White people, I will get to you shortly.
Young and old, from the Cape to Tripoli, from the sunny shores of Nam Lolwe to Lagos, you have been misruled, misled and oppressed for too long. I want to call you all to rise up in one voice and say no more to oppression. You will ask, I address you as who. Well, as one of you and as one who thinks. You have been told many flowery things, I will name a few, to enable us begin the conversation and if we all join in, we can chart a cause for ourselves and for our progeny.
1. Rule of law and constitutionalism
How has this helped you? Look at you Kenyans, the political elite kill you with abandon when the law is very clear everyone has a right to life and so many flowery things. South Africans, how is it with Zuma? He seems to have made corruption the 9th wonder of modern world. Soon he may be so corrupt, corruption will not recognize him anymore. Ugandans, look at yourselves. You would not know what a peaceful protest is if it hit in the face. And my Nigerian friends, well, your problems are too many to be enumerated. Those documents haven’t served the people they were meant to serve because it was never about you. They give you rights, but just enough to enslave you. Destroy those colonial relics. Reorganize. Think. Work towards common good without the need for flowery language. I am not advocating for anarchy, on the contrary, I am only stating facts. Your forefathers lived without those flowery documents. You too can. There is no society that has been made better by having many laws. Basic laws of equity are sufficient to live by. The first thing you must do is to run your presidents and political class out of town, take charge of your destinies. Life went on in Nigeria when Buhari was on medical tour in England. It can go on without the political class.
2. National borders and boundaries
Tear the boundaries. Allow free travel among yourselves. Forget about those divisive descriptors. Oh I am Kenyan, oh Ethiopian, oh Zimbabwean, what do these mean in any meaningful sense of the word? You divide yourselves in silly ethnic conclaves that make it impossible for you to achieve any form of human development. If you must have a passport, have one passport. The African passport only to be useful for travel out of the continent and to make identifying you easy in the event you die. Standardize and reform your education to meet the demands of your population. Most of all, it must teach Ubuntu. Let brotherhood exist in everyone’s heart.
3. Trickle-down economics
This hasn’t worked in America, in Europe and it hasn’t worked anywhere in Africa. If you continue with this silly idea, only a few of you will continue to get rich while the majority will wallow in poverty waiting for wealth to trickle down. Rethink your economics. Draw from your traditions and from whatever theories you have learnt and build holistic communities that work for everyone. It is not a sign of progress or development to have 1 Dangote and 100 million paupers. In other spheres of life, that would a psychological problem. Don’t venerate mental deficiencies as a sign of civilization. It is backward.
4. Free trade with the developed nations
This is a lie as white lies come. Your incompetent leaders sign trade deals with these nations that keep the rest of you poor, sick, underfed all in the name of free trade. They developed their nations either with the labour of the black person or with your resources. Speak with one voice. Work towards feeding yourselves. Reduce the imports of luxury items which you can do without. Put in place protections for your nascent industries. Innovate in sustainable energy. Reduce over dependence on fossil fuels. Develop agriculture as you industrialize. Reduce rural- urban migration but urbanize rural areas to reduce pressure in urban centres, to maintain kinship ties.
5. Military expenditure
I am not a romanticizer and I don’t think our forefathers fought less, no, on the contrary, I believe there were wars of conquest and of resources. In my second point I said forget national boundaries. Forget national armies. You waste so much money buying tools of death from the US and from Europe then fight among yourselves. All of you are stupid. Why are we so intent on repeating the stupidities of Europe? They fought 2 world wars, got you involved, for what? If you must have a standing army, create a small transnational army with a limited budget. I assure, you will not need that army in one hundred years. Form strategic alliances with whoever you want. Let the work of defending the territory be theirs. Get the best of any deal and if there is any that does not work for you, kill it.
6. Foreign debt
How was this debt acquired? Take the case of Kenya. The colonialist came, stole land then at the time of leaving, gave us a loan to purchase our land back. Become radicals. For each year under colonialization, calculate amounts that should be repatriated. By the time you are finished with that, Europe and America will be owing Africa. Demand payment of these monies immediately either through cash transfers or machinery or whatever that is useful to your economies. Use this money to rationalize your public sector. Don’t pay one fool so much and then pay the next intelligent person a meager salary. Pay each one sensibly. Eschew luxuries. You will be happier and live longer.
7. Religion: Christianity and Muslim
These two religions have been responsible for religious conflicts in many places around the world since they showed themselves on its face. If you must still practice them, make religion remain a private affair. Don’t fight religious wars. No one can arbitrate which is the right god or the right manner of worship. It is not in the province of reason to mediate on such metaphysical subjects. Pray all you want, but keep public spaces and discourse secular. Have robust debates but do not use violence to settle difference of opinion. Instead, develop better arguments with which to respond to your interlocutors.
Dare to dream.