The African revolution; 5
The African revolution program number five lands of the high life. This sound can be heard anywhere in the complex of countries that make up English speaking West Africa. It is the music of the high life a compromise of sounds and cultures between Africa and the West. It is part of the city life and the nightlife of a new sophisticated class of Africans. An adaptation of traditional folk tunes played on Western musical instruments. You can hear it in Lagos Nigeria in Accra Ghana in Monrovia Liberia three uncommon countries have this common sense. This is Black Africa once called the Slave Coast here in West
Africa. The fight for freedom has begun. The Africa revolution. The African revolution a silent odyssey of inquiry led to a continent in turmoil a six part study of Africa south of the Sahara based on a 15 country tour with a tape recorder by a broadcaster Harry russkie. This fifth programme in the seventies titled The lands of the High Life Journeys north west and visits Nigeria Ghana and Liberia. The Man Who Made Modern English speaking West Africa possible was never there. He was Serrano Ross the man who made the discovery that malaria was carried by the unlawfulness mosquito and worked at the technique for its control. Until then the whole damp humid coast was called the white man's grave. The air conditioner and
the jet plane have helped rush the tide of events to bring the 20th century to this part of Africa. It varies greatly from East Africa for many reasons. It has a much older contact with western civilization than the east. Some Nigerian students were being sent to London for an education as far back as the seventeen hundreds and even without European influence. The people of the West have a much older known history. This is expressed by historian journalist Basil Davidson. The strongest centers of government undoubtedly in pre-open Africa lay in West Africa and to some extent in Central Africa and West Africa in the Sudan and in the forest belt states of Miley got up to sun right in the forest belt states of audio of the nation. Later one of the shanty. Because the west coast of Africa was the most accessible. It was the most severely disrupted by the entrance of the European. It is estimated that just about every
American Negro has ancestors somewhere along the west coast of Africa. Basil Davidson continues along the coast I think myself and I said it in a recent book of mine. The main trouble lay in the consequences of the slave trade which debilitated and on the whole degenerated strong African states which had existed along the coast inland from the coast in the Far East out. There is no record of this kind in East Africa. Another factor has been that white Europeans were not allowed to own land in Nigeria and in Guyana and there have been no Indian problems as such because there are virtually no Asians on this side of East Africa. Perhaps the most important difference between East and West Africa is that the West African countries did not seem to have the promise of forming a unit such as East Africa and common. They have the English language but the countries are strongly independent and in some cases competitive. And each one extremely different from the
others. The greatest world attention has been given to gun law because of its controversial leader Kwame Nkrumah. But the press notices are in fact all out of proportion to his real influence or potential in the scheme of things in the new Africa. And unfortunately it seems President and crew has begun to believe his own notices lesser known as Liberia a country founded by former American slaves its leader President Tubman probably as authoritarian as increment has kept his almost supreme power over nearly two decades by recognizing the gift of silence. Sierra Leone also on the West Coast is a British counterpart of Liberia founded by British slaves. But for this survey let us begin with the biggest the most impressive and the most liberal Nigeria.
Immediately you know you have arrived in a different world. Most cities in Africa are silent after dark. Lagos is alive and full of night sounds. The streets are crowded with sidewalk merchants. Women sit behind small tables beside the road selling soap and soup and sardines fabrics and fashions of all kinds. Tiny candles are their only light for these highway transactions. Hundreds of them along the way. Hundreds of candles make the narrow streets look like giant altars. The feeling of crowding is unmistakable and unforgettable. It's 40 million people make it by far the most populous country in all of Africa. Three times as many people live there as in South Africa. Eight times more than Guyana. Nigeria illustrates the classic example of the arbitrary boundaries drawn by the
colonial map makers in Europe. It is really three countries in one. It has four prime ministers one for each region besides the federal prime minister. And each region differs greatly in religion and culture and loyalty. Music shows Nigeria's wide variety of people and sounds. Good. Rule remember this is the sound of the house. Nearly half of all of the people in Nigeria live in the northern region. They are Moslems chiefly poor proud and ignorant. The main racial group is the association of tribes known as Houser and this go game music is popular among the Hausa you can detect the Arabic influences and in fact the people of the North have more in common with North Africa them with the black West. The principal instrument is a one string violin believed to have come originally from
Arabia. It is played with a curb O in a rhythmic accompaniment to surprise by a couple of calabashes struck with sticks. The Arabic sounds of the house of the northern region. You know where you were no more. You're right. To the east you have the boat was about 5 million of them. They were the great individualists of West Africa. They are alert shrewd and sometimes opportunistic. The evil produced one of the country's strongest leaders the present governor general Dr. nom de Isaac. Known as Zeke. Here is a song of the Ebro typical of the east known as evil land. It's about Nigeria's
favorite liquor palm wine. The people of the western region are dominated by the tribe known as the Yoruba. There are about 3 million of them proud sophisticated and cultured. This song of the Aruba is called Chapala.
