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The African National Congress is 100 years old.

By: Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai  
 Published January 20th, 2012

Recently, the African National Congress celebrated its centenary with pomp and gaieties. Last year, the Communist Party of China also celebrated its centenary. The fine thread running through the political culture of the two parties, is their adoption of Marxian dialectics as the philosophical basis for the quest for mechanisms for socialization of their states.

Both parties engaged in prolonged wars of liberation. The history teacher can tell us the gruesome stories of the effects of the Nanking Treaty of 1842 and the centuries of apartheid rule in South Africa.

The African National Congress was led by intellectual giants. So was China. The Mao Tse Dong movement established a Communist state in 1949, while the freedom of South Africa is nearly two decades.

China’s Communist Party has moved the state from ravaged colonial status to the second largest economy in the world. South Africa benefited from the infrastructure put in place by the various apartheid regimes.

Unfortunately, the rural South African populace have not benefited from the independence struggle and silent symphonies of discontent have reached a crescendo.
Surprisingly, the South African government has passed strict laws to water down the spate of embarrassing revelations of the goings-on in corporate and governmental circles.

What the people want are social justice systems that would improve their living standards. They complain that the comrades of yester-years seem to have been enmeshed in the corporate culture of big corporations, where they enjoy the perquisites of the bourgeoisie traits, they once condemned.

The young ANC leaders are opposed to the neglect of the local townships and the rate of poverty of the urban poor has increased. There is urgent need to tackle these serious lapses in the social life of the people.

There is a disturbing development among the young South Africans. They do not seem to understand the depth of pain inflicted upon the race by apartheid. As a result, they do not revere enough the great liberators of their country.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission may have tried to dust up the agonies of the past, but South Africans may forgive but should never forget the evils of apartheid, just like Europeans will never forget the damage the Hitler misadventure wrought upon their grandfathers and mothers, just like Africans will never forget slavery history.

It is good to prick the conscience of the world from time to time, so that those, who do evil will shudder at past historical injustices.

We applaud the foreign policy stance of the South African government on the Libyan matter. Those states, which engaged in hurried diplomatic eagerness and gave a flawed diplomatic response, will live to regret their decision to aid and abet the destruction of an African state, now in dire straits of survival. The cameras have been switched off, but the grueling agony of ordinary human being go unnoticed.

South Africa should lead African integration and is doing well with SADC. There should be inter-African economic relations, travels, language and cultural studies and a re-vamping of the vibrancy of the African Union, which should be more active and imaginative.

African nations should contribute funds and build a big university in TIMBUTU, as a center for learning and African youth mobilization, where all African languages should be taught, so that we gradually overcome imposed foreign languages and cultural impositions.

It is very sad that we still need interpreters at African conferences and in other fora.We should start processing our raw materials in order to combat the inequality in the international division of labour, whereby our raw materials are bought at unilaterally fixed prices by foreign agencies, while their manufactured goods are sold to us at their dictated prices.

China successfully turned the table by processing and manufacturing their raw materials and so, they were able to develop rapidly.

African states should use their Consular Officers to promote inter-African trade and minimize the sending of diplomats, with nicotine-stained teeth, who vegetate in the capitals of the world, depleting their nations’ foreign currencies, attending diplomatic parties, where the bottle takes effect, dulling the edge of husbandry.

The ANC must re-kindle its revolutionary spirit and lead African intellectual and political growth, as it had done in the last hundred years.

South Africa and Nigeria, should set up a think-tank, an African Institute for social studies of the African condition. It is on record that Nigeria contributed immensely towards the liberation struggles of South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia.

We can get together again, not in the spirit of negative competition, but harmonious cooperation.


Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic Chancellor, BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, FUGAR/Abuja, Nigeria

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