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Towards A Strategy For Sustainable African/Diasporan Development

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An African American Perspective

As a graduate student at UCLA in 1976, majoring in Political Science, with a specialization in Southern African politics, the burning question, at that time, was “What Path to Development for Africa”.

Today, the answer to the question remains as elusive now, as then, perhaps, even more so. As I’ve wrestled with this question, since my graduate years, I feel much closer to a workable solution and strategy, given the current realities on the ground in the sub-continent.

Today, unlike 1976, many African countries have attained a degree of “independence”, in as much as the faces of governance have changed and now, have African origin. However, colonial rule, in many and most instances, has only been replaced by a system of neo-colonialism and a philosophy of neo-liberalism which keeps the African governments subservient, and holds their economies hostage to non-effective aid policies, IMF loans, global corporate greed and exploitation, European and American intervention in internal affairs (political, economic and social), political assassination, sabotage, and divide and rule tactics.

Such antics on the part of Western entities breed internal corruption, unstable governments, social displacement, dis-empowerment, and outright poverty. We still await the studies investigating whether there has been overt or covert involvement by the West in a conspiracy to spread HIV/AIDS in Africa as a means of population control.

While this kind of behavior is expected and anticipated by Western governments, what is not to be tolerated is the complicity by certain African governments, which allow it, or foster internal strife, thus furthering impoverishment and dis-empowerment of their own populace.

The West’s involvement in the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara and Amilcar Cabral are well documented. The loss of such leaders and visionaries such as Sekou Toure, Steven Biko and countless others, have left a leadership vacuum in the sub-continent, which at times, seems insurmountable. Thus, thinking outside the proverbial box is needed if we are to address the question of Sustainable Development in Africa, and by extension, the African Diaspora.

This implies an answer that one is not likely to find in academia or institutions of higher learning. This requires a potential solution which is born out of the struggle of African people; everywhere we have found oppression, exploitation and toil. Those of us who have shed blood, tears and sweat in our quest for liberation and a higher level of life, come with different perspectives than those whose experience has been limited to the confines of academia or offices with air conditioners or what the topic of the next lecture should be.

We are appreciative of Mwalimu W. Kabaila for his contribution. The article is actually 9 pages long so we are providing it in its entirety as a PDF download.

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About Mwalimu W. Kabaila'
Mwalimu W. Kabaila was a student and community organizer in the movement of the 60's and 70's. From 1979-85 he served as Vice Chair of the Us Organization, which founded Kwanzaa. He is a founding member of Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization (ASCAC). Doctoral Candidate, Southern African Politics and Culture, UCLA

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