The central question
There is a widespread awareness of Africa’s ranking as the least developed continent. Therein persists a nagging, perplexing, often frustrating and vexing question. People ask and would like to know Why? How? When? Who? Where? It is highly relevant to earnestly seek answers to Africa’s status as a perennial economic, technical and technological laggard.
These are not merely academic or rhetorical interrogations. They are real-life and, more often than not, life-threatening issues. Thus, every year thousands of young African undertake risky journeys in quest for better living conditions in Europe, Asia, and America.
The recent and steady exodus of inexperienced and unskilled youths compounds an older, long-standing brain-drain. Both phenomena deprive Africa of its main resource: people. Trained technicians and experienced professionals, teenagers and young adults —the seeds of the future— flee abroad to “greener pastures.”
One of the root causes of Africa’s stalling consists in what Leopold S. Senghor decried as the “ deterioration of the terms of exchange.” Actually, that euphemism harkens back to the Colonial Pact of 1898. Still alive—and worsening—, it dealt Africa a crippling hand. For it sealed the role of the continent as (a) a coerced supplier of raw material and (b) an induced consumer of imported goods.
The central question will be broken down into dozens of sub-topics that range from the tool-making gap, to slavery, colonization, “independence”, globalization, the Cultural Heritage (language, religion, arts, crafts, literature, ethnicity, nationhood, civilization, tradition, modernity, politics…), racism, alienation, affirmation, collaboration and resistance to foreign hegemony, war, peace, the past and the present.
The webAfriqa channel creator
Elaborating on the Africa, Between the Anvil and the Hammer byline as a linguist, an anthropologist, a technologist, a semanticist, and a web publisher, Tierno S. Bah shares four decades of research, teaching, debating, writing and pondering on the main issue and its many corollaries.
Again, the question Why is Africa Lagging is neither fortuitous nor frivolous. To the contrary, it is a permanent, controversial, highly charged, all-around (history, economy, culture, politics, social), major, legitimate, and utterly challenging theme. A mega-quandary, it has no binary choices, clear-cut answers, or simple solutions!
The webAfriqa channel is backed by the webAfriqa Portal, published since 1997. Espousing the Open Web philosophy, the Portal offers tens of thousands of text, images, audio and video documents, carefully selected from authoritative sources, reliable data, relevant information and genuine knowledge bases. The Portal includes webFuuta, webPulaaku, webMande, webGuinée, Camp Boiro Memorial, BlogGuinée, Semantic Africa, SemanticVocabAfrica, webAmeriqa, etc.
Last, steeped in history and blending social sciences with digital tools and technologies, the channel will focus on the prerequisites that Africa must meet in order to break the chains that keep it down and out.
Tierno S. Bah