And. The instruments consist of the African talking drums of various sizes the Mother Drum the largest one dictates the rhythm couple of music is typical of the Aruba and has an easygoing pace. The song like many Aruba's songs is in praise of important people in the community and a comment on current affairs. Yeah yeah. I need you. Right here.
Although Nigeria has been a state as such only for about 50 years it was able to achieve independence in one thousand sixty even them that was three years after nearby gunna. But the country makers wanted to iron no problems and protect minorities. The complex job of drafting a constitution went to a brilliant British educated lawyer. Now the Minister of Justice Dr Elias he tells about it. I would like to remind you that since 1914 the horde of Nigeria had been governed central live from Lagos on that a unified to system of government and a unified tradition. But in 1953 there was a constitutional crisis between the South one part and another on parts of Nigeria. This matter was referred to a constitutional conference at Lancaster House in London and as a result the Nigerian leaders themselves demanded that the
unitary form of government that existed for the previous 40 years should be converted into a federation so that these three major groups of provinces later became the three regional governments. Now in 1954 the leaders insisted that they would like to see Nigeria. I doubt if some of federalism that would not follow the Canadian type but rather the Australian time that is to say the rest of your powers should be given to the regions rather than to the center. And so it does remain to us today. No country in Africa has a feeling of more excitement and progress them Nigeria mix with a special enthusiasm the Nigerians seem to have for life as a sense of building going on everywhere. Foreign diplomats are anxious to seek audiences with the prime minister and companies from all over the world are setting up modern plants to accommodate the
needs of a new state. One of these is alimony and limited of Canada. Frank Layton its managing director sees a great potential market in Nigeria and the adamantium business is highly competitive one way always seeking new markets. We see Nigeria as a country with enormous potential. It has considerable political and economic stability. And demotivated has a population of. Something of the order of 40 million people. This country is a developing one. It's growing up. And it seems that the prospect of developing a useful market for. Products in the future of Nigeria holds promise of prosperity. Its president has proof of poverty on the main streets of its chief cities
Lagos have done Kano and Kaduna. You will hear the chant of misery. That that land. That you had that. And I like that. I mean that. Thank misshapen men cry for coins. Nigerian leaders like any leaders of any of the emerging African states do not take kindly to having their shortcomings mentioned while pointing out beggars are not as serious as the observer seems to feel in Nigeria. The Minister of Health offers an explanation. He is Dublin educated doctor Mudgee Cooma BEGG Yes and deformed people has nothing on a common feature. Of. All the developing countries in fact you do find them in very highly developed communities a swear head in Lagos will have an urge to put his home where these people are
cared for. But some people I just chronic they guess and it would not in fact decide to bed rather than stay in the old if it was home. But that's fine as they define it is concerned. Research organizations making that intensive study of the causes of deformity and we have found that there is in fact a very large incidence of. But in my life it is amongst children infants particularly before the before the age of 5 and most of these deformities can be traced to that cause. Although there is a tendency among the English educated Africans to find reasons for backwardness along western lines. The truth may be much more deeply rooted in the primitive past a past that even liberal Nigeria must live with day by day to day. It is the theory of Mrs a duke a more a much more likely theory that the presence of so many deformed beggars is
due to instant religious customs and superstitions. This is a UK more's a rather stylish educated Nigerian woman deeply involved in her country's social problems. And this is a very big problem and we have started all sorts of different things. I could definitely blind home to people but this is going to take time because part of this deformity and banking you see is tied up with religion. As you know the Muslim religion believes in giving. I think usually every week and I give so much a fair fortune and so this encourage begging and unfortunately it is a fact that some of the twisted arms and things you see you done when the children were young because this was a form of livelihood and it's going to take time and education to get people to realize that this is a depravity for human beings and this is that this is the real main problem.
