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Libyan Writer Ghoma
الكاتب الليبي غـومة

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Wednesday, 4 July, 2007

IF WISHES WERE HORSES, AFRICA WOULD RIDE!

By: Ghoma

        Problems in Africa abound! When problems get beyond control the self-appointed despots, who entrusted themselves to deal with them, go banana! But usually have few options: either ignore them, retreat to an idyllic past or revert to day-dreaming and wishful thinking. The last one is Africa's share from the days of Nkrumah's Pan-Africanism, Senghor's Negritude or Qaddafi's Unionism.Today, if Africa is known for anything it's known for its unsolvable problems and the equally absurd ways to solve them. Name a problem and it's there, name a solution whic was never been tried! The atomic chain reaction type of its rapid fragmentation comes on top to its innumerable bits and pieces: tribes, clans, gangs and cliques. From north to south, from east to west, none of the 52 states, composing the continent, with the exception of the outside trappings, has what it takes to be a successful modern state. And amidst all actual uncontrollable burning fires efforts are spent not to quell the turmoil but to add more stokes to burn more. The answer: unite the tribal, sectarian, political, and yes economic strives, that are wrecking havoc with mobile and immobile, into a bigger cauldron?

        In this bleak scenario there's very little that can be done or except to wait and see what time and its grinding machine will bring to squash the fires and cool the temperaments. Another is to think out of the box, and propose an u-topian yet believable scenario. Such the one the Colonel is trying to shove down the throats of the shaky apparatuses of the Dark Continent. Only a larger ghost will swallow the smaller monsters that are devouring the hapless residents of the wretched continent. If the average African citizen -if Africans can be called citizens!- is still crushed under the dwarf states of Africa what will happen when the dwarves coalesce and become a giant, a juggernaut? Who will control then the ghoul is yet to be figured out?

        Qaddafi impersonifies the classical tinkerer, the blase' one! Unfortunately for Libya and its environs, the results of all his tinkering, so far, were always on the destructive side. How one that has been given, actually was stolen, so much gives so little is history will answer. Qaddafi's amateurish parroting of undigested information and its experiences is by now known beyond Libya and the Arabfold. It's been tried over and over again both in Libya, and beyond with the different schemes for Arab integrations and unity! The buzz word with the Colonel these days is globalization and world's regional integrations. Globalization, yes, is here, but not for every one or every state, region, or what-have-you. It's a stage of development that supersedes and goes beyond the national states. Africa and the Middle East have yet to reach such a stage! While the American union had started from the bottom up, the European Union - not withstanding Napoleon and Hitler- has to wait for centuries to repeat the old experiences of the Roman empire and its resurrection in the Holy Roman Empire! What the larger entities, the USA, or EU did or does was to prepare the ground for a level the plain states and regions (economic or otherwise), metropolitan areas in the USA and historical-cultural in the EU, to compete with each other on relatively equal terms. This can happen because these metro-areas and regions were way beyond the tribal-sectarian stages of development and were equipped with the necessary competitive verve.

        Integration is not only a dream. It's also a hardwork. Wars, strives, and animosities have accompanied its birth and march. With all these, however, it was never a point of arrival but rather a process that leads to something bigger and better. If Africa someday has to unite it's to work to make that dream come true. It's first and foremost to search for its own soul. It's to search and find for what purpose it's to come together. What are the goals of this union beyond sloughing of the daily humiliations Africa is subjected to? It's also to discover and find what the North has with South, East with the West? Integration of a continent which has never experienced personal or collective freedom or knew what dignity was all about, in the whole history of the human race, must come not as yearning for a different and a better tomorrow but also a way to chip in some contribution to the human march. Africa, if it's to unite, has to find its mission and its call. What Africa is all about? What it brings to the plate and what it adds to the the human experiment? Only another bureaucracy? Or, something more noble! An ideal that will enshrine it once again not only as humanity's birth place, but more so as the new cradle of human freedom and happiness.

        For Africa, to start dreaming big, of integration and union, it's to go through first, putting out the fires that are burning everywhere in its corners; second liberating itself from colonialism and imperialism; and third, building a stable, democratic, and prosperous national states. When the patient's life is under threat, the immediate task is not to dream what life is or how wonderful it could be, but to act to save a life. Today, Africa is threatened everywhere, the North with desertification, the rest with all kinds of catastrophes, plagues, and calamities. Until the continent is out of the critical stage there's no reason to waste time talking about utopian projects, even when they're noble! In such a large piece real estate, as Africa is, with equally diverse ethnic, cultural, and historical circumstances, it would be close to miraculous if one day, far into the future, will be integrated

        Is the Colonel, in cahoots with likewise the rest of the highwaymen of Africa, capable of such a leap? Those who're gathered in Accra, have they the imagination and the grits to lead a shipwrecked, lost, and bleeding continent into a safe coast? Not this crop of dictators, bankrupted and corrupted thieves as they're, not now, not tomorrow nor in a million years! No one of the present breed, nor for that matter, of the past, has shown the mettle, the background, experiences, gumption or the brains to dream such larger than history, life or the cosmos to come with a way to unite not the whole of Africa but even one of its sub-regions: North, East, West, or South!

        Why these guys keep trying an impossible project? Faced with the increasing problems on their hands they don't know what else to do beside lunging into a hallucinatory dreaming, though impossible and unrealizable as it might turn to be. Oh Africa! With Qaddafi's, at the rudder, scheming, Africa has nowhere else to go except to sway between the horrors of its past and the inferno of its present. From the "Heart of Darkness," into the locus of ridiculous and silly ventures! To paraphrase V. Lenin: Woe to those who try to burn the steps, they'll only burn themselves.

Ghoma
Ghoma47@hotmail.com

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