Global “Superdom” and Africa’s Resources

April 23, 2011

Growing up in small rural and urban communities in Ethiopia, many may still remember the day they saw in the 1980s long commotions of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) army. It was unusual to see such commotion in peaceful communities even though there was fighting between government forces and rebel armies elsewhere in the country.

Many may also remember hearing and reading back then slogans in support of the USSR and that it was one of the two global superpowers, the other being the United States of America. With the fall of socialism came the weakening and disintegration of the USSR, which was followed by the fall of the government in Ethiopia that drew support from it.

What seems to be obvious to many now is that the USSR had leverage in Africa at a time when it rose to global “superdom”.

To be clear, the term superdom is used here superficially since an objective definition of it is not definite and its interpretation not universal. However, there are various ways of looking at the sentiment including economic and other considerations.

Just recently, a study came out suggesting that language was African born.

There are indications that faith was also African born and elevated to the level of religion elsewhere. Take the word God for example. It seems to have come through the following evolutionary changes: Gofta (Oromo language), Geta (Amharic), Goita (Tigrigna), Gott (German), Goth (Old Norse), Guth (Gothic), and God (Old English, Middle English, English, Dutch). Given the similarities in these words and their meanings, it would not be difficult to get in the temptation of contemplating if these words are in fact related in an evolutionary sense.

Gofta, Geta, and Goita in Oromo, Amharic and Tigrigna languages, respectively, roughly mean lord, a mortal. In Oromo language, a non-mortal equivalent to God is Waka; which seems to suggest that faith in Oromo language is misinterpreted and elevated to religion elsewhere.

To the extent that religion has its own global influence, one can also argue that religious superdom is based on the faith system that was African born.

Take democracy as well. A documentary called Greece: Secrets of the Past, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and produced several years ago, suggests that the Athenians that started voting some five hundred years B.C. and sparked Europe’s Classical Civilization took the idea of voting from elsewhere.

Today, the quest for democracy is gaining the force of a global superdom. Young people around the world are paying their blood to bring democracy to their country’s future generations.

Various reports indicate that China seems busy today to take the place of the former USSR in terms of competing with the U.S. while trying to get traction in Africa. The Economists latest report indicates that it is getting more than a third of its oil consumption from Africa. Another way of looking at this may be that Africa's oil fuels the movement of more than a third of China's mobile population and various means of production.

For more than a century before the founding of the U.S. in 1776, Africans who were brought to the U.S. worked on large farms. It can be argued that this labor contributed to the foundation, development, and later on the rise of the U.S. to sustained global superdom.

All these connections can be looked at in various ways. One way to look at them is to contemplate about the equities in our contributions to produce and utilizations of the products. Another way to look at it is to think that we are all interconnected and that what all these show are humanity’s shared experience on earth with Africa as its home and source of prominence.

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