What Is Africa’s Problem?
This is a question that goes through the minds of people the world over with the biggest
paradox being how a continent so rich in resources of every kind can be still the poorest. There
are as many explanations for this as there are people who think about it. Some say it’s
corruption, some say it’s bad leadership, some say AIDS, others Ebola. Most seem to rest on the
answer that Africa is suffering from the resource curse, and more others are convinced that
Africans are mentally inferior (including the Africans themselves) and therefore cannot develop
themselves, or can only do so with assistance from other peoples of the world.
These answers are unfounded as I will illustrate. For instance, resource curse doesn’t apply to all
resources eg human resources, land, flora and fauna. Also, most Arab countries are rich as a
direct result of mineral resources, particularly oil.
As I begin, id like to state that in this article, I don’t intend to mince my words or sugarcoat stuff.
I’ll go about hitting the nail on the head, exposing what I feel needs to be exposed and stating
things the way they are. After all, the first step in problem solution is problem identification, and
this article is intended to be part of problem solution.
If I don’t state the problem squarely, it won’t be understood and solved substantially. There’s a
saying in Swahili that says the one who hides her nakedness cannot give birth.
This will be quite a long post – not because I’ve included all the myriad problems affecting Africa,
but because I seek to elaborate in detail the single obstacle that gives birth to others. It’s
significant to note that I use the concept of ‘unified field theory’, originally brought forward by
Albert Einstein. I borrowed this concept from Dr. Francess Cress Welsing who uses it in her
book The Isis Papers to show that the behavior of a person/people can be traced to one
“Einstein’s effort towards uncovering the unified field has great meaning to me as a
psychiatrist/behavioral scientist because it is my developing Unified Field Theory Psychiatry
conviction that the present confusion is largely a result of our failure to see the interconnections
that exist between many seemingly isolated, disconnected behavior-energy phenomena in
In mathematical terms, by a single set of equations, the unified field theory would combine all of
the different manifestations of energy phenomena in the universe.
I too, am convinced that the problems being experienced by a people can be traced to one
underlying cause. By investigating to seek the backbone of the problems rather than isolating
each problem, it becomes not only easier to solve the entire problem but also saves a lot of time,
energy and resources.
As I was researching for this article, I searched for a book that discussed this issue in detail and
coincidentally, I found one whose title matched exactly the title of my article.. I was happy – this
seemed to be the all-in-all. But then, before I started reading it, there was another one I was
reading that too dealt with part of Africa’s problems, and it brought out the author of ‘What is
Africa’s Problem?’ as a contributor to the problems.
Critically thinking, the first book was right.
So I kept ‘What is Africa’s Problem’ aside, fearing that if you ask someone who is part of the
problem what the problem is, he’s likely to give you the solution as part of the problem.
Probably, I judged a book by it’s cover… but sometimes we need to be wary: False knowledge is worse than ignorance. Anyway, if you might have read the book and felt that it contained some gems, please share your findings/opinions (preferably in the comments). I am not 100% opposed.
To set the pace, I’d like to give a short story/testimony of my education and outward view of
Africa as it was some years back.
When I Was in my final year of high school, after completing the last exams, I found myself in a
discussion about some really sensitive but rarely discussed matters – education and it’s impact
on Africans. It came to a point where we were examining the origin of our education and the
debate got hotter. On my side, I was arguing that Africans, before colonization by Europe, were
backward and primitive, that colonization, despite the ills it came with, rescued us from an
abyss of darkness, illiteracy and backwardness. That was my point of view. I supported my
argument by identifying how in sciences like physics and chemistry, and math, all formulas,
laws, principles and et cetera were discovered by European and American scholars. Even the
useful inventions like steam engine, electricity and airplanes were made by westerners. While
the West was inventing, Africans were hunting hares and gathering nuts. Indeed, I was very
convinced that colonization was more of a blessing than a misfortune – a blessing in disguise.
Those who were arguing with me, had only one point – that colonization did more harm than
good. Unlike me, they had nothing to back their argument – no facts, examples, theory or thesis.
They were just disagreeing. I think I won the debate.
You see, that was my version of reality and perception, as a high school student, having
undergone 12 years of schooling and finishing off in one of the best schools in the country.
Here’s the point: After many years of schooling in some of the best institutions the end result
was an African suffering from inferiority complex.
Of course, even those I was arguing with back in high school had the same ideology embedded in their subconscious minds – they just couldn’t bring it to the conscious level. This can be proven by the fact that they couldn’t defend their position in the argument with anything. If you ask most Africans, consciously, they may refuse such claims of inferiority complex, but subconsciously, it’s there, instilled by our education system.
For now, I know better than I did when I was arguing back in high school, thanks to self
“The education of the Negroes… the most important thing in the uplift of the Negroes, is almost entirely in the hands of those who have enslaved them and now segregate them.” The Mis-education of the Negro.
