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Deluded Dictators: African leaders with ridiculous official names

 

 

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Name: Idi Amin

 

Job description: President of Uganda

 

Years in power: 1971-79

 

Full title: "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."

 

Megalomania rating: 9.5/10

 

Although his eight-year rule left around 500,000 Ugandans dead and devastated the country’s economy, Idi Amin believed he had been sent by God to be the “hero of Africa”, and the “most powerful figure in the world." The former army commander also offered to become the king of Scotland, and reportedly forced the white citizens of Kampala to carry him around on a throne and kneel before him in front of the world’s press. Amin designated himself ‘President for Life', but his plans were thwarted when he was ousted by Tanzanian and Ugandan troops in 1979, and he spent the remainder of his life in quiet exile in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

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Name: Jean Bedel Bokassa

 

Job description: Emperor of the Central African Republic

 

Years in power: 1976-79

 

Full title: “His Imperial Majesty Bokassa the First, Emperor of Central Africa by the will of the Central African people, united within the national political party, the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa.”

 

Megalomania rating: 9/10

 

Renowned as Africa’s vainest dictator, Jean Bedel Bokassa was an army colonel who seized power in the Central African Republic and proclaimed himself Emperor, President, Prime Minister, Commander in Chief of the army, and leader of the country’s only political party. Bokassa saw himself as a ‘second Napoleon’ – his lavish $30 million coronation ceremony in 1977 faithfully copied that of the French Emperor – and he was also rumoured to be a cannibal. Bokassa’s extravagant lifestyle stood in marked contrast to the abject poverty of his country, and when he was overthrown by a coup in 1979, jubilant crowds celebrated by tearing down his statue in the capital Bangui.

 

 

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Name: Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi

 

Job description: Leader of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

 

Years in power: 1969-2011

 

Full Title: ‘Brotherly Leader of the Great September Revolution’, ‘King of Kings of Africa’

 

Megalomania rating: 9/10

 

Throughout his 42 years in power, Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi cultivated a reputation for eccentricity that made him a figure of international ridicule. The ‘Mad Dog’ insisted he held no official position in the Libyan jamahiriyya, and contented himself with the humble honorifics of ‘Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution’ and ‘King of Kings of Africa’. When a full-scale uprising against his rule began in 2011, Gaddafi denied there was any internal discontent, telling the world’s media “all my people love me”. Within nine months, however, the dictator had been ousted, and died an ignominious death at the hands of an angry mob in Sirte.

 

 

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Name: Mobuto Sese Seko

 

Job description: President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Years in power: 1965-1997

 

Full Title: ‘The Father of the Nation’, ‘Allconquering Warrior Who Goes From Triumph to Triumph’, ‘The Messiah’, ‘The Redeemer’

 

Megalomania rating: 8.5/10

 

With his signature leopard-skin hat, thick-rimmed glasses and silver-tipped ebony cane, Mobuto Sese Soko was one of post-colonial Africa’s most flamboyant and iconic leaders. He also had an unparalleled reputation for arrogance and greed, amassing a personal fortune of $6.3 billion that was said to match the national debt. In addition to his extensive collection of official titles, Sese Soko demonstrated his megalomania by ensuring that all government correspondence referred to him with a capitalised ‘He’, and insisted that the nightly television news was preceded by an image of him descending god-like from the Heavens.

 

 

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Name: Haile Selassie I

 

Job description: Emperor of Ethiopia

 

Years in power: 1930-1974

 

Full Title: "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God"

 

Megalomania rating: 6.5/10

 

Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie traced his royal lineage back 3,000 years to the biblical King David. Although he was lauded in the West as a ‘reformer,' Haile Selassie ruled his country with an iron fist for forty-five years, and through his lavish lifestyle became increasingly out of touch with his people. He was guarded round the clock by a coterie of lions, cheetahs and imperial bodyguards, and always referred to himself with the imperial “We”. Selassie was overthrown by a coup in 1974. As he was driven through the streets of Addis Ababa, he was jeered by groups of bystanders, and reportedly asked his driver what people were saying. The driver informed him “they’re shouting ‘thief’ your majesty”. “What do you expect them to call you”, replied Selassie, “when you have robbed them of a king”.

 

 

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Name: Hastings Banda

 

Job description: President of Malawi

 

Years in power: 1961-1997s

 

Full Title: His Excellency the Life President of the Republic of Malawi (Paramount Chief), Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda ( Ngwazi means “chief of chiefs” or “great lion”).

 

Megalomania rating: 6/10

 

In his trademark three-piece suit, top hat and lion-tail fly whisk, Malawi’s first president Hastings Banda cut an eccentric figure. He outlawed television, banned men from growing long hair and women from wearing trousers, and reportedly decreed that a group of women should dance for him whenever he visited a town or city. Banda complained of loneliness throughout his life, and in a particularly bizarre moment in the early 1970s, banned the Simon and Garfunkle song ‘Cecilia’ because he found the lyrics (“Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart”) too upsetting. In 1994, Banda was overthrown at the age of 96, and died in ignominy three years later.

 

 

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Name: Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud

 

Job Description: President of the Former Somalia

 

Years in Power: 2012 -

 

Full Title: His Grand Excellency Culusow, Libaax and Eternally Glorious Leader of the Honourable Agitators of Glory and All Militia Hordes of Xamar Caddey

 

Megalomania rating: 7.5/10

 

very little is known off the heinous past of Hassan ''L'Oréal because i'm worth it'' Sheikh Mohamoud before he left his ivory tower to assume the leadership of the world's first failed state. what little is known, prior to 2012, of Somalia's first officially looking President is still remains a mystery. like his kin, the HAG (Honourable Agitators of Glory), President Hassan ''do i look fat in this for my forth coming trip to Washington DC?'' Sheikh Mohamoud, has become an expert in milking the darwasi bowls of the calaamiga folks. less than two years since assuming the HAG throne, President Hassan has amassed a personal fortune of $2.3 million from keynote speeches on the international public speaking circuits - second only to Bill Clinton in 2013. despite acting the role well dressed to impress in his 2 piece suit, HAG president Hassan has built a personality cult based around his desperate need to present himself as the Father of the Nation. fronted by his two wives, who accompany Sheikh Mohamoud on his international travels, the Presidential family has clocked up 15,000 air miles in 2013 alone. whats more, if you also factor in the number of close aides and confidantes (all HAG), collecting ShebaMilles air miles, it culminates in the HAG using up 87% of all air miles in the Former Somalia since 2012. nationally hailed as a failure and international praised for his 'nomad diplomacy' (traveling diplomacy), President Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud plays hide and seek behind the high walls of Villa Somalia, guarded by AMISOM troops, when not travelling internationally.

 

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http://raseef22.com/News-Detail/155/Deluded-Dictators-Ten-world-leaders-with-ridiculous-official-names#.UlB_6zCQZGR

 

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interesting.

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African leaders discuss relationship with ICC

 

Possible mass withdrawal from Hague-based court being debated at two-day African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital.

 

African leaders have begun a two-day meeting to discuss the continent’s relationship with the International Criminal Court among other issues.

