Ever since seeing Black Panther, I’ve been fascinated by the vibranium shield surrounding Wakanda that makes the country look to the world like a “poverty stricken agricultural country,” to quote a comment seen on Reddit.
What I find fascinating is that impact that insulating an entire country from the world could have on economic and social development. I ask myself often what a path to food sufficiency, economic stability, education & access to healthcare can look like for the African continent in a world where many of the existing examples of development took place at the expense of the suffering of others. The corporations and lineages that conducted the transatlantic slave trade are still the wealthiest people and organizations today. Wakanda is a fictional world with the highest literacy rate on the planet, universal healthcare, food self-sufficiency and the most technologically advanced living system. I recognize the criticisms of Wakanda for being isolationist and not giving aid to other communities in need like Black Americans. I also recognize that the idea of a vibranium border shield sounds eerily like Trump’s #buildthatwall campaigns.. In addition, people who work in African Development often speak of the need for trans-national solidarity on the continent and I definitely have the idea that that is best as well. Still, I wonder what a real life vibranium shield could do for the development of an individual nation on the African continent in the modern world. Would it be possible to retreat from globalism in order to reach a point of prosperity?