On autopilot to nowhere.

Author:Muzawazi, Kwame
Position:THE SECOND AFRICAN REVOLUTION - Issues that must be confronted by postcolonial Africa - Column

After winning the war for independence, Africa seems to have lost its mojo and, without a point of reference, seems to be drifting aimlessly. How can we regain the pre-independence spirit?

There was a time when the African voice counted for much in global politics. This was a time when Africa spoke with one voice on the issue of granting independence to the nations of Africa. The 94 years between 1900 and 1994 saw congresses, conferences and political actions that took Africa to a position of global political importance.

Today Africa is nowhere near having that forceful relevance. One could plausibly argue that this continent of 55 countries and over lbn people is at its weakest when it comes to fighting for and defending what's good for the ordinary African.

What's next for Africa? We fought for and got the right to run the affairs of our countries but it's evident that the fruits of independence are as elusive as a slippery fish in our hands. Every generation has a question to answer and actions that must be taken. What's the burning question today?

Whilst the 20th century was meant to be about addressing the issue of Africa freeing herself from the manacles of colonisation, this century is about the next calling. The 21st century must become the epoch of Africans freeing themselves from educational and cultural colonisation --those invisible aspects that are still pervasive.

There are a dozen or so issues that postcolonial Africa needs to confront with determination. For today, let's look at three.

Educational content

Across Africa, the majority of textbooks being used in schools have not changed, even though this is a continent that claims to be independent. As a result, our teachers are producing nicely colonised graduates who will know more about European history and geography than Africa's.

In Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa, the most popular song they sing during playtime in schools is called "Great Christopher Columbus". It praises Columbus for being a great explorer and navigator. Yet our kids should be singing about 1bn Battuta, the Moroccan who pioneered global travel and upon whose autobiography, A Gift To Those Who Contemplate the Wonder of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling, Columbus himself relied on for planning his overseas colonialist navigations.

Our high-level begging

Have you not felt ashamed to be an African when you see a large number of our heads of state or government leaving...

To continue reading

Request your trial