 

The first meeting on Friday, dubbed the extraordinary session of the executive council of the African Union, is to be followed by the session of the assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital and headquarters of the continental bloc.

 

The two-day summit is expected to be attended by Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, who has been indicted by the ICC on war crimes charges and genocide in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur.

 

The AU has demanded that proceedings against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta linked to the 2007-2008 post-election violence be dropped.

 

Kenyatta faces crimes against humanity along with his Vice President William Ruto, who is already on trial at the Hague, Netherlands.

 

The meeting is also expected to discuss a possible mass withdrawal from the ICC, although leading African figures, including Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have urged African leaders not to withdraw support.

 

Ethiopia's foreign minister slammed the ICC for its "unfair" and "totally unacceptable" treatment of Africa.

 

"The manner in which the Court has been operating, particularly its unfair treatment of Africa and Africans, leaves much to be desired," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told ministers and delegates at the opening of the meeting.

 

Kenyatta's bid

 

Many African countries, whose leaders have complained that the ICC only targets Africans, are signatories to the Rome Statute which set the stage for the formation of the court.

 

Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from Addis Ababa, said only a handful of countries were advocating a withdrawal from the court.

 

He said countries like Nigeria did not have a problem with the court while South Africa had not decided on pulling out.

 

Thirty-four African states are signatories to the Rome Statute.

 

The summit comes as Kenyatta launches a fresh bid to have the ICC case against him stopped.

 

He cited "serious, sustained and wide-ranging abuse on the process of the court carried out by" three witnesses against him in collaboration with the court’s investigators, according to Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper.

 

Kenyatta alleges his witnesses have been intimidated or interfered with to change their testimony "for reward", the newspaper said.

 

In an application made late on Thursday, the daily said, his defence team wants the judges to either stop the case permanently or hold a hearing where the issue will be resolved conclusively before his trial begins on November 12.

 

Kenyatta's lawyers have said that if it is found that those involved abused the court process, "it would necessitate a permanent stay of the proceedings".

 

In July two witnesses who were due to testify in Kenyatta's trial withdrew over security concerns, the ICC said.

 

The court also dropped a third witness's evidence, saying it it did not consider it necessary.

 

Fatou Bensouda, the ICC's chief prosecutor, has previously accused Kenya's government of not protecting witnesses.

 

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http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/10/african-leaders-discuss-icc-relationship-2013101161611646302.html

 

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interesting developments.

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Too many dinosaurs

 

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The survival of ancient tyrants spoils Africa’s record of improving democracy

 

BETWEEN independence from colonial rule in the early 1960s and the end of the cold war in 1991, not a single African ruler was peacefully ousted at the ballot box, except in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. But since Mathieu Kérékou of Benin and Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda bowed out graciously in 1991, at least 30 African leaders or ruling parties have let their countries’ voters kick them out. Multiparty systems in Africa now far outnumber single-party ones. This contrasts strikingly with the Arab world, where so far almost no incumbent-ejecting elections have taken place anywhere.

 

Yet Africa still harbours too many dinosaurs whose time ought to have passed. Half of the world’s 30 or so longest-serving rulers are African. Some, such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, now nearing 34 years in charge, started with genuine popular consent. So did Yoweri Museveni, pictured with Mr Mugabe, who has run Uganda since 1986, but like Mr Mugabe is now loth to let go (see article). Several other old-timers have been in charge even longer. Teodoro Nguema of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea pushed out his even ghastlier uncle in 1979. Angola’s José Eduardo Dos Santos became president, on a supposedly Marxist ticket, in the same year. Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, has presided over Sudan since 1989. None of these grim figures would still be in charge if his people had more freedom.

 

The continent’s biggest democracies, South Africa and Nigeria, have not lately been a compelling advertisement for representative government. South Africa, ruled by the African National Congress since 1994, is in danger of becoming a de facto one-party state. Nigeria’s politics is so corrupt that it gives the D-word a bad name. In both countries large majorities of people still live in penury, despite the rise of billionaires at the top.

 

In the short term at least, autocracy does not seem to hamper economic growth. Some anti-democrats—Ethiopia’s late ruler, the authoritarian Meles Zenawi, is a favourite example—have seen their economies grow faster than those of more democratic neighbours. The increasingly ruthless Paul Kagame has made Rwandans a lot better off. Thanks to oil, Equatorial Guinea and Angola are among the fastest-growing countries in the world.

 

The price of autocracy

Yet Mr Mugabe has pauperised a once-rich country, and some of the least-free countries are also the most economically backward. Most of the 300 or so desperate refugees who drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa on October 3rd were from Somalia and Eritrea, Africa’s worst performers in political participation and human rights, according to the Mo Ibrahim index of African governance. As the index has repeatedly shown, countries that do well in political participation and human rights also tend to do well in economic development. And democracy is the best guarantor of peace, which is the best foundation for growth.

 

Western countries and NGOs give succour to protesters and lessons in institution-building, which is good, but they are losing their leverage. As China provides more grants, loans and trade deals with no tiresome strings attached, aid from the West that is conditional on more democracy and respect for human rights is less alluring to African rulers. So it is, increasingly, up to the African people to demand more of a say in the way their countries are run. For many, earning a living is too much of a struggle to think about politics. But Africans are changing, as computers and mobile phones allow them to argue and complain. Dinosaurs beware: the question is not whether they will demand better government, but when.

 

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http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21587787-too-many-dinosaurs

 

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interesting.

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He was truly an African hero and leader – a man of indefatigable determination, steely courage, indomitable spirit and unbending will. He endured great hardships and personal sacrifices to bring freedom to his people. Yet, he had a heart big enough to forgive and reconcile. He indeed will rest in peace.

 

The contrast between Mandela and the others is like night and day. Mandela served only one term; they serve 10, 20, 30 and even 40 years in office. And then groom their wives, sons, cats, dogs and even goats to succeed them. The presidency is their family property.

 

Mandela died peacefully in his own country. The others die violently – Khaddafi, shot in between the eyes; Abacha poisoned; Samuel Doe, an ear cut off; Mainassara, blown into bits, etc. Many died in exile or foreign hospitals.

 

Mandela never had a Swiss bank account or a mansion in foreign capital. Most of the others have looted their treasuries clean to build huge fortunes and mansions abroad. Since 1970, over $1 trillion has been removed from Africa in illicit financial flows.

Mandela never arrested a critic or anyone who disagreed with him. Many of the others label critics as “terrorists,” “saboteurs,” “counter-revolutionaries,” “colonial stooges,” etc. to be liquidated. One can even be jailed for saying that the president is not well.

 

Mandela could sit down and reconcile with his tormentors and enemies. Most of the others have a heart as cold as ice. Their idea of reconciliation is confrontation with a bazooka, multiple grenade launchers and heavy-duty firepower, ready for battle.

 

Had Africa had just 10 Mandelas after independence in the 1960s, the history of post colonial Africa would have been vastly different. At least, the failed and collapsed states – Somalia, Liberia, Libya, Rwanda, etc. – would have been saved.

