Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Haiti celebrates 204 yrs!

State of Mind: What does independence really mean as far as a country's stability is concerned? After attending Haiti's Independence day celebration, a few thoughts came to mind.

Last Saturday, I accompanied my friend Abi to a celebration of Haiti's 204 years of Independence. Congratulations to Haiti and my new Haitian connections. It was quite an enjoyable event. The people, the hospitality, the food and the music ofcourse. I learned alot about the country from the Ambassador, their Honorees of the evening and even Ambassador Andrew Young of NCC & Goodworks International in the few hours we were there.

Somehow, I had forgotten from the History I learned years ago that Haiti had it's independence more than 200 yrs ago! Waoh! That was a surprise to me given all the crisis that country continues to face in recent times. For the record, Haiti was also the first free black republic in the world to proclaim it's independence on the 1st of Jan. 1804. Although young in democracy, the Ambassador had some good things to say about his country.

We were shown some slideshows of philanthropic work by one of Haiti's big investors and honoree of the evening, Brad Horwitz , President of Comcel -"Voila", a telecommunications company! Vivid images of underdevelopment. Although it was nothing new, it evoked raw emotions and got my mind spinning. You would think that after 200yrs of Independence a country like that would have emancipated to be categorized and seen differently by the rest of the world. I hope Haiti wakes and changes the situation for themselves sooner than later. Perhaps its times to follow the wave of change that is being echoed all over the world today.

Let me go back to Africa for a second. And so I ask you, what is the significance of celebrating X number of years of independence if our countries don't reflect it in terms of economic, political and social stability? Are we more intrigued by the number of years we've gained our various independence than we are by our actual accomplishments? I'm wondering what Africa would look and feel like when most of it's countries start celebrating over a hundred years of independence? With most of them just past midpoint or close, their current vision and structures leaves you with lots of questions. All I can say is, my people, we can start reshaping our countries and continent today if we permit ourselves to plan and put solid infrastructures in place for the generations that we will never encounter. Not just the type of structures that will be around for the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 simply because our greed only allows us to plan for what we can directly benefit from.

Lord I pray that my people may have foresight and vision!

1 comment:

Nshek said...

I can see that you had a good time down there.
I haven't been following the events in haiti these few months, but I believe that the political tension has eased a little. Since his advent to power President Rene Preval has been doing a pretty good job. It is far from perfect but from the latest UN reports, the country appears to be more stable.
if 204 years laters haitians are still trying to make sense out of their independence then I bet Africa has a long way to go. I don't want to compare both cases, but there are too many similarities. does it has something to do with race or it just coincidence. Nevertheless, I try to stay optimistic as far as the faith of my continent is concerned.