Africa - the past, present and future

"Study the past, if you would divine the future." – Confucius

Era of Empires and Onset of Human Civilization

Africa, even before the rise of Egypt, harbored even earlier kingdoms like Ta Seti founded in Nubia, in what is present-day Sudan. It is thought to be one of the earliest states in history, the existence of which demonstrates that, thousands of years ago, Africans were developing some of the most advanced political systems anywhere in the world. Africa can therefore be credited not only with giving rise to the many scientific developments associated with Egypt like engineering, mathematics, architecture, medicine etc. but also with important early political developments such as state formation and monarchy.

Some historians now believe that Egypt had an important influence on ancient Greece, pointing to the fact that Greek scholars such as Pythagoras and Archimedes studied there and that the work of Aristotle and Plato was largely based on earlier Egyptian scholarship

Before the slave-trade of 1500 and significant external intervention, some of the world’s great civilizations, such as Kush (in present-day Sudan), Axum (in present-day Ethiopia) and Great Zimbabwe, flourished in Africa

In the 14th century, the West African empire of Mali, which was larger than western Europe, was reputed to be one of the biggest, richest and most powerful states in the world. When the famous emperor of Mali and the world wealthiest man in human history, Mansa Musa, visited Cairo in 1324, it was said that he brought so much gold with him that its price fell dramatically and had not recovered its value even 12 years later.

Africa is today recognized as the birthplace of humanity and the cradle of civilization.

What Happened?

Era of Transatlantic Slave Trade till Today

Slavery? - the treatment of human beings as property, deprived of personal rights, has occurred in many forms throughout the world.

Forms of slavery have existed on the continent at different times in history – for instance, as a means of exploiting those captured in war – especially where there were labor shortages and an abundance of land. Between the 7th and 15th centuries, the external Muslim trading demand for African goods also included a demand for captives

But one institution stands out for both its global scale and its lasting legacy. The Atlantic slave trade, occurring from the late 15th to the mid-19th century and spanning three continents, forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans to the Americas and beyond.

The impact it would leave affected not only these slaves and their descendants, but the economies and histories of large parts of the world.

As for the slaves themselves, they faced unimaginable brutality leading to death of 20% - who never saw land again.

What happened to those Africans who reached the New World and how the legacy of slavery still affects their descendants today is fairly well known – black lives matter

But what is not often discussed is the effect that the Atlantic slave trade had on Africa's future. Not only did the continent lose tens of millions of its able-bodied population, but because most of the slaves taken were men, the long-term demographic effect was even greater.

When the slave trade was finally outlawed in the Americas and Europe, the African kingdoms whose economies it had come to dominate collapsed, leaving them open to conquest and colonization. Further, the increased competition and influx of European weapons fueled warfare and instability that continues to this day.

The Atlantic slave trade also contributed to the development of racist ideology. Most African slavery had no deeper reason than legal punishment or intertribal warfare, but the Europeans who preached a universal religion, and who had long ago outlawed enslaving fellow Christians, needed justification for a practice so obviously at odds with their ideals of equality.

So, they claimed that Africans were biologically inferior and destined to be slaves, making great efforts to justify this theory

The Future Africa

"The future depends on what we do in the present." - Gandhi.

Generally today, we live in a time of massive institutional failure, in which we collectively create results that nobody wants. The list is well known: Inequalities, Climate change, Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Violence, Destruction of communities, nature, life—the foundations of our social, economic, ecological, and spiritual well-being. These times call for a new consciousness, collaboration and collective leadership capacity to meet these challenges in a more conscious, intentional, and strategic way. The development of such a capacity would allow us to create a future of greater possibilities.

AfroCom platform is a strategic initiative of the Ubujima Foundation to connect everything African through it's African Network of Things (ANoT) goal. This allows us to tap our collective capacities and network-effect to pursue sustainable innovation and development of a better Africa and global afro-community - “the Africa we want”

An Africa that upholds dearly in its every fiber of being

1 - Consciousness:

The path towards any sustainable and harmonious future fundamentally requires the sentience of the internal being (the real self within), the external world, outside of our institutional bubble (ecosphere), their complex connectivity or multi-interdependency (homeostasis) and awareness of the possibility to bringing forth the new into the world (the unknown).

This path requires us to drop everything that is not essential. This process of letting-go (of our old ego and self) and letting-come (our highest future possibility: our real Self) establishes a subtle connection to a deeper source of knowing. The result; individual members and the group as a whole begin to operate with a heightened level of energy and sense of future possibility.

2 - Connectivity:

The whole is contained in every single fragment, in every piece. Thus, the awareness and the creation of connectivity and flow of things – people, ideas, information with clarity of direction or desire - is central in creating possibilities and transforming realities beyond our imaginations.

We are hyper-connected today than ever, as showcased on social media but we lack collaborative or conscious connectivity.

The real difference between humans and all other animals, hence our ability to have dominated the world, is our collective ability to create extremely flexible, sophisticated and effective networks of cooporations both in small and large numbers. All the huge achievements of humankind throughout history, whether it's building the pyramids or the internet have been based not on individual abilities, but on this ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. This is something chimpanzees cannot do.

3 - Communitiness:

Social belonging is inherent to the human condition and nature. The lack of it might lead to various undesirable effects. Within communitiness, the feeling of being needed creates a sense of indispensability, worthiness, self-respect and autonomy in individual’s self-perception. Thus, regarded as undoubtedly the most critical element for any sustainable and modern (ity) society. No wonder, it's popularly held in the African tradition and belief that the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

4 - Co Creation:

As an act of collective creativity at the scale of the whole or creativity that is shared by two or more people - co creation is critical for achieving more effective and efficient problem solving in innovation. Additionally, with diverse stakeholders in innovation networks, it opens opportunities to successfully develop and implement sustainable innovations.

All is welcome to join in cocreating this new Africa and Afro-community - for us, by us, of us.

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