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Monday, 19 November 2012

I Weep For Africa: The Cry of a Worried African Youth

Father Africa has put himself in chains, yet he blames the Whiteman
By Honourable Saka
Africa is a lovely continent and the ordinary African is indeed one such nice person to discover. Africa is a continent of one people, though currently without a common vision, we still have a common destiny. The true African is always proud of his African identity. As a matter of fact, the African citizen, tend to cherish his identity even better, when he/she travels to Europe or America and all one can see on the streets are two colours: Black and White people all over. It is at this moment that he/she sees the Blackman as his true brother/sister.

As a proud African, when l walk on the streets of London, Paris, or Beijing and l see the Blackman anywhere, I feel proud to have seen my brother or sister in a foreign land. At that time, I care less about which African country specifically he might come from. I do not really care about his religion nor his ethnic background. I do not care whether he belongs to a political party or not. I care less whether he’s a Muslim or a Christian. At that moment, all l see and feel proud of, is my African brother/sister who shares my common identity. I shake hands and hug my African brother/sister with pride. Whenever Africans come together, it is a moment of joy and excitement.

For instance, during international sports competitions, the entire African people tend to rally behind any African team/country that is able to make it to the final stage against teams from other continents.
I remember during the 2010 world cup held in South Africa, when Ghana was left to carry Africa on her shoulders; the entire African continent came together in harmony. Many Africans across the world rejoiced in unity as they rallied behind Ghana.
In the end, even when Ghana couldn’t make it, Africans all over the world though they felt disappointed, they were proud. Such is the true taste of what it means for a people to come together, and live in harmony, rather than always having to fight among ourselves as the enemy wishes.

From Where Came All These Divisions?
Divide and conquer has always been the strategy the colonial masters often used to destroy a people. Imagine how lovely and wonderful this world would be, if the north, south, east and west were to live together in harmony, instead of wars and conflicts that often leave the innocent and the vulnerable suffering?

The whole world knows that it will be wonderful for a people to live together in harmony, yet why can’t it be so? Across the world, Africans are facing challenges in areas of racism and its discriminations.

Yet today, thanks to the lack of foresight from many of our leaders. Africa, a people who ought to be the most formidable force in the world, has been broken into pieces. From the north, the south, east the west, to the central Africa, Africans are fighting among themselves, killing our own brothers and sisters all in a bid to please the colonial master.

The colonial masters have succeeded in dividing the people into so-called “economic regions and countries”. Yet, within our own regions and countries, we’re still not free: we’re fighting for individual interests. Our people have been divided along political lines, ethnic and tribal groupings. Many of us are still struggling under the yolk of religious differences. Little regard is given to the fact that we’re all Nigerians, one Ghanaians, one Somalis or Sudanese, and that we are not different people, irrespective of our religious and political beliefs. But we have believed the enemy more than ourselves.

With this, Lucky Dube, the reggae legend who was eliminated by the usual mafia, shared his sentiments. Quoting Bob Marley, he said:
“Bob Marley said: how long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look? But little did he know that eventually, the enemy will stand aside and look, while we kill and slaughter our own brothers”.
Indeed it is a sad reality, because colonialism had it that, the African people were being suppressed, beaten and killed by the colonial masters. But sadly in today’s Africa, neo-colonialism has made it possible for Africans to be killing themselves and suppressing their own freedoms while the enemy rather sits somewhere and looks.

Why must the African people allow certain minor issues such as religion and political parties, to throw us into killing ourselves? Does it really make sense for Ghanaians, Nigerians, Kenyans or the Ivory Coast to be fighting and killing their brothers and sisters because of politics or religion; forgetting that we are all one people with a common destiny?
It is very sad that our African identity has been erased from our minds and our thoughts, to the point where instead of us coming together to solve our problems, we’re rather busying ourselves with how we can suppress one another for selfish gains.

Recently, the fact that we’re all Africans and come from one continent is not an issue that bothers our leaders. What happened to the spirit of living in a universal brotherhood? Where did we go wrong?

Many African leaders today are secretly busying themselves with how they can suppress the growth of their neighbouring African countries.
While some are secretly funding and collaborating with various terror groups in their attempt to sew chaos in other countries, others are equally busying themselves with how they can make life unbearable for the other Africans living in their country.
Then after all these distractions, African leaders shamelessly continue to gather at Addis Ababa, under the umbrella of the AU, as they hypocritically wine and dine on one hand, exchanging fake smiles and handshakes, whiles their governments continue to frustrate and intimidate the citizens of other Africans living in their countries on a daily basis. Why all these hypocrisy of a so-called African Union?