But I don't think until we get widespread education that will get rid of Assad because all that easy education is the preoccupation of all new African nations but in Nigeria that amounts almost to a compulsion. Part of Nigeria's immense educational needs are explained by her minister of education. MR. What you mostly play in Nigeria. You know education. Most parent parents like to see their children go to school on the first. I'm hungry af I do occasionally among the young people are very great. But facilities are limited and I don't know region of the Federation spends under 30 percent of these are not valued on the occasion. Yet we find that the facilities are far from enough. I jus problem when I defeated our prime. I did you know second edition edition to your teaches and I did technical assistance program. We have I present a number OK he didn't teach as an expert in our
schools and colleges. We have very good food to the government on people kind of guy. But it's going to be sure to educational development. The Canadian teachers working temporarily in Nigeria find they are treated almost like visiting royalty and they find an immense enthusiasm for knowledge this is Canadian science teacher Jack ladder of Winnipeg for the Nigerian student definitely has the incentive of being an educated man when he's educated his life definitely changes if he misses that chance for education he goes back to some tin shack or mud hut. So the incentive is definitely there. The classrooms are often outdoors. The Nigerian is a lover of nature the outside and color his magnificent robes are blue and indigo scarlet and green. One afternoon along a Lagos beach a classroom of children had come from a nearby town. Their assignment was to see the sea to have a look at the Atlantic Ocean. The odors of Nigeria are also a place to
pray. Walking along the beach I was followed by a young fanatic evangelist anxious to relay his gospel message that you preach just us that's all. You don't push anything more than just us. The priest does. Because I for my sins and Jesus Christ is coming back again we believe in love. And second coming to believe in the only spirits. And with that he waved on his group sitting on the sand one man rocking an old style school bell women barefoot stop their chores to welcome me and as they told me to sing the gospel.
This is a Christian's son. But most of Nigeria is either Moslem or Pagan. The large question of Nigeria's future is one of the Federation of so many different people can survive. Some point to the example of Asia of the bitterness between India and Pakistan and say that eventually an internal explosion must take place. Others are more optimistic while other nations around it have gone the way of the autocrat. Nigeria has remained almost uniquely democratic. Here the Westminster idea of parliament of opposition and free expression seemed to have the most hope. I asked Health Minister budget Cooma why he felt this was the case in Nigeria. But I essentially democratic people. Long before the advent of the British into this country we have developed a system of government here. Which is based on acceptance. The elders get together and just cause the FSA state and once they have reached a decision that decision is binding on everybody so that we do not find it difficult to talk
about ourselves now to pursue democratic practices because it is absolutely innate in us Chief Vestal So courts elbow the flamboyant minister finance feels it is only partly heritage part of it is the nature of federalism and of the leaders themselves. I really feel that at this stage people. Running a country. Not my guys primarily but generally speaking Nigeria cannot have any dictatorship. Because if it starts in wonder John it may not be able to spread to other regions because my job is a large country with different type of people and. Any philosophy here may die hard. The fact that newspapers in Lagos write certain things yet does not mean that is accepted in the whole country. One of the most widely read columns in the country is written by an editor Ebeneezer Williams.
