Africa's Leadership: A Case Study in De-Evolution


I love talking to my dad. It always makes for a good start/end to my day. This morning I called him just to say ‘hey’, and like most Africans tend to do, we began to discuss the economy and politics.

“NDC has f*cked up everything!” he proclaimed. As expected, he launched into a missive on how tariffs on goods have been raised overnight, and how his electricity rates had been tripled without warning.

“Don’t worry daddy,” I said reassuringly. “It’s year 2. They’ll be gone soon.”

“Ho. These people aren’t going anywhere,” be said forlornly. “Now that we have oil in Ghana, they will find a way to stay in power.”

No surprise there. NDC is notorious for fear and coup tactics. I imagine that come 2012, they will declare a state of emergency after the elections (if they fail to rig the results), place a military dictator in power and shut down any media that opposes them. They are highly unimaginative, those guys. I silently lamented over these things, burning up cell phone minutes, when my dad interrupted me by providing this bit of news:

“You know the Japanese are ‘helping’ us drill the oil down here, right? Do you know these fools (NDC) have sent a delegation to Japan to inaugurate the oil drilling machine? They have sent DJs and ministers to Japan for a week to inaugurate one oil drilling machine.”

I was aghast.

Just the night before, I stayed up till 1 a.m. watching America – The story of us on the History Channel. In passing, the narrator mentioned that a during a small pox outbreak at Valley Forge, George Washington took a gamble and contained the virus by inoculating his army using tactics brought over by Africans. He would scrape the puss from someone who already had small pox and place it on the wound of someone who was uninfected. The healthy person’s white blood cells would then mount an attack on the virus and increase their chances of survival. It’s the basis for our flu shots today. It saved thousands of lives. I watched another segment that talked about how land owners in the South did not have a viable cash crop that would yield high returns on investment. Again, African slaves showed wealthy land owners how to dig irrigation systems and grow rice on their land. For decades, rice was the major cash crop grown in the South until cotton took its place. More recently, Dr. Thomas Mensah, renown inventor and native of Kumasi, holds 4 patents for his work in fiber optics that are used in many of our day-to-day conveniences, like the ATM machine. (Google him. You’ll be fascinated.)

Examples of African ingenuity and intelligence are rampant throughout history…That is until you take a gander at our so-called “best and brightest” – our very pathetic government and political leadership. Do you mean to tell me that with all the innovation and invention that we are capable of, these idiots in power seriously think it’s a good idea to send a delegation of DJs to %$#*&ing Japan to inaugurate a machine?? When people are hungry, have no potable water and are struggling to pay school fees? For real President Mills? Instead of this government to invest in the raw talent that is abundant in the graduates from elite schools like KNUST and SOS HGIC, they are happy to allow all this intelligence to serve Americans and Europeans, and spend Ghanaian tax cedis to send DJs TO JAPAN TO INAUGURATE OIL DRILLING MACHINES!!!!

You know what makes America great? It’s not that her leaders are the best and the brightest. It’s that those leaders know that they need to surround themselves with the best and the brightest to succeed. That’s how the founders won the Revolutionary War. That’s why you can find so much technological advancement in this country. I can’t think of a single American president or business man who would send a d-e-l-e-g-a-t-i-o-n to another country to throw a party for a machine. I can only imagine that the Japanese are looking at us, shaking their heads and peppering their conversation with terms like kokujin, sambo gorira and baka.

Africa’s leadership is definitely a case study in de-evolution, with Ghana leading the way. While the rest of the world is getting smarter, these guys are getting dumber and greedier by the minute and only dragging the rest of us back to our roots as single celled amoeba and primordial slime. I’ve tried to think of another species in the animal kingdom that has halted its assent up the evolutionary ladder, but I can think of none. In this century, (Black) African leaders seem to be the only ones willing to sell their own people for a few thousand dollar contracts and virtually give away our valuable resources so that they, and they exclusively, can live a better life.

So I discussed all this with my dad.

“Wow,” he said.  I could see him shaking his head 4,000 miles away. “I never knew many of these things. And we Africans sit around like it’s only White people who have brains.”

Yeah. Yeah, we do. I wish we knew this part of our history. It could do with some repetition.