Africans in the Diaspora refuse to take the back seat: examining a high threshold for political office among Africans in the United States.
By Spencer Chiimbwe.
From Brooklyn to Bagdad, and everything in between, there is no place which does not benefit from Africa’s resources. For hundreds of years, tons of gold from South Africa’segoli or the glittering gems of Angola or the Ashanti gold fields of Ghana including the vast oil reservoirs of Nigeria keep having a place on Wall Street corporate table while the owners of these resources take a back seat.
When you walk down Wall Street, the sight of an African Vendor selling merchandize for survival will always be a mind boggling sight because somewhere behind those corporate walls, Africa’s gold is being traded without the corporate giving back to the places where resources get extracted from. Africa Even 100 years from now, historic tabloids will be showing Africa as a developing world yet shockingly, the developed and highly industrialized world keep developing long term projected visions that will take them to unimaginable levels of economic affluence, while maintaining their extraction of resources from Africa as they scale such levels. Should we as Africans, blame the West for being so sophisticated in making Africa continually being perceived as an underdeveloped haven while they keep looking at Africa as a major source of revenue for all their past, present and future projects?
Is there a reason why Africans should take a back seat or accommodated in cubicles as program officers and, or clerks in the buildings which were built by their forefathers during slavery or in buildings that are currently maintained with the gold from Ashanti?
As I examine a high threshold for political office informing the bold and the brave African souls that have publicly declared their intention to run for office on this part of the world, I would like to echo a verbatim in the Sotho tradition; Afrika, ke nako !meaning Africa it’s time.
Yes! It is time to get out of the doldrums of being underrated and let history judge your intentions. It is time to find a right and respectable and irreplaceable place on the corporate and political tables and assume shared leadership in Africa’s resources in the Americas.
On the whole, a high threshold for political office is sponsored by history, our history. Africa’s prolific writer of the time, the late Chinua Achebe said that if you do not like someone’s history, you can write your own. Go on, soldier on, Africa! Ke Nako! You have just written your own history and in the spirit of true partnership, I see you weighing in talent, diversity and a strong work ethic to the politics of service.
Spencer Chiimbwe is the coordinator of the New York Center for Conflict Dialogue. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org