(In this article, I’ll make many references to two books: The Miseducation of the Negro and The
Isis Papers, and for efficiency, I’ll abbreviate those titles)
The education system used in Africa is the same as it was when colonialists were around. We
adopted their education, their religion, language, culture, constitution – almost everything, and it
has remained static. Being designed by colonialists and imperialists, this form of education was
intended to achieve a specific objective – inferiority to the oppressed/colonized and superiority
to the oppressor/colonizes. In other words, to make colonization and exploitation easier.
For instance, “No thought was given to the history of Africa except so far as it had been a field of exploitation for the Caucasian.” TMOTN.
This education was imposed on Africans and, also, the same theme of inferiority-superiority is
perpetuated in the non-African systems and institutions – it is global and seems to explain the
reason for Africa’s backwardness and also to some extent justify crimes, real crimes like
colonization and invasion.
“Why not exploit, enslave or exterminate a class that everybody is taught to regard as inferior?” TMOTN.
In The Isis Papers, Dr. Welsing identifies the major problem for Africans as:
“Black people throughout the world, live under the power of the white supremacy system of total oppression and domination, implying the absence of any true power to determine ultimately what happens to their individual and collective lives. This is the major and only problem facing Black people and all other non-white peoples throughout the world. “
So, Dr. Welsing identifies the problem as white supremacy.
Before I had read that book I had identified Africa’s problem as inferiority complex and suggested proper education as the solution to counter it.
Inferiority complex is a direct result of white supremacy being disseminated in our schools and other social institutions.
“The thought of inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies.” TMOTN.
Thus far, inferiority complex has been identified as the root of Africa’s problems. It is from here
that we can trace most, if not all, of other issues and problems (applying the unified field theory).
“If you believe you can’t, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” Marcus Garvey.
Since inferiority complex is a direct result of miseducation, we can easily interpret the problem
to be that Africans are miseducated and are miseducating their future, the children.
I usually blame the problems a people are experiencing on their education, by 90%.
Education should be measured in terms of ability to solve individual and collective problems
that exist, or as they arise and also ability to think independently. The less independently
someone thinks, the more robotic they are – meaning their brain-computers are controlled by
external parties and they are less likely to solve unexplored/new problems.
“The major function of education is to help secure the survival of a people.” Amos Wilson.
The inverse is also true. If education will help secure survival of a people, miseducation will
serve to secure the fall of a people.
“The ‘educated Negroes’ will have the attitude of contempt towards their own people.”TMOTN.
What do you expect of a people who have group-negating ideologies of themselves?
As a matter of fact, instead of most Africans seeking to develop ourselves, we look out to
others to develop us, and worst of all, we seek to be like them.
“The difficulty is that the ‘educated Negro’ is compelled to live and move among his own people whom he has been taught to despise. As a result, therefore, the ‘educated Negro’ prefers to buy his food from a white grocer because he has been taught that the Negro is not clear.”TMOTN.
It’s funny that a quotations from a book written in early 20th century would still be in
manifestation in the 21st century. Think the buying of groceries is exaggerated? Well, Africans
have taken the game to a ‘higher’ level.
(You can take ‘higher’ here literally – groceries in the air )
As seen, the African is not willing to trade with kin, even on such small things as a box of pizza
– which is how development takes place. There can be no development in a group if there’s no
self respect, cooperation and meaningful interactions. Lack of self respect in a group is what
actually results in issues like corruption and bad governance. A family member who doesn’t
respect his/her family can easily steal family funds and resources. If it’s a father who doesn’t
respect his family, bad leadership is a natural consequence.
Corruption and bad governance will lead to poverty and in ripple effect, famine, rampant disease,
poor health-care and education ad infinitum. And once we give our children bad education, the
next generation gets educated and we create a circle of problems.
So, how do we cut the circle to create a straight line out? Whats the solution?
Africans have been marking time for quite a long time now. I can’t tell from exactly when, but
even now, we are still marking time. We go for higher education abroad, get loans, build roads
and ports, get more kids to school – but it’s an illusion of movement because we are moving in a
“Indeed, the circumference of my ‘liberation movement circle’ could be so wide that it really appears to me that I am moving in a straight line of progress. But moving in a circle, no matter how big the circle, is tantamount to standing absolutely still, marking time.” TIP.
Where did these circles originate?
“It is known that an extremely high level of fear and a profound sense of vulnerability of
existence can lead the human brain-computer into ineffectual patterns of circular thought. In such cases, problems perceived are avoided and never solved.” TIP.
