As we move further into the 21st century, the problems in Africa remain; a continent plagued with economic, political and social deficiencies, compounded by the ever-present obstacle of poverty. However, for centuries Africa has been the cornerstone of the world’s natural resources, aided by the gradual advancements in technology and science. Undeniably, the abundance of resources could turn Africa into a “paradise on Earth,” where its riches could finally save a region that has long been dominated by foreign intervention. Yet, in reality Africa has been nothing more than an object, continually raped of its freedom and prevented from fulfilling its potential. Despite being considered as the ‘motherland‘ by many, its place in the world is much like an abused child crying for help. So, how can Africa ever escape from its imprisonment? Socialism.
Of course, in the current political climate this may seem absurd, largely due to the disintegration, or indeed the inefficiencies of the “communist” regimes of yesteryear – most evidently in the Eastern Europe. Moreover, capitalism has been magnified on a global scale, with its ideological tenants being expanded throughout all areas of the world. However, I believe socialism can be successfully implemented without conflicting the global capitalist trend , while providing a prosperous future for a continent striving for an ounce of hope. Africa fits perfectly.
The first process of African socialism would undoubtedly involve a strong, centralised government that emphasised state ownership of most, if not all of the country’s assets and industry, thus allowing the African states to sufficiently control their own resources. Too often do we see much of Africa’s resources incorporated into the schemes of private investors to maximise their own profits, taking away what is rightfully theirs. Furthermore, the African people must deviate from the tribal rivalries that have plagued its existence for far too long. There must be a unification of language, culture and ideas, avoiding the possibility of internal tensions such as in the case of Rwanda, D.R Congo and Nigeria. African nations should negate the modern ideas of nationalism and disintegrate their tribal lineages, and instead should attempt to enforce a continent-wide identity based on Pan-Africanism. By doing this, Africa could enter into a common communal relationship – like the E.U, where African nations could aid each other by sharing resources adequately.
With Africa effectively under ‘self-control,’ the socialist governments could provide the necessary living standards for all its people; such things as free education through state schools, public housing and free healthcare would be the normative objectives. African countries could then trade their natural resources with the rest of the world – effectively posing as “state corporations.” The African states could become their own “companies,” selling any excess materials around the globe, thus producing the surplus profits that could then be implemented into state schemes, advancing the lives of Africans as a whole. China is a successful model of inward socialism and outward capitalism that Africa could not only replicate, but improve due to geographical advantage.
In the space of 400 years, Africa had been stripped of its resources and manpower, all of which had developed the Western nations to an extent the African’s could only dream of reaching. However, this idea could turn the fortunes of Africa around and claw back the years of misery. Though, undoubtedly it will be long and dedicated struggle to finally see Africa shine.