As the world celebrates Black History Month, discussions about ways to end modern slavery in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, have gained momentum.

Although slavery was abolished in Africa in the 19th century, it still exists in various forms, fueled by Western influences. This has led to cases of inferiority complex, poverty, and low self-esteem, hindering the progress of the African continent.

This year’s Black History Month theme is “Black Resistance,” which explores how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings, since the nation’s earliest days.

Experts suggest that to end slavery, Africans must shift their mindset and undergo a reorientation that acknowledges the need to maintain their identity. Specifically, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Nigeria should take responsibility for reorienting Nigerians. Schools and families also have a role to play in ensuring children take pride in speaking their mother tongue, love their skin, hair, and everything that identifies them as Africans.

Africans must retrace their steps back to their roots if Africa is to be truly liberated from modern-day slavery. Peace and stability in governance and good infrastructures capable of driving development must be put in place. African governments must attract the black diaspora by offering them incentives that will attract them to visit, do business, and eventually settle or have a second home in Nigeria.

To immortalize leaders who worked tirelessly for African emancipation, remembrance days can be set aside for them, and monuments erected in their honor. Their stories can be taught in history, storybooks, and museums. Movies and documentaries can be made to keep their memory fresh in the minds of this generation and those yet to come.

African leaders must wake up to ensure the continent is well positioned to generate and sustain its economy independently without interference from imperialists. The best way to achieve this is by promoting independent African economy and African excellence on all fronts.

Without purposeful leadership in Africa, the Black History Month will continue to be a mere historical reference. Thus, it is important for African leaders to work towards creating a future that is free from slavery, where Africans can take pride in their identity, and be confident in themselves.

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