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Chapter 1

*Idi Amin Dada

*Contributions of Amin

Chapter 2

*Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

* Contributions of Colonel Gaddafi

Chapter 3

* General Sani Abacha

* Contributions of Abacha

Chapter 4

* The Light and Truth

The world over the centuries has seen the rise and fall of dictators. Dictators whom have terrorized and caused the death of thousands and millions of people. Nations have been in dark years sometimes for decades, all as a result of the selfish desire of some individuals who mostly had good intentions for overthrowing government or working their way to power. Being power drunk and driven has indeed been a worry to nations. 

Despite the horrific and unpleasant scenes in history, Dictators have in one way or the other contributed immensely to the development of their nations and it is usually overlooked especially when it is about an African dictator. The Western World has painted African dictators black and till date disregard their developmental contributions. 

Sometimes it is mind baffling when you hear Western World Nations celebrate or set out days to commemorate their dictators or give a minute praise to their dictators for something good they did. The nations have filtrated the African society so much that we Africans often learn not yet about their dictators but we know every single detail about these western dictators of head but ask any African about his own mother continent’s dictator and he/she would shake his/her head in a shameful and pitiful manner often followed by words of insults.

In this piece of mine, I seek to enlighten Africans about the good works of African dictators that have shaped most countries today from the north to south and east to the west. I do not praise the inhuman acts of these individuals nor second with their reasons for doing so but only advocate to duly acknowledge their contribution just like the Western world we follow blindly. My use of the word “whites” is used to refer to Europeans. Behind the black paintings is a literal on Pan Africanism that would be released in past and different versions.

Chapter 1

Idi Amin Dada

Idi Amin was the President of Uganda from 1971-1979 after he seized power in a military coup in January 1971, sacking Milton Obote. Amin’s 8 years rule was characterized by rumors of cannibalism, frightening human rights abuses, political repression, several extrajudicial killings, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. International observers and human rights groups estimate the death toll of his regime to be around 500,000. 

Contributions of Amin

Political, Sport and Social Contributions

Amin released political detainees in Luzira.  He released one of Sekabaka Muteesa’s sisters, the former vice president who had been sentenced to imprisonment for one year.

 Amin hosted the Organization of African Union (OAU) now African Union. He completed the construction of the OAU conference Centre and Nile Hotel. The Heads of State did come to Uganda as planned even though it seemed but a mere dream.

Amin constructed, purchased and maintained national assets in foreign lands which Uganda till date uses for diplomatic affairs. The Ugandan House in New York, Ugandan House in United Kingdom and diplomatic asserts in Mogadishu, Geneva, Nairobi and Brussels. 

Idi Amin had and made plans to build apartment blocks (Middle to low housing estates) like those in Bugolobi in areas like Kawempe, Mutundwe and Kansanga.

Amin extended electricity to remote areas like Arua and Kyaggwe using the Ugandan Electricity Bureau (UEB).

Amin appointed Elizabeth Bagaya as Africa’s first female Foreign Minister in 1972, before Britain and most of Europe had female Foreign Ministers or women Prime Ministers like Margaret Thatcher.

 Amin promoted and lifted the sports image in Uganda. He thrilled Ugandans and the entire world when he led his cabinet and leading personalities, including religious leaders in a friendly soccer match shortly after taking power. Among those playing was the late Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga of the Roman Catholic Church. Amin also went ahead to provide moral and financial support to sports: In 1972, John Akii Bua won a 400m hurdles gold medal in the Munich Olympics held in Germany the only Gold Uganda has won at the games history. Under Amin, Uganda reached the African cup of Nations finals in 1978 and ever since then, the country has never qualified for the finals.

Economic contributions

Amin built the coffee marketing board property and storage facilities in Mombasa. Uganda is a today high in coffee exports. 

The exchange rate of the shilling to the dollar remained steady between 7shs and 7.50shs from 1971 and 1979

 Amin wanted to ensure the availability of air transport for Ugandans, visitors and air cargo at affordable charges thus he created Uganda’s first and only national flag carrier, the Uganda Airlines Corporation. The rescued ‘The Flying Crane’ proudly traversed the international skies and landed at the world’s airports like Nairobi, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Dubai (in Obote II), and Bombay. The airlines also worked internally, but in present day, Kenya Airways (KA), Rwanda Airways, Air Tanzania has taken over the Ugandan skies after Uganda Airlines plummeted in May 2001.

Amin expanded the Uganda Railways Corporation which saw heavy equipment transported inland, this was much better than ox-drawn wagons. The railway service equally increased the export of coffee and tea.

Amin is the major reason behind Uganda’s success story in the textile industry.