It is a big shame to our current African leaders that after all these years of drumming into our ears, unity after unity, Africa still remains more divided than ever.
At a time when we cheerfully welcome many of our Asian and European brothers into our countries; we shamelessly intimidate our own brothers and restrict their freedoms on their own motherland.
African leaders must change these habits and take immediate efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with all African countries. I am urging the AU to bring into discussion the urgent need to make efforts to remove these entire border and visa restrictions which the colonial masters have imposed on the African people through the colonial accord of 1844.

We the African people want the freedom to explore Africa and to interact with our brothers and sisters across the continent without being submitted to any unnecessary delays that comes with this visa queues and the long waiting times.
In this 21st century where every continent is well integrated to facilitate the swift movement of goods and services that promotes economic growth and job opportunities, we in Africa have entangled ourselves in some colonial boundaries that were drawn centuries ago with our enslavement and suppression as the ultimate objective.
Yet, every year, our political leaders shamelessly celebrate independence as if to say Africa is independent from these colonial bonds. We are supposedly claiming political independence, yet, we have allowed some 19th century’s colonial bondage to continually bind our freedom of living in a continent of universal brotherhood.

Until this colonial bondage is broken, Africa shall continue to remain impoverished, wretched and chained for another century to come. At the same time, our Asian and Latin American colleagues would have freed themselves from this bondage and become one of the most formidable forces at a time when Europe and America might have collapsed. By freeing themselves from the shackles of colonial bondage, the emerging economies will be doing business among themselves, creating more opportunities for their people, when we in Africa would be looking everywhere, fighting among ourselves and blaming the white man for our lack of foresight.

I weep for Africa, my beloved continent. But I won’t give up, because there is still hope for our current leaders to do what is right.
Long live Africa, our only home.

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at:

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Africans Will Remember Gaddafi For One Important Achievement

Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi, our hero
By Honourable Saka

Gaddafi connected the entire African continent by telephone, television and radio broadcasting.

“Gaddafi's creation of the African Investment Bank in Sirte (Libya) and the African Monetary Fund to be based in Cameroon will supplant the IMF and undermine Western economic hegemony in Africa.”
—Gerald Pereira, an executive board member of the former Tripoli-based World Mathaba

The good people of Africa  will remember Gaddafi, for  least one honest thing he did: he laid a strong foundation for a viable and affordable telecommunication services across Africa at a time when Africans were completely disconnected from the world with exorbitant cost of telecommunication services. At least, for those of us who appreciate the value of communication in today's businesses, in keeping relationships and families alive and as the basis of our technological revolution, we believe Gaddafi gave to the African people, all it takes to keep up with today's modern life and to make it in the 21st century as a people.

Hate him or Like him Gaddafi is a true African hero. Don't get me wrong. I am not by any means suggesting that Gaddafi was a saint. He was a human being and like any human (yourselves and myself included), he had his shortfalls. The same thing can be said about Kwame Nkrumah, and many other great revolutionaries who ever lived in human history.

We are dully aware of countless of Gaddafi's shortfalls. But we cannot allow this to blindfold us completely to many of his kind gestures and the positive implications such gestures is having on the live of the entire African continent today in our modern technological revolution.

In case you didn't know it was Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas. Because of this, Africans of today can also watch TV in HD (high definition), communicate with people anywhere in the world with high tech telecommunication satellites, browse at a reduced price and to enjoy the services of modern telecommunication devices at a highly reduced price.

It is an established fact that, before Gaddafi brought this revolution to the African people, telephone calls made to Africa and out of Africa were the most expensive in the entire world! Many couldn't make international calls that could last for more than 5 minutes. The bill for such a call was really expensive.

Just imagine having brothers and sisters, parents and friends anywhere outside your  country, who cannot keep a close touch with the family because of exorbitant cost of communication. I remember when mobile phone services first came to Africa, to my country (Ghana to be precise), it was too expensive to make local calls. People were not even allowed the opportunity to beep or flash for free. There was nothing like free calls or free browsing.

If it was too expensive to flash/beep a local number, how could one dare to make an international call that could last?

