There’s a great deal of controversy among scholars and the world populace whether Africa is a rich or a poor continent. Others even wonder whether the long epidemic status quo of Africa can be broken and changed and/or if there’s hope at all for Africans. The argument that has advanced the claim that Africa is a rich continent has to do with its richly endowed natural resources.
Indeed, it is incontrovertible that, for all the six continents in the world, Africa is the most richest when it comes to natural resources. According to Dr. Adeyemo Tokunboh, “if Africa could dam major rivers, there would be enough water to plant crops in the worst drought – strike areas”. His statement is factually accurate because many of the world’s greatest rivers can be found in Africa (ie. The Nile, Congo, Niger, Zambezi rivers etc). The Nile river is the longest river in the world. It has a basin that covers 10% of the continent. It’s known to be called the umbilical cord of Africa.
The world’s significant minerals deposits can all be found in Africa. The continent is also the leading supplier of minerals in the world. Democratic Republic of Congo constitutes 90% of the world’s cobalt, and 85% of its platinum. Sierra Leone has the world’s largest supply of titanium. Africa mines produce most of the world’s diamonds. 50% of the world’s gold and a fifth of the world’s copper. Congo has the biggest supply of radium used in the treatment of cancer.
Africa has dominion over all the natural resources but the most impoverished and the poorest continent in the world. Africa is known to be a continent of poverty, fratricidal wars, diseases, beggars, high rate of illiteracy, streetism, Child labour, corruption to name a few. The questions that have been penetrating the minds of the scholars and the world populace are; what is the cause of Africa’s problem? is Africa a cursed continent? Is there any hope for Africa at all?
Many intellectuals have attributed the cause of Africa’s problem to leadership failure. Some are also of the view that Africa’s failure or setback is due to political instability and vampire leadership that has led to the preponderance of plight Africa is confronted with. One way or another I share the same sentiments with such school of thought but the thrust is that political instability constitute one of the remote causes but not the main reason.
Hussein Brimah and Kwesi Emma also believe that, we cannot talk about Africa’s problem without corruption. According to them, corruption exists in all spheres of our lives, from our families, churches, institutions and presidency. These gentlemen stated it emphatically that, the rate at which corruption is taking over the continent it seems like corruption is integrated into our blood. They maybe right due to how the continent is polarized with corruption syndicates. However, Africa’s problem has gone beyond corruption.
In digesting the remote causes of Africa’s problem, some also say that, the main reason why Africa is suffering is as a result of our bad attitude. They also hold a strong conviction that, our attitude determines our altitude because whatever we do, without a positive attitude It won’t yield a good result. It’s a genuine concern looking at our attitude towards work and our routine activities are very unwarranted and unfortunate. We joke with our time as a continent starting from the first gentleman of every country in Africa.
Notwithstanding the main reason why Africa is suffering irrespective of its endowment in all the natural resources in the world, is also the result of the worldview we are practicing as a continent. We have segregated from God’s biblical theism and practicing animism ignorantly. Animism is the belief that all things have a spirit or soul, including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars, the moon, and the sun. Each being is considered a spirit that can offer help or harm to humans. As such, spirits must either be worshiped or appeased. Animists offer sacrifices, prayers, dances, or other forms of devotions to these spirits in hopes of blessing upon areas of life (crops, health, fertility, etc.) or for protection from harm.
Animism has been practiced since ancient times and is often mentioned in the Bible. The Israelites, for example, were commanded to not follow the practices of the nations around them who followed other gods. The Egyptians who enslaved Israel prior to their wilderness journey followed many deities as animists. In Daniel, the people worshiped “the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone” ( Daniel 5:4 ).
The New Testament also includes accounts of people who worshiped idols and other inanimate objects. In 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 the apostle Paul teaches, “Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” Though many offered food to inanimate objects as animists, Christians were to understand that these objects did not really have a spirit or exist as a god.
Today, Animism continues in most tribal religious movements, in Shinto, in eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hindusim, and in Pagan/Neopagan movements. In addition to believing inanimate objects have spirits, many believe in revering the spirits of ancestors who have an influence on those who are living. This is a noted practice in Shinto and forms of Native American spirituality, among others. It is important to note that not all religious scholars define Animism the same way. Some view Animism as a belief or practice while some classify Animism as its own religion. Since many religions practice Animism, it is generally better to consider it a belief. In addition, most Animist cultures have an overall “religion” rather than understanding itself an Animistic Religion.
In comparison with biblical Christianity, Animism is a false belief in gods who are not truly gods at all. Isaiah 45:5 teaches, “I am the Lord and there is no other, besides me there is no God.” In the Bible, Animism is instead taught as a deception that leads people astray from the true and living.
Astonishingly, most of the foreign donors including buttonwood institutions such as international monetary fund and World Bank have been pumping huge sums to Africa to ameliorate our plight yet the problem still persist, it clearly demonstrates that, there’s a root cause of our problem, instead of them to target the root cause they rather focus on the fruit cause that’s why irrespective of their assistance Africa is still suffering, example if you want to halt malaria mosquito nets are not the solutions, you must find out what causes malaria and put a to stop to it because when you provide the affected communities with mosquito nets they will still attract the disease because the avenue by which mosquitoes use is still available but when you close it, they can’t have access to the people and that will render mosquito nets irrelevant. That’s the complete case of Africa’s problem.
Animism inculcates superstition into the people, that’s why when you are kid, a lot of lies will be manufactured to you, a belief that encourages superiority of men over women, work is evil, corruption is normal,etc.
Animism is the cause of Africa’s problem because all the negative things people subscribe as the reasons why Africa is suffering are fused in animism. That’s why you could see a pastor very rich with powerful cars and houses yet still the congregants are suffering. You will see a typical Africa king with Kente and gold all over however, his subjects don’t have water to drink, and children are drop out of school.
In conclusion, I can state it without fear of ambiguity and a shred of doubt that, the status quo of Africa can be broken and changed and there’s also great a great hope for Africa, and that hope can be materialized, if we change our worldview from animism and accept the biblical theism through mental liberation and emancipation. The Greek Gnostic must be ignored now and follow the steps of Jesus Christ Well. Over 60% of Ghanaians are Christians interestingly evil is all over Ghana , who are those engaging in such practices.? Ghanaians like selective application of the Bible. We choose scriptures that favours us and ignore the rest.
By Alswel Annan
President Private Universities Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG)
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