He feels there is a fundamental difference between the leaders of Nigeria and nearby Ghana and also between the people of the two countries. May be I'm seen it is because of my own. Selfishness because I do know that a person like myself and happy living and I mean here I say what I like. And here I'm going to a Prime Minister's conference and ask many questions I wish and I even go to his thousand tiny percentage but couldn't do any piece of my mind over any subject. This doesn't happen as from what we do what we have standing around and I think even It'll come to Nigeria because we're free people here and we go to prison to be free. Is it we can have freedom here to be able to express mines to be able to tell Mrs. Levy about it that they are corrupt and to ask for changes within the law but in a situation such as that I think is in Ghana where it is impossible to say anything critical about government. Would I get into trouble. I think it would be most unfortunate if I came to Nigeria. I don't wish it and I'm sure it will happen. All Africans are different and each country is unique. My first feeling
in a croc was that much of the sense of aggressiveness and drive that I had experienced in Lagos was absent. The surge of life of Lagos was not there. The airport was larger neater but empty here. I saw the first signs of Russian influence. Six giant jets are you sions all apparently grounded. No one seems to want to travel on them. The boulevards are nicely manicured and all seem too wide for the city. In fact everything seems to have been built too large for Life. Modern Cross has obviously been designed to be the capital of all of Africa. When Gunn achieved her independence it was announced that gone I would not consider its mission complete until all Africa was free. And it is not long before you feel the presence of the man who has masterminded it all. The face on the coins is not of Queen Elizabeth as in Nigeria. Here it is Kwame Nkrumah. You drive along Kwame Nkrumah Boulevard pass Kwame Nkrumah college past a huge statue of Kamin chroma and you swing around Kwame Nkrumah circle which glitters a
neon at night and pictures of the OST subject fo the Redeemer as he is known to his people stare out from every wall at the ceremony for the inauguration when crewman became president on July 1st 1960 citable grand music proclaimed they have banned seven horns made from seven elephant tusks were sounded so all gone I would know. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Dawna which is after all a summary police state is the free spirit of its people. They are perhaps the smiling us most musical on the continent and are among the most beautiful. They have songs for all occasions. One of the types of traditional music still popular is the Asako music. The music of the battlefield the people of the Gold Coast as gone was
known were noted as great warriors day.
And as I wandered around the countryside or gone I heard songs of different kinds. Here is a farmer a song played on a xylophone which was made in the village of Tona near the northwest boundary of Ghana. By African standards Gonna is remarkably rich. It has an annual per capita income of about one hundred fifty dollars. This is because it has a stable crop in cocoa and in fact it is the world's largest producer of cocoa. And in the fields you might come across a strange looking instrument a little lute with strings made from Roughie of fibers. This song played on this instrument is called Jim Bobby Mina lead me
to a place of rest. You know no women could ever get into them. The most popular sound in Ghana today is the sound that evolved from the music of the tribes mixed with Western orchestration in all the dance halls you hear the sound of the highlife. It is the twist of the Gold Coast. This one version is also a tribute to George Patmore a leader of Africa and friend of President and Kumar. Good bye boy by any means yeah.
Yes so. Far. The ordinary people of gun are reluctant to talk about their leader. If they do not agree with him once in a bar while the highlife is blaring in the background I asked a young woman of gun I what she thought of President Truman and she said he doesn't bother me and I doesn't bother him. I like it that way. There is a reluctance to talk of the fact that most of the president's opposition is in jail the same jail where he spent time for trying to lead independence movements under the British at an
official level no cabinet minister would talk to me without a written list of questions until it was cleared by the one man who allowed himself to be interviewed without advance questions. The minister of information Mr. Toyoda I dumb I feel a barrel chested man with a forceful manner. He sat in a Norn sports shirt and told me the theory behind preventive detention. Why about 500 gun AM's are being held in jail without trial. Also the conditions which do look up dead and civilized advanced countries and it is a bit difficult to get tests on expect us to apply the same measure the principles may be the same but to apply the physical same methods as you are playing countries to our problems here. So we came in with a preventive detention. At last I said we are sure of the facts. We come in and detain you and prevent you from carrying on any crime and in that
regard we have confessed we don't care. Whatever the word write about us because we know the facts. We are here and we we must take with the facts as they exist in spite of legal niceties and judicial fictions. The theory of preventive detention was further outlined at a press conference held by the dynamic outspoken minister of information which I attended in Accra in African logic it is prevention not cure. We think and we believe and we are convinced that justice consists in doing justice not in following some particular form or method of doing it. For example the British and the French methods of justice are quite different. This does not mean that I had a friend justice of British justice is necessarily unjust. It depends on how they're up Clyde. What should be asked is not whether this or that method has been applied. But Has justice been done.