Those were the days when it was only a few wealthy Africans living in Europe and America who could make calls to Africa. It was completely impossible for the ordinary African to make phone calls that could last, because Africa did not have our own communication satellites and we had to rely on using the services of European satellites. Since we had no way of escape, our European masters were charging Africans too much (hundreds of millions of dollars) for this services.

But today in Africa, many people including the young ones are using two or three smart phones and can make free local and international calls that can last over 30 minutes in most cases. As for browsing internet, it is now unlimited! Young Africans can now stay on the internet, browsing the social networks for a whole day. They're are the first to hear of breaking news from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Today Africans are using the internet and telecommunication services like never before to stay in touch and get connected. Has anybody taken the pain to even consider how many Africans could enjoy this opportunity if it was not for Gaddaf's bold contribution?

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like INTELSAT for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a one-time payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million every year to Europe. Which banker wouldn’t finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA and Europe only made vague promises for 14 years.

Gaddafi was very helpful in the fight against Apatheid in South Africa

Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally endogenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.
This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.

Youths in Kenya protest the murder of Muammar Gaddafi by NATO
This is the major reason why European and American leaders hated Gaddafi and were therefore looking for any opportunity to murder him at all cost. They therefore resorted to terror tactics, they tried to assassinate Gaddafi on many occasions but they failed. Like they're currently doing in Syria, these heartless European and American leaders decided to supply weapons to rebels they have trained to cause chaos in Libya whiles their dishonest media heartlessly blamed it on Gaddafi.

They sought for a UN resolution to then go and protect civilians, when their actual hidden intention was to go and murder Gaddafi. Surprisingly many of the then African leaders, because of their greed and selfishness had secretly accepted bribes from the European and American politicians to betray Gaddafi.

Many of them were personally invited to travel to America and Europe where they held secrete meetings with the leaders, by which they agreed to at least stay quiet and allow their puppet masters have their way in Libya. They sold out Gaddafi for a few secrete dollar and Euro accounts, accounts that are loaded with the blood of their own African brothers and sisters. Gaddafi was murdered without any single one of them (with exception of President Robert Mugabe), saying a thing. Just like Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ, African leaders have now regretted their actions, while the African people pay the price (with their lives) for what happened in Libya.

Tripoli before NATO's invasion
But to us the African youth, we will not be ungrateful. We will remember Gaddafi, not because he was a saint, but because we know it was him who helped us to be able to fully enjoy the sweetness of the 21st century's unlimited telecommunications services at highly reduced prices. Any time our mobile phones shall ring, anytime we connect to the internet, we will do so with Gaddafi in our minds.

To our Libyan brothers and sisters who are still caught up in this war which is aimed at stealing your oil resources and to completely destroy Gaddafi's legacy in the county, we want to assure you that you have not been forgotten. We are still praying for peace to be restored in your country for you to enjoy the resources of your motherland

Unfortunately, it is our leaders who have failed you. But we the African people love you and we pray for the day when you will receive all that truly belongs to you.

Long live Brother Leader, Muammar Gaddafi
Long live the Libyan Jamahiriya revolution
Long live Africa!

Note: Some expressions, facts and figures in this article were culled from the article:
"Why the West Wants Gaddafi's Fall" written by By Professor Jean-Paul Pougala

Video: Why The West Want Gaddafi Dead

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at:

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ghana's President Speaks on Disaster Scene, No Safety Helmet; No Safety Shoes

Negligence and the guilty: President spotted on accident site without helmet

By Honourable Saka

The Question of Negligence: Everyone is Guilty

Corruption will not allow Ghanaian officials to do the right thing, not even for once. As I write this, my heart is seriously bleeding for the future of Ghana, my beloved country. Today, negligence and the disregard for the law has become too common that almost everyone in the country especially those in authority are more guilty that the man in the street. Instead of leaders to lead by examples, they’re rather good at making speeches, whiles they look up to the ordinary citizen to do to obey the laws. Little or no attention is paid to health and safety. In fact, it looks like even those who have been given the authority to enforce these regulations are do not even seem to understand how the system must work.

Blame The Politicians
On the early morning of Wednesday, at about 9:30hrs GMT, MELCOM, one of Ghana’s shopping malls located near Achimota in the capital city, had collapsed due to negligence and the usual poor maintenance culture in Ghana. Due to its large size, about 50 people were trapped in the collapsed building and there were many who were feared dead at the time.

