It’s ridiculously absurd to see many African scholars still upholding the Berlin Conference of 1885 as the reason why the black race is backward economically, socially and in infrastructure. Yes, Africa was partitioned against its natural boundaries by the European superpowers, but then, that’s a good 135 years ago. What stops the continent from warding off the western influence and growing as a people?
For Africa to evolve economically, socially and in infrastructure, it requires just one African country that can stand out as an example of a new face of Africa. When this dream country rises, other African countries can borrow a leaf from her. It’s never possible for the whole of Africa to develop at the same time. Africa needs only one exemplary country for the development to spread.
Nigeria had the opportunity and everything needed to be that promising country but failed woefully like a lump of shit. Instead of building Africa, Nigeria helped to teach other African countries how to ruin Africa. And now, Africa has become the most backward continent in history.
Not only is Africa backward, but the continent has also systematically become a battleground for big economic powers in the world. Every economic power wants to give Africa loan because of the gains thereof. Just as slavery is modernized by the way of human trafficking, so also is colonization resuscitated and modernized by way of offering foreign aid and debt. Can Africa, especially Nigeria, settle all their debts? I don’t think so.
Statistically, from 2000-2016, China lent about $125 billion to Africa. Now the giant of Africa, Nigeria, is one of the African countries heavily indebted to China. In addition, Nigeria is also borrowing money from the international capital market, rising to $10.2bn between February 2017 and November 2018. The private sector (banks and the bond market) accounts for 32% of Africa’s $417bn external debt. Out of the 32%, Nigeria is responsible for 24%. Kenya follows Nigeria closely, plunging Africa into severe economic and infrastructural bondage.
The President of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari, paid deaf ears to the outcry that Nigeria is falling victim to debt and dependency to its Chinese creditors. He went further to accept a loan of $60bn from China thereby compounding Africa’s problem all the more. Currently, there’s common anxiety on the continent over this loan from China.
Africa needs a nation that can confront and question the genuineness of external interference in Africa. A country that can ask some crucial questions like “why must Africa keep selling raw materials to these external bodies and end up importing manufactured products?” Nigeria failed to address these issues because the North has been dictating what happens in the country. They have been holding the rest of the country down. The Yoruba would have been a better nation where it’s an independent state. The same is applicable to Biafra. Maybe these two would have been that promising nation in Africa which others would have learned from.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media