Professor Emeritus Divine Edem Amenumey of the Department of History, University of Cape Coast (UCC) said Africa stands to lose far more than what was experienced in the second world war should there be another world war.
“If African leaders decide to allow themselves into wars that do not concern us, then we do not have a future but if we are able to detach ourselves from what does not concern us, we have a future,” he said.
Tensions between the US and North Korea are said to be the most serious threat to world peace at the moment and by implication, could plunge the world into another world war.
This, Prof Amenumey said, was very sensitive and an important issue that ought not be left in the hands of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un who he described as two “megalomaniacs” with bloated egos.
He urged historians and those in the academia to take up the task of educating the wider public on the situation and in turn exert pressure on Government to take the appropriate decision on the matter.
He said it was imperative for African leaders to examine earlier accounts, versions and interpretations and be guided by them in order to make informed decisions that would benefit their people and make the continent a safe haven.
Prof Amenumey was addressing participants at the second International Conference on revisiting Africa and the Second World War organised by the Department of History, UCC at the weekend.
The conference, which sought to re- examine the African dimensions of the Second World War and its impact on African countries ,societies and people in all their various categories brought together participants from all parts of Africa.
Topics discussed included, participation of Africans in the theaters of the Second World War, demobilisation and discontent, the effects of the war on African societies, politics, and economies; and the ways that the war contributed to decolonisation in Africa.
The Emeritus professor said though Africa did not directly contribute to the causes of the Second World War, the continent was subjected to the predatory nature of the war.
He said the war also led to military recruitment, exploitation of the colonial economy to support the imperial war effort, and the unleashed social traumas that escalated quotidian struggles inherent in the colonial situation.
Prof Amenumey said aside slave trade and colonisation, the two world wars, especially the second World war exerted a long-lasting impact on Africa and constituted the cataclysmic episode in colonial history.
He said in spite of the fact that the war provided the background for the eventual emancipation of Africa; former colonial powers still enjoyed residual influence on the policies of their former colonies.