On hearing the news, immediately, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the Ghana National Fire Service and some selected members from the Ghana Arm Forces, were deployed to the accident scene to help with the rescue mission.

Because the incidence is a national disaster, one would expect that, those tasked with the rescue mission would be well abreast with Health and Safety issues on site, especially since the incidence involved a collapsed building structure, with falling debris here and there. In fact the whole atmosphere was smelling disaster, requiring the Safety officials to be on high alert at the scene.

As expected, the President of the Republic, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama appeared on the accident scene, cladded in red t-shirt, with his large entourage. As usual, the president made a speech which touched on Health and Safety issues. He highlighted the poor maintenance culture in the country and the people’s complete disregard for the Code of Practice in the construction industry. “Those whose negligence led to the tragedy will pay a price”, said the president.

When the president of Ghana was speaking on the accident scene, one would expect that he and his team would guard themselves in some kind of health and safety boots, with safety helmets and some high visibility jackets and possibly some goggles especially since his speech touched on the code of practice, negligence and the need to pay attention to safety in the construction industry in the country.

However, what did Ghanaians see on their TV sets? The president and his team were in their usual t-shirts, slippers and shoes. No safety boots, no helmets, not high visibility jackets no goggles! No regard for safety even on the accident site! But this is our beloved president telling us about negligence when even his own team did not demonstrate how it must be done on an accident site/scene. This is an absolute disgrace to the Health and Safety teams on the scene especially those who led the president on tour the accident scene. All the construction experts in the country as a whole must bow their heads in shame for allowing such a thing to happen in the country.

Even though I cannot entirely blame the president for this “negligence” which he himself has been found guilty of, I think it is time for the people of Ghana to realize that their tax moneys are not properly being utilize. Especially when we have such a national disaster, to the point where the safety of our beloved president and his team could not properly be taken care of.

What would have happened if the president had treaded on some broken bottle, or some sharp iron rods upon his arrival on the site? What would have happened if there were some falling debris elsewhere on the site? Can the people of Ghana truly trust that the safety of our president is in good hands?

As the government intends to hold those found guilty of negligence accountable, I am appealing to the president to hold accountable, the Health and Safety officials on the site, who displayed such level of negligence in regards to the safety of the president and his entourage.
We do not want to hear of our president visiting an accident scene only to find himself in another accident due to the negligence on the part of some incompetent officials somewhere.

We the youth in Ghana mean business when we say we love Ghana and we do not want the negligence on the part of a few people in authority to jeopardize our happiness.

Ghanaians as a whole need attitudinal change and this must begin from the top to the grassroots. Holding ourselves accountable must follow a top-down approach because many of our leaders in authority are guiltier than the ordinary citizens, when it comes to blatant disregard for our laws and the rules of engagement.

In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to express my sincere sympathy to Ghanaians all over the world in this troubled times. I also send my message of condolences to the bereaved families and all those who might have sustained some injuries due to the negligence of our leaders. Corruption will not allow the metropolitan/district assemblies to do the right thing in our communities. As long as bribes are collected, these authorities will approve of anything. Right now, it appears the Health and Safety regulations are only enforced on those who do not have the money to buy their way through. No wonder more buildings are continuously sighted along power grids and many more such dangerous places in the country.

I weep for the future of Ghana, my beloved country.
Long live Ghana.

By Honourable Saka
The author is a proud Pan-Africanist and the founder of the Project Pan-African (PPA), an organization that was established with the sole purpose to unlock the minds of the African youth to contribute positively to the development of Africa. Please visit PPA’s website at: You may email him at:

Monday, 22 October 2012

PPA's Spotlight On Africa: Coming Soon….

Spotlight: A program to help expose corrupt practices in Africa
The current generation of Africa's youth are serious in our determination to end corruption in Africa and help make Africa a better place for future generations. We're therefore about to roll out in the next couple of weeks a program (Spotlight) that will enable us to completely eliminate corruption from our system in the next few years.
  • Join us on Spotlight and help fight corruption in Africa!
  • Send us your confidential information/documents about all corrupt practices at your work places, public institutions etc. Let us expose them all and build Africa without corruption.

About Spotlight
Spotlight is a series of programs that will in the next couple of years, focus on exposing corruption in Africa, from region-to-region, targeting one African region at a time (ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, etc.). We are tired of Africa's under-development that has been as a result of major corrupt practices in government and other sectors of Africa's economy. From now on, we will put our energies and resources together for the sake of future generations.

