Africa: Renaissance or continuing dependency?
Equatorial Guinea was the scene of the latest African Union (AU) Summit convened on June 26-27. This oil-rich nation has become more prominent in recent years for its rhetorical defiance of the West, as it relates to both the domestic and foreign policy of the 54-member regional body.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema warned that the continent could no longer look to the West for economic development or political culture.
This related to the overall theme of the meeting, which prioritised agricultural production and increasing inter-continental and South-South trade.
“Africa should not continue to depend on the economies of developed countries. The continent has to seriously consider its relations with the world,” he said.
These are axioms that have been articulated by successive African leaders dating back to Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea-Conakry and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.
According to Nguema, “Africa now has 50 years of independence, so we do not need to suffer neo-colonialism and perpetuate it. We have adopted measures that have led to the stagnation of parity of our currencies.”
Of course, there must be an African path towards the future based upon its own interests and way of thinking. Nkrumah advanced the concept of the “African personality” where the history and struggle for national liberation and socialism would be imbued in the character of domestic and international relations.
“Africa cannot be content to continue with the current dependency on the economies of the developed world. Africans is sailing upstream against a dependency that prevents them from moving towards sustainable development. Africa should rethink its relationship with the developed world to reduce as far as possible the gap that prevents access to development,” Nguema said.
>> AU-China relations praised
These sets of values are reflected in the role of the Africa-China partnership and its expansion over the last decade-and-a-half.
Illustrating the importance to Beijing of the China-AU alliance, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited several African states briefly after assuming office in 2013. Although the United States has unfairly criticised the nature of relations between Africa and China, most informed opinions indicate that it is a partnership that is proving beneficial to both sides.
>> Other highlights of summit
Revolutionary Cuba has played a tremendous role in the struggle for the national liberation and development of Africa. The politico-military contributions to the people and governments of Algeria, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and others remains a treasured part of African history.
Addressing the summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of the AU in the quest for sustainable peace and security on the continent.
The UN is set to deploy a 12 000 strong peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic, a mineral-rich state which has been plagued by instability and foreign intervention.
>> Imperialist militarism and terrorism
One major point of discussion was the threat of terrorism in various African states, with specific reference to the ongoing clashes between the Boko Haram sect and the Nigerian military. The growing problem of bomb attacks, abductions and mass killings has provided a further opening for intelligence and military forces from the US, France and the state of Israel.
Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa yet it is exposed as being incapable of resolving an insurgency, presenting a profound contradiction in continental political development. The wealth-gap and deepening class divisions within Nigeria and other African states will continue to taint the notions of economic growth.
Africa cannot be genuinely independent and sovereign without taking control of its internal security which is essential for developing its infrastructural capacity and the raising of the standard of living of its people.
This transformation in the fields of agriculture, science, education and technology cannot be carried out within the realm of the present and historical capitalist divisions of economic power, trade and distribution.
The continent must move towards the socialist organisation of society and the economy. This will ensure the equal distribution of resources emanating from the vast mineral, oil and hydro-electric wealth in existence on the continent.
Empowering Africans will inevitably guarantee internal, regional and continental security. The current involvement of the imperialist states in the economic, intelligence, military and consequently political affairs of Africa has weakened the capacity of state institutions and these realities are in evidence from Egypt to South Africa.
These challenges must be overcome long before the conclusion of the 2063 plan, which emerged from the 50-year anniversary AU Summit in Addis Ababa last year.
Neo-colonialism is the final stage of imperialism and if the continent is to move forward in seizing its rightful status in world affairs, Western influence and control must be eradicated. – Pan African Newswire