From the Editor’s Keyboard

Random thoughts

By  | 2 October 2015 at 13:26 | 1873 views

Technology and African leaders
Politcs in Africa are changing fast with the rise of information technology (cell phones, social media, computers and the internet and so on). You cannot nowadays attack African countries and African leaders in the media and get away with it like in the past. You can also not mobilize against an African leader at home or abroad and get away with it without a fitting response in the media and on the ground like in the past either. You will not be arrested or jailed but the government will respond in the media and organize its own supporters to counter whatever you do. African democracy is maturing, trying to catch up with Western democracies where governments always respond in like manner.

That’s the case for Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma whose supporters in the US have been putting up a gallant fight in the last couple of months against his detractors in the US who have been trying, unsuccessfully, to embarass him whenever he visits the United States on official business.

Each time they come out with placards to demonstrate against the popular EBK, his own people led by the USA branch of the ruling party the APC, are there waiting for them. I am told opposition elements in the latest incident at UN headquarters were simply overwhelmed by EBK supporters by sheer numbers.

Click here for the Cocorioko report on the pro- EBK demonstrators showing their love for their leader who, for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone politics, actually joined them to show his appreciation.

Also, click here to read another Cocorioko report on what he said about the incident at his hotel later on.

The days of African leaders allowing themselves to be manhandled by the opposition through the media at home and abroad without a response are indeed over. Western leaders also do that everyday, protecting themselves by responding to media and other forms of attack.. Politics is actually war without guns and bullets, sticks and stones or even fists. It’s a war of WORDS (within the limits of the LAW), not a sweet game for wimps or cowards.

African culture versus the rest
A country or continent without respect for its culture is doomed. Culture dictates economic progress, educational progress, political development and so on. Japan is a very good example of a country that has made rapid progress over the decades since it was almost wiped out by two horrific atomic bombs many years ago. Its mainstay has always been culture (language, religion, etc) which helped it rise up from the ashes like a phoenix through national unity and national cohesion and a very high level of literacy fostered by an educational system delivered through the Japanese language, Japanese spirituality, the Japanese way of doing things and more.

The role of African languages and African culture is yet to be predominant in most of Africa’s educational systems. It is my firm belief that until this is done Africa’s progress will be limited. I am not advocating a rejection of the European languages that currently serve as official languages in most African countries. Far from it; these languages are very useful in the 21st century marketplace of ideas, goods and services, but Africa will gain more if African languages are also upgraded to the status of official languages everywhere side by side with English, French, Portuguese etc. The East African countries seem to be way ahead here with their adoption of Swahili as an official language in several countries in that sub-region. And those countries seem to be doing very well economically and, with a few exceptions comparatively stable and prosperous.

On culture, not everything about African culture is good, but at the same time not everything about it is bad. We should therefore take what is good and reject what is bad. That is why I pity Africans who try very hard to entirely distance themselves from their culture and try to adopt cultures that are foreign to them. Not everything about foreign cultures is good for Africa and Africans. We should not however totally reject all foreign cultures. We should take what is good from them and leave the rest to the owners.

Also, please try to use African strategies to solve African problems just like the Japanese, the Chinese, the Indians, the Americans, the British, the Germans, the French and others do. We should stop looking up to outsiders to solve all our problems because doing that can only expose us to very brutal exploitation and enslavement.

Long live Africa!

Presidential Birthday

And here is a bit of joyful news: President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone celebrated his 62nd birthday today in Freetown with good wishes pouring from within the country and around the world.

On behalf of the Patriotic Vanguard, I would like to wish you, Your Excellency, a happy birthday and many happy returns. You are doing a great job for our motherland. May God continue to bless you.