n African Renaissance - Should Africa be re-colonised?

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Afro-pessimism, which reached its crescendo in the late 1990s and early 2000s, seems to be creeping back. There are increasingly some mutterings and planted stories about the need to re-colonise Africa. Proponents of such a perspective point to the deplorable conditions in Africa - alarming poverty, debilitating corruption, incompetent leadership, failed states, epidemic of diseases, yawning illiteracy and pervasive superstition. In 2000 for instance, Gordon Frisch, a US political adventurist, who had spent many years in Africa as a geologist, lent the voice of an 'expert' to the discussion when he declared : "Black Africa now teeters on the edge of a yawning abyss, and at the bottom lies total anarchy and chaos. Many say it can't get much worse. We say : it can and it will." Though Frisch's animus was Mugabe's seizure of white-owned lands in Zimbabwe, he also reeled out other statistics to support his thesis of a hopeless continent. His panacea was the use of mercenaries to enthrone law and order in sub-Saharan Africa, after which, "African governments should invite former colonists back as partners in running their countries, developing their economies and educating their people. The 'politically correct' hacks of the world will bristle at these proposals, but millions of Africans are dying while the 'politically correct' civilized world looks on in ignorant smugness. When all ivory tower theories fail, try something that has proved workable." Like the ideology of earlier colonisation, which was premised on the need to 'civilise' Africans, Frisch also rationalised his call on a higher altruism - the need to save 'millions of dying Africans'.

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