Well we believe in doing justice not to the minute thoughts. Plastic out methods designed to achieve their own ends. We believe in doing justice to the perpetrator of the crime and to the state. And as long as we can achieve it by our own law for which we have passed by our parliament here preventive detention we believe him prevented the mother from committing the crime rather than wait until Yes committed yes assassinated somebody who may be a very good citizen of Guyana was given service before we say we have dragged him to court and all of that to the Westernised the concept of putting a man in jail before he commits the crime may seem twisted but some Westerners who spend a good deal of time in Africa find it not unusual when considered against the background of African history such a man as Jeffrey being a former attorney general of Ghana. He is an Irishman who has a rather mysterious Oriental look about him. A longtime
advisor to President Kuchma. I would say that there are those members of the opposition who are in jail and they're not by any means a majority. People who've engaged in conspiratorial activities of various sorts and have tried to get to it for conspiratorial reasons and one could indeed if I had more time with you or explain this in great detail of why this in fact occurred. Is it because really if I can put it shortly because in the colonial period there are certain people who because of the positions they occupied under the colonial powers believe that they are the people who ought to have inherited the government and when they have Indian heritage they then think that any means I justified in order in order to enable them to do so. One thing the visitor to Gullane notices is the limited press as contrasted with Nigeria. There are two government papers and one independent paper which
carries no editorials at all there was one slightly critical paper the Ashanti pioneer but copies of it are hard to find from the Gandhian times. This is part of a typical editorial quote. All freedom loving peoples in the world stand by the side of the millions in Ghana whose only hope lies in Kwame Nkrumah the man who has blazed the trail to the paradise African independence and unity. The people stand firmly by our great party and have pledged themselves to fight on with the redeemer and building work and happiness. The crew must have and that is our goal. I asked Mr Adamo off E.O. the information minister if he considers the press free in Ghana. It is very free within the framework of the law of the country. For instance. The country with the Minister of Justice all until I would
prosecute for snoops. I mean the decision it all follow Steve's. Also. We here can come in and since I Pippa if we think that starting out suppression against government if it's printed in a is likely the thing to bring. I likely to inflame public opinion and son so far that case we have by law the right to come in and since For instance I do understand that the Ashanti pioneer has a resident sensor is that correct. Yes it is correct. They are going to pioneer has misbehaved badly all through the times. One way colony and up till now we're hoping that it will change but. It shows no sign. So we think that instead of banning it as other people would do it would temporarily let it
prevent it from publishing things which might upset the public that tranquility. One thing that upsets Mr other mafiosos tranquility although he was never really tranquil. Is the British press he feels that Fleet Street has been carrying on a brutal propaganda war against Goma. I asked him why he thought the British press seem to be so anti Gama. I mean this is very simple. This is a stupid folly. You know as a British. When we became independent. The third you were going to behave like a good boy is to be told by a big brothers what to do where to step where not to step and so on so forth. Well to their dismay the father's frightfully independent well-mannered I would do exactly what you want to do without anybody having to tell us. Naturally they resent they think we are a better example. We're liquidating their empire. Everybody's up in arms and then nothing
at all. Positive action we have stated that our own independence meant nothing unless it was linked up with the total liberation of Africa. Then we didn't stop there we called another conference of all political organizations of all trade union organizations and all the fighting organizations in Africa the MITI in Accra and they took resolutions which we had we are prosecuting now. We are afraid out there Rula always the drooly by the consent of the people. But we are not throwing out white men. I said they can they can be here they can live with Africans. They can leave because some of them. How for generations. They're at their roots in Africa. We can't say that because they are white they should be packed out. No but we're saying that they're minority and they can rule the majority and therefore power must pass into the hands of Africans and they resent it. And Ghana is the most vocal in this regard. Therefore we are hated everywhere.
