SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND ITS SUSTENANCE IN AFRICA
There is no gainsaying the fact that Africa is inundated with many problems which have made the development and the attainment of social order, conceived in normative terms, daunting tasks. It is also a fact that there are many causes of this scenario such as political marginalization, ethnic chauvinism, economic mismanagement, religious bigotry and corruption in its various facets. However, in this disquisition we identify the lack of the development, internalization and application of the sense of community, loosely tagged community consciousness, as a major factor that has aggravated the African crisis and which if addressed can reverse the order of things positively. It is the contention of this paper that fundamentally in the case of Africa, as shown in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria, there has been a blind pursuit of private or individual interests to the detriment of the public sphere or public good. Ironically too, when leaders put up repressive laws in the pretense to pursue the public good, the underlying motive has always been the pursuit of selfish private whims and caprices. We noted that in contemporary Africa a major way towards a desired level of social order and development consists in engendering the required sense of community (a situation in which there is mutual co-operation, interdependence and fellow-feeling) on which other developments can be predicated. Although, the quest and realization of the sense of community is not a grand solution to our myriad of problems in Africa, at least it forms the basis on which we can start to address our problems in Africa in a meaningful way.
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