Monday, April 10, 2006


Africa needs ‘ubuntu’ to build ‘amani’ and achieve development

War is a destroying force that has been hindering prospects of development in many African countries and over the world. It has taken hope away from our countries by recruiting young teenage soldiers just like these two pictures.

If yesterday only dictators were spending billions for war-related needs, the current trend is that developed countries have taken the shift. I am not the right person to tell how much Bush spent in Afghanistan and Iraq ($ 45.3 billions were budgeted for 2006! .

Most of African leaders that invested much in military spending have passed away, but as if history teaches nothing, some current presidents are following the very same path. The motives behind their behavior are always greed, gluttony, megalomania, and delusions of grandeur. Mobutu (find his profile on is one of them, at least the one that I know better since he ruled my country for 32 years. The guy always argued that ‘Zairians (Congolese) owe me everything’. He instituted the law of jungle and ruled by force.

On the other hand, being endowed with natural resources brought misfortunes on certain countries. Liberian and Sierra Leonean diamond, Iraqi gas, Angolan diamond, as well as Congolese diverse wealth are roots of what we coin in civilized words civilian wars and genocide.

When coming to colonize DRC, Belgians for instance clearly stated ‘this is a geological scandal’. And for 5 decades, the Belgian King had DRC (a country 80 times bigger than his) as his own property. Unfortunately after the colonial looting citizens did worse.

What most of them forget is that, there is no harmful situation as feeling that you are missing your family or you will never see them anymore. Some finally came to understand only after a coup was inflicted to them. They never cope with exile.

Just like a plant, human beings seeking for asylum or refuge as well as displaced need their homeland to blossom. Being uprooted from homeland where one belongs has turned to a nightmare for some.
The wealth that was supposed to help us build Africa serves to oppose brothers. As a result, African diamonds and gold end up in Beyrouth, Tel Aviv, or Brussels at the expense of African sons and daughters that are buried. (

Genocide and atrocities (such as disemboweling pregnant women, crushing living babies, raping women, and burning villages) have affected young generations by leaving indelible traumas. Most of these scenes were kept far from media broadcasting, but the wounds they caused are very alive in many and tough to tell.

This is a painful and terrifying experience no one wishes to revive. What Africa needs today is ‘ubuntu’, that consciousness that we are humans, and as such we need to unite and care for each other. That is the basis for building a sustained ‘amani’ (peace) and secure development for next generations.

Contradictory, when diamond fuels wars elsewhere in Africa, Botswana the world’s largest producer of diamond is a very good example stability, peace and growth (

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