What is the X – factor? Some would say it’s that special something, a noteworthy variable that could have the most significant impact on the outcome in a given situation. Having this component always leads to fortune and fame. However how this prosperity and recognition is administered is the stuff of legends. Africa has always been the true land of opportunity, it has been in this long-running competition since the first Western agents cast off and arrived on the‘motherland.’ European agents used a value system already etched in their minds to identify societal institutions and leadership who had that ‘special’ something. Specific lands and rights were obtained by having African leaders sign an “X” to a general agreement for protection or trade with a European nation. Often the fine print was not fully disclosed to the parties who left their mark on history in such a manner. Category X examines who are the true winners and losers of these X factor initiatives; past, future and recent times. But we reserve judgement.
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**nb**The featured image is taken from Associated Press :Boxer Muhammad Ali on a sightseeing tour downtown Kinshasa, Zaire September 17, 1974, available at: http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/Report-Brother-says-Muhammad-Ali-near-death-4247611.php#photo-4133478