As Africans increasingly mature politically, the West needs to embrace new thinking

RE: “Why large crowds instil a climate of fear” (The New Times, July 18). This is our war to win. As Rwandans, we are now mature intellectually and politically, and well on our financial independence under the great leadership of President Paul Kagame. Their so-called reports will not dent our discipline and determination to achieve our goals.
Citizens search for their voter cards at Ecole Sainte Famille polling station in Kigali  File
Citizens search for their voter cards at Ecole Sainte Famille polling station in Kigali File

Editor,

RE: “Why large crowds instil a climate of fear” (The New Times, July 18). This is our war to win. As Rwandans, we are now mature intellectually and politically, and well on our financial independence under the great leadership of President Paul Kagame. Their so-called reports will not dent our discipline and determination to achieve our goals.

 

We are building a critical mass of Rwandans who are self-aware and have definite purpose in life and this is why we are succeeding against all odds.  Thank you Mr. Rugira for the article and be assured that we are winning as Rwandans.

 

Will Kariyonga

 

What you describe in this article, of how the French colonial regime destroyed Guinean infrastructure, in retaliation to Sekou Toure’s audacity of freedom, makes me realise, it is not only the minds of Africans that must be decolonised. That is, if we are to strive towards a viable future of any sort. No, the minds of the colonisers must also undergo decolonisation at some point. Otherwise, the West will always view Africa and Africans through the white-supremacist colonialist lens. It is not even necessary to refer to the likes of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and The Economist as tools of neo-colonialism or tools of imperialism, come to think of it. What we call neo-colonialism today is simply a decentralised and subliminal continuation of colonialism. A shift, if you will, from conscious colonialism to subconscious colonialism. A move away from physical chains to invisible strings.

And these invisible strings worked for a while in Africa, until certain leaders started cutting their strings, because they refused to be – to paraphrase – puppets on a string, living on their knees. Even the presentation of these two options: “live on our knees, or die on our feet” undermines efforts of African self-determination. It is not a binary. That is, despite what is presented to us, the choice is not between “live on our knees” or “die on our feet”. There are many other choices. The choice Rwanda has made is to “LIVE ON OUR FEET!” And that is part of the problem, isn’t it? When as Africans we do not restrict ourselves to only the choices made for us by these instruments of modern day perpetual Berlin 1884 Conference such as HRW, AI and their ilk, when we do not subscribe wholly to the views and perspectives propagated by these wannabe puppet masters, we suddenly become a problem for the paradigm of a dominant Europe and weak Africa.

When you understand that the minds of the colonisers themselves are also colonised, you see the need for abandoning of these rigidly binary approaches to everything concerning Africa. A strong Rwanda does not lead to a weak France. A strong Africa does not lead to a weak West. This ‘Us Vs. Them’ mentality under which Western countries operate their geopolitical agendas not only harm us in the so-called Global South, it also harms the ‘Global North’! Just look at what the post 9-11 U.S. wars have done to the American economy. Just look at the devastating refugee crisis in Europe caused by the Western destruction of Libya and the ongoing attempts to do the same in Syria.

Unless the West moves away from this dogma of the need for an infinitely subjugated Africa in order for the West to thrive, you will always have clowns spewing nonsense about how we lack civilisation in Africa, and about how we Africans are hopeless without submitting to the supremacy of the West.

As another commenter stated in this thread, the dogs bark but the caravan goes on. HRW, AI, The Economist, etc. are fighting for relevance by means that ironically is sure to bring about their irrelevance. Thanks to the Internet and the digital nature of rapidly global dissemination of information, Africans are less and less inclined to just swallow whatever poison is fed to us. Rwanda will hold a peaceful, transparent, free and fair election regardless of how upset the global “human rights” industry gets about the Rwandan need for self-determination. These invisible strings are being cut all across the Global South, snip by snip. And you the West can either bark alone in the desert, while the caravan leaves you behind, or you can see our fight for freedom as an inspiration to also free yourselves from your own poisonous state of mind. The choice is yours. Rwandans have made theirs.

Dayo Ntwari

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