Each month we will be exposing all the corrupt practices in government, public offices and private institutions within a selected African region.

Our publications shall focus on corruption in government, the payment of bribes before contracts are awarded by public institutions, and all inappropriate behavior of key members of public institutions.
Corruption in the oil and gas sector, fraud perpetrated by the financial institutions, and all issues related to the pollution of Africa through irresponsible waste disposal in Africa by foreign corporations must stop. We will thus put pressure on all environmental officials to sit up.

We also understand that often, many young African ladies are sexually abused before they get job placements. There are many university students who also face such problems from unscrupulous lecturers before they pass their exams. This attitude must stop. We urge all whistle blowers to email us any evidences that will help us expose such corrupt practices at the working environment or the public institutions and help make Africa a better place for future generations. Let your video cameras and your mobile devices be of service to Africa.

In the next couple of years, Spotlight hopes to eliminate corruption completely from the African system. We however need your corporation to be able to succeed in this regard. We’re only concerned about Africa. All such evidences/information you intend to provide must be related to Africa. We however reserve the right not to publish any information that will not meet our specification.

Send all your documents or relevant information to:
Or visit:

The Spotlight team.
Let The Revolution Begin!!

Friday, 19 October 2012

PPA Set To Revive The Pan-African Revolution

Project Pan Africa (PPA)
The Project Pan-Africa (PPA), a Pan-African Youth Organization that was established with the sole purpose to liberate the minds of the African people politically, economically, socially, culturally and psychologically to reclaim their destiny is ready to roll in the coming days.

When commissioned, the PPA is expected to provide the biggest exposure to exceptionally but well talented Africans to reach out to the outside world with their innovations and inventions.
According to Mr Saka, who is currently the Project Coordinator and the main idea behind the project, the PPA is highly concerned about the fact that, there are many exceptionally skillful, innovative, technologically outstanding and well-talented youth out there across Africa, who only need a platform that will provide them with the needed exposure to reach out to the outside world with their capabilities and innovations. It is against this background tha the PPA was established. Meanwhile the PPA is highly concerned about the lack of confidence for African technology, African products, African innovations and the continues neglect of African expertise.

It is expected that the PPA will actively engage with African governments, political leaders, business executives and many philantropists across the continent to help empower the African youth to contribute their full pontential to the development of Africa. Promoting of African values, African products, African innovations, goods and services to the international community will be another area of focus. Majority of African experts currently “stranded” in the diaspora, will also be encouraged to return home and contribute to the development of Africa.

According to the current statistics, there are many Africans with wonderful degrees and qualifications across Europe and America who yearn for the opportunity to return home and help solve the many challenges of the African people. However, the major challenge has been the lack of motivation for these sons and daughters of Africa to return home.

It is expected that, the PPA will provide a platform for many of such individuals to express their concerns and also to share their experiences with the African people especially the young ones who currently yearn for “opportunity” to travel abroad in search of so-called greener pastures.
The major idea behind this project is about unlocking African minds for the freedom of mother Africa.

This revolution has just began. As an African who has the welfare of the African people at heart, we encourage you to contact us and get involved.

Email the project cordinator: for details on how to get involved.

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fighting Corruption In Africa, The Role Of The Silent Media

Both foreign and local media condone corruption in Africa
By Honourable Saka

“Sadly, here in the 21st century, all those romantic tales of the press fighting corruption and bringing criminal activity in government to book are all but ancient history”! -Patrick Henningsen

Corruption has been viewed by many observers as a global cancer. Across the world, it can be found in almost every major organization: religious groups, political institutions, educational institutions, financial institutions, the oil industry, within the media itself and many other places.

However, when it comes to corruption in government, Africa has consistently been the spotlight, especially on issues pertaining to bribery or the looting of public funds mostly by the politicians. This has been the major reason why many Africans consistently find politics as a lucrative business. Indeed, these are sad times.

There are however a few passionate individuals who may get into politics as the only viable means to fight corruption and to help improve the living conditions of the people. That notwithstanding, such desires are usually transient as many of such leaders later find themselves in the shadows of the very system they promised to tackle just a little while ago. Once such politicians get into the system and find out how much money they could raise for their families within a short period, the temptation becomes very strong and many of them end up becoming more corrupt than their predecessors. Corruption is a very serious problem that requires a strong political will and a sound moral background to tackle. But unfortunately, even the very people who have strong moral backgrounds are not interested in politics. This has given the corrupt-minded people a field’s day. Fighting corruption in Africa will therefore continue to be a tough battle.

