Sadiq Manzan of the Univ. of Toronto strokes the fire:
In his latest response to George Ayittey, Edmund Kissi makes a statement that is very thought-provoking. The statement is as follows:
"These scholars who have access to the Washington Times; the Wall Street Journal and who testify about Africa to American policymakers are the "hunters" in the Akan proverb I have mentioned above. They have sharp quivers, arrows and hunting-ware. They speak well. They are well-funded by Foundations. They theorize. They write books every two weeks and the media and policymakers love them. The lions (the ordinary people in Africa and their conditions) are their prey in Africa. The scholar-hunters study or hunt the Africa-lion for a living. But when these lions have people or historians like Ochonu, Abaka and Emetulu and others like these three to speak for them and tell their story as they experienced it and are actually experiencing it, the hunters may cease to be heroes to their benefactors. OR, they may "clarify" their positions."
If I may humbly ask Edmund Kissi: who decided that he, Ochonu, Abaka and Emetulu are the people's historians?
I think it is such wild and exaggerated claims that make some of our scholars completely irrelevant to Africa. Rather than make such immodest claims, it should be sufficient to focus on addressing the substantive questions that George Ayittey has posed. To my mind, these questions are:
(1) Why are African development policies and political processes / structures so unconnected to the traditional systems within which most of our people live?
(2) Why do we have such a penchant for seeking external solutions to our problems? Our leaders seem to beg for even the smallest thing, despite the abundant resources around us.
It is true that George Ayittey's pieces themselves have some exaggerations, but he has at least raised two very cardinal questions that require serious intellectual reflection, not some fanciful claims.