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
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.