 

The problem today is, we can’t remove many of them without destroying our countries. Yet, they are the very same despicable varmints who will troop to Mandela’s funeral and weep uncontrollably. Some coconut tears.

 

Evidently, Mandela’s work is unfinished. Oppression is oppression irrespective of the skin color or race of the oppressor. Africa is still not free. She needs a second liberation from the black neo-colonialists, Swiss bank socialists, Jaguar Marxists, quack revolutionaries, military coconuts, crocodile liberators, briefcase bandits and and and (add yours).

 

George Ayittey

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South Sudan's President Salva Kiir donned military attire while addressing the country [Reuters]

 

When South Sudan seceded from the north to become an independent nation in 2011, the former deputy culture minister aptly described his new country as an injured creature unable to walk.

 

"Our country, as it stands today, is a four-legged animal but the legs are broken," Jok Madut Jok said in a documentary aired by Al Jazeera.

 

"The first leg for any government is a disciplined military. We have problems with the way our military functions today. That's a broken leg. We have civil society, right now it is very weak. The third leg is delivery of services. It is hard to deliver security …The fourth leg is political unity. We had political unity in the days leading up to the referendum [which led to independence]. Since the referendum, we have been having difficulties uniting our ranks. So right now the animal is standing on four crooked legs. If we do not fix these legs, the future is going to be very, very difficult."

 

That grim assessment was accentuated by the revelation this week that President Salva Kiir had foiled a coup orchestrated by a disgruntled faction in the army, which backs former vice president Riek Machar. Machar was sacked in July when the president dismissed his entire cabinet.

 

Fighting has continued to rage in the eastern parts of the country. More than 500 people have been killed since violence erupted on December 15, according to officials. Thousands of people have been sheltering in United Nations buildings in Juba after fleeing their homes.

 

Many observers had predicted that Kiir was always going to have a hard time running the country after falling out with Machar. Both men are former rebel fighters and senior figures in the governing Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which led South Sudan to independence after a civil war with Sudan that lasted 22 years. Earlier this month, Machar denounced "dictatorial" behaviour by Kiir, revealing the bitter divisions within the SPLM.

 

According to a statement the president released a day after the attempted coup, the coup plotters swung into action after an SPLM meeting in Juba. An unidentified person fired in the air and escaped, the statement said. That incident was followed later by an attack on the army headquarters near Juba University.

 

''The SPLM is fully committed to the peaceful and democratic transfer of power and will never allow political power to be transferred through violence''.- Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan

 

SPLM fragmentation

 

Kiir says the government is in "full control of the security situation", but the fact authorities moved swiftly to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew means the coup plotters have caused real panic. Significantly, the president - who often wears suits complete with his trademark wide-brimmed, black cowboy hat - addressed the nation in full military uniform, underlining the gravity of the problem he is dealing with.

 

"Your government led by the SPLM has articulated the ideals of democracy in the party as well as in the government, and I will never deviate from them at any cost. The SPLM is fully committed to the peaceful and democratic transfer of power, and will never allow political power to be transferred through violence," said Kiir.

 

But the president's political opponents would beg to differ. South Sudan's constitution, enacted by the ruling SPLM, gives the president wide-ranging powers, including sacking elected governors for the country's 10 states. The president also has powers to choose his own members of parliament.

 

Healing divisions in the SPLM is not going to be easy. The Dinka, the largest and most powerful ethnic group of which Kiir belongs, have been accused by the Nuer, Machar’s tribe, of monopolising everything from politics to the army. Last February, the president ordered more than 100 army generals to retire in a bid to reorganise the military, but the move did not impress many.

 

"Kiir is being opposed by a group led by his former vice president who think he has diverted from the party vision," said a South Sudan journalist, who declined to be named fearing reprisals.

 

The new crisis adds to a host of problems that South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is facing and has done little or nothing to solve them.

 

Widespread corruption

 

Corruption is widespread and reaches into ministerial levels. Last August, an investigation unearthed 11,000 fake names on the police payroll, with another 16,000 considered suspect, putting half the force in doubt. Allegations of corruption have raised questions on whether Kiir's administration can ensure accountability when it comes to public spending.

 

Despite high hopes that secession was going to provide a chance for lasting peace, South Sudan continues to reel from violence.

 

The country is awash with automatic weapons, many in the hands of civilians and security forces accused of poor discipline.

 

Last October, rebels killed at least 41 people and wounded scores in a gun attack in a remote part of the country's restive Jonglei state. The rebels are loyal to militia leader David Yau Yau, a former colonel in South Sudan's military.

 

Yau first rebelled against Juba after he failed to win a parliamentary seat in the last elections, accusing the ruling party of rigging the vote.

 

South Sudan has also yet to mend relations with Sudan, which it accuses of backing Yau. Yet it needs Sudan’s oil pipelines to transport its crude oil, the only thing that brings big money to its coffers. The two nations have also bickered about rebel activity in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, with Sudan accusing its southern neighbour of backing the rebels there.

 

The Abyei question

 

But the real fight lies with Abyei, an oil rich enclave that straddles the border between South Sudan and Sudan and is claimed by both countries. A referendum to decide which country its inhabitants belong to was shelved amid disagreements.

 

In October the Dinka, with close ties to South Sudan, voted in an unofficial referendum but the Arab Misseriya, who are close to Sudan and use Abyei to graze their cattle, did not take part. Both countries did not endorse the referendum, and the Abyei question remains unresolved.

 

For many South Sudanese who voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence, a bigger question is how their country, which fares poorly on the UN Human Development Index, can move on. And many would agree with former minister Jok Madut Jok that until the country’s wobbly legs are fixed, the future will be bleak.

 

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http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/12/analysis-struggle-power-south-sudan-20131217845861691.html

 

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interesting.

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Who Were Africa's Richest Dictators?

 

by Mfonobong Nsehe

 

The richest people in Africa could easily be former and current presidents and rulers of African countries. But don’t expect to find them on our FORBES rich list.

 

During a recent trip to Nairobi I had a lunch meeting with an old friend and former college classmate who now works as an analyst in one of Kenya’s most reputable Investment banks. I had set up this meeting with him because I sought his expertise in analyzing the fortunes of some of the richest people in the country.

 

Very soon, FORBES will be publishing its debut list of the 40 Richest Africans, and my editor had sent me over to the beautiful East African country to do some research on the wealthiest citizens there.

 

My friend and I discussed at length, recounting the success stories of some of the country’s most recognizable and successful businessmen and ascribing figures to the value of their key holdings and assets. It was a fruitful and robust conversation, and I enjoyed every bit of it. But at some point, my friend diverted abruptly from our line of discussion and said something which really struck a chord in me. With a cheeky grin playing on his lips, he said: “Mfonobong, we’re just beating around the bush; you and I both know that in reality the richest people in Africa are our leaders – both the past and the present.”

 

His observation might not be entirely accurate, but there is some truth to his statement, and it’s much more than just an iota. Forbes has only estimated the net worth of one of these former dicatators, but others have done some fruitful digging.

