Sierra Leone celebrates 63 years of Independence or “Dependence”, is it not high time Pan-africanists look inwards for the blame game?

Bob Massally: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 April 2024:

The optics of a thousand Kilo elephant in a well-lit room most Pan-Africanist are opaque to or is obscured by rose-tinted glasses or tight-fitting blinkers is the inept and failed leadership in Africa not only by Presidents but by the elite and intelligentsia.

The meagre resources availed to the disproportionately bulging population of Africans are being looted and laundered in varying forms including shell companies and real estate in the capitals and offshore outposts of the so-called Colonialists.

Their monies are being wasted in vanity projects and financing jet setting, ostentatious and charmed lifestyles of their leaders. This invariably leaves their countries in debt distress that is characterized by spending just on the interest payments trumping the health and social welfare budgets.

I guess the Pan-Africans will still in the next century be playing the blame game. They need to be starkly reminded that the forward-looking former British Colonies such as Mauritius, Barbados, India,Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and a host of others have moved on and cracked on. They have agency and hold their current leaders solely and squarely responsible for the status quo and state of play and affairs in their countries.

There is no two ways about it. If need be, they will generate fire in their bellies, keep their leaders on their toes and put their feet on fire to do things in their countries that are right and just. They focus on the here and now, and the future. That is not to say that they do not glance at the rear-view mirror once in a while.

However, they are more than focussed and concentrated in both body and mind in navigating the road ahead, driving their peoples and societies forward. They do not dwell too much on the past and providence that long. For them, the Gods are not blame for any setback. They believe in agency and have agency. They roll up their sleeves, bend backwards and strain every sinew of their beings to ensure that their bread and butter issues are addressed, their futures and their children’s futures are catered for and assured.

The fundamental problem in Sierra Leone is systemic. There is an entrenched and pervasive repetition without any meaningful iteration of the same systems, structures and processes that see us go through crises upon crises, and mucking about at the bottom of most metrics that calibrate human and economic progress.

The two main political parties in Sierra Leone – APC and SLPP – that are derisorily tagged as the siamese twins Korthor or Kinny Alusine and Alhassan, are one of the oldest political parties in Africa and bestride the rough and tough political landscape and terrain like a colossus without much tangible effect on the welfare and wellbeing to show to the poor, pauperised and pressurised people of Sierra Leone.

The people of this tiny piece of beautiful land in the west coast of Africa are famed and fabled for stoicism and resilience in weathering whatever is thrown at them.

It is, I am afraid, inherently their undoing and arguably the root of their perennial plight. Otherwise, APC and SLPP would have been dumped in the dustbin of history by now like trash.

Alhassan and Alusine have crafted a common system of membership to their “private members club” that is open and welcoming to old and new members alike and other members from the opposing club even.

You are looked after and taken care of irrespective of any demeanours and frailties as long as you share certain traits and attributes by virtue of your birth, surname, region, schooling and capacity to embrace the patronage and sycophancy that permeates their ranks.

It seems to me most Pan-Africanists do not bother a monkey about their own incompetent, inept and uncaring leaders. These African leaders could be on the seat of power as long as Museveni or Mugabe, yet, the Pan-Africanists will fail to glance at any indexes or metrics of socio-economic progress that will highlight that their countries are occupying or sitting uncomfortably at the bottom rungs.

It is at the convenience of these African autocrats to whip up their sea-gull-like bases and give them red meat by ranting against the colonialists and imperialists. Anything less will just remove the veil, mask or facade of their own inadequacies and ineptitudes.

This is not to say that the colonialists do not have their own fair share of blame. But to say your history only should always be blamed rather than the here and now for constraining a country’s development is tantamount to lazy thinking.

I believe you could still be a Pan-Africanist and share the sentiments below expressed by a famous Essayist.

“Critics say Africans must stop disparaging, and shifting blames for their under-development to United States and Europe. Rather re-examine the complexities of their own strategic-development policies have been adopted these several years after attaining political independence.

“Critics further say African leaders must work with uttermost transparency and stop their opaque, crooked deals especially relating to natural resources on the continent. Critics noted that African leaders are fond of taking unilateral decisions, barter natural resources without cabinet approval and parliamentary discussions. And according to critics, Africans consistently blame their poor performance on external factors”.

A Glimpse into the Future of Incorrigible Leaders and Incorruptible Africa


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