Africa is perhaps the most miserable place the world has ever known. This fact is all but ignored by the media in western Countries. Most of the governments here, although calling themselves promoters of democracies, are ruthless dictatorships, ruled by greed and callous disregard for human life and dignity. They are supported by religious institutions that desire a share in the power, and they are supported by the "Western World" because they can still exploit them for profit. That's Africa, for you friends.
The misery of Africa and poor Africans should make the rest of the world hang their heads in shame. In my country Uganda and Africa in general, we are in the same social position that Europe was for two thousand years until the early nineteen hundreds.
The poor were slaves, exploited on farms and in factories. There was no care for their health or well-being, children were sent to the mines or to slave for 14 hours a day in terrible factories. That was the system the colonizers brought to our lovely Africa when they colonized us.
In Europe they got rid of tribal differences, got rid of religion in government through instituting separation of religion from government and only then could they move on and create a decent society. Until we do this, change and civilization is still decades away from us here in Africa. Tribalism and nepotism are far worse than racism.
Uganda and most African countries will have to embrace strong atheist activism if we are to smell the waves of change that we are currently observing in countries like Ghana and Tanzania which are offering much hope to their citizens. But again religion is influencing them from hitting that "red button" of reality within secular and atheist principles. Our arms should always be unfolded for them too.
Nothing on this continent can change until nepotism and tribal differences are rendered a non-issue, religion is made powerless, and dictators, rulers, and kings think of their people before themselves. This shouldn't discourage us from doing everything we can to change this state of affairs.
We should not let religionists determine our fate, or mark our boundaries. We should lay the foundation of which other future generations will continue when we are tired or transformed in immortals humans (this is my wish to be enhanced to become more useful even when I no longer hold this life which I have now).
The recent extravaganza by the king in Swaziland is a criminal offence to human dignity. The majority of citizens of Swaziland survive on next to nothing, they suffer the highest AIDS rate in Africa, and last year King Mswati allowed his wives to go on an expensive shopping trip in Europe. His 14 wives each own and drive a BMW, heavy security guards paid by taxpayer's money belonging to the poor citizens of Swaziland. Christianity is the dominant religion in Swaziland, but traditional myth still carries more influence in the lives of Swazi people.
The kingdom of Swaziland is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies. King Mswati III rules by decree over his million subjects, most of whom live in the countryside and follow traditional ways of life and very poor indeed. Nonetheless, the waves of change are blowing weakly there too, even though State control of the media is strong. The government controls all radio and TV stations with the exception of a Christian radio station. The freedomof expression in the press is seriously restricted.
Some of these issues are very hard to talk about here in Africa; so when we skip them for a while, just understand that it's because of Church and State oppression. For example, free-thinkers would love to tackle the issue of GLBT rights, but because homosexuality is illegal, and because even the discussion of homosexuality is illegal, it's too dangerous to discuss it, it's the same thing with overpopulation, abortion and many more issues.
In Uganda, we don't have the right to freedom of speech and the right to assemble peacefully to discuss political issues. The very disappointing thing is that, the Government and religionists think that the issue of faith, beliefs and religions should not be debatable.
If caught discussing the issues facing GLBT people, the police will suddenly come upon us, beat us, blackmail us, and literally drive gays and supporters of gay’s rights to the dungeons. Currently Government of Uganda is proposing a new bill that will require death penalty when convicted of homosexual charges, this bill also criminalizes anyone who defends or associates with a gay, lesbian person. It’s still in the Parliament of Uganda.
Ugandan Government on several occasions threatened to expel diplomats from Uganda for their advise on how the government should tackle the GLBTs issues. As I write this, every day the police and other state security agents arrests gays and put them behind bars and blackmail them as child molesters, they often put them in front of cameras, we have witnessed the police assaulting them in cameras.
AAU would like to be bound together by our separation of state from religions, Overpopulation, abortion and of course the GLBTs rights which is like hot potatoes in any mouth, and by our common humanity. We hope that this initiation will create a bond between AAU and all free thinkers and atheists around the globe..
Members of AAU, just like most of you have no influence in any country. We are all pawns in some ridiculous 'game' that powerful people are playing, a 'game' that is destroying human happiness as well as the planet. Happiness should be a right of everyone born. But a few of us have chosen to not withhold our activism while the people and the environment are being destroyed. We must rise up against the few people who try to dictate how we should live our lives.
On Gay life, many people in Uganda and outside the Country know about my campaigning for the last several years for GLBT equality--even though my sexual orientation status is not known to the public, I am aware of heterosexuals who actively support gay rights. Here in Uganda, this concept is unknown. Gay people have assumed that I am gay because I support their freedom. When I fail to respond to them as they expect, they have shunned me. This breaks my heart.
I have suffered a lot for this work. In my future articles, I will describe in detail what the police did to me. I have observed that gays only get rights in countries that are relatively wealthy, where there is little poverty, and where citizens generally live in freedom from fear of their government. Most importantly, GLBT people have rights where there is freedom of intellectual expression--that is, no censorship of speech, news media or television programs. People in these wealthy, well- maintained countries may say they follow a religion, but never go to church or do anything about it.
That describes Australia and New Zealand, Western Europe, Canada and some states of the U.S.A. Until all those things happen in Uganda and the general African continent, there is no hope whatever of equality for gays, no matter who is the leader of the gay movement, because the government and religious leaders, and the wealthy are so corrupted, so arrogant, so uncaring about other humans, that they would rather kill you than allow you to share their good fortune.
Even in some egalitarian societies, minorities such as gays have to treat everyone as an enemy until proved otherwise, and very carefully negotiate between the enemy lines, not attracting too much attention. Africa is now the most Christian/Islamic continent and therefore the most homophobic.
We hope that, in many generations to come, the waves of change will start blowing in Africa as the result of our continued work in the only lagged behind continent. But Africans need friends like you if we are to bring that fundamental impact within our lives and societies.