Not only that then we came out you know the Western line of economics is mostly capitalistic. We have come out boldly and stated that this recession is of course people want to like it because they will know it affects their interests immediately if we are we are going socialist. Then what about the firms in this country their profits wouldn't be achieved if we accommodated them in the sort of socialism we have building. We wouldn't still allow them to exploit by export treating expectorate in from the country huge. I'm out of profits. We have been doing this song. Now we're going to truly We've brought in excellent control import and export control. All of these are measures designed to keep in fit in with our socialist policy. They would resent their friends as elsewhere. So let me say if they don't then they're stupid. A Canadian doctor Earl Berger of Toronto now teaching at the university in Ghana has a theory
about why Ghana and countries like her tend toward socialism despite what people think about the richness of tropical countries most of these countries here don't have sufficient natural resources to be able to undertake the kind of waste that is necessary when you have a capitalist regime there has to be an organization of resources and organization of human material. There have to be so there has to be set goals. I think these things are inevitable especially when these people want to move ahead so fast and to such a great extent is obviously got to be some kind of socialism. And this talk of an African personality I think is a reflection of this seeking to. Achieve something which is on the one side distinctly African and on the other side. Sufficient to meet the psychological demands of the people are not satisfied any longer with subsistence living. They want they want cars they want good homes they want drainage they want roads they want doctors. And this has to be done through
some kind of organization and the government is the only kind of organization available to to meet these demands therefore there has to be some kind of socialist regime. Another Canadian and there are many in Ghana isn't charge of the most important development project the country has ever undertaken. He is Frank Dobson for 20 years an employee of the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission. The project will among other things create a new like to be called naturally lake in chroma lake to be one of the largest on the continent covering 2000 square miles. Well the boulder River Project. The purpose is to harness the power potential of the Volta river the largest river in this country. It has a potential of just approximately a million horsepower now. Coupled with this scheme is the construction in Ghana of an aluminum speller which will be the prime customer from the Volga River Authority.
The whole project well and this she ate the power development of Ghana which is relatively small and has diesel electric at the moment with the coming of this power. We feel it will become more industry. The start of it being the small this project in size compares approximately to the Canadian share of the St. Lawrence Park Project that up to now the economy of Ghana is primarily based on the export of cocoa. This project will lend itself to the industry I say should have Ghana. And create a great deal more industry in that way. How much industry will come to gun remains to be seen. The Volta river flows steeply down to the sea through an area on the Gold Coast that contains the richest bauxite
deposits in the world with reserves amounting to probably about two hundred million tons. But companies like aluminum have decided to invest in Nigeria rather than gunna because of what is considered to be a more stable situation. And because of an chromos flirtations with the communist bloc Dawna has led the way in trying to play East against West in an effort to strengthen her position with the greatest speed. Her students leave regularly to study in Moscow at a place appropriately named Lumumba college and frequently her cabinet ministers take excursions to Russia and China where they are given a very red carpet treatment. Gone is the first country in Africa where I actually saw a number of Russians. Most of them apparently were involved with the Aleutian planes since the planes weren't going anywhere. The Russians mostly technicians few who spoke English seem to spend their time on the beach. I asked the minister of information how many technicians there were from the east.
