Africans in the diaspora have called on African governments to eliminate systemic structures that allow only a few of the population to have access to resources and opportunities.
Mr Shouari Akil, High School Principal, New York City Department of Education, said, Africa’s underdevelopment had not been because the people were inferior but because some structures had deepened their social stratification.
“It’s not about mentality, it’s about systemic structures in place that only allow very few to obtain a level of fortune,” he said.
Mr Akil said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency when he and his wife visited the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre in commemorating the Black History Month.
He noted that Africa had all the resources (both natural and human) to create prosperity for its people as espoused by Pan-Africanists like Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey and Dr W.E.B. Du Bois.
Mr Akil said Ghana was one of the wealthiest nations in the world in terms of natural resources but overwhelming majority of the people did not benefit from the resources due to some structures that prevented equal access to resources.
The High School Principal said, nations like Nigeria and Congo with abundant natural resources had systemic structures interwoven with ideals of colonialism that kept the citizens from reaping the benefits.
He said the western world still had some control on African political and economic systems and said quality and higher education for all should be one of the tools in breaking down the systemic structures, whilst making the citizens believed in their own future.
He said citizenry needed to know their identity and develop their potentials.
“Governments must make huge and lasting investments in key sectors of the economy and not forgetting the development of women as the backbone of strong nations.
Dr Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Superintendent, Uniondale Union Free School District, Long Island, New York, said, patriarchy was hindrance to women’s development.
“As black women, often times we are not given positions of authority, we still are underestimated, our credibility is always questioned, we have to work twice as harder,” she said.
Dr Darrisaw-Akil said African governments ought to make women education in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) paramount.
The Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States.
It honours all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.