Rev. Fr. Anthony Agbali, is a Catholic Priest and Hospital Chaplain, St. Louis, Missouri. He has written major essays on religion and the Igala, and he is also working on a Ph.D. thesis in Anthropology, Wayne State University.
This piece is one that exhibits confusion in denying Africa of any historicity, civilization, and cultural achievements, like Hegel (Philosophy of History). Yet, contradictorily, the author acclaims the mark of African contributions to the human race, as he did in clarifying for instance that Euclid, the great Mathematician was African. The author seems to be pointing sadly, at a self-denigrating scheme that is dually psycho-malaised idiosyncratically and at best a self-inflicting internalizing complex that crassly engraves and enthrones inferiority .
Africa as a continent, we know, is not currently in its best of shape. However, in spite of the fact that we are in such shape does not mean that Africa's future is totally doomed, and irredamable. In any nation's history such periods surfaced. The Romans had to be confronted by the Visigoths who overran their once cherished civilization that owed a lot to African sources- scholars, ritual experts, scientists, and builders. The United States had its own time, evinced by their civil war, and even with corruption, and organized crimes. The critical assumptions that some Africans opportuned to live outside of the continent make is that their spatial domain is translated into a a privilege that denigrates even the minutest positive within the African landscape. Many forget that their current abode outside of Africa was and still continues to be shaped by an ethos that is predicated on sacrifice by citizens of these non-African nations.
Any prophet of doom that stands in the present and echoes gloom stands to be stranded in myopia, and stings in sinking degeneration. I for one see hope, but the human, including the African resiliency, of which I am a product, gives me hope. If I and many other Africans can compete, given that most of our adult years occurred in Africa, within the global spaces and currents we found ourselves, and even excelling then Africa has hope. The pattern of our development does not necessarily have to follow the path of the West, or any other civilization for that matter. The very fact of our own preoccupation with African problems indicates that Africa and Africans are surely progressive, as they can confront their social issues, whether healthy or malaised. There is no doubt that there is a need for more cogent and competent governance. We must not lose sleep though given that development can be a gradual process, a self-learning dynamic that engages multiple processes in challenging a nation, and its people. True, maladministration, self-pitying, and self-delusion has dented the rapidity of such transformations, but it has nothing to do with race. Of course, has anyone thought of the fact that the development of capitalism in the west was heightened after the challenges of protestantism, and fastened by the Industrial revolution, French enlightenment, and even much rapidly after its contact with other parts of the world- Asia, Africa, Oceania, and others.
Therefore, it is my supposition that as the challenges that face Africans today, including the migration of many Africans outside of the continent possess potential advantages in directing and confronting newer paradigms through reflexive insights and experiences that would galvanize the necessary thread toward Africa's social, technological, and cultural ascendancy. I have problem with the articulation of negativities that deny heuristic possibilities, as well as perspectives that discount the past historical trajectories and memories that has helped to produce the present state of things in Africa. Hence, I have despised very porous historical analysis, such as those engaged in by George Ayittey and his followers- Africa Betrayed; Africa in Chaos- that follows such assumptions such as Shilgba's. Such perception while cogent in their intentions are alluringly degenerative in their analysis as far as I am concerned.