 

Theoretically, Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s former military ruler, was a billionaire – and not in naira, but in dollars. Upon his death in 1998, the Nigerian government uncovered over $3 billion linked to the sadistic despot held in personal and proxy bank accounts in tax havens as diverse as Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey and Liechtenstein. Following a series of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Abacha family, Abacha’s first son, Mohammed eventually returned $1.2 billion to the Nigerian government in 2002.

 

Another theoretical billionaire was Mobutu Sese Seko, the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over his 30-year reign as ruler of the resource-rich Central African country, Sese Seko amassed a personal fortune estimated by various sources (including Transparency International) at somewhere between $1 billion and $5 billion. Experts believe virtually all of it was illicitly acquired from the nation’s coffers and stashed away in Swiss banks. While his reign lasted, Sese Seko earned an international notoriety as a poster boy for the excesses of typical African despots. He owned a string of exotic Mercedes cars and divided his time between plush palatial residences in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland. He also developed a special taste for pink Champagne and flew in fresh cakes from Paris for his consumption.

 

But one of the wealthiest, albeit lesser-talked about African leaders to emerge from Africa is Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. The gap-toothed military general and self-acclaimed “Evil genius” is unofficially one of the richest men in Nigeria and in Africa.

 

The 70 year-old former military ruler governed Nigeria from 1985 to 1993 and is widely believed to have laundered some $12 billion earned from an oil windfall during the 1992 Gulf War. To date, Babangida has not provided any reasonable account for the money –all of which disappeared mysteriously. Since incredibly wealthy and influential Nigerians are typically above the law, Babangida walks around as a free man today. At the moment, Babangida’s wealth is invested through several proxies in a string of businesses owned or managed by wealthy Nigerian businessmen. One of the more popular Nigerians who has consistently been fingered as a front man for Babangida’s financial interests is billionaire Mike Adenuga who debuted on the FORBES World’s Billionaires list in March. For a little more insight on Babangida’s wealth, read the article, “On the trail of Babangidas’ billions” available here.

 

In Kenya, there is former president Daniel Arap Moi, who is unofficially one of the richest men in the country. During his 28-year rule, which lasted from 1978 to 2002, Moi famously channeled nearly a billion dollars from his country’s coffers to family-owned bank accounts and private estates across the world using a web of shell companies, secret trusts and front men, according to Kroll Associates, a corporate investigation and risk consultancy company. Kroll produced a detailed report of Moi’s illicitly acquired fortune, which is available here. According to the report, Moi’s assets, some of which are held in his children’s name, include substantial cash reserves to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, a 10,000-hectare farm in Australia and controlling stakes in oil companies, banks and shipping companies, among other concerns. But don’t expect the aged former president to be prosecuted any time soon; he has since settled into retirement and has now taken upon the rather fashionable role of elder statesman. He frequently advises the Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on matters of state.

 

More recently, when Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak resigned following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, various news sources pried into the fortune of the man who ruled the country for 30 years. A few news sources ridiculously pegged Mubarak’s fortune at $70 billion, a figure that Forbes editors believe was extremely exaggerated and largely unproven. Concrete figures are still pretty hard to come by, but being very familiar with the avaricious tendencies of the vast majority of African dictators as it were, it is almost certain that Mubarak diverted an enormous amount of his country’s funds into his personal piggy bank. And don’t be surprised if it’s the region of 9 to 10 figures.

 

By now you’re probably familiar with Equatorial Guinea’s President, Teodorin Obiang, who has ruled the poverty-stricken, albeit oil-rich country for 32 years. Obiang is the only African dictator whose wealth has been estimated by FORBES. But Obiang is stupendously wealthy by any standards. In 2006, FORBES estimated his fortune at $600 million, and even though his government frowned on the list and was quick to accuse FORBES of counting state property as his personal assets, it has been well established that Obiang has a virtual grip on the country’s bank accounts and treats it as his personal piggy bank. Obiang’s eldest son has gained an international infamy for his outlandish lifestyle and expensive toys, which include a $10 million car collection, a $30 million Malibu mansion, a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet and $2 million of Michael Jackson memorabilia.

 

But while it is arguable that the richest people in Africa might be past or present African leaders like Babangida, Mubarak Moi and Obiang (who are all very likely worth well over $500million); don’t expect to find them in our FORBES list of the 40 Richest Africans which will be going live next week. The reason is quite simple. To quote Edwin Durgy, a member of the FORBES wealth team in his recent post titled, Did Moammar Gadhafi Die The Richest Man In The World?

 

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2011/11/08/who-were-africas-richest-dictators/

 

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fascinating read, maha?

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Profile: Who is South Sudan’s Riek Machar?

 

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By Pascal Fletcher | Reuters

Monday, 23 December 2013

On a trip to New York last year, South Sudan’s then Vice-President Riek Machar dismissed fears of a military coup in his newborn country, saying such a move would be “unwise.”

 

“We don’t want to start a new state with a rebellion,” Machar said. A year later, this former bush rebel turned politician is being accused by his former boss President Salva Kiir of attempting just such a power grab in the world’s newest state, which split from Sudan two years ago.

 

This week’s fighting in South Sudan, which started in the presidential guard and then spread to other army units and civilians, has quickly followed ethnic fault lines - Kiir is from the dominant Dinka tribe, while Machar is a Nuer.

 

He was sacked as vice-president by Kiir in July in a cabinet purge aimed at political rivals, reviving the often violent factionalism that has plagued southern Sudanese politics, even during the long North-South civil war.

 

These political and ethnic splits threaten the future of this fragile oil-producer straddling the great Sudd marshes of the Nile, still new to the ways of democracy and struggling to forge a unified identity out of a patchwork of over 60 often feuding tribes after Africa’s longest civil war.

 

Arguably South Sudan’s best-known living politician, British-educated Machar has been an eternal pretender for power in the south in a checkered political career that began two decades ago and even saw him allied for a time with his new nation’s old enemy, Muslim-ruled Sudan.

 

“All politicians are ambitious, and I think he is genuine in his conviction that he can do a better job than Salva Kiir,” said Douglas Johnson, a South Sudan expert who knows Machar and has written about the Nuer and their culture.

 

Ten days before the outbreak of the fighting, which has sent diplomatic envoys scrambling to prevent South Sudan from collapsing into chaos, Machar and others purged by Kiir from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) government in July accused the president of “dictatorial tendencies.”

 

“The SPLM Chairman has completely immobilized the party, abandoned collective leadership and jettisoned all democratic pretensions to decision making,” they said in a statement, adding Kiir was leading party and nation towards “the abyss.”

 

Although Machar has denied leading a coup bid, he has made no bones about wanting to see Kiir removed as president.

 

“He must go, because he can no longer maintain the unity of the people, especially when he kills people like flies and tries to touch off conflicts on an ethnic basis,” Machar, in hiding after fleeing Juba, told French broadcaster RFI on Thursday.

 

In an interview with Al Jazeera, he said government troops on Monday had killed his bodyguards and some of his relatives in a pre-dawn assault on his Juba residence.

 

Kiir and his ministers insist there was an attempted military coup by Machar, but not everyone believes this.

