Slavery was and continues to be a horrifying human tragedy that violates humanity’s fundamental moral and decency principles. Documentation detailing the breadth of genocide and other atrocities committed against the people of Africa will exist in perpetuity.
Some argued that slavery was abolished on moral grounds as a result of the Enlightenment’s emphasis on personal liberty and the abolition of forced labor. Despite this, I would argue that because it exists in most parts of our world, it merely changes forms and contexts.
Slavery has become systemic and continues to exist today, albeit in various guises and manifestations. Africa has been subjected to various forms of servitude over the course of many centuries.
Human exploitation through the system known as slavery had serious consequences for Africa’s economic, political, and sociocultural development. Slavery has not changed its ugly face; it has simply appeared in different forms until now.
In an attempt to sound more humane, the west gives modern enslavement a variety of euphemistic names. There are various “brain drains,” such as the Diversity Lottery, resettlement, global human capital movement, and highly facilitated migration, but this does not change the facts.
The only significant difference is that in the 18th century, people were chained by “forced slavery.” They have now set up “pulling factors,” or ways for you to “voluntarily surrender” and become a victim of the servitude phenomenon.
Slavery was frequently used by imperialist nations in the past to address labor shortages on plantations and throughout the empire. Back then, enslavers and intermediaries who traded enslaved people would travel to Africa’s coastlines to kidnap captives under duress and without permission.
Despite this, in the information age, industrialized countries are systematically draining Africa’s brainpower and labor.
“Voluntary surrender” occurs in two ways: first, by abandoning official settlement; and second, by illegal migration to Europe, the Middle East, and the United States via ships and other means in search of an unknown utopia.
Not only do recipient countries face this challenge, but so do postcolonial African leaders. They are unable to change production methods or build capacity in African societies. As a result, society as a whole, and particularly the youth, should look within for solutions to socio-economic issues.
Why do thousands of African youths drown in the Mediterranean and Red Seas each year? In many ways, it remains a mystery and an unanswered question. Is it because they want a “better future” or because their postcolonial African overlords have prevented them from reaching their full human potential?
This is not simply blaming postcolonial African leaders; rather, it investigates the deeply ingrained structural issues that have arisen as a result of both internal and external factors.
The issue is that young Africans have little understanding of how countries such as the United States and Europe have become desirable destinations. What these nations do today is a direct result of their forefathers’ sweat, blood, and tears, as well as the wealth bestowed upon them by Africa.
This is not meant to minimize European and North American sacrifices; rather, it is meant to emphasize the multifaceted nature of historical grievance and underdevelopment.
It reminds me of the adage, “It’s true that some individuals want to visit scenic locations, but there are also some who take pride in creating visually pleasing surroundings.“
A portion of these tragic migrations continues unabated, and sadly, no one has stepped forward to address such a calamity in the name of humanity.
Because of Hollywood and other media outlets, African youth have already developed a defeated mindset and are willing to live alone in the United States, Canada, Europe, and even the Arab world. We are aware that the inhumane treatment of African women in the Arab world may be worse than all forms of western slavery combined.
After all, the developed world’s wealth was amassed initially through the trade of enslaved people and, later, through the practice of colonization, which consisted of exploiting Africa’s natural and human resources. This heinous form of slavery, on the other hand, was finally abolished as a result of a concerted effort by anti-slavery activists in the Western Hemisphere.
The effects of industrialization, as well as the contributions of revolutionary movements, have had a significant impact on the world’s development over time. Despite the fact that forced slavery has been abolished and replaced by voluntary submission, the accumulation of wealth in the capitalist world has become a source of concern for countries in the global south.
This is a direct result of underdevelopment and a lack of opportunities in Africa. The rules have changed dramatically in recent years, and developing-world players are now much pickier. One is that the Western world is less interested in the workforce as a whole and prefers to hire people with intermediate levels of education and experience.
In the industrialized world, there is a well-established protocol for determining who can safely surrender voluntarily. The developed world used a novel strategy to recruit qualified workers from the developing world, specifically Africa.
While slavery may have been necessary in the past, it is no longer necessary to acquire labor from Africa. Africans are requesting voluntary surrender through skill visas, “Diversity Lottery Visas” (DV), and similar programs in order to escape Africa’s underdevelopment saga.
The middleman in the traditional transatlantic slave trade selects the healthiest and youngest enslaved people. Thanks to advances in technology, it is now possible to provide information about yourself, such as your height, weight, education, family history, and criminal record.
They will eventually greet you as “the new home of civilization, humanity, abundance, and compassion.”
Regrettably, African countries prioritize their diaspora citizens over those who remain in Africa. This is due to the fact that remittances from Africans working and living abroad provide desperately needed foreign currency.
They have fled dictatorial governments, poverty, instability, backwardness, illness, malnutrition, afrophobia, xenophobia, ethnocracy, and chauvinism, among other forms of insecurity, demonstrating their desperation.
It is a tragedy for Africa in the twenty-first century that no government policy or implementation can guarantee an acceptable level of security. Some are correct, but only to the extent that they add to the truth of the situation.
Even though Africans lack the moral authority to impose all solutions on Western nations, it is critical not to overlook the fact that the majority of African leaders prioritize the Diaspora over their home country’s citizens.
There are several reasons for this, including remittances. However, they are not “potential candidates” for local politics, which is not always the case. Despite its best efforts, the African Diaspora faces insurmountable integration challenges.
We Africans do not need to learn the Western education system; rather, we should encourage African countries to adopt indigenous African methods. The surprising part is that after five years, the African Diaspora in the United States or Europe will be eligible to become citizens of the civilized world.
They will return to their hometown with a new identity dubbed “Diaspora” as a result of the paper-based identity shift, but it will not qualify them as full citizens; it is a hat. However, they may be re-baptized with a new class classification, elevating them above their fellow Africans back home.
The irony is that those who “surrender their African identity” are free to travel freely throughout Africa with a new identity from the EU or the US. Those brothers and sisters you left behind, on the other hand, are not permitted. Even the financial industry approaches you quickly, and despite your lack of tangible information, you are knowledgeable because you represent a world other than our own.
Africa requires a broader dialogue among governments, non-state actors, academia, the private sector, and the media.
I had the opportunity to travel, study, and live in Europe and the US when I was younger, but I resisted all temptation because of my moral convictions.
This does not, however, imply that all young people share my experiences and consciousness. We cannot blame young Africans for making poor choices because some African countries have corrupt leadership, favoritism, a lack of transparency, and a lack of accountability.
To change the willful submission and humiliation of young Africans, we must all work together to create a viable and welcoming environment. And, just as African politicians should not bend over backwards to please their “friends” in the West, they should be prepared and willing to change ground realities.
Only by embracing and advancing African culture and ideas can Africans successfully lobby in international fora for economically and politically favorable regimes. Virtual and digital colonialism play an important role in revealing the depths to which Western philosophy accepts voluntary surrender.
The industrialized world is investing in social media platforms and expanding network connectivity in order to collect data for predictive analytics and mind control. The world’s leading nations are erecting a vast network of sensors to control the people of the Global South in order to further their own goals of economic and cultural dominance and privatized government under the banner of digital colonialism.
Wake up, Africa!!
Seife Tadelle Kidane (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Pan African Thought and Conversation (IPATC); Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg.
Contributed by Seife Tadelle