Africans living in the diaspora laid the groundwork for the African revolution across Africa which led to the political independence of most African states from the 1950s -1994 when South Africa got its independence. Unfortunately, many celebrated Africans who live the diaspora are now being used by large donor agencies to influence Africans about adopting liberal ideas like population control, abortion, and the western version of feminism which is destroying the traditional family unit and benefit no one. The issue foremost on young Africans agenda is economic independence and African ownership and control of resources.
Many of today’s Africans who are celebrated in the diaspora espouse ideas that will lead to the recolonization of their countries. When we hear of Africans such as writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, former World Bank Vice President and Finance Minister Ngozi Iweala, Economist Dambisa Moyo discussed in the western media we are so ecstatic about the mention of their names. However, we never stop to ask how their ideas are actually shaping the future of Africa and whether their ideas hurt or help us. Africans who lived in the diaspora in the past liberated us from the bondage of the colonial oppressor. However, our new leaders seem to be getting us into bondage again.
The Jamaican born great African intellectual was perhaps the first African to bring ideas of African pride and self-esteem and the ability of Africans to govern in their own affairs. Garvey coined the phrase “Africa for the African” and made these ideas mainstream by influencing a generation of Africans who were studying in Europe and the United States. During the 1920s and 1930s the American born African scholar organized the Pan Africanist Congress which was the great meeting of the African minds. Here the leaders were inspired and strategized about the future of independent Africa which would be governed by Africans.
The Ghanaian revolutionary Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was educated in the United States and worked closely with journalist and publisher George Padmore who had studied in the United States and USSR president day Russia. In Russia he was influenced greatly by communism and he wrote extensively regarding anti-colonialism.
Nigerian revolutionary and first President Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a publisher across West Africa; he put plans together for the liberation of Nigeria during his time living in the diaspora .Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta & Côte d’Ivoire’s President Houphouët-Boigny were also examples of Africans in the diaspora who became not only thought leaders, but chief strategists and chief implementation officers in the political independence in their respective countries.
Senegalese Leopold Sedar Senghor became the First President of Senegal and started “Negritude” the literary movement of black intellectual thought leaders that rejected assimilation and colonialism in Franc-Afrique. The diaspora and particularly the Pan Africanist movement provided a meeting place for the young intellectuals to brainstorm, debate and formulate plans for an independent Africa.
Today Africans in the diaspora play a very limited or detrimental role in shaping the conversation regarding African priorities. In the United States of America where US policy is influenced by lobby groups there is no African lobby group to date pushing a pro-Africa agenda. In the post colonial era, the Pan Africanist agenda has failed to capture the hearts and minds of the youthful population.The issue foremost on young Africans agenda is economic independence and African ownership and control of resources.
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