Africa's problems emanate from our inability to convert or change the large labour reserves, also called "states", to become a true extension of our political wishes.
Whether one is looking at Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria or Mozambique, these labour reserves were created to loot resources and oppress people by subjecting them to hard labour as well as depriving them any sense of belonging.
The ultimate goal was to create very productive colonies that will perpetually support capitals in Europe, whether Sir George Grey or António de Oliveira Salazar is in charge or not.
All the financial and economic gains or progress were, and still are, exclusively for the benefit of the invaders and settlers, as well their sending countries in Europe plus their allies.
It is no surprise that even in the South African context we continue to argues among ourselves if monopoly capital is white or not. Clearly, the mark is permanent in the head and no one will delete it.
Nonetheless, the pain which came with colonialism, ruthless demarcations and brutal conquest meant any form of political organisation and systems in Africa were destroyed, together with their kingdoms, tribes, villages, and of course the people.
People were coerced into becoming part of a quasi-polity that was never meant for them.
Nobody, except for denialists like Helen Zille, would ever argue in favour of colonialism and its equally notorious siblings of apartheid and slave trade.
Depending on the depth of colonialism, people in these reserves were certain to be forever doomed. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the worst illustration of exploitation that doesn't even hold a promise that it will end any time soon.
When colonialism finally "ended" in Africa from the late 1950s, all the hell broke loose.
People were suddenly expected to embrace these new states which were built on their blood and sweat, but now traded under a new name and with 'better' masters in charge.
For example, there was no way Algerian guerrillas would suddenly embrace the "new" state as their own, at least from a psychoanalytic point of view. The repressive system set up by the French and their local collaborators was not meant to uplift the Berber tribes, but to extend the French territory across the Mediterranean.
Serious political engineering was necessary to tame the angry local after 'independence'.
Besides calling him a citizen with voting rights, and notwithstanding the fact that violence and brutality continued - something more decisive had to be done.
Even the early leaders noted this gap between the 'old oppressed slave' and the urgent need to foster some political unity. They sugar-coated the deep scars and also the visible cracks that characterised the supposed end of colonial rule in Africa.
Instead of deepening efforts to heal the pain as well as attempt to create a political entity with a true African identity, they simply changed a labour reserve into a state.
In this way, they opted for an easy, convenient resolution of retaining the colonial borders and artificial social hierarchies created by Europeans, based mainly on western education and master-house nigger relations.
Educated peasants rose to lead traditional upper classes as 'Europeanism' trounced African systems. African identity was buried with no hope of reincarnation some day in the future.
I guess the likes of Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Modibo Keita of Mali, Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Sekou Touré of Guinea, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Ben Bella of Algeria, Emperor Haile Selasse of Ethiopia, William Tubman of Liberia, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and many others never really envisioned what was still going to come.
The new state was characterised by violence, which be fittingly was always a weapon for creating the colonies.
Therefore, one can safely argue that a psychological barrier between the African state and local populace exists to this day. The end of colonialism has not brought any material and immaterial changes to those who matter, local people.
Master slaves (those annointed to rule the independent states) emulated their former oppressors by oppressing lower castes. In the eyes of the ordinary people there was absolutely no difference between the 'old' (colonies) and the 'new' (post-colonial states).
Post-colonial states were not tuned to change lives of citizens for the better.
At the heart of the notion of post-colonial statehood was the absence of a caring state, which is built on trust and common political vision.
Instead, post-colonial states became fiefdoms and personal properties of heartless rulers, called presidents for life, whose brute and forcefulness extinguished the African dream.
Today African resources that should be spent on improving lives of the people are safely stored Swiss banks and other tax heavens across the world.
The problems do not stop there, the continent loses trillions of US dollars each in the form illicit financial flows, sometimes with the full knowledge of those who are supposed to safeguard interests of the people.
It appears that the end of colonialism took Africans by surprise. Or was it a bogus operation that was created to mislead and or to justify daylight looting and oppression?
As it was the case with the liberators, consecutive governments and intellectuals were equally lazy to think of new systems on the continent that would mark a total departure from repressive European regimes.
Francophone and Anglophone identities, for example, represent new colonialism dressed up in a new colourful suit.
Post-colonial states in Africa voluntarily elected to exist in the shadows of their former colonisers through the seemingly innocent structures like the British Commonwealth and La Francophonie.
Indeed, I could be over simplifying the problem but something needed to happen. Burkina Faso's Thomas Sankara, Egypt's Gamal Nasser and a few others went for the high gear in an attempt to create different societies in their countries. Dogs of war were set on them.
It is either that Africa will never ever have "suitable" policies or countries will have to die a violent death in order for them to resurface in a new form, not decided by Europeans.
Governments remain a property that is not accessible to citizens but only accessed by pseudo-elites who unashamedly gobble the resources for their sole gratification.
It is perhaps only in Africa where faceless 'things' like 'markets' and 'investment community' have a stronger voice than citizens. But what exactly can be expected? The countries were never designed or created to advance interests of people, but aliens.
One is compelled to conclude that the design of an African state, in its present form, manufactures poverty and chaos. And also benefits others but Africans themselves.
Sometimes it is extremely difficult to argue that an African state exists at all. There is a paragon of continued mess, and heightened violence against people.
Only up until Africans create their own systems of governance - there shall be no peace. And, the labour reserves were always doomed to fail.
Africa needs a re-think.
Marta Szebehely and Mia Vabø refer to the Nordic welfare states as ‘social service states’ or ‘Caring States’ because they "offer a wide variety of services, including care services for children and elderly, to citizens of all socioeconomic groups."
The notion of a Caring State, in my view, goes beyond the nominal or traditional role of the state, which is provision of goods and or services. Of course, the Nordic universalist welfare policy is exemplary in terms of what a state should do.
The philosophy underlying these welfare policies can certainly help us to create Caring States in Africa. But the African state needs to go beyond thinking that only providing welfare as the main goal, more needs to be done.
So, I see a notion of a Caring State to be a way of thinking as reflected in policies, institutions, social interactions and structures that constitute a state.
A Caring State does not see itself as provider or bully, but a guardian of those who live within and without it. Its internal and foreign policies put people ahead of all other interests, whether political or economic.
A Caring State also eliminates violence, abuse, classism and identities, as well as attempts to reconfigure our understanding of what constitutes physical borders in its operations.
To the contrary, the solution doesn't lie in neo-liberal sponsored movements of goods and humans, as many people think. There is a need to strengthen individual units and to ensure that there is respect for life in states before we can even think about all else. Passports don't feed people.
There is a wholesale of ideas on how a Caring State should be and carry itself. These ideas should at least be drastically different from an ordinary European-based Wesphallen state and its role in society.
Africa needs to follow its own trajectory in terms of political governance systems. Colonial structures and ideas do not help us; Africa needs caring states that prioritise lives of ordinary people.
Time to rely on donors and 'good' Samaritans as well as recklessness is quickly running out.