For instance, before winning the elections in 2000, J.A Kuffuor, a former president of Ghana declared “zero tolerance for corruption” as one of his major campaign promises to the people of Ghana. However, after two successive terms in office, in his own confession he said: corruption is as old as Adam.
To many of us Africans, it was a clear indication that indeed the fight against corruption in Africa is a lost cause. Nevertheless, it is a fight that is worth the try.

Propaganda: A Tool of The Ruling Elites
Under normal circumstances, it is the media which ought to put the state institutions in check and help minimize corruption in society. Unfortunately, it is very frustrating that today’s media has rather become the megaphone of most corrupt governments across the Africa and the world. Instead of exposing corruption in government, the media continues to feed the people with propaganda and gross misinformation.
Propaganda has been defined by many experts as “a deliberate attempt to persuade people, by any available media, to think and then behave in a manner desired by the source. It is really the means to an end.” Propaganda is a process and in the present age the media have become very useful tools of propaganda.
For instance, Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman offered a ‘propaganda model’ of how the mainstream media work in the USA. They “trace the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalise dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interest to get their messages across to the public.” In their research, they identified a set of news “filters” through which information must pass, which are:
·         ownership of the dominant mass media institutions
·         advertisement as their source of income
·         the fact that the media itself depends on government and business industries for information.
It is therefore not surprising that many of the news items in the state media today are mainly issues that attempt to white-wash government performance, while deliberately ignoring government failures.
Meanwhile corporate lobbyists and big businesses of today can also buy the independence of the press itself. As a result, they can even influence “independent research” and manipulate the results such that the outcome will always suit their business interests.
For instance, we must always ask ourselves: how genuine can any “independent research” be when such research projects are always financed and completely sponsored by the very corporations that seek to promote an agenda with the outcome of such research? Wouldn’t it be more useful to have a completely independent research body which has no link whatsoever to these corporate lobbyists to be tasked with the sole responsibility of conducting such research? How difficult will it be for some board of directors to finance a research project and will not be able to influence the results?
This is the major reason why I have always found the outcome of many of these so-called independent researches to be more questionable. Because, for me, it appears corporations merely pay off their researchers (who may not necessarily be independent), to fine-tuned some “findings” such that these results will suit a particular agenda. Propaganda has been the major problem we have in society today, since businesses will always find a way to meet their profitable interest even if it means twisting the facts. Sadly, the media is in bed with this system and have always remained silent even where there are more questions than answers.
How The Media Condones Corruption
Corruption has existed in Africa and has become a cancer because; the very institutions that bear the responsibility to help fight this problem do not realize this responsibility. Most unfortunately, some of the media are themselves becoming part of the problem as their continuous silence is creating conducive environment for corruption to flourish in Africa. The foreign press has all the details of the very institutions that facilitate corruption in Africa. Yet, they will never do anything about it. After all it is these moneys that keep their financial institutions and some of the media afloat.

In his article: “Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds, Silence of Western Media”, the author expresses his worry about media blackout on the very system that sustains corruption in Africa:
“Even though it is a common knowledge that western banks are acting as safe havens for looted funds from Africa, very little attention is received from the western media to expose them. The media tend to focus their energies on the corrupt African leaders, with little or no mention at all, as to where the monies they have stolen are being kept”.

Of course the Western press have no interest in exposing how their financial institutions have been facilitating corruption in Africa. But the questions we must ask ourselves are these: where are the local African media? What are they also doing to ensure that such a cancer that threatens Africa’s survival is completely eliminated from the system? Are the local media expecting the western press to take over their responsibilities of fighting corruption in Africa? For how long must corruption in Africa continue before the media does something about it?

The silence of the local media has contributed to the woes of our people. For instance, the oil industries have over the years been causing serious problems in the local communities where this black gold is exploited. Water bodies are usually polluted, with little or no regard whatsoever for the health of people within the community. In the mining sector, health and safety officials have been collaborating with illegal miners as they continue to the waters.  Environmental health officials continue to ignore the danger that is being caused the irresponsible disposal of waste across Africa by these foreign companies. In Somalia for instance, millions are dying every day of cancer because of irresponsible waste disposal by the foreign companies who continue to make billions of corporate profits at the expense of the ordinary Somalis.

In spite of these challenges, the media continues to ignore the need to scrutinize the status quo and help bring those responsible to book. Instead, everyday’ discussion has been politics. From morning shows, the newspaper reviews to the late night discussion on TV and radio, everything is always politics. It is as if politics is all that matters in Africa.

Anytime the media focuses attention on a politician, the scenario is always those in opposition, as if corruption in government doesn’t count. Therefore by the time the ruling party goes into opposition, many corrupt politicians would have had a field day, looting the nation for as long as they can afford.

All these are indication that the current political framework must be modified to meet the real needs of the people. It cannot be assumed that opposition figures are the only ones that are guilty of corruption. In fact the real corrupt practices are being perpetrated by the ruling elites which often go unchecked. This is the reason why the local African media need to sit up. The government of the day may not investigate itself. The media must therefore take up the responsibility to help expose corrupt practices that threaten the very foundation of our future. The silence of the local media is really worrying. Until then, it must be accepted that the local African media has lost one of its major focus in society. I am therefore challenging the local African media to show some seriousness in the fight against corruption in Africa by focusing on the state institutions and ensuring that all major corrupt practices are exposed to the general public, instead of waiting for these officials to go into opposition before being held accountable.

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA is highly determined to provide the biggest platform that will give exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support the vision.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The African Paradox: Plenty “Intellectuals”, Yet No Physical Solutions

Africa has plenty of intellectuals yet where are the solutions?

By Honourable Saka

Africa, our beloved continent, is currently becoming dominated by a generation of noise makers: a people who can talk, talk and talk almost all the time, yet with no physical action. In fact, it is very annoying when you tune into your radio or television set in the morning and all you can hear are some “experts” giving speeches to the audience, whiles reserving the real action to some inexperienced folks out there.

There are many scholars with PhDs and master’s degrees in Agricultural Science. Yet many of them will never set foot on the farm. Many of our scientists are probably very good at teaching but never good at inventions and innovations. I have always wondered where our mechanical engineers have been hiding, as we continue to import motorbikes and even bicycles from abroad every year.
The taxpayer is often told: “plans are far-advanced for the implementation of this project”; the other project is “in the pipeline”, the implementation phase comes “in 4 years”, and so on. Many of such proposals have always remained a pipedream. Yet every year such slogans are shamefully echoed to the masses.

From the scientific researchers, through the religious leaders, the academicians, our scholars and most annoyingly, the politicians- when in opposition, almost everyone could perfectly demonstrate exactly what ought to be done in any given circumstance; yet once in power, such ideas will always remain either on paper or at best be held “in the pipeline”.  Instead of taking action and making things happen in a swift and decisive manner for the benefit of our people, it is rather very sad that even those tasked with such responsibilities are rather good at making speeches, while pushing the actual action onto the future generations.

So far, it appears a few of those in the built environment are physically making impact, whiles the majority of the other professions especially those in the manufacturing fields remain to be seen.
Meanwhile the media which ought to bring such topics for discussion has always been focusing on politicians and their frustrations whiles ignoring the lack of action from the professionals groups out there.  

From Total Illiteracy to Incompetent Intellectualism
Many years ago, there were only a few “scholars” in Africa. At that time, the mass majority of the people had not received “formal education” as we often call it. Many had not been to engineering schools, polytechnics nor the university. There were only a few tens of people who had the benefit of receiving “formal education”.

In spite of this, Africans were producing soaps, shoes, body cream, they were producing different kinds of cooking oil and their local African medicines were very effective and powerful. They cured almost every major disease by relying on their local medication and eating organic food which was very rich in vitamins and nutrients. In fact, they ate good quality food.
 As a result, many of them lived long, averagely beyond the age of 90 years.

“It was very common to see many of our parents living beyond the age of 120 years with good eyesight. Most importantly, many of our grandparents never wore glasses”.

Ironically, today we call ourselves “intellectuals”, we live in “hygienic environments”, we eat “balanced diet” and use “modern medication”.

“Yet, many of us are dying below age of 40! Today, millions of children at age 10 are wearing glasses”!

As if that is not enough, there are several hundreds of incurable diseases that currently threaten our very survival. What an irony!