 

“I don’t think this was a planned uprising,” Johnson told Reuters. “It’s as likely that Salva Kiir is using the excuse of putting down a coup to suppress political dissent,” he added.

 

‘Ethnic dimension in play’

 

Officials say Machar has now been joined by various Nuer allies, including at least one notorious militia leader, former Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) General Peter Gadet, whose troops have taken over the ethnic flashpoint town of Bor in Jonglei state, where Nuer fighters massacred Dinkas in 1991.

 

“The ethnic dimension is in play and it will be very difficult to roll that back,” said one Western diplomat who has long covered South Sudan and knows Machar.

 

United Nations and African envoys are trying to start up a peace process that will halt the faction fighting, which has already killed at least 500 people, displaced several thousands and spread to vital oil fields. Kiir has said he is ready to sit down to negotiate a settlement with his opponents.

 

“What is behind it is a power struggle between various groups and personal ambitious by main politicians that we all know,” said the diplomat, who asked not to be named.

 

‘There are no good guys in this.’

 

Despite Machar’s characterization of Kiir as an autocrat promoting an ethnically-biased “Dinkocracy” in South Sudan’s government and military, there are many who doubt whether he himself offers a credible alternative as a national leader.

 

On the contrary, Machar is widely seen as a divisive figure within the SPLA/SPLM rebel group that now rules South Sudan.

 

Blamed for the 1991 Bor massacre, he is viewed by many former comrades as a traitor for the 1997 Khartoum peace accord he signed with the Sudanese government, which then rewarded him with the positions of vice-president of Sudan and chairman of the coordinating council that technically ruled the south.

 

He rejoined the rebel SPLA in 2002, and then after the 2005 peace accord that ended the civil war and established southern autonomy, he became vice-president of the South, maintaining this role after formal independence in 2011, until his sacking.

 

“He has a very volatile history. I don’t think most people in South Sudan could see him as a national leader,” said Jok Madut Jok, chairman of South Sudan’s Sudd Institute think tank and a former government official.

 

“He is very ambitious to take the top office in the land, and nothing else matters,” he told Reuters.

 

Johnson said that since the death in a helicopter crash soon after the 2005 peace accord of charismatic SPLA leader John Garang, the movement had struggled to find leaders of national stature to steer the emerging country to stability.

 

Prophet’s stick

 

 

Machar, 61, was educated at Scotland’s Strathclyde University and also has a PhD in strategic planning and industry from Bradford University. He had a reputation in the diplomatic and aid community as one of the more open and approachable members of independent South Sudan’s government.

 

This contrasts with Kiir, a blunter former guerrilla commander who spent much of his life in the bush and as president likes to wear wide-brimmed cowboy hats.

 

In 1991, Machar married a British aid worker, Emma McCune, and their life together in the war-torn south Sudanese bush became the subject of newspaper articles and even a book.

 

McCune died aged 28 in a car crash in Nairobi in 1993.

 

In an apparent attempt to bolster his stature as a leader of the Nuer, South Sudan’s second largest tribe after the Dinka, Machar has kept in his possession a ceremonial stick once carried by a famous Nuer prophet, Ngundeng Bong.

 

The “dang” stick, made from the root of a tamarind tree and decorated with copper wire, was looted by British colonial troops early in the last century before being bought and returned to South Sudan in 2009 by British academic Johnson.

 

“Somehow Riek has managed to hold onto it,” said Johnson, although he said this right was contested by some Nuers.

 

“Intrinsically, it should be something that belongs in a national museum,” said the Sudd Institute’s Jok. “He kept it for political reasons, and for his own superstitious reasons.”

 

Jok said he did not know whether Machar had managed to take the stick with him when he fled his looted compound in Juba.

 

“He is a man on the run,” he said.

 

----

 

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/profiles/2013/12/23/Profile-Who-is-South-Sudan-s-Riek-Machar-.html

 

----

 

interesting profile.

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It is an almost forgotten footnote in history, but this month African leaders gathered to commemorate the Brazzaville Protocol.

 

It was a peace agreement signed 25 years ago in terms of which Cuban troops were withdrawn from Angola and the white South African regime ended what had been open warfare against neighbouring black-ruled states.

 

''We are a country under construction ... We have a young, dynamic and educated population, we have important natural resources and a privileged situation in the region. We believe our country is under full development...'' - Denis Sassou N'Guesso, President of the Republic of Congo

 

Little more than a year after the protocol was signed Namibia gained independence, Nelson Mandela was released from prison and the final domino fell with the election of a democratic non-racial government in South Africa.

 

When the Brazzaville Protocol was signed Jacob Zuma was the intelligence chief of the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) guerrilla movement living in exile in Angola; now, he is president of South Africa.

 

Denis Sassou N'Guesso signed the protocol at the end of 1988 as president of the Republic of Congo. Within two years he was driven from power, only to return as president after a bitter civil war.

 

Since then he has successfully contested two sets of elections which were ruled as free and fair even in the face of a mass opposition boycott of both processes.

 

Despite serious concerns about corruption in the country, President N'Guesso has nevertheless retained power, and insists he maintains popular support even though more than half of the country's population lives on just over a dollar a day.

 

He continues to have the strong backing of the country's former colonial ruler, France, and other international powers, and in the past decade has presided over an economic boom in the Republic of Congo.

 

On this edition, Denis Sassou N'Guesso sits down to talk to Al Jazeera in the capital Brazzaville, where the agreement that changed the face of the continent was signed.

 

---

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2014/02/denis-sassou-n-under-construction-2014221134333579518.html

 

--

 

interesting interview.

 

 

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galbeedi   

Alpha ,please keep updating these thread. We are witnessing a history as we speak. All the same. greed, corruption and despotism in action.

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a series of articles marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide can be found on...http://www.somaliaonline.com/community/topic/the-african-century-thread/

 

Reflecting on Rwanda's Past—While Looking Ahead

 

We put aside false divisions between Tutsi and Hutu and held ourselves accountable.

 

After a genocide, historical clarity is an inescapable duty. Behind the words "Never Again," there is a story whose truth must be told in full, no matter how uncomfortable.

 

The people who planned and carried out the genocide in Rwanda were Rwandans, but the history and causes extend well beyond my country. This is why Rwandans continue to seek the most complete explanation possible for the terrible events of 20 years ago.

 

We do so with humility as a nation that nearly destroyed itself, not because we want to shift all blame onto others.

 

All genocides begin with an ideology—a system of ideas that says: This group of people here, they are less than human and they deserve to be exterminated.

 

The most devastating legacy of European control of Rwanda was the transformation of social distinctions into "races." We were classified and dissected, and whatever differences existed were magnified according to a framework invented elsewhere. Rwanda's 2,000 years of history were reduced to a series of caricatures based on Bible passages and on myths told to credulous explorers.

 

Atavistic hostility between something called "Tutsi" and something called "Hutu" was deemed inherent to our nature. The purpose was neither scientific nor benign, but ideological: to justify colonial claims to rule over and "civilize" supposedly lesser peoples.

 

With the full participation of Belgian officials and Catholic institutions, ethnicity was made the only basis of political organization, as if there were no other way to govern and develop society.