I can't find the number but we have quite a few Russians. A few you list last night a few dozens from the extinct countries and by disable number from our friends. The Western countries to the point is we as you know we are pursuing a policy of non-alignment practical and realistic. And the fact that Frenchmen all English men of Americans are here do not swear one way or the other. We consider they're our friends. If they do something which is wrong we have the courage of our convictions to tell them so. In the same way the Russians the Yugoslavs the polis the Czechs are here they are friends also. They are all here in connection with development. They don't have anything to do politically with politics. Both west and east. And if at any time any of them misbehaves in
their manner. Setting a wind tunnel might this we back him out Bickley because we don't want anybody to come and strained relations. But they comes from the east or the West in Guyana I tried to make an appointment to meet with President in chroma but I was told he does not grant interviews I was told the Queen of England doesn't grant interviews. Why should the president of Ghana. So I had to leave without personal answers to my questions with a feeling that this was a country in the midst of a vast social upheaval not knowing exactly how it will evolve. The people of Ghana impressively polite and kind seem to be unaffected so far by the way the country was being run. One ironic British newsman one of the few left in Guyana said This country is like Alice in Wonderland written by Kafka. I moved next to the country in Africa that has been a republic longer than any other to Liberia to find I was going to miss
another head of state President Tubman. He was in bed with chicken pox and offered his apologies. Liberia is whether Liberians agree or not an illegitimate stepchild of the United States. The first thing that strikes you on landing at Roberts Field some 50 miles from the Metro via the Capitol are the official uniforms of the customs immigration and police. They are the same as New York cops. The army is strictly US issue. The flag is an abbreviated Stars and Stripes 1 star and 11 stripes and the official currency is American with national corns. Until recently the only industry worth mentioning was owned and operated by the American Firestone rubber company. I went to see the highest cabinet minister available. The Honorable Mr. Sherman minister of the Treasury in an office decorated in what might be termed Miami modern and he fingered a gargantuan diamond ring as he spoke to me.
Five stones applies to one fifth of the total revenue no direct revenues. And. From mining operations one sixth but then of course other indirect revenues from rubber plantations through custom do it as miscellaneous sources and a substantial income from the diamond mining industry and from the lumber industry. There is also the secondary effects of the huge investments in Iran oil exploration and exploitation. The new mindset Nimba which are going to cost about two hundred million dollars and the spending of that type of money also has its. Effects. No nothing that is frequently leveled this criticism against this country is that there is a great deal of corruption
they say and this country would you say that was correct or not sir. I don't know what to what is meant by that. That a lot of what I call cop. But bad as running up and down the coast in Africa. And. I have met him here I met a member of what I was trying to sell something and these people will stop at nothing in trying to sell the government on projects that are suspicious of projects that are not well fought. And some of them not in the habit of spending enormous sums of money but. I do not believe that the decisions of this government or any other based on any such considerations. I think that you have crooked officials anywhere in the world. We do not have. As many let us say as a town of Nevada. A new United States had a
hand up place. Nonetheless I was told in Liberia no one is ever fired for inefficiency. After the interview we both had to walk down nine flights of stairs. The power had failed. There is a tendency in Liberia to build the shining the new the impractical. An avenue grandiosely named United Nations Boulevard is lined with corrugated shacks. The contrast of Liberia are nothing short of incredible. Located on a hill in the heart of the city that not so long ago was called The Dog Patch of Africa is one of the most splendid hotels in all of Africa. The Duke a palace built with Israeli and Swiss capital. It is the only hotel I've ever been in which has a telephone extension in the shower. Unfortunately there's almost no place to call as the telephone system in town frequently breaks down. I met a Liberian engineer and like most of the so-called ruling class
US educated and I asked him to tell me about Liberian history and 18 16 American colonization was established in Massachusetts to find a home for they free slaves. And they came down the coast and first settled and Sheppard stayed there for about two years and then in 1820 to January the 7th. By accident they landed on an island which was later called Providence. I don't. We celebrate that day as our pan years Dave. January 20 17 18 22. It was later I found it as an in independent country on July 26 1847 day governorship
JJ Roberts who later became the face president of the Republic of Liberia. They form of government it was adopted as was that of a United States. Well one of the things that people say about Liberia from the outside is that it has been established so long the earliest of the all African states yet it has remained quite backward and they say well perhaps this is an indication the fact that it is very difficult for Negroes to govern themselves. What do you say to that sort of coming. While it isn't difficult if you don't have an M.A. you can do what you you know mind what you wish. And as has been our problem we could have advanced further but we were handicapped and not having the money. Finance Minister Sherman expressed for me during my interview what has almost become the official line for Liberia's years of backwardness and her now almost
