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That provocative call for the recolonisation of Africa

Africa has greeted one of the most provocative calls against it with an eerie silence. Renowned mercenary Eric Prince announced on Twitter a provocative proposal for the recolonisation of Africa by Western powers. The gravamen of his charge is that Africa’s leaders are corrupt and have failed to govern their countries well.

What does one make of the call and the silence it has received? Is the silence a dismissal or an admission of guilt? Should Africa’s leaders or the AU offer a robust counter or ignore it since the call is from a private citizen, not with any official capacity?

Africa should offer a robust rebuttal through the spoken words of its leaders and citizens, but more so through the actions of the indicted leaders. As is the practice of mercenaries, Erik Prince has correctly identified the dissatisfaction of Africans across the board with the content and character of their leadership.

Erik Prince’s message had the elements of “What the Madman Said,” the famous parable by Friedrich Nietzsche found within the philosophical work “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” The parable tells the story of a madman who bursts into the marketplace, proclaiming, “God is dead! We have killed him—you and I! All of us are his murderers!” Initially met with confusion and ridicule, the madman goes on to question how we will live with the consequences of this death. He suggests the earth is “drifting” aimlessly and asks if humanity is “plunging towards the sun?” before disappearing.

The parable is open to a multitude of interpretations, as scholars have done. One is that the death of God symbolises the decline of traditional religious beliefs and societal norms; nihilism is a sense of meaninglessness and lack of values arising from this death; and the challenge to humans in the madman’s question is to create their meaning and values in a godless world.

African nations have fought hard for their independence and self-determination, and the idea of ceding that back to any external power is simply unacceptable.

The founder of the notorious Blackwater mercenary firm may have just flown a kite. Nevertheless, his proposal is not only insensitive and offensive but also deeply flawed and demonstrably harmful. It reeks of colonial nostalgia and ignores the historical and ongoing injustices inflicted upon Africa by Western powers. To entertain such a notion is not only an insult to the continent’s rich history and diverse cultures but also a dangerous proposition with potentially catastrophic consequences.

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The very notion of judging an entire continent based on the actions of some leaders is not only simplistic but also reeks of prejudice. Africa is a vast and diverse continent with 54 nations, each with its own unique political landscape, cultural heritage, and socio-economic challenges. To paint all African leaders with the same brush and suggest a one-size-fits-all solution to recolonisation is not only ignorant but also deeply offensive.

The historical legacy of colonialism in Africa is one of exploitation, oppression, and cultural erasure. The scars of that era are still felt today, and the suggestion of returning to such a system is not only insensitive but also likely to ignite resentment and resistance. African nations have fought hard for their independence and self-determination, and the idea of ceding that back to any external power is simply unacceptable.

Prince’s suggestion completely ignores the agency and potential of African nations and their people. Africa is teeming with talented individuals, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are working tirelessly to address the continent’s challenges. To suggest that they are incapable of solving their problems and require external intervention is not only patronising but also demonstrably untrue.

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Furthermore, the idea of recolonisation raises serious ethical and legal concerns. It is a blatant violation of international law and the principles of self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter. No nation has the right to impose its will on another, and any attempt to do so would be met with widespread condemnation and resistance.

Instead of advocating for recolonisation, the international community should be focusing on supporting African nations in their efforts to build strong institutions, promote good governance, and create opportunities for their citizens. This can be achieved through partnerships, investments in education and infrastructure, and the promotion of fair trade practices.

Erik Prince’s proposal for recolonising Africa is not only insensitive and offensive but also dangerous and counterproductive. It is a throwback to a dark chapter in history that should never be repeated. The future of Africa lies in the hands of its people, and the international community should support them in their endeavours to build a brighter future, free from the shackles of colonialism and external interference.

We must remember that Africa is not a problem to be solved but a continent with immense potential. Let us work together to empower its people and support their aspirations for a just, prosperous, and self-determined future.

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