 

The result was a country perpetually on the verge of genocide. Decade by decade, the number of victims grew. In 1994, more than a million people died over 100 days as the Rwandan state, backed militarily and politically by France, told some Rwandans that it was their duty to murder other Rwandans. Les faits sont têtus—facts are stubborn, and no country is powerful enough, even when it thinks it is, to change the facts.

 

Africans are no longer resigned to being hostage to the world's low expectations. We listen to and respect the views of others. But ultimately, we must be responsible for ourselves.

 

In Rwanda, we are relying on universal human values, which include our culture and traditions, to find modern solutions to the unique challenges we faced in terms of justice and reconciliation following the genocide.

 

Early on, we made three fundamental choices that guide us to this day.

 

First, we chose to stay together. We brought millions of refugees home. We allowed low-level genocide suspects to return home to await our form of community justice known as Gacaca. We passed a new constitution that transcends politics based on division and, for the first time, made women full partners in nation-building. We extended comprehensive health and education benefits to all our citizens.

 

Second, we chose to be accountable. We decentralized power and decision-making around the country. We work closely with aid donors to ensure that their funds reach the poor. We award scholarships and appoint public servants based on merit, without discrimination. We sanction officials, no matter how high-ranking, who abuse power or engage in corruption.

 

Third, we chose to think big. We made the country an attractive place to do business. We extended broadband to all 30 districts. We are regular contributors to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping forces, including in Sudan, Mali, and the Central African Republic, because our experience has taught us how to recognize the warning signs of genocide, and it has given us the determination to stop it when we have the means to do so.

 

We may make mistakes, like every country does. We own up and learn and move forward.

 

Our approach is as radical and unprecedented as the situation we faced. The insistence on finding our own way sometimes comes with a price.

 

Too often, the price includes a dubious discourse in which victims are transformed into villains. But doubts about our policy choices should not make moral equivalence about genocide acceptable.

 

We appreciate the contributions that we have received from friends and partners abroad, precisely because we do not feel anyone owes us anything. But we ask that outsiders engage Rwanda and Africa with an open mind, accepting that our efforts to move beyond the politics of division are being carried out in good faith.

 

A few years ago I met a young man who was one of 12 people pulled alive from under 3,000 corpses in a mass grave at Murambi. He still lived nearby, totally alone. When the perpetrators he recognized came home from prison, terror surged again through his body.

 

I asked him how he managed and he told me, "I could not do it unless I was convinced that these impossible choices are leading us somewhere."

 

To prevent genocide, it is not enough to remember the past. We must also remember the future.

 

Mr. Kagame is the president of Rwanda.

 

---

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303456104579485452584630182?mg=reno64-wsj

 

---

 

interesting.

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Reflecting on Rwanda's Past—While Looking Ahead

 

We put aside false divisions between Tutsi and Hutu and held ourselves accountable.

 

After a genocide, historical clarity is an inescapable duty. Behind the words "Never Again," there is a story whose truth must be told in full, no matter how uncomfortable.

 

The people who planned and carried out the genocide in Rwanda were Rwandans, but the history and causes extend well beyond my country. This is why Rwandans continue to seek the most complete explanation possible for the terrible events of 20 years ago.

 

We do so with humility as a nation that nearly destroyed itself, not because we want to shift all blame onto others.

 

All genocides begin with an ideology—a system of ideas that says: This group of people here, they are less than human and they deserve to be exterminated.

 

The most devastating legacy of European control of Rwanda was the transformation of social distinctions into "races." We were classified and dissected, and whatever differences existed were magnified according to a framework invented elsewhere. Rwanda's 2,000 years of history were reduced to a series of caricatures based on Bible passages and on myths told to credulous explorers.

 

Atavistic hostility between something called "Tutsi" and something called "Hutu" was deemed inherent to our nature. The purpose was neither scientific nor benign, but ideological: to justify colonial claims to rule over and "civilize" supposedly lesser peoples.

 

With the full participation of Belgian officials and Catholic institutions, ethnicity was made the only basis of political organization, as if there were no other way to govern and develop society.

 

The result was a country perpetually on the verge of genocide. Decade by decade, the number of victims grew. In 1994, more than a million people died over 100 days as the Rwandan state, backed militarily and politically by France, told some Rwandans that it was their duty to murder other Rwandans. Les faits sont têtus—facts are stubborn, and no country is powerful enough, even when it thinks it is, to change the facts.

 

Africans are no longer resigned to being hostage to the world's low expectations. We listen to and respect the views of others. But ultimately, we must be responsible for ourselves.

 

In Rwanda, we are relying on universal human values, which include our culture and traditions, to find modern solutions to the unique challenges we faced in terms of justice and reconciliation following the genocide.

 

Early on, we made three fundamental choices that guide us to this day.

 

First, we chose to stay together. We brought millions of refugees home. We allowed low-level genocide suspects to return home to await our form of community justice known as Gacaca. We passed a new constitution that transcends politics based on division and, for the first time, made women full partners in nation-building. We extended comprehensive health and education benefits to all our citizens.

 

Second, we chose to be accountable. We decentralized power and decision-making around the country. We work closely with aid donors to ensure that their funds reach the poor. We award scholarships and appoint public servants based on merit, without discrimination. We sanction officials, no matter how high-ranking, who abuse power or engage in corruption.

 

Third, we chose to think big. We made the country an attractive place to do business. We extended broadband to all 30 districts. We are regular contributors to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping forces, including in Sudan, Mali, and the Central African Republic, because our experience has taught us how to recognize the warning signs of genocide, and it has given us the determination to stop it when we have the means to do so.

 

We may make mistakes, like every country does. We own up and learn and move forward.

 

Our approach is as radical and unprecedented as the situation we faced. The insistence on finding our own way sometimes comes with a price.

 

Too often, the price includes a dubious discourse in which victims are transformed into villains. But doubts about our policy choices should not make moral equivalence about genocide acceptable.

 

We appreciate the contributions that we have received from friends and partners abroad, precisely because we do not feel anyone owes us anything. But we ask that outsiders engage Rwanda and Africa with an open mind, accepting that our efforts to move beyond the politics of division are being carried out in good faith.

 

A few years ago I met a young man who was one of 12 people pulled alive from under 3,000 corpses in a mass grave at Murambi. He still lived nearby, totally alone. When the perpetrators he recognized came home from prison, terror surged again through his body.

 

I asked him how he managed and he told me, "I could not do it unless I was convinced that these impossible choices are leading us somewhere."

 

To prevent genocide, it is not enough to remember the past. We must also remember the future.

 

Mr. Kagame is the president of Rwanda.

 

---

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303456104579485452584630182?mg=reno64-wsj

 

---

 

interesting.

 

A Closer Look at Kagame's Rwanda

 

The real cause of ethnic violence or pogroms is the monopolization of power and the reluctance to relinquish or share it with other groups.

 

President Paul Kagame is a fine soldier who saved the Tutsis from extermination in 1994 in Rwanda. But in his analysis of the genocide ("Building a Future After Rwanda's Genocide," op-ed, April 7), he glosses over some pertinent historical facts and his own appalling human-rights record.

