Part.5 African’s Peacefull Means: Macro-cultural aspects
Four forces have been major cause of the development of violence in the African macro-cultural level: religion, technology, economy, and empires. These have not always acted separately and often have supported each other. For example, the expansion of Christianity started with the conversion of Emperor Constantine I of Rome in the year 313. The religious conversion of an emperor started the process under which Christianity became the dominant religion not only in Europe but also in several other societies later ruled or settled by Europeans, including Africa. The expansion of Islam began not with converting a ready-made empire, but with building an empire almost from scratch. The Umayyad and Abbasids dynasties put together bits of other people’s empires (e.g., former Byzantine Egypt and former Zoroastrian Persia) and created a completely new civilization. Prof. E. Possoz of Brussels, Bantu Philosophy, made the following important observation: up to the present, ethnographers have denied all abstract thought to tribal people (Africans). The civilised Christian (“colonist”) people were exalted, while the savage and primitive man (“African”) was denigrated and defamed. The theory of colonisation is based on this concept.
V.1. Theory of colonization: “diviser pour mieux regner” in
The Berlin Conference was Africa’s undoing in more ways than one. The colonial powers superimposed their domains on the African continent. By the time independence returned to Africa in
1950, the realm had acquired a legacy of political fragmentation that could neither be eliminated nor made to operate satisfactorily. (de Blij, p.340).
In 1884, at the time of the conference, only the coastal areas of Africa were colonized by the European powers. At the Berlin Conference the European colonial powers scrambled to gain control over the interior of the continent. This new map of the continent was imposed and disregarded the cultural and linguistic boundaries already established by the indigenous African population.
By 1914, the conference participants had fully divided Africa among themselves into fifty countries:
* Great Britain desired a Cape-to-Cairo collection of colonies and almost succeeded though their control of Egypt, Sudan (Anglo- Egyptian Sudan), Uganda, Kenya (British East Africa), South Africa, and Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana (Rhodesia). The British also controlled Nigeria and Ghana (Gold Coast).
* France took much of western Africa, from Mauritania to Chad (French West Africa) and Gabon and the Republic of Congo (French Equatorial Africa).
* Belgium and King Leopold II controlled the Democratic
Republic of Congo (Belgian Congo).
* Portugal took Mozambique in the east and Angola in the west.
* Italy’s holdings were Somalia (Italian Somaliland) and a portion of Ethiopia.
* Germany took Namibia (German Southwest Africa) and
Tanzania (German East Africa).
* Spain claimed the smallest territory – Equatorial Guinea.
The authoritarian character of governance in African countries perpetuated by Belgian, French, British and Portuguese colonial rule was not overcome by the post-independence regimes. Militarism reinforced authoritarian rule and favoured an economic injustice which resulted from the failure of governments to redress economic imbalances between the members of local communities. For example, between Tutsi and Hutu (Rwanda-Burundi), Northerners and Westerners (Uganda), Baganla and Baswahili (R.D.Congo, Ex-Zaire), Arab and Black in Sudan, and generally throughout Nilotic and Bantu in Africa.
The development of a free market economy also favoured foreign and local exploiters of the poor. The free market adoption imported new alien behaviours and words to the African culture, such as corruption and prostitution, which reinforced a social and cultural oppression that is characterised by nepotism, ethnic chauvinism, sectarianism and discrimination.
Ethnic problems that are constant in the African corporations are an artificial phenomenon maintained by those who need to satisfy their political and economic appetites. All ethnic, tribal or clan differentiations in Africa are very volatile because Africans usually identify themselves with a particular group, based on family tradition and reputation. One is Ashanti or Zulu because we have learned it from our family, mother, father, and brothers or because the neighbouring environment identifies it.
It is necessary to save the fragments that remain of the population structures. It is also necessary to make sure that violence does not become an epidemic for Africa. African intellectuals and their colleagues in other continents must analyze the problem in all its dimensions, beyond simple opportunistic manipulations. The African problem clearly must be questioned by disciplines that are uninfluenced by military-economic pressures. The development of a theoretical basis may be the beginning of a durable political and educational solution.
Meanwhile some positive initiatives have been taken by African states to resolve the crisis that maintains them behind the global transformations process. For example, the N.E.P.A.D (The New Partnership for Africa’s Development) is a vision and strategic framework for Africa’s renewal; its objectives are to eradicate poverty; to bring African states onto a path of sustainable growth and development; to halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy; and to accelerate the empowerment of women.
It may be necessary to work on of a process of international cooperation to help African states reach their goal through the N.E.P.A.D. We know that conflict appears when there is an unbalance in the needs among the members of a given society. The present area of study consists of investigating the different problems in social and cultural settlement Africa that will allow citizens to understand and work more effectively in strengthening a foundation of a lasting peace in the continent.
Africa can be seen as some kind of ambassador of the poor in the world. The daily deep poverty in which African families struggle, can only generate more conflicts. Insecurity and instability are common problems for most states in Africa; as well as uansett – the diverse cultural backgrounds of African people
Ordinary individual are victimized by increase violence and a moral global economy that only benefits a Groupuscule elite class of the rich. The propagation of violence in the continent has destroyed most of the former structures inherited from colonisation and earlier times. The result is the killing and impoverishment of innocent people..
The large majority of the states are lead by dictatorial rulers that clothe themselves in the trappings of democracy. The power is either military or monolithic: one group tries to preserve power using violence, corruption, and other cynical abuses and crimes. Poverty and brutality are the daily reality for the population. In the African reality, great advantage is taken of widespread illiteracy and ignorance. In this society of despotic, fanatic and corrupt rulers, many people perish from the lack of knowledge.
War always starts in the minds of people when there is a sudden appearance of lack of trust in the society. When people consider each other as potential enemies, then racism, xenophobia and other types of clan nepotism follow.
Poverty and Underdevelopment Factors:
Cultural and social factors
Late internal rivalities
Poor infrastructure or urbanisation development
Poor institutional development
High illiteracy and Ignorance
Global economy and capital market
Inequitable economical distribution
Colonization: Diviser pour mieux regner
Aid dependence-external debt problem
Political immaturity and weak leadership
A vitalizing Transcendental Culture as proposed by Prof. Galtung In Peace By Peaceful Means. P138; through the establishment of a new academic field which he calls Culturology: the science of human culture, would enable us to move towards a culture of peace. Transcendental Culturology will allow us to extract the different areas of our culture and our mentality that contain a potential for violence to create possible peaceful interaction between cultures and civilizations. De betyr; we must identify the structural violence in local corporations and cultures and be conscious of the racist and fascist ideologies introduced into our Bantu-Nilo-Hamitic vision.
The African dilemma has given rise to five types of cultural feelings:
– Shame to be African.
– Shame to be Black,
These feelings tend to be a kind of nihilism which implies that humans are born as perverted animals instead of the rational beings defined by the Greek philosophers. This nihilism has created a failure of human reason and civilization for the benefit of barbarism.
A SUIVRE ……
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