The more Africa strives for economic empowerment, economic independence and self-reliance, the more the global powers tighten their grip on the continent. The ‘global coalitions’ now called Development Partners are mere fronts for western domination, who are not interested in genuine democratization and development.
This is the new frontier in the struggle for African freedom.
2011 will go down in Africa’s history as one of those rare moments in which the continent was dealt severe blows to its rightful role as a member of the international community. While pontificating at length about democracy and the rights of people to determine their own destinies.
In 2011, the West demonstrated once again that its own interest overrides those legitimate concerns of others. This has to be repeated time and again to enable the youth of Africa to learn that the salvation of this continent lies in Africans ourselves. However, 2013 brought a glimmer of hope as African electorate in Kenyan refused to be blackmailed by Western nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Netherlands, and a host of others.
History will recall that what began as popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia was refreshing and new, coming on the heels of post-election deadlock in Côte d’Ivoire. It was like a bolt from the blue, but refreshing and reassuring that the masses were not asleep. However, it is also time for us to wake up to new realities that threaten the nascent democratic systems which are being nurtured and our fragile economies as the West begins to search for new lands to conquer and colonise as their own economies hit the rocks. Age-old colonial attitudes die hard.
In the early 1980s, there were numerous debates about the possible ‘re-colonisation’ of Africa. These were mainly dismissed as heresies, but as Tripoli was being reduced to rubble by NATO bombs while I was writing this article, and the life of Colonel Gaddafi and his people were in peril, we were reminded forcefully of a repeat of Grenada, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan, except that this time it was on Africa soil.
The leadership conundrum in Africa.
It appears that Africa’s post-colonial history is full of examples of people who assume leadership roles because of their popularity, while others assume such roles because of the support they have from foreign interests, mainly American and some Western powers. In recent years, Western powers have taken it upon themselves to decide who is a ‘leader’ in Africa. In the recent debate, we have heard a phrase uttered several times. During the Libyan crisis, a leader from the European Union is quoted as saying, ‘as far as we are concerned, Gaddafi must go’. Wow, is she a Libyan? The same crude, but nevertheless patronising argument has been presented by the same forces in Kenya today.
The sort of atrocities committed by western nations in the name of ‘democracy’ is a worrying trend, with several thousands of innocent children, women and men dead in Iraq, Afghanistan and Côte d’Ivoire. Several thousand more died in died in Libya before the colonial enterprise reached its logical conclusion. The crisis in Côte d’Ivoire was mainly Western and foreign instigated but led by French imperialism, and the bankrupt nature of the African ruling classes, who have no inhibitions if they trample over several dead African children to achieve their dream of sleeping in a ‘state house’.
In the name of democracy, the ‘international community’ creates its own centres of power, and labels them ‘coalition’ governments, sometimes with the blessing of the African Union. We had these aberrations in Kenya and Zimbabwe. ‘Coalition’ governments are like the jobs of a poorly constructed house put up by cowboy builders: it will hold for a while, but its structural deficiencies cannot be overlooked. Kenya’s former vice-president, the Honourable Kalonzo Musyoka, referred to coalition governments as ‘the worst form of government’.
The West also has a way of creating mirages to suit their interests. In the 1980s, Africa was replete with ‘charismatic leaders’, ’strongmen’, and ‘new leaders’ – leaders handpicked by admiring Western journalists.
These leaders were also bolstered by Western financial support. Neocolonialism had come of age. The inventors of these so-called African ‘strongmen’ always ignored the most basic principle of political science and democracy that only the citizens of that country have the legitimate authority to decide whether a leader is good or bad for a country.
This Western chorus praises certain African leaders and keeps them in power through public praise, insidious secret military agreements, large doses of Western aid and military equipment to suppress their opponents in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’. Before the Cold War ENDED, it was all done in the name of fighting ‘communism’. These days, it is either about fighting ‘terrorists’ or supporting local ‘democracy’.