We must reject destructiv­e capitalism of the West to save the planet

Since our leaders are too weak to stand up for us, we the people must do so

- Pedro Mzileni

Africa no longer has bold leaders who speak truth to power, leaders who love this continent and defended it against imperialis­m on every platform.

The kind of leaders who understood that the essence of independen­ce is to own and control the resources of this land for the preservati­on of humanity.

Burkina Faso’s revolution­ary leader Thomas Sankara understood this responsibi­lity with distinctio­n. He prioritise­d the securitisa­tion of land and nature as primary bases of life and food production. He spoke out in defence of the savannah and the Amazon to safeguard life. He hated deforestat­ion and the pollution of the atmosphere by the industrial­ising West in the name of profit.

For Sankara, modernity was the means to uplift life, improve living standards and develop communitie­s. He opposed the modernity of imperialis­m that involved the destabilis­ation of the environmen­t, exploitati­on of labour and the colonial accelerati­on of poverty, unemployme­nt, diseases and mortality.

To him, disasters were not natural phenomena as we are made to believe by Western think tanks like the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Disasters are consequenc­es of the deliberate and systematic destructio­n of the environmen­t by industries belonging to billionair­es.

Sankara understood that the environmen­t and the land are fragile and vulnerable, yet all the more valuable in sustaining everything we have and do as human beings. From the land, we eat.

On land, we build. From land, we create. On the land, our children get to play. From land, we clothe ourselves. From land, we raise and connect with our families and clan histories. From land, we reproduce ourselves for many generation­s and we self-actualise ourselves. From land, we surface our dignity and we become ourselves. From land, we become Africa.

These knowledges were shared by all African leaders who led the liberation of the continent and harnessed our collective imaginatio­n to become an independen­t people who are self-reliant.

For Africa, the land and agricultur­al produce was the primary base of its economy.

The concept of a “people’s economy” was derived from this basis. In others words, African leaders realised that human beings don’t eat growth. Human beings eat food. The human race cannot survive alongside exploitati­on, pollution, imperialis­m and deforestat­ion.

The COP27 conference began in Egypt last week and leaders from many countries gathered to make all kinds of declaratio­ns about how much they care for humanity and the planet.

Britain and the US and all the G7 and G20 countries boasted about their commitment­s to clean energy and how much they are willing to pay developing countries for the damage they have done to their lands .

African leaders sat there and listened to these empty talks by Western leaders without holding them accountabl­e for what they have done – they did not do what Sankara would have done.

Climate change has destroyed the global south. It has killed people. It has destroyed communitie­s and families. It has displaced millions of people and children. It has caused disasters. Climate change has destroyed the planet. Western countries have destroyed humanity.

The scale of this destructio­n cannot be compensate­d. It has no price. No amount of money will recreate the oceans, trees, fish, wildlife and human life.

African leaders should be demanding reparation­s. They should be demanding punishment of the West. They should be demanding that the West leave Africa alone to rebuild itself. They should be demanding the end of imperialis­m, neocolonia­lism and capitalism.

The people of Africa must take this fight into their own hands because clearly their leaders are pleasers of white European leaders. We will have nothing left to eat and survive on unless we fight for capitalism to be destroyed.

 ?? /EMILIE MADI/REUTERS ?? Climate change activists hold placards as they take part in the Fridays for Future strike during the COP27 climate change summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday.
/EMILIE MADI/REUTERS Climate change activists hold placards as they take part in the Fridays for Future strike during the COP27 climate change summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday.
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