Africa's mooted stories

LONZEN RUGIRA Storytelling is the preservation of memory. It explains why this column elicited strong emotions last week: a people’s memory was at stake. I argued that Africa has no story to tell. I didn’t expect that anyone would take lightly such a proposition. Collective memory was at stake, after all. But whose memory is it anyways? Is Africa occupying her memory or is she fending for someone else’s memory? I piggybacked President Kagame’s argument that said that the European conquest of Africa had disrupted Africa’s trajectory. As a result of the rigid borders, Kagame observed, Africa’s trajectory of integration was disrupted and that this explains why prosperity has eluded Africa – at least to the extent that would have been possible without conquest. By implication, the softening of borders, integration, would bring prosperity to Africa. Kagame called it as an essential prerequisite. Said differently, if integration is the return to Africa’s trajectory of prosperity, then it is the interruption of the trajectory of European prosperity that was embedded in the logic of conquest. Few disagree that the European conquest of Africa disrupted the African story. Moreover, it was essential to disrupt the African story in order to effectively […]

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