Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Africa: America’s flop

There will be no such 18 fighter jet aerobatic displays in Africa by the United States

by Etse Sikanku

The definite resistance by African countries to the hosting of the United States’ so called Africa Command is no proof that Africa has come of age-but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Since the early post colonial days the people of Africa had been imbued with a false sense of hope that the new Africa will go on to become prosperous. But that dream has only remained short lived-a pipe dream-if you want.

With the progression of time many African nations have failed the basics of the governance test and thus became far too weak to resist the pressure of neo-colonialism. Soon western powers were predictably meddling in the affairs of the continent albeit through surrogates.

It sometimes seems as if the rest of the world is playing a cruel joke on Africa. They grant our nations independence but through imperialism, the insidious effects of the slave trade, a shameless exploitation by multi-national corporations and an unjust world order, the west continues to strangle Africa for their selfish gains.

Prof George Ayittey writing on the African paradox cannot hide this perplexity when he says “Africa's deteriorating economic situation is baffling”.

Every foreign policy neophyte knows the hidden agenda behind Bush’s Africom agenda. It is more about protecting American interests than supporting Africa.

Professor Ali Mazrui a reputable African scholar in his book The Africans claims that almost everything that has gone wrong in Africa can be attributed to Western colonialism. An extremist view one might say but certainly something worth considering.

But did Africa really misunderstand Africom and its mission? Can we trust Gen Ward when he says “The key aim of Africom is to build the capacity of African countries for security and peacekeeping”

Why did most African countries resist Africom? Was it the right way to go? Will Africa really come under threats from Al Qaeda if it accepted to host the US military base?
Or have we missed a great opportunity to develop our military and defense capabilities as well as improve peacekeeping missions around the continent.

Is Africa up for the toss?

The decisive stand of African leaders is commendable. This is a good day for African patriotism but will we live to regret it?

No comments: