Kisaka Robinson offers his opinion on what 49 years of independence in Uganda says about the country and Africa as a whole.
On Sunday 9th October Uganda celebrated its 49th year of independence since the end of colonial rule in 1962. This happens to most of the African states who got independence from especially the European masters. Unlike many African states Uganda was a protectorate; this is traced back to the time when the British arrived in Africa. They found kingdoms like Buganda and Bunyoro with good administration and military strength, unlike the neighboring countries like Kenya and Tanzania which did not have similar governance. This may explain why the independence struggle in Uganda was through negotiation (London Conference) compared to the other colonies who fought for their independence; like Mau -Mau in Kenya.
The expectation of most African people after independence was too high compared to the results today! Many expected to enjoy a good healthy boost in agriculture, however this turned out to be a myth!Untill today no new hospital has ever built in most areas apart from those which were constructed by colonialists. African states still depend on grants and funds from Developed countries! Africa has got severe hunger especially Somalia, Elitrea, Sudan northern Kenya, Uganda etc. This is contrary to the notification which was made by Sir Winston Churchill that Uganda is the “pearl of Africa.” Up to now independent states have failed to feed their people. Self-egoism among African leaders is still another problem for independent Africa; these rulers have caused civil war and death for African people.
Education is another big challenge with the African states. Therefore much effort is needed to educate the children for a better future, and to build democracy which will help people to express their thoughts freely.
Much as Africa is still facing such challenges, the struggle must begin now by new breeds of young African leaders to correct these problems. In countries which have more than one ethnic group there should be equal opportunities to all, in order to avoid atrocities like genocide of Rwanda in 1994.
The meaningful independence of African states will be reality only if the governments and leaders respect constitutional rule. They must also try to meet peoples problems such as famine, poverty and diseases like Aids which has killed many people, especially the young on continent. Western interests must be also limited for a better Africa.
by Kisaka Samuel Robinson