Actions are a result of thoughts, and our thoughts are influenced by the miseducation we get in
school. The miseducation is what creates vulnerability in the Negro. Fear, meanwhile, was
instilled in the Negro in the early days of slavery and colonialism, and continues to be instilled
by religion that has deluded Africans that God is white and altogether, the fear of hell (if they
concentrate too much on secular materials or do what ‘God’ doesn’t want to be done).
When you have made people fearful and vulnerable, the result is circular thought.
“Circular thought means moving from problem perception, away from problem solution, down a diversionary path, and back again to problem perception. This may be followed by worrying and excessive complaining.” TIP.
For instance, (the main instance in fact), in analyzing the problem Africans will come across
white supremacy/inferiority complex as the biggest challenge. But then, to overcome it, they/we
will have to do away with a concept of ‘white’ god, which is the greatest pillar of white
supremacy, among other things.
“With this unconscious logic circuit of “God is a white man” firmly in place, white domination over non-white people could last for one trillion years.” TIP.
Due to fear and vulnerability however, most Africans will go round the obstacle, avoiding
completely head-on confrontation. Since after avoiding the main challenge there can be no
onward progress, circular reasoning and action results. This happens mostly in the
subconscious mind. If brought to conscious level, few people would participate.
After getting stuck in a circle, numerous complaints will arise occasionally because, obviously,
the ‘solutions’ to the ‘problem’ are not working. Other by-products of circular thought will include
deeper entrenchment into phenomena that ‘have the power to solve the problem‘ like religion.
Circular thought now becomes the core problem, making Africans shy away from the problem
and fail to make the necessary changes, which should be changes to the education system
(religion is also education).
First of all, the governments of Africa which have been bestowed the responsibility of educating the citizens, are in the hands of ‘educated Negro’.
“With miseducated Negros in control themselves, however, it is doubtful that the system would be very much different from what it is or that it would rapidly undergo change.” TMOTN.
Actually, most of the ‘educated’ Negros are active in defending the system. Take for instance, it
has been instilled in (almost) every African parent and thus, the child, that education is the key
Which education??? Miseducation!!? This just equates to: Miseducation is the key to success!
Damn, how incredible and paradoxical!
“The “highly educated” Negros do not like to hear anything uttered against this procedure (the education system) because they make their living in this way and they feel they must defend the system.” TMOTN.
One thing these educated Negroes fail to realize is that individual success will not protect anyone
from collective failure.
Then again, due to group-negating ideologies instilled in the minds of Africans by miseducation,
we find that the solution is seen as part of the problem by the ‘educated’ Negro.
“These ‘educated’ people, however, decry any such thing as race consciousness: and in some respects they are right. They do not like to hear such expressions as ‘Negro literature’, ‘Negro poetry’, ‘African art’, or ‘thinking Black’, and roughly speaking, we must concede that such things do not exist.” TMOTN.
At this point, I must admit that ‘educated’ Africans become the biggest obstacle, the biggest
problem for Africa. Even one activist from Togo, Mawuna Koutonin, in an article titled How The
Illiterates Are Currently More Useful To Africa Than The Educated Zombies has said he
preferred illiteracy to be higher in his country instead of those millions of poorly educated
Here now I’ll introduce two classes of literacy. The first class is literacy as defined by the
dictionary – knowing how to read and write. The second class is as defined by Alvin – ability to
learn, unlearn, and relearn, which I’ll refer to as 21st century literacy.
We have many literate Africans in the first class of literacy, and very few in the second class. As
observed, the more advanced a Negro is in the first class, the worse he performs in the second
class. The ‘educated’ Negroes, most of them, fall in the class of ‘illiterate of the 21st century’
:Static minds, programmed for life, circular thinking, comfortable with miseducation and
resistant to positive change.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein.
We will be mad as Africans to continue upholding systems that have proven redundant and
misleading. In Dr. Welsing’s words, it is a sign of mental illness for us as individuals and as a
group, to keep up with things, people and ideologies that are harmful to us and not engage
ourselves deeply in finding solutions to our problem(s).
A long period of underdevelopment, diseases, famine, wars, plunder of wealth and contempt
from outsiders should be enough to stimulate even circular thinkers into linear thinkers.
“Linear thought suggests movement from problem perception progressively towards problem solution, changing step by step whatever needs to be altered to achieve total problem solution – utilizing whatever means necessary to achieve this end. This form of thought is consistent with the functions and structure of the brain as a problem-solving organ in the human organism.” TIP.
Let’s upgrade from the first class of literacy to the second class of ‘literate of the 21 st Century’.
Only that way can we free our minds from the chains of mental slavery and inferiority complex.
“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” TMOTN.
It has been a long read and I think it’s worth it. Mental serfdom is more expensive than a few
minutes of enlightenment.
“If we don’t have confidence in our ability to make independent Black observations, Black
analyses and Black plans for Black liberation, why should we talk about or seek Black
I rest my case.