By Amlaku Eshetie
As Africa was the land of the pioneers, the origin of humanity, its people travelled and diffused into the rest of the world in two forms of travel or journey. First, voluntarily – a journey in search of better weather, better land, better situations to live and thrive. The second and later journey was forced by the colonizers – Europeans and Americans.
For the latter form of Africans, leaving their native land was so massive and grave. The inhumane, harsh treatment and exploitation was so denigrating for the human race in general. African youth, men and women, were forcefully taken to the cotton and sugar cane plantations in the Americas. Not only did the African labor cultivate and harvest the industrial crops, but they also built the infrastructure of the major American cities over several centuries.
And now, in our time when slavery was left to history, there is a third and new form of exploitation of African youth – immigration! Including myself, many Africans left (and are leaving) Africa immigrating to mainly the United States of America and Europe. In doing so, they are intergenerationally feeding the labor market and are building the economy of the host countries.
This happens because of the level of hegemony or authority on two realms: economic and political! If a nation or a continent is economically strong and powerful, it is also possible to resist the pressure that any kind of politics or supremacy throws onto it. The prerequisite leading to economic, and hence, political power is education. Citizens have to be well educated so that they can create infrastructures and build their respective country’s economy.
Citizens of most African nations were just contained with what nature endowed them with and never aspired for more for two major and obvious reasons: lack of education and lack of conducive and supportive leadership. Even those who have been lucky to go to school and get educated were educated in colonial education systems and could not tap into local wisdom to solve local problems. On the contrary, we left our respective countries by denouncing the incumbent leadership and political system at the time of fleeing.
As a result, the United States of America has been benefiting a lot in exploiting both forced and voluntary immigrants of Africa – historical and modern slavery! Africans made America and now are continuing to sustain the hegemony of America both in economy and politics.
Well, it is not bad to help and be helped! We work for America and the American system houses and supports us to nurture our talents, realize our ambitions, and support a few of our kins back in Africa from the wealth we make here. Some of us even start some forms of investment back home. That’s a great thing to do as well. However, whatever we do individually never get Africa out of the vicious cycle of poverty, insecurity, violence, and emigration. How about all Africans in the United States join hands and minds? How about if these joined hands and minds to create and implement continental projects focusing on peace and security, regional infrastructure, health, and education?
If Africans living in the United States come together and work together in peace and love, will there be any reason that we can’t bring all our people together back at home as well?
Let’s get all Africans in the United States united! Let’s create an ambitious, stretched goal of remaking Africa. It is possible to build both America and Africa and make both our homes. If Africa is equally strong and wealthy, people can freely travel back and forth, invest and live in both continents; Africa will be for all Americans, and America will be for all Africans. Ambassadors of African nations in the USA will be our liaisons and messengers. We will be the brain house and the funding source and the people and administration on the ground will be implementers of our farfetched, elevating projects.
I’ve not researched, and I do not know if there are any similar formations. However, it is possible that those existing could not be more than a regional entity, if at all targeting beyond a single nation. This one is going to be different and all about AFRICA as ONE! This is the spirit of our Pan African forefathers: Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Julius Nyerere, and their compatriots!
Imagine all of us, represented from all the 54 states and the African American brothers and sisters, coming together in love and purpose. Imagine when this love and purpose extends back home and creates peace between and among the African sister nations. Imagine when our poor, innocent, strong, and loving African mothers and fathers benefit from our transnational or cross-border projects. Imagine when leaders sit around the same table and talk about cost and benefit-sharing. Imagine all the kids going to school in peace and happiness. Imagine all the youth put their minds and hands to work, not to stones and weapons of destruction. Imagine when our kids raised in the USA go back to their ancestors’ land to share skills and knowledge with their cousins. Imagine…imagine all of that!
Steps for Action
Interested and like-minded Africans and African Americans here in Colorado will meet a few times to brainstorm to develop or expand this idea. When the idea matures, I suggest that we form a non-profit organization. This organization will be registered at a federal level, and it will work to bring all the black race and problacks together across the board. This global organization will have chapters in different countries such as Canada, China, Germany, and Australia.
The first project will be ‘Peace Awareness and Building”, which starts from the networking and relationships of the members who represent their respective African countries. Although our politicians are often in friction, the people at the grassroot level know nothing about it. What they need is peace and security in order to be able to toil hard to win their daily bread.
The next projects may focus on standardization and liberation of financial transactions – could be to the extent of aspiring for one currency for all Africans (which appears to be a bit too early but it should be on the table), supporting a Pan African University so that it can open campuses in every African capital city, designing or supporting inter-regional railway and bus transportation projects, learning our history and using our respective native language to learn/teach, so and so on.
This is just an aspiration or wish project of a dreamer African, me – Amlaku. Is it your aspiration too? Let’s add your thoughts and aspirations! Let’s come together and realize our wishes for Africa. You don’t agree with this aspiration? Do you call it a fantasy – too good to be implemented? No worries, what alternative and practical vision or wishes do you have for Africa and beyond? Bring them forward and let’s all support you if your ideas are more practical or workable than this one! Let’s come together to be a lot stronger!