This week Kudakwashe hosts two esteemed guests – Zimbabwean Academic, Post Colonial Critic & Public Intellectual, George Shire & African Historian, Political Analyst & Editor of Pan African News Wire, Abayomi Azikiwe – in a discussion centred on “Hugo Chavez And The Relevance Of Socialism To Africa.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died last week at the age of 58 following a two-year fight against cancer and a severe respiratory infection. Vice President Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated to serve as interim president till elections are held on 14 April 2013, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution.
Pan African News Wire reports that Chavez will be remembered for his invaluable work in the transformation of Venezuela and Latin America, far from USA dominance. He is described as a champion of socialism, national liberation and international solidarity.
Among other achievements, it is reported that Venezuela’s quality of life improved at the third-fastest pace worldwide during Chavez’ time as leader. Venezuela also attained the lowest income inequality among all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Chavez strongly asserted the indigenous and African roots of Venezuelan and Latin American culture and society. In one of his final messages, he urged countries in the South American and African continents to unite into a “true pole of power”. He also called for “an authentic and permanent link of joint work” between Africa and South America to search for enduring strategies development that would benefit both continents.
This discussion reveals in depth knowledge on socialism as an indication of political alternatives available to Africa, away from the hegemony of the West. The emphasis is on designing political strategies that are “people centred”, and types of governances that have a ”distributive instinct” for the sake of the people. Chavez’ legacy illustrated that it is possible to ensure that lives of the poor can be improved, while at the same time a thriving economy is created and sustained. The poor too can be empowered to rise to be successful participants of a thriving economy.
Living in the ruins of the eras Africa’s has experienced i.e. slave trade, colonialism, apartheid, & neo-colonialism, provide a great opportunity for Africa to move to the another level of leadership and success authentic to itself; where the African people are in charge of their own destiny defiantly.
The legacy of Hugo Chavez proves that there is a shift in global politics where nations are moving from allegiance to Western dictated type of politics, into other political ideals relevant to the realistic needs of people, specific to the times we are living in right now.
Africa and South America are definitely in an era of transformation. Both continents need to harness this opportunity for advanced development defiantly. They can flip over the deliberately created underdevelopment by Western nations, to fundamental revolutionary eras of tangible restoration and sustained prosperity directed by the African people.
Abayomi & George also touched on Kenya’s recent elections that resulted Uhuru Kenyatta being declared President-Elect of Kenya, despite International Criminal Court accusations. This topic was discussed in the context of the will of the African people; relevance of socialism to Kenya; & the partiality of the International Criminal Court and its consequences in Africa.
Kudakwashe concludes the show with a message on leadership that is passionate to address the needs of the poor, in replication to the leadership of Christ who on many occasions gave shunned attention to the under-privileged. She also makes the point that a position of leadership is not for serving a leader’s (or a group of leader’s) interests but a position to steadfastly ensures that the interests of the people are served judiciously, and welfare always spoken up for.
Our sincere apologies to the compromised sound in some parts of this recording. The content remains very valuable to the listener.
Heart of Africa is broadcasted live every Wednesday night at 2100 hours Central Africa Time on www.morelightradio.com. It is dedicated to examining matters that affect Africa from a Pan-African Christian perspective, as we envisage the revival of the African dream. Comments and questions welcome here or via twitter @HeartOfAfrica55. All rights reserved.
Other discussions with Abayomi Azikiwe & George Shire: