Fending off recolonisation

As the continent celebrates Africa Day on 25 May to mark the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 which is now known as the African Union, it is time to celebrate total emancipation from colonisation.

This year’s celebrations are held under the theme “We are Africa”.   Over the past few years the African continent has witnessed a renewed drive towards recolonisation from the global imperialists.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Professor Jonathan Moyo once remarked that the original goal of the African Union has been achieved with all countries liberated but looming on the horizon is recolonisation which has taken a new dimension.

During the celebrations to mark 10 years of the Pan African Parliament in South Africa last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned that the West is greedy and wants to recolonise Africa.

“(the) West is returning to Africa with a new wave of colonialism,” said Museveni.

Due to the ailing western economies in recent years this has increased pressure on its leaders to embark on a recolonisation strategy.

Summits, partnerships, military interventions disguised as restoring order and peacekeeping missions, signing of MoUs among other initiatives have been carried as out in a bid to penetrate the continent and loot and pillage its precious minerals and natural resources.

In his speech on at the Summit on Peace and Security in the African Continent at the Elysee in December 2013 in Paris the French President Francois Hollande said, “France along with Europe would like to be even more involved in the destiny of your continent…tomorrow’s economy will heavily depend on the strength and vibrancy of African businesses…the goal I have set is to double the level of trade between France and Africa in five years”.

It has been reported that French troops have intervened militarily in Africa 19 times between 1962 and 1995, and 35 times in the last 15 years, including recent invasions of Cote d’lvoire, Libya, Mali and mostly the Central African Republic.

Global powers are trying to consolidate their control and monopoly over Africa’s raw materials.

The United States has stepped up its efforts to control Africa by setting up the Africa Command (AFRICOM) a highly equipped U.S. military base on the African soil which oversee its imperial interests. 

 It is estimated that AFRICOM has burned US$836 million as the US bids to spread its imperial footprint on the African continent. 

America has an active military presence in 19 African countries where Washington has deployed different type of drones.

In the article ‘Military Missions Reach Record Levels After US Inks Deals to Remain in Africa for Decades’ Nick Turse writes, “In 2014, the US carried out 674 military activities across Africa, nearly two missions per day, an almost 300% jump in the number of annual operations, exercises and military to military training activities since US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established in 2008.”

Africa should remain resolute and never allow itself to be lectured on democratic and governance matters by Westerners.

African Union Chairperson President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe once observed that the deliberate interference by Western countries in African politics has risen to alarming levels as they are trying by all means possible to recolonise the continent.

Westerners are also in a bid to coerce African governments to accept and accommodate gays and lesbians.

Africa should stand firm against recolonisation of the mind by homosexualisation.

As Zimbabwean author Stephen Mpofu puts it “…the same people who centuries ago came to Africa from the west brandishing the Bible with in their minds an objective to tame and civilise native pagans in the dark continent are again working hard to recolonise the minds of black people through homosexualisation in direct conflict with God’s opposition to inverted sex as demonstrated by gays and lesbians.”

Africa is also witnessing the attempt being made by the International Criminal Court to control the continent. Last year the ICC Forum reported that all situations and cases under investigation and prosecution are in Africa.

“Since its establishment in 2002, the Office of Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has investigated eight situations involving violations of international criminal law. Each of the investigations related to situations in Africa namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), Darfur/Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Ivory Coast and Mali.”

According to the African Union, “The abuse and misuse of indictments against African leaders have a destabilizing effect that will negatively impact on political, social and economic development of member states and their ability to conduct international relations….”

Land grabbing in Africa by multinational companies is another new form colonialism taking place on a mass scale on the continent.

Winnie Byanyima the executive director of Oxfam International who was the only African co-chair at the World Economic Forum in Davos agrees that land rights have been of particular concern from small famers and communities to make way for foreign investors and industrial export crops is a major problem across the developing world.

“In one year, we’ve seen all kinds of movement. Coca cola and Pepsi committed to zero tolerance for land grabbing in their supply chains, and this is turn influenced the other companies, and major producers and traders who hold even greater influence over conditions on farms,” says Byanyima.

In 2012 at a G8 summit at Camp David, governments of the eight richest economies of the world came up with an initiative, The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a partnership between donor countries, multinational companies and 10 African countries.

It was designed for the poor countries in Africa and its main aim is poverty reduction by aligning the commitments of Africa’s leadership to drive effective country plans and policies for food security. Critics, however, described this as a new form of colonialism.

The British were accused of helping to carve up Africa in the interests of big business after it pumped 600 million pounds of aid money to the G8.

In his article ‘The G8’s commercial colonisation of Africa’, Graham Peebles pointed out that being desperate for foreign investment, countries throughout Africa are at the mercy of their new colonial masters’ national and international corporations, fighting for land, for water and control of the world’s supplies.

‘‘The claim is that the multinational companies are ‘investing’, that this will lead to growth and thus an end to poverty and hunger. But many of the products and profits are being exported to developed countries, with the small scale food producers who feed the majority of the African population losing out,” according to a report by the World Development Movement (WDM) a UK based anti-poverty campaigners.

The rules of economic partnerships and engagements remained tilted in favour of global imperialists over the years and this does not sound well for Africa.

Writing in the Daily Independent, Samuel Akpobome Orovwuye warned, “African leaders must see some of these partnerships paradigms as the imperialistic West wearing new clothes of globalisation to recapture African resources through the backdoors of foreign direct investment and unwholesome economic trade relations that are not beneficial to the future of our children and the overall progress of the continent of Africa.”

Orovwuye adds that it should also be noted that neoliberalism is a metaphor expressed in the name Western market democracies and globalisation to expand uneven trade and investment in Africa and by extension a form of recolonisation of Africa through the international financial system and the so called development partners to maintain the hegemonic influence of the rich countries over the poor

“It is expedient for the continental leadership, the African Union and the various regional blocs to work together for the emancipation of Africa from the clutches of western imperialism and the global buccaneers that has been bleeding us to death in the name of partnerships and aids,” says Orovwuye.

Africa should remain resolute on its own and reject to be recolonised by the global imperialists and its cousins.

“There is need for Africa,” once remarked Prof Moyo, “to pull its collective conscience together to come up with strong nations capable of challenging western hegemony.”

May 2015
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