The Western world portrayed Amin as one who seized shops of Asians and foreigners and handed them over to Ugandans. That belief and notion has been rendered false by the Bank of Uganda which has claimed to have all the documents to prove the Amin government valued the Asians’ property and all of them had been fully compensated. 

Despite the killings which can never be forgotten or forgiven, what wrong did Amin do by empowering black Ugandans to manage their own economy? I find it hard to understand why we of African descents are often made implementers in western societies and whites made to manage and run their own economy yet we Africans prefer to hand over our economy and affairs to whites. Several black Americans wish to leave their current locations where they are constant figures of abuses and assaults by whites but the question on their minds “ where do I go, would I be able to survive elsewhere” keeps them where they wish not to be. 

Uganda Commercial Bank under Amin was a strong force that provided Ugandans with capital and services to undertake various projects. What happens today is, the Uganda Commercial Bank has become inferior to the Kenyan Commercial Bank which has left the shores of Kenya and is heavily operating in Uganda.

Idi Amin Dada is said to have done some inhuman activities but behind it all, how many people benefitted and are still benefitting from some great works he did. He believed that, the Whites were neither enemies nor friends to we Africans for if they were enemies, they would have never given us education nor showed us how to do certain things we could have never known and if they were friends of ours, they would have never enslaved us for years under harsh conditions nor be the big reason behind the killing and over throwing of great Black individuals and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.

If PhDs and MBAs in power and in the private sector cannot maintain 20 percent of what Amin’s government, run by semi-literates like Idi Amin himself, Mustapha Adrisi, and Yusuf Gowan left behind, then why do we still value an education system that is theoretical and non-evolving. This has happen not just in Uganda but other African nations have failed to managed what was left behind because we over depend on the Western nations who only think about the benefit they can acquire from Africa. 

Chapter 2

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

Gaddafi seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1969. The charismatic leader of Libya and one of the greatest dictators in African history met his end during the Libyan revolution in 2011 after rebels in Sirte, his city of birth, killed him. He led oil-rich Libya as an absolute dictator, for close to 42 years, he quashed anyone that opposed him, and is said to be responsible for the death of thousands of his people. Libya was governed by a green book which was Gaddafi’s political philosophy. It was first published in 1975.

Contributions of Colonel Gaddafi

Gaddafi considered a home a natural human right. The green book stated: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”.

Libyans neither paid for Education nor medical treatment. Libya had one of the best healthcare services in the Middle East and Africa. Libyan citizens who could not attain a desired educational course or medical treatment in Libya were fully funded to go abroad.

Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project designed to make water readily available to all Libyan’s across the entire country. 

It was free to start a farming business. Libyan interested in farming were given a house, farm land, livestock and seeds all for free. 

A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies. When a Libyan woman gave birth she was given $5000 (US dollars) for herself and the child. Gaddafi made childbearing a blessing for families.

Electricity was free. No Libyan household ever paid for electricity but today, the case is different.

Cheap petrol. Petrol in Libya was as low as $0.14 (US dollars) per liter.

Before Gaddafi, only 25% of Libyans were literate. This was brought up to 87% with 25% earning university degrees.

Gaddafi gave Libya its own state bank which provided loans to citizens at zero percent interest by law and they had no external debt. 

Gaddafi despites the killings had a dream of a single African currency linked to gold which he called the “Gold Dinar”. The elite and world powers in today’s society vehemently opposed this dream. Rumors have it that Gold Dinar was why the NATO led a rebellion oust the Gaddafi. Whether this rumor is true or not, how can we Africans join hands with us entities and other involved nations to kill a visionary like Gaddafi. It is almost 10 years since Libya blindly followed our white friends in killing Gaddafi and the nation is yet to be stable. Libyans for the past years have lived in fear of stray bullets and ready to explode bombs for every day is another war day. The spend the little they now have in rebuilding homes and hospitals, paying medical bills which was once free and off good quality. For 42 years, Libyans were eager to get back home after going abroad for education or medicals, now they are rampantly turning to refuges in their in country.

Gaddafi wanted African nations to finally have the power to bring itself out of debt and poverty and only trade in precious commodity. Our lead would have been able to finally turn down external aid and Africa would have been beyond aid. African nations which produce needed resources would have been able charge whatever they felt suitable for precious resources. Ghana since 2017 has talked of Ghana beyond aid yet Ghana willing begs for loans and aid which mostly has huge strings attached. 

Yes Gaddafi had a bad side of favoring people who talked ill about him but the real fact remains the same, Gaddafi had the people of Libya and Africa at heart and his contributions portrayed it all.   

An Africa of free pricing will, an Africa of no debts, a united Africa, a rich Africa was the dream of Gaddafi. 

I know and I would always stand to say Gaddafi was killed not for his humanitarian reasons but because of the dream of a united Africa free from the shackles of the dollar by imperialists who were helped by my own African brothers and sisters who are now regretting every minute of their lives.