 

It is somewhat naive to think that the threat of genocide can be eliminated by abolishing ethnic identity and distinctions. The real cause of ethnic violence or pogroms is the monopolization of power and the reluctance to relinquish or share it with other groups. Nearly all civil wars in post-colonial Africa were started by politically excluded or marginalized groups. Rebel leaders, like Mr. Kagame, head straight to the capital because that's where power resides. Ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

 

Worse, Mr. Kagame's nebulous policy against "divisiveness" has been used to silence and jail dissidents and political rivals. Freedom of expression does not exist in Rwanda; nor does freedom of the media. All key state institutions are controlled by Kagame's Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). There is no democracy: Mr. Kagame has won two Stalinist elections (2003 and 2013) with more than 90% of the vote. Critics of Mr. Kagame are routinely hounded, vilified, jailed and even assassinated.

 

Worse still, Mr. Kagame has sponsored and financed three Tutsi-led invasions into the Democratic Republic of Congo that have caused the deaths of some 6.4 million Congolese.

 

The real tragedy of Rwanda is that Mr. Kagame is so consumed by the 1994 genocide that, in his attempt to prevent another one, he is creating the very conditions that led to it.

 

George Ayittey,

 

President

 

Free Africa Foundation

 

Washington

 

---

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304640104579489472753712400?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304640104579489472753712400.html

 

--

 

George Ayittey's response to Kagame.

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Carafaat   

<cite>
said:</cite>

mid-julius-nyerere-tanzania.jpg
<br />

<br />

Julius Nyerere (Mwalimu) 13 April 1922 – 14 October 1999 <br />

<br />

BBC Obituary <br />

<br />

World: Africa<br />

<br />

Julius Nyerere: The conscience of Africa <br />

<br />

Dr Julius Nyerere, who has died aged 77, led the former British protectorate of Tanganyika to independence in 1961, becoming its first prime Minister and later its first president.<br />

<br />

 

Ten years later, taking stock, President Nyerere issued a remarkably honest booklet which gave as much prominence to the failures as well as the successes.<br />

<br />

"There is a time for planting and a time for harvesting", he wrote.<br />

<br />

"For us it is still a time for planting".<br />

<br />

It was his abject failure at home that will blight the reputation of a man who had gained respect as one of the few African leaders of his time who stood for idealism and principle.

 

 

 

Julius Nyerere was truly an exemplary political leader. He indeed planted a peaceful, unified and a more just just society. We can learn a lot from Tanzania, a country with more then 140 different tribes, very diverse in terms of religion, geographical areas,culture.

 

 

 

 

intellectual and very hilarious speaker, watch 16.30min and 20.31min.

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Circa 2065 : Age of Africa’s gatekeepers

 

Today’s young African adults—‘digital natives’— have begun looking to Africa’s own existing potential to solve problems and propel the continent forward. The new knowledge systems they are creating will make the Africa of 2065 independent of foreign burdens and confident in its own momentum.

 

Predictions are risky but necessary, and could promise a certain percentage of fulfilment, especially when drawn from rational analysis; available evidence and emerging trends indicate that the generation that will be in charge of Africa’s social, political and economic action spaces circa 2065 will be a knowledgeable generation. With the rise of the Internet and the direct access to news from eyewitnesses, young Africans can afford to shun the misinformation presented as facts by Western and other media about Africa, and instead build on the reality they know. With the rise of the Internet and the crumbling of the impenetrable walls of Euro-American libraries, which previously locked out hundreds of millions of knowledge-hungry Africans, knowledge, as packaged by the West has been demystified and adjudged incomplete. Africans will begin to search out and revalidate their own indigenous knowledge, and explore homegrown approaches to advancement.

 

Young Africans committed to the advancement of the continent are asking questions of their elders and demanding answers from the world. In the place of answers, Africa’s young people have uncovered ignorance in their elders and have come face-to-face with scorn from the outside world. Young Africans’ teachers and parents are lacking the wisdom needed to address the myriad of challenges facing the region; so are the United States, China, World Bank, United Nations, CNN and other representations of global hegemony. Therefore, many of the responses to the inquiries of present-day young Africans will be self-taught and self-deciphered, and in them will lay the rock-solid foundation for the coming generation that will rebuild Africa based on internally generated knowledge, processes and systems.

 

The majority of the inhabitants of Africa are not yet rising with the so-called ‘Africa rising’ because at present, the real, homegrown and people-centered knowledge the continent needs to transform its institutions and sectors is lacking. On what foundation then will ‘high rise’ Africa rest? Africa cannot rise outside of authentic African knowledge generated by committed, curious and dedicated Africans. Nations whose civilizations have germinated and endured were built on authentic national values and knowledge systems, well located in ideas selectively borrowed from other nations. Japan’s transformation began during the Meiji era and with the mantra ‘Western technique; Japanese Spirit’. Western ideas were scrutinized against authentic Japanese knowledge and needs and selectively borrowed or rejected. In India, Mahatma Ghandi impressed it strongly upon the hearts and minds of his countrymen that mental independence must form the basic foundation for the political independence being clamoured for. The whole nation of over a billion people focused on that truth during and after the liberation struggle. In fact, quite a bit of what has been scientifically researched and authenticated as Western knowledge today can be traced to folklore and indigenous knowledge of Europe. This ranges from the governance systems to pharmacology, architecture and geography. The stability being experienced by the aforementioned countries can be directly traced to the grounded knowledge system upon which innovation, creativity and advancement are founded.

 

Africa’s current struggle lies in the absence of the liberal utilization of its authentic ideas in the development of the continent, but the digital natives and the generation they will raise will change that. Western knowledge was introduced to sub-Saharan Africa with a package that included disdain for authentic African ideas, processes and systems. The curriculum that was designed by the West for Africa came with a clearly defined, if subtly hidden, message that knowledge, creativity and innovation belonged to the West alone. Since then, Africa’s generations up until the immediate digital natives have been lacking in access to a wide platform of knowledge necessary in order to transform their minds and society. But fifty years from now, Africa’s young people will have learnt from their elders who are currently the digital natives that no knowledge in the world is better than one’s own knowledge. That an educated mind is that mind that can decipher solutions to the challenges of his immediate environment using easily accessible materials. Today’s digital natives are trying to scratch through the surface of the gold mine that is Africa’s own knowledge system, but the generation they will birth will ‘beat them hands down,’ in fact, they will ‘not see the back of their children’ in creativity and innovation. True, from Nairobi through Kampala to Lagos, young Africans are already developing software, forming organizations and building structures based on what they know to be the need of their environment, rather than what they are taught or are being taught in their schools. But wait until the children of the present teenagers and under-30s come of age. By 2065, the generation mentored by Africa’s digital natives would have taken the continent to far greater heights in terms of innovation and creativity in different sectors. To an analysis of a few key sectors we now turn.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

Africa’s technological needs would have been addressed to a large extent in 2065, not by the much hyped and consistently failed technological transfer, but by homegrown solutions. African trained engineers would have utilized indigenous knowledge-based, homegrown and therefore inexpensive and easily accessible mechanisms to address Africa’s energy, water and even access road challenges. The Mining and extractives sectors, for instance, will no longer be left in the hands of foreigners and big businesses. The same way Internet publishing has freed writers from the clutches of global publishing conglomerates, so shall Africa’s extractive industries be freed from the suffocating hold of multinationals. Simple, locally fashioned equipment will surpass and outperform the imported expensive machinery that had been used by foreign corporations to hold the continent hostage for several decades.

