Tribalism is a strong tool that can be used to Propel Africa to a new dimension of sustainable development — Nkwain JP Sam

Call it Tribalism. Call it Tribal development. Calling it tradition. There is nothing in taking Africa back to the tribal era. Tribalism is the root and fabric of the African society. It is where we derive a sense of pride in being African. I consider myself more of a Bafmeng than a citizen of Cameroon, in the same way a Bangwa is more of a Bangwa than he is a Cameroonian, and a Ntone is more a Douala than he is Cameroonian.

Tribal belonging is valued more than national identity when it comes to Africa and we cannot deny that. Since the independances we have tried to make abstaction of tribalism and give precedence to the concept of citizenship. I guess this was, for our leaders, a way to model Africa after the west and foster her development.I cannot begin to understand the origin of the beliefs and values of the Nationalist leaders who have been trying to implement a Eurocentric system of government that ignores our tribalism.

Capitalists claim that those kingdoms (tribes) were governed by socialism and not by Capitalism. In other words they insist that there was an almost zero level at that time of such kindgoms. There is no thriving socialist economy in the world today, they hold.

To counter this, Trabalism does not go against Nationalism. In fact, I do not understand a notion of nationalism that define “nations” through colonial borders. I do not understand how they think such borders which sometimes divide tribes into different nationalities could bring about national solidarity. We need to take advantage of our strong tribal ties to create a grassroots democracies that will derive power from tribal belonging.

Take a critical look at the same western countries. Western countries are homogeous. In fact most of them have a chamber in their Congress or Parliament that gives equal power to all regions (tribes?) on the decisions of the countries.

I equate western geographical regions with African tribes because maybe with few exception, (that I do not know), there is a unique relation between a tribe and a geographical area.

Nkwain John Paul Sam

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