To commemorate Africa Day yesterday (25.05.18), the University of Seychelles (UniSey) in collaboration with the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (Cinea), organised a lecture under African Union’s theme for this year ‘Winning the fight against Corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’.
The lecture was delivered by two guest speakers — Ambassador Peter Sinon, the secretary general of Seychelles Labour Union (SLU) and Ras Thandolwetu Sipuye, a South African historian.
Present at the UniSey theatre for the presentations were Vice-Chancellor Justin Valentin, Dean for Faculty of Arts and Social Development Joelle Perreau, Ambassador Bernard Shamlaye, students and guests, who were all welcomed by African sounds and drum beats performed by Archille Luc and Danny Dufresne, together with some UniSey staff.
Historian Sipuye described corruption in Africa as a thorny and complex subject deeply intertwined with coded, coated, structured and embedded in the age-old racist colonial narratives and perceptions about Africa and African people.
He added that neo-colonialism has inculcated corruption into Africa in different mechanisms and operations for dominance control which has resulted in genuine African leaders who placed the interests of African people before personal benefits being overthrown or assassinated.
Mr Sipuye said that, before, corruption was not part of African culture as the African culture was based on good living values, neighbourhoods, sharing etc… and that we must never fall into the trap of thinking that corruption is uniquely an African problem as in fact Africa’s number one problem and the challenge is not so much corruption but rather the acceptance of continued domination by European culture, political, economic and social institutions.
“We must re-imagine our old culture and invent new cultures to serve Africa. Culture is the immune system of a people, their supreme defense against alien invasion,” he said.
Mr Sipuye blamed the African Union (AU) for remaining a toothless dog in the greater scheme of world politics which has allowed African leaders to become self-serving stooges of global white supremacy. African leaders have internalised and embraced colonial values such that their very modes of behaviour, their very modes of being and modes of government are largely patriarchal and centred around male figures, silencing and erasing women.
Ambassador Sinon stressed on the need for the youth to fight against corruption in this day and age as they will be the ones to lead in the future and they have to aspire for a clean corruption free society by then.
Mr Sinon gave examples of famous anti-corruption quotes by famous people like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Pope Francis to name a few. He noted that there must be a political will to fight corruption and that those invested to fight corruption must be given the necessary power to do so that will enable them to bite and not to act as toothless watchdogs.
“Those that do so on their own free will such as whistle blowers need to be protected and we need to promote investigative journalism,” he said.
The audience sought further clarification from the presenters after the lecture.
Sources : Seychelles NATION