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In spite of its resources, poverty is rampant in Nigeria. Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kehinde Andrews: The solution to Nigeria’s problems is not in one country

22 April 2021

Kehinde Andrews, a regular on Good Morning Britain, and Black Studies professor at Birmingham City University, held an online launch yesterday for his book The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule The World.

In the book Andrews argues “the West is rich because the Rest is poor” and calls for radical solutions to reform a racist world order.

During the Q&A session was asked for his thoughts on how neo-colonialism could be defeated in a country like Nigeria. He replied that Africans should stop thinking about individual countries on their own, but as a collective. The solution did not lie in one country. Nigeria, itself, “was a creation of Britain”. The way out of the current mess would be Nigerians coming together with other Africans with a pan-African approach to the problem.

He argued that Africans were enslaved and colonised with relative ease because there was little “black consciousness” at the time. The late Nigerian historian Adiele Afigbo made similar points. Andrews said that just as “black consciousness” would have helped prevent many Africans being taken to the “New World” as slaves, it is needed now as a solution to the problems plaguing the continent.

He stressed that Europeans colluded to colonise Africa. They were unified in terms of their purpose and agreed on each other’s spheres of influence. That type of unity of purpose is what Africa needs right now. He went on to explain how the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was a watered down version of stronger political unification.

Similar arguments on the need for unification were made by Ghana president Kwame Nkrumah when the OAU was established in 1963. He said: “It is clear we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak, united Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world”.

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