Sometime ago, when Trump called African nations and Haiti shithole nation’s, people condemned him and saying that the saying is racist. But one thing is that respect for individuals or country are earned not given. African countries, exception of country like Rwanda is still to come to terms with economic development and technological advancement. Majority of African nation’s are still bedevilled with dual challenges of ineffective leadership and cap in a hand mentality ,where begging and asking for grants ,aids and any other form of assistance is the order of the day. This is where respect is rare! Who really wants to respect a man or country that hasn’t been able to assert and maintain their own without begging. No country does that. The time the African countries realise that respect is earned the better for them .
Some years back, China destroyed one of her mal-functional satellites in space through a missile shot here from the Earth. America condemned such daring act from China but one thing was clear: China has subtly informed rival nations about her military capability, capacity, and reach which is capable of destroying the much vital communications systems of rival powers should the need arise. This is not to say that China alone possesses this capability, but by this singular act, she earns her respect and other nations will learn to tread with caution when dealing with her since she poses the same destructive capability as they.
Rwanda just came out from a civil war where some 800,000 of her people perished in 1994 or thereabouts. Today, she is growing fast economically and has become a reference point for so many African countries to adopt her economic models. Her prosperity of today has overshadowed her history of genocide in the past. Now, Rwanda is much respected in the comity of nations than she was ‘pre-Rwandan genocide’. You rarely see their citizens in the dinghies trying to cross over to Mediterranean Sea on a perilous journey. That is Rwanda today. A country that has changed her narrative from worst to best !
You don’t earn your respect by appealing to someone to respect you. You have got to show them what you can do. In the case of European versus Africans, Africans need to show them that they too can do what they originally thought they alone could do.
Preaching to the Europeans to respect us Africans is a waste of time. The only language they understand is economic growth, science and technology. These alone humbles them. They respect you the more when they know you know what they know.
Nigeria must as a matter of fact try and understand the concept of respect . It isn’t all about shouting “giant of Africa ” but ensuring that enabling environment for citizens to thrive is there, focus on human capacity development and encouraging meritocracy . Nigeria must downplay religion and ethnicity and ensure that regions Develop in their own terms. Failure to do this , Nigeria would be a laughing stock amongst nations. The time to make such a change us here ,with 2019 elections around the corner, Nigerians must start looking at leadership materials based on intellect and not sentiments.
Anthony Nwosu and Chidiebere Okere