It is high time history experts in Africa woke up to put the continent’s history in its proper context befitting information needs of the present and future generations and the rest of the global citizens of the 21st century.
Participants in a discourse hosted by the Kilimanjaro Dialogue Institute (KDI) in Dar es Salaam on how the continent’s history is chronicled noted, with big regrets, that available literature paints Africa as a “dark continent, colonization destination, source of raw materials and market for the colonizers’ industrial products.”
Responding to the input of the visiting United States-based author, spiritual leader and broadcaster, Gareth J. Young, presentation, the discourse noted: “Africa has a rich culture, social organization structure, technical and industrial stage development level stories to tell the world. Iron smelting was going on long before the amplified industrial revolution stories. Paper, which brought the world to a new stage from parchment, originated from Africa in the name of papyrus.
“When colonialists arrived they found African states in place with defined borders and armies in their defense, leaders levying taxes and laws against which wrong doers were tried and punished in models worth emulating by the so-called modern day governments.”
The participants, who included members of the press, cited chronicles branding anti-colonial struggle as “rebellion” and their leaders as “rebels”, some of whom ended up being hung and are not recorded as “revolutionaries” or “martyrs” in African history books.
They said the attainment of African people’s self-recognition and appreciation prerequisite for positive and sustainable participation in the affairs of the modern world of science and technology will remain impaired pending the correction and dissemination of the continent’s history.
This is the move that can help the African people position themselves and the continent on the current global social, political and economic affairs stage.