and then someone comes along and says it better...40 years earlier

this interview excerpt from Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor in many ways says what i was trying to say in my "Ghana @ 50" feature much better than i did, and in far, far less words. at the least, it serves as a nice companion to the feature:

Serumaga (interviewer): How do you see the African society itself, trying to transform itself under the new circumstances? Is it succeeding, or is it, in your view, failing to do this?

Awoonor: Well, I think it was one of the African leaders who talked about us having to sort of jet-propel ourselves into the twentieth century, and this is a fact; and within this process of jet-propelling ourselves into the twentieth century, we are going to commit all kinds of blunders, and the blunders are self-evident in the situation which Africa is in today. Politically or socially, the whole question of economic organizations and social organizations, or political institutions, has really come out to show that we have not had our education properly in terms of what we are trying to do; we become black Europeans, either black Frenchmen as you see in most of the French-speaking African countries, or black Englishmen as you see in most of the English-speaking African countries. But I think there is a medium somewhere, there is a centre somewhere, where some kind of security is going to be achieved which has no relationship with political institutions - either political ideologies or concepts of democracy, or what not and so on. Those concepts might come in handy and useful, but then the basis is going invariably to be found in the society which we are trying to change, the society which is going to drive jet air-planes, and is going to use railways and is going to build harbours and so on.

- except from an interview in African Writers Talking, 1967

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