigeria will be 62 by October, and Zimbabwe marked 42 in April.

Most of the African countries colonized by France got their independence in 1960. Countries like Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Madagascar, Somalia, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, and Mauritania all got their independence in 1960. The earliest to gain independence from France is Guinea in 1958, and the latest is Djibouti in 1977.

The fact is that the majority of the countries in Africa gained their independence 60 years ago.

60 years is enough to make the needed change and make the continent what it should be. 60 years is more than enough to position Africa as the pride and world power judging from its minerals and human resources.

But, No. . Africa is still the poorest continent in the world.

Technically we have gained independence, but we are still very much dependent on those that colonized us.

While we are still subjected to speaking and writing in their language, the value of our mineral and human resources is determined by them.

They did havoc to Africa in our foundational stage, using ruler and pencil to draw lines on our map just to divide and group a multi-ethnic people into one country for their selfish aim, but we did evil and still continue to do evil to ourselves due to our failure to draft our own path for 60 years now after independence.

We have only but ourselves to blame.

It is now a mourning week in most African countries.

Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya declared 4 days of National mourning.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda declared 10 days of mourning.
Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi declared 10 days of mourning.
Samia Suluhu of Tanzania declared 5 days of mourning.

I am sure more are still to come.

Well, it is good to mourn with those who mourn but let us be clear, it is not about mourning Queen Eliza.  it is about putting into action what Bob Marley sang about emancipation. Remind me of the song, please!

Fr. Kelvin Ugwu
Fr. Kelvin Ugwu
Fr Kelvin Ugwu MSP is an influential Nigerian Catholic priest on a mission in The Gambia.

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