THE EDITOR, Sir:
The news that the European Union (EU) has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize is cause for reflection.
With the lapse of 128 years since Germany hosted the Berlin Conference, people of African descent are called upon to consider the role a united Europe has played in the continent of Africa.
In 1884, the year of the conference, my great-grandfather was 20 years old. That was the year the European countries sat at a table in Berlin and divided Africa up among themselves.
It is what these relatively rich nations have done for themselves, and not what they have done to others, that has been recognised by the Nobel Prize Committee.
It's Europe's failure to admit to the wrongness of dividing a continent and raping its resources, leaving behind an impoverished population, that is most worrying to us pan-Africanists. It could be said that we, too, have had our own European-orchestrated 'holocaust'.
To all right-thinking people, this award, placed in its correct historical context, is most unbefitting. The award was "a salute to the struggling 27-nation union for its work in promoting democracy and reconciliation since World War II".
PROSPERITY AT AFRICA'S EXPENSE
The fact is that much of Europe's prosperity has been attained as a consequence of their rapacious exploits of our continent, leaving behind in its trail African impoverishment, political instability, and massive underdevelopment. To top it all off, they have sought to interpret history, with all the wrongs they have done to Africa, by classifying us as lazy, unable to rule ourselves, and responsible for the famine and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa!
This Nobel Peace Prize is the considered tribute to the EU from none other than its fellow European country, Norway. Unlike others, Africans must not forget this episode in our history, lest others seek, at our peril, to repeat it.
BERT S. SAMUELS