sudden joining of other African states in the African revolution. By haps it's not a political or wise thing to say but there was some might vantages done a colonial period for most of the other countries. The colonial powers. Belt their railroads belts their warehouses opposed to whop was built their schools their belts their public edifices and public offices public Belding's. The port in St.. Waterworks they put in communications power line everything that was necessary to go ahead and develop. We had no such assistance from any place and on the other hand all of our energies and devotion to our duty consisted primarily in trying to save our sovereignty because it's but
normal and natural as long as we existed on the West Coast. This was a threat to the colonial powers because the people in their countries could say well if Liberia can run itself why can't read. The principal argument against colonialism at all was I mean against independence for these people was that they were children and they were incapable of self-government and many people in the United States believe this. And if we could prove that the people who govern themselves negroes then it was as I demand against that and so they encroachments continued right up to a few years ago in fact we lost two thirds of our territory. This was a struggle in which you engage in a struggle for survival. Now when we are. Not oppressed by these conditions blast others can build on a solid foundation we have to go back now and do the fundamental things like building roads spelling schools putting in
telecommunications putting in power lines of full and I do not believe that you can call a country back but which in 15 he has raises his revenue from 1 million to 35 million out of the US. Perhaps no charge has been more abusive to the Liberians than the fact that it a country founded by freed slaves indulged in a kind of slavery itself. Liberians admit it existed but say it was of a special kind what they call a pawn system. All that now is past the fear in many African countries is that the new leaders will take on the worst characteristics of the former oppressors. This seems to have happened in Liberia but is now changing. It is said that in the last 10 years Liberia has made more progress than in the 100 previous years but it still has a long way to go before it fully joins
the African revolution. The African revolution is more than a question of leaders. The common man has yet to understand its significance. He sees change around him. It is confusing but for the most part still little has changed for him or her. This is the fact. I met a stately woman in Lagos. She seemed to symbolize a thousand men and women I had met across the Basque continent. Born with the Moslem name of Fatima in a small village in the north she was raised by missionaries who gave her the name of comfort. Her face was scarred with tribal marks and I began by asking her if she knew anything about politics. Did she vote. Not. You never voted no. Are you interested to know who is running the country you know who the prime minister is of course yes I know him. You think he is a good man because he's a good man.
You come from the northern region. You like the people from the eastern region in the western region of course they are right. I guess some friends I used to love with some friends more than I find out that they are right now not so bad about the European. You have some friends who are European. Yes I have some friends that are very nice people they know how to play you know with posting they know how to talk and they all will. It's always respect people. I just what I find now in their part of the country a man has many wives sometimes. What do you think of that you think it is all right for men to have many wives. I don't know you know I do miss Linda always
smarted plenty wife son they get two some three some four that is the Muslim way. Would you like to be one of many wives. Men are not allowed to get. Stay with him. I don't want my wood plenty. Do you know anything about they other African countries and do you know about gun. Ever heard of the Krooman. Of course I had up a team but I never have been to gun. It's not a 9 to 10 how much did you read the papers. Sometimes. Sometimes I used to heat and you listen to the radio. She said. But the Europeans had come and opened her eyes. But in a continent emerging out of the darkness of the past vision is still
blurred. Half the continent the women still have virtually no rights have the status of property in a continent emerging. Some leaders have emerged as autocrats caring little for people who now cry out for equality. Some of heard the message and meaning of their own revolution like Julius Newberry of technique who said a few weeks ago the fight against privilege must not be replaced by a scramble to replace the privilege of one color with the privilege of another. In West Africa the roots of democracy are deepest if it works here especially in a lively land of Nigeria. A whole continent would have taken the first long stride into the 20th century and the future if it fails then the African revolution which began so brilliantly will fade into the jungle darkness of the past. It is the next step the world will watch and wait for.
- The African revolution
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- Chicago: “The African revolution; 5,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 21, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-513tz799.
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- APA: The African revolution; 5. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-513tz799