 

AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT

 

Some young Africans unable to find jobs are shunning the disdain of their parents for cultivating their own food, and throwing themselves fulltime into agriculture. As they browse the Internet with their phones in the different areas where they are located, they are bound to come across websites extolling the virtues of organic farming. Puzzled, they will wonder why their government is promoting the use of synthetic fertilizers as against the organic farming their great-grandfathers practised while living to ripe old ages. The next generation of African farmers will not only begin to explore indigenous farming techniques but will be open to combining them with knowledge selectively gained online from India, China, the ancient Inca civilization and the modern American farmer. The result will be a variant of knowledge that is rooted in reality, but enhanced by foreign inputs. The same goes for animal rearing. After having lost relatives and friends to cancer and other diseases traceable to Western food processing and preservation techniques, Africa’s young people, although still craving the progress of the West, will hunger for and explore the wisdom of their fathers who lived strong till good old ages. A foundation laid by knowledge gleaned from the past, combined with homegrown and selectively borrowed foreign technology, will make plant and animal farming in Africa a widely advanced and innovative sector.

 

GOVERNANCE

 

The high cost, unfamiliarity with, and therefore failure of Western copied and other imported governance strategies in Africa is well documented. The colonial generation up until the present generation is at wit’s end on how to bring about effective governance without going cap in hand to the World Bank and other developed countries and their agencies. The result is a continued dependence on these nations whose coffers are steadily running dry and who are now looking to Africa for natural resources to sustain their global positions. But this will change. As young Africans begin to control their resources more and to study other successful systems, there will be the tendency to denounce and depart from the present unworkable governance system under which the continent is laboring. Inexpensive and homegrown knowledge-based governance mechanisms will be designed and instituted across Africa in the coming decades.

 

Rwanda is a country that is already leading the way in instituting several indigenous knowledge-based and homegrown strategies to bring about effective governance and public administration at the grassroots and central levels. Rwanda’s indigenous justice system, the Gacaca, has achieved what no Western-based justice system will ever even dream of achieving. Other successful indigenous knowledge-based systems practiced in Rwanda include the Ubudehe, Abunzi, Umuganda, and Girinka, to mention few. Rwanda’s successes in efficiently maximizing its scarce resources by resorting to well-known, understood, appreciated and therefore inexpensive indigenous strategies to manage its affairs is already being studied by other African nations and will most likely be adapted by the next generation. The gatekeeper generation will understand that governance systems are very much dependent on the people who are being governed and therefore must be generated from among them, and not superimposed from some other society’s experiences.

 

HEALTH

 

Africa’s health in terms of diseases could take a turn for the worse. With the rise of sexually transmitted diseases among the younger generation, and a penchant to snack on Western foods and to sip fizzy drinks while browsing the Web or playing video games, perhaps there is need for alarm for the generation of 1965. But improved hygiene and access to preventive information will reduce deaths from diseases such as malaria. On a brighter note, however, the inability of Western medicine to treat several diseases has rekindled interests in traditional medicine. African young people will be able to subject traditional medicine to tests and verification and offer such remedies to mankind. However, intellectual property rights and the rights of communities will become a huge question that must be addressed in order to ensure an all-inclusive benefit for traditional medicine.

 

TRADE AND INVESTMENT

 

Africa’s gatekeeper generation will liberate the continent from the shackles of the agreements that had held Africa back for decades. Several agreements signed by their predecessors in ignorance will be revoked and renegotiated on terms that will be hugely beneficial to the masses. Intra-African trade will be at its highest since it last thrived in precolonial times. With the dismantling of tariff and non-tariff barriers, the increasing role of regional economic blocs and the possibility of a single-currency continent, a united Africa will speak with one voice in global affairs and explore areas of mutual benefits among member states, while shutting out powers of exploitation.

 

EDUCATION

 

Every sector listed above depends on education to succeed. The challenge with Africa’s educational system is that it lies firmly in a curriculum filled with irrelevancies and misinformation. Fifty years after colonialism ended, African countries still depend on consultants from the former colonial masters to review the dependency-inducing curriculum handed over to them during the eve of independence. Even when Africans themselves have to review the curriculum, it is based on a made-to-measure approach that relies almost exclusively on foreign and therefore ill-fitting knowledge. It does not seem that African governments are willing to transform the curriculum in the next ten years, but that notwithstanding, present day digital natives are independently searching for knowledge and trying to explore the world; that will be the greatest legacy they will leave for their next generation – they will be remembered as the gatekeepers of 1965.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The author did not set out on a pretentious effort to present an accurate and exhaustive analysis of the Africa of approximately 2065. If at all, the article only presents a table of contents for what trajectories can be explored in trying to understand where Africa could be in the next fifty years. Suffix it to note that Africa has not been immunized against the rest of the globe; the region will also be affected by emerging realities including the rise in incidents of terrorism, cybercrime, sexual predation and perversion, social upheavals and perhaps rising global inflation rates. These things Africa must prepare for and adequately guard against in cooperation with other nations of the world. But in all, Africa’s hope for the next fifty years lies in the right kind of knowledge that, from every indication, will be generated by and from the digital natives and their descendants.

 

* Chika Ezeanya blogs at www.chikaforafrica.com You may follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chikaforafrica

 

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http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/91920

 

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caadi maha. i'll probably be an 80 year old African dictator.

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I Love Kagame More Than My President – Somali Ambassador

 

Somali-ambasador-370x300.jpg

 

Somalia`s envoy to Rwanda has expressed his love of President Paul Kagame saying “I wish he was Somalia’s President.” Cabdullahi Sheikh Maxamed, speaks more of Kagame than the country and the President he represents.

 

Ambassador Cabdullahi told Great Lakes Voice in an exclusive interview at his offices in Kigali recently that Kagame is a role model for Africa. Throwing a lot of praise towards Rwanda President, he says Rwanda is a special ally of Somali.

 

Hundreds of people make up the Somali community in Rwanda; the envoy says all of them live in peace and harmony. Amb. Cabdullahi’s comment has come as Somalia government is said to be in plans to recall the ambassador and close the mission due to financial constraints and reports of misconduct among others.

 

“There are rumours, nobody can dare fire me. Tell me if it’s the Minister of Foreign affairs; I have powers to fire him. I sit in the Somali council that plan for the country. You know we have many problems in Somalia; some people just speak without thinking. Rwanda is a strategic ally of Somalia, and we can’t close the embassy in Rwanda. ”Cabdullahi added saying he has no enemies in Rwanda.

 

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http://www.waryapost.com/love-kagame-president-somalia-ambassador/

 

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disgraceful.

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