How many of our forefathers died of malaria fever? How many of our grandmothers were infertile? In fact, there are many reproductive health-related diseases in our modern Africa than it was in the pre-colonial era despite the so-called advancement in medical research. Isn’t it time we took a critical look at the quality of our food today? But of course, many will consider this to be some “conspiracy theory”. After all, once you successfully discredit legitimate concerns such as the above, it becomes easy to ignore the need to take action.

Currently even though Africa can boast of several millions of scholars, professionals, professors and several others with PhDs, one can always wonder the whereabouts of these experts as almost everything we used in Africa is imported from elsewhere, despite having all the raw materials here at home.

For instance, 40 years ago, Africa was importing a sizeable amount of matches, sugar, cooking oil, roofing sheets, steal, cars, bicycles, shoes, wristwatches, typewriters and others. This was due to the fact that during that time, Africa did not have the needed expertise to mass-produce some of these items here at home. Unfortunately, after 40 years, nothing has changed despite the fact that mother Africa has millions of intellectuals who currently hold the relevant qualifications in the production of these items.

After many years of importing mobile phones, computers, electric generators, sound systems, radio and television sets, fluorescent lamps, electric cables and many other electronic gadgets, there is no indication that this trend will change anytime soon, though there are millions of African experts who have studied the production of these things. Isn’t it a shame that our scholars take pride in their numerous academic qualifications and titles, yet such credentials often do not make any practical contributions to the development of our continent?

Elsewhere in the Middle East and Asia, ordinary students are sending satellites into space. University researcher are actively engaging with their students in the production of mobile phones, digital tablets, computers, cars, and all sorts of physical results can be seen everywhere.

Unfortunately, here in Africa, our studies are characterized by reading theories, looking at diagrams and observing images with little or no practical demonstrations. The educational system, instead of teaching our people “how to think” and solve problems, the system is rather teaching young ones “what to think”. Today, one can write over a thousand pages of research, yet this research may not have a single practical input. Of course one can perfectly describe how to move a car. But it takes continues practise to be able to practically drive the car. Is it a wonder that many of our mechanical engineers therefore cannot even fix a faulty car engine? Our universities are over populated with more than 60% of political and the social sciences. The last time I checked, the technical schools and the polytechnics were still reserved for students with poor academic backgrounds, whiles the brilliant and most intelligent ones were those allowed entry to the universities.

In fact, it is a common phenomenon that many of our real electrical engineers, the mechanics and all the real technicians out there did not learn their profession from schools. Rather many of them were school drop-outs who learnt their profession as a “trade” and by the “road-side technicians”.
Therefore when the scholar’s car suffers a mechanical breakdown, the individual will rather look for a road-side mechanic to fix the problem despite him having a degree in the field. To me, the most interesting thing about these local technicians is that, many of them do not have any academic qualifications at all. Yet they’re better at solving real-life problems than many of our so-called professionals who have acquired a number of degrees. Isn’t this a shame? Today our universities are increasingly producing intellectuals who can talk too much but lack the skills to personally contribute to problem-solving.

It is increasingly becoming annoying that many of our intellectuals, who continue to hold themselves as such, can only make noise and give plenty of lectures while pushing their real responsibilities to the man on the street. Such acts of negligence must stop if Africa is determined to make any progress in the near future. African intellectuals must live up to their responsibilities. It is time for our these experts to demonstrate their profession by physically being part of the solution to our many challenges rather than merely dominating the airwaves with empty speeches that often lead to no physical results.  It is time to be proactive. We must demonstrate our desire to contribute to problem solving by leading the charge on the battlefield. This is the way forward.

Real leadership is to be demonstrated; not lectured. We’re getting tired of those talks, seminars and the workshops which have become the hallmark of our current batch of intellectuals who ought to bear the responsibility of taking the action. If those tasked with the responsibility to make things happen are rather doing the talks, whose duty will it be to take action? As long as our intellectuals continue to look up to the layman to take up his responsibilities, Africa will never make any meaningful progress. I challenge all African experts, the intellectuals and all those with meaningful qualifications in their various portfolios to make their presence felt as the continent begs for solutions. Our destinies must be in our own hands.

Long live the African intellectual.
Long live mama Africa!

Honourable Saka
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and a well-known social commentator in Africa. He’s the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organisation that seeks to create a mental revolution across Africa. PPA’s website is available at:   He is highly grateful to Itech Plus, and all the media which supports his vision for the African people.