Does African Lack Ambition?


The richest man ever in the history of Humanity is African.

His Name is Mansa Musa, Emperor of the 14th century Mali Empire which covered modern day Mali, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea.

At the time of his death in 1331, Mansa Musa was worth the equivalent of 400 billion dollars. Before European invasion of Africa, Mali Empire was producing more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold.

When Mansa Musa went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 he carried so much gold, and spent them so lavishly that the price of gold fell for ten years.

He founded the library of Timbuktu, and the famous manuscripts of Timbuktu which cover all areas of world knowledge were written during his reign.

At that same period, Europe was a continent plunged into the Dark Ageravaged by famine, killing one another for religious and ethnic reasons, and in most parts occupied by Genghis Khan Mongol empire armies.

Africa was a continent of tens of great and prosperous empires and kingdoms with King Askia Toure  of Songhay, King Behanzin Hossu Bowelle of Benin, Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia, King Shaka ka Sezangakhona of South Africa, and Queen Nzinga of Angola, Queen Yaa Asantewaa of Ghana, Queen Amina of Nigeria.

Now comes the unavoidable question: What happened to that generation of global traders, pyramid builders, Kingdom and Empire Princes and Queens?

Where are the modern version of these fearless African Warriors and Civilization builders?

Sadly, nothing is left of them. When European invaded Africa they applied the 4 basic principles of any occupant forces:

1. First, Kill the strong and loot the place

2. Second, Breed the weak

3. Third, Deport or Exile the smartest and the skilled ones

4. Fourth, Impose the golden colonial rule “My way or the Highway”.

The Kings and their descendants were all killed. Additionally, 3 centuries of transatlantic slavery exported more than 12 millions of the finest men and women from Africa to America.

In many countries what is now left as population is sadly the breed of the weak, fearful, and obedient.

5 centuries of European occupation produced only generations and generations of obedient and weak minded people. (Read the book  How Europe Underdeveloped Africa).

Unsurprisingly none of these generations have being nurtured in creating empire and waging wars, defending their territory, protecting their children and women.

To the pain of my heart, everyday I can see that the dream of most of this domesticated African Elite is limited to: working for the white man, having kids, building a house (a big one that impresses the neighborhood) and having a multitude of mistresses. That’s all. All surplus of energy is invested in vanity seeking activities!

In Burkina-Faso only 12 new books are published every year. In Mali 14, in Benin 84, in Madagascar 119, while small countries like France, Portugal or Holland publish each year more than 30.000 new book titles in their own small local languages.

The current African elite is unfortunately made of descendants of the breed of the weak, the most obedient and fearful among us. They are trained to fear and obey. They can’t be leaders. They are slaves in suit, filled with inferiority complexes, lacking grandiose and inspiring ambition for their people and Nations. We can’t do much with them for the renaissance of the African continent.

It’s time we revive in the mind of a new generation of Africans the true nature of their ancestors, the past glory of their empires, the pride of its warriors, conquerors and civilization builders, and clearly make them understand that the 5 “Centuries of Shame” under European occupation shall end with a new generation of Leaders and Builders!

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About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

6 Responses to “Does African Lack Ambition?”

  1. Osborn Adu Kwarteng

    Yaa Asentewaa was not a Queen Mother of Ghana, and she did not live in the 1300's. She died in 1921 and was the Queen Mother of Ejisu, which was a town in the Ashanti Empire.

  2. Sura Mbaya

    Africa doesn't lack ambition. It lacks unity. Like you mentioned, few dream of being great these days. Everyone wants to be elite or middle class and since it's mostly a zero-sum game, rather than work together to raise collective wealth, it's about climbing up the monkey tree by riding on the shoulders of others.

  3. Renne Lupalo

    Look at modern Kenya today, sons of colonial chiefs and collaborators are now rulers and billionaires maintaining the status quo is genetically coded in them. Their children go to the best schools either in Kenya or abroad all run by the white, how can we redeem ourselves!

  4. Bank Arow

    I'm not impressed. Mansa Musa, if indeed, had all that wealth and squandered it in such a way ….was a FOOL! And a prototype of the current indolent, spendthrift waste of skin that call themselves leaders on the African continent. Is the purpose of wealth impressing foreigners ? He would have been better off not being born

  5. Yimer Ali

    Africa doesn't lack ambition. we African lacks unity.we have both human and material resource , unlikely of others . to make it real (African dev't) our leaders should work hard in intra-regional infrastructural development external y,and internally they should have to trained their citizen in every profession


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