With few days left before the end of 2011 and the ushering in of 2012 it makes sense to consider the importance of this shift and what it means in terms of drawing from historical parallels. This approach may be the right strategy because one would be right to conclude that resolutions are not made in a vacuum. In fact resoultions come about as a result of deep thought that involves stock taking of those major life goals that were not accomplished because they could not be achieved within the receding year. This retrospection involves a parallel analysis usually of the immediate past. The departure of the foregoing from the task at hand are two folds. First of all, this essay is concerned with the approach of an entire continent rather than with how individuals’ future aspirations ought to be recalibrated. Secondly, whereas the suggestion was made that a parallel analysis is appropriate against the backdrop of the immediate occurances of the ending year, this essay’s parallel strategy is to draw upon what occured within a hundred year period juxtaposing perceptions of gains or loss against what the possibilities could unravel in the next hundred years. In other words, how can the lessons of 1912 and the consequences thereof be used as markers for a continental new year resolution that would have the life span of one hundred years. Before dismissing this idea one ought to consider the first most obvious parallels between 2012 and 1912. Both dates are leap years.
As suggested by google search, perhaps the most significant event recorded to have occured on the African continent in 1912 was the establishment of the African National Congress (ANC) in the then apartheid South Africa http://www.historyorb.com/events/date/1912. Other than its relevance for the history of South Africa, this event formed part of the African resistance narrative that historians agree have abounded on the continent since the arrival of the first Europeans and therefore the ANC story is not unique in that sense. Consequently, there may have been a number of significant occurances within Africa, some recorded and others relegated to the anals of oral history and folklore, for which one should be guided by this possibility not to limit the progress of the continent to this single listed event in South Africa. Nontheless, for the sake of advancing the agenda of this essay what occured in South Africa could be subsumed under the broader anti-colonial narrative that eventually lead to the establishment of nation-states all across Africa. That being accomplished, what lessons can the continent learn on the anniversary of another hundred years? Contrariwise, what are the shortcomings of the continent that can be turned into a new year resolution for the next century to come?
An appropriate response to the latter should most necessarily prompt an inexhaustive ‘to do’ list. These should include but not be limited to the following: a search for an African industrial revolution, creation of workable structures for conflict resolution and peace maintainance, search for the core African values and mechanisms for striking a cord of commonality across teritorial borders within the continent, neutralizaiton of corruption or at least the spectre of political laundering of money by African politicians to the west the consequence of which is the creation of job opportunities for citizens of the west while the rest of Africa goes hungry etc.