By Alagi Yorro Jallow
Mr Faye thank you for your rejoinder and critique on my Paper which I’m humbled and respect your views and again disagree with you for glorifying some of our founding fathers who woefully failed Africa especially your hero Kwame Nkrumah.With regards to Professor Rotberg all I know is that he is a highly respected person with great intellectual honesty and really proud of his accomplishment.
President Nkrumah fostered a cult of personality around himself as “The Redeemer” imprisoned much of his political opposition, banned strikes, and set-up a one-party-state style. I don’t know if he was a Visionary or Egotist. I would suggest you read Martin Meredith’s “The Fate of Africa “. He claimed to be a socialist. I agree with you as you stated “Scientific Socialism”, he did not follow socialist ideas-He distanced himself from other African socialists because he wanted to rule all of Africa under a United States of Africa himself with no one else. I think he was power-hungry and spent more time campaigning for his rule overall of Africa and building elaborate buildings for foreign diplomats than actually working to better the lives of his people and build Socialism. He took a non-aligned Marxist perspective on economics, and believed capitalism had malignant effects that were going to stay with Africa. Nkrumah argued that socialism was the system that would best accommodate the changes that capitalism had brought, while still respecting African values. I can see that issues addressed his politics in a 1967 essay entitled “African Socialism Revisited”
During the past three decades sub-Saharan African Africa’s leaders have behaved despotically, governed poorly, eliminated their people’s human and civil rights, initiated or exacerbated existing civil conflicts, decelerated per capita economic growth, and proved corrupt.
Africa has long been saddled with poor even malevolent, leadership: Predatory Kleptocrats, Military installed autocrats, economic illiterates, and puffed –up postures.
Good leaders provide their citizens with a sense of belonging to a national enterprise of which everyone can be proud. They knit rather than unravel their nations and seek to be remembered for how they have bettered the real lives of the ruled rather than the fortunes of the few.
It is easy in theory and in practice to distinguish among good, less-good, bad and despicable leaders everywhere, especially some of our founding fathers. Good leaders improve the lives of their followers and make those followers proud of being a part of a new Camelot. Good leaders produce results, whether in terms of enhanced standards of living, basic development indicators abundant new resources of personal opportunity, enriched schooling, skilled medical care, freedom from crime, or strengthened infrastructure. Bad and despicable leaders tear down the social and economic fabric of the lands, they immiserate their increasingly downtrodden citizens. Despicable rulers particularly, oppress their fellow nationals, depriving them of liberty, prosperity, and happiness.
Most so-called Pan-Africanist followed president Kwame Nkrumah, from 1957-1966, in renouncing colonial traditions of representative government and becoming autocratic. Even Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and equally Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia all abandoned inherited democratic forms and substituting single party, single-Man rule in place of broad participation. They were depriving judiciaries of independence and legislatures of autonomy. Objectors were jailed. Newspapers were banned or bought out and state radios broadcast only the words of the rulers.