Monday, 04 December 2017 17:14

Is the reason why no African country is well governed because Africans are unintelligent?

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Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Clearly, no extant African country is well governed. Many observers have posited their understanding of the reasons why this is so.

Many attribute causation to the neocolonial relationships between Africans and the Western world: the metropolis and periphery issue. It is said that the metropolis exploits the periphery, and deliberately keep it underdeveloped and have it produce the raw materials for its industries. The west is said to literally take African raw materials for free, manufacture them into finished products and then resale them at exorbitant prices to Africans hence keep Africans poor.

Some observers claim that the reason why Africa is not well governed is because African leaders lack leadership experience.

It has also been pointed out that African leaders' penchant for corruption contributes to Africa's backwardness.

Many other reasons have been adduced for the sorry situation in Africa. However, after sixty years of interdependence, which is how long the British were in Nigeria, it is, perhaps, time to look at other possible factors why Africans are messing up, big time.

We need to ask this question: Are Africans unintelligent? We need to try to answer that question as objectively as is possible without being emotional and defensive about it.

I do not know what intelligence is.  Furthermore, I do not know whether intelligence can be measured or not. However, Western psychologists believe that they can measure intelligence.

In the USA people are given intelligence tests. The main ones are Stanford Binet and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS) and Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC). The total possible score on these scales is 139. Any score about 140 is considered genius and different tests are used for them.

According to psychometricians, score of fewer than 70 denotes mental retardation; average score is 85-115; above average score is 115-130; superior score is 132 to 139 (Mensa Society admits you if your score is over 132).

Apparently, the various races score differently on these scales. Asians score the highest with average score of 115, followed by whites with average score of 100; African Americans average score is 85; Africans average score is 70 (that is mentally retarded).

About two percent of the population score at the superior ranges; ten percent score at above average level; two percent score at the mental retardation level and the rest are average folks.

Please note that we are talking about average scores; there are Africans who score at the highest level (132-139). There may even be African geniuses (IQ over 140).

These scores are reflected in how folks score on standardized examinations such as the scholastic aptitude tests, SAT. Asians score highest on the SAT; they score 1250 average on a possible 1600 total; whites score 1150; African Americans score 850 and Africans score less than 700.

It should be noted that if American universities admit students solely on the basis of their performance on standardized examinations very few African Americans and Africans would be admitted to America's top thirty universities such as Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, and UCLA and so on. Those generally admit students with top scores on the SAT, with 1400 out of 16000 the cut off mark before they look at your application.

It should also be noted that people's score on these tests reflect how well they do in life. Asian economies are doing best of all economies; White economies come second, African economies are a basket case.

The question we have to grapple with is this: are African average IQ too low for Africans to govern themselves right? This question ought to be considered. James Watson, the guy who with Francis Crick in 1953 discovered the DNA said that the reason why no African country is well governed is because Africans are, on the average, unintelligent! (Prove him wrong by doing your IQ test and see if you score very high?)

As noted, I do not know what constitutes intelligence and or whether it can be tested.  Nevertheless, it crossed my mind that we ought to consider whether the reason African leaders (political leaders, in all human societies, tend to be average in intelligence; high intelligence is found in those who do research and or teach at universities) are mostly thieves and unable to do the right things for their people is because they are not intelligent?

Can unintelligent African leaders modernize African institutions and industrialize Africa? Does Mr. Mohammadu Buhari understand the fierce urgency of the need to industrialize Africa? An underdeveloped Africa is the laughingstock of the world.

I do not know the answer to the question that I raised. However, in as much as we are trying to understand why no African country is well governed and industrializing we might as well consider the IQ question.

Your thoughts on this subject are welcome; no defensive, emotional and abusive responses are welcomed. If, for example, you believe that Western designed IQ tests cannot properly measure African folks IQ say so with reasons. And while at it, ponder why Asians score higher than the white folks who designed the said IQ tests! What is it about Asians that make them do better than the rest of us? Is it their Hindu and Buddhist religions that encourage quietness and meditation as opposed to the talkativeness of African ways of life? I don't know but want to know.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

December 4, 2017

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176