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‘Africa Must Tell Its Story’ – Former Tanzanian President, Mkapa

Benjamin William Mkapa

FLASHBACK: Former Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa, sometimes in 2017, called for the deliberate effort at changing the African narrative.

Mr. Mkapa, stressed the need to for the youth to cherish the cultural heritage of their country.

He said the western culture has overshadowed the African culture due to the colonial leniency and stressed the need to inculcate the true African history of slavery and colonization to its younger generations.

This, he said, would help the younger generation to know much about their cultural background and also much about the history of their countries.

The former President of Tanzania said this when he delivered a lecture at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale in the Northern Region on the theme: “African Development: from Freedom to Union”.

The lecture was aimed at getting the past Presidents of African countries to add their voices as a way of contributing to national and transnational dialogue on productive leadership culture that will support and enhance African development.

It also seeks to facilitate and create an environment for a discussion and action on leadership; create a forum to inspire positive and innovative leadership initiatives as well as stimulate and initiate a platform for an action on constructive leadership in Ghana and Africa.

The lectures was instituted by the management of the university in 2013 under the leadership of the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Haruna Yakubu.

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According to Mr. Mkapa, the time has come for African historians and writers to revisit their writing to dwell much about the history of their countries thereby touching more on the cultural background of their nations to ascertain challenges to take measures that could help improve the livelihoods of its citizens.

He noted that lack of knowledge of the African history among the youths has led to the diminishing of the cultural heritage of Africa.

He explained that because the history on slavery and colonization were authored by colonialists, the African side of the story was generally skewed to favour what the colonial historians wanted to portray.

According to him, when African leaders collaborate with the academicians and the historians will help ensure the enhancing of cultural heritage of the Africa.

According to him, many Africans had relied solely on the history written on slavery and colonisation by the European historians, thus shaping their thinking and perspective in the way the colonial historians wanted them to think.

He said millions of African workforce died through the slavery while millions of its productive workforce were captured and sent to Europe and American as slaves.

He said, for instance, that in United States of America (USA), February had been designated as a month to tell the black history. Mr. Mkapa said many African nationalists fought against slavery and colonialism but little is heard of them due to the misrepresentation of African History on slavery and colonialism.

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Written by PH

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