Chapter 3

General Sani Abacha

Sani Abacha became the head of state of Nigeria in 1993 after he sacked the interim president appointed after the annulment of the 1993 elections. The exact details of the dictator’s death in the presidential palace in 1998 remains unclear. Abacha was in power for 5 years from 1993 to 1998 and it was characterized by massive looting and human right abuses such as the public hanging of political activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and jailing several political opponents.

Contributions of Abacha

Gen Abacha created the Petroleum Trust Fund and performed well in infrastructural development and intervention programmes in education, health and water across Nigeria.

Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) was the hand work of Abacha. 

The Abacha administration became the first to record unprecedented economic achievements increasing in the country’s foreign exchange reserves from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997. This also reduced the external debt of Nigeria from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion by 1997.

Inflation rate was significantly reduced during Abacha’s time. Abacha brought all the controversial privatization programs of the Babangida administration to halt, reduced an inflation rate of 54% inherited from Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to 8.5% between 1993 and 1998, all while the nation’s primary commodity, oil was at an average of $15 per barrel.

He was instrumental to the restoration of peace and democracy in Sierra Leone and Liberia after years of civil wars.

He recommended the setting up of the 13% derivation for oil-producing areas and six geo-political zones.

His wife set up the National Hospital, Abuja. It was originally named National Hospital for Women and Children before it was upgraded into what is intended to be Nigeria’s best public hospital.

General Abacha was indeed a suppressor of media freedom and perpetrator of some hideous crimes but as a leader, Abacha did bring economic and social benefits to Nigeria despite his lavish and looting traits. 

Chapter 4

The Light and Truth

Africans cry every day for jobs, we go through the educational system with the best of certificates only to come back home without jobs. This is entirely because we Africans have refused to manage and look after our own economy. We wait for the whites who once enslaved us to bring us what we need. If these whites had what we needed, would they have enslaved us for a century only to steal our human and natural resources. Even in the present world today, these white nations still depend on Africa for a lot of their factory needs. Africa in this current age exports huge amounts of gold, diamond, iron, manganese, bauxite, cocoa, rubber, coffee, cotton, maize, fruits and vegetables, wine, crude oil, among others. We export these resources mostly in the raw form and I wonder if we are ignorant to figure out value can be added to these things and sell as final products. Whites place high value on organic grown crops and high numbers of white farmers result to organic farming yet Africa has turned to a dumping site for fertilizers that have been rejected in the white world. Despite being able to grow and feed western nations, despite whites and Asians coming to Africa to farm on our lands with our own labour and export back home, despite all these, Africa cannot still feed its self. I doubt if there is any country in Africa that can feed its population for six (6) months in times of crises. Now I understand why it has taken me over a year to complete this first version. If any African doubts my words, let me enlighten you on the events that surrounded Africa’s Covid-19 cases. During the Covid-19 world outbreak

US President Donald Trump withdrew funding to the World Health Organizations and within minutes, reports of Africa being the worse affected took over airwaves. The Caribbean and Africa, who should need funding the most.

The US which had recorded one of the highest cases and deaths and struggling to cope with their current cases, had their President, Donald Trump have an over the phone meeting with some African countries like South Africa and directed on compacting Covid-19. I wish to ask, why he could not call the Russian and Chinese President or other European governments of highly affected countries like Italy, UK, Spain, among others, which at the point of the outbreak truly needed such advises. Is it because President Donald Trump wanted to portray his dominance over Africans. Is it because the US in a way or two has an authoritative say in the affairs of Africa.

Donations are good in times of epidemics but why did Spain reject donations of protective equipment by Jack Ma. Yes they were reported to be defective and no supplies were sent as replacement. Now where did these defective supplies land in? I believe it was not burnt nor disposed. Aside Spain, Africa was the other destination of supplies. The question is, were these supplies checked like in Spain, were these supplies disinfected as the source of the supply was China which was another epicenter of Covid-19. How difficult is it to produce such protective equipment in Africa. 

He/ she who claims Africa is self-sufficient should reflect on the reasons behind Ghana lifting a lockdown after over thousand Covid-19 cases were confirmed. Just three (3) weeks of lockdown in two (2) regions of the country and the entire country was affected by it. The Ghanaian government found it very difficult and failed to feed part of the population of the two locked down regions. Imagine if they were to feed the entire country with a population of about thirty (30) million people. A country which claims to have tonnes of food supplies in its buffers failed to feed about a fourth of the population. My only hope is the events of Covid-19 teaches Africans to limit import of food. The Ghanaian government has taken huge sums of loans to aid combat Covid-19 but how well has such loan facilities been used. Are there things within the budget leading to the loan that can be produced in Ghana rather than purchasing? 

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