I get the impression that many people didn’t know about Africa prior to colonialism. They knew almost nothing of the people, of the land and of the vegetation and of the mineral resources. So they accept whatever was told them by western explorers who skewed the history of Africa to justify the exploitation of the continent. The colonialists claim that they brought “civilization” to Africa. That, they did Africans a favour by transporting some to the Americas etc. How is putting people in chains and whipping them a favour? The indigenous African was free and happy in his little hut before slave trade and slavery.
Today the world speaks of food security in Africa but none seem to know precolonial Africa had food security. Our ancestors had huge barns full of yams and maize and they had livestock as well. Each man, woman and sometimes child had their own farm, so nutritious food was available year round. They never asked for foreign aid or grants or loans.
Today the world speaks of technology and inventiveness but Africa had indigenous inventions such as the kente weaving loom, gold weighs, farming implements or the marimba etc. These were invented more than 1000 years before colonialism. The inventors did not see any prototype from Europe. I’m not even sure Europe had those inventions at the time.
The world speaks of eco houses as a symbol of civility and refinement but our ancestors lived in eco houses (made of clay, bamboo and straw) long before the word “eco” was invented. How then can European colonizers say they brought civilization to Africa? They brought slavery. Today when I see international government organisations and charities claiming to teach Africans how to build houses, farm, trade or make fabric, I say to my own heart what happened to us? I think the real colonialisation of Africa began after “independence.”
Finally, some may ask: “So what’s the way forward?” There is no way forward except the European way. The only other way is to go backward and select a traditional African development model, compatible with what indigenous Africans already know and practice.