The 3-day summit continued efforts to strengthen ties with African partners based on principles of mutual respect and shared interests and values. It also served as an opportunity to listen to and collaborate with African counterparts on key areas the United States and Africa define as critical for the future of the continent and our global community. The summit built on our shared values to:
better foster new economic engagement;
reinforce the U.S.-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights;
mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and of future pandemics;
work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health;
promote food security;
advance peace and security;
respond to the climate crisis; and
amplify diaspora ties;
The big soundbite is “Africa’s success is the world’s success.” by President J. Biden.
“Africa is a major geopolitical force. It’s one that has shaped our past, it’s shaping our present, and it will shape our future.”
The foregoing is the spin from the state departments on the recent summit.
Of course, one might say, but not without reservations. While the fielding “accusations” of entertaining dictators, US officials claimed they wanted to be inclusive in who they invited. That was despite omitting three countries which have been attempting to chart a course away from French colonialism! The US will, of course be able to rightly claim that they recognise the African Union’s [AU’s] prerogative in deciding the “good standing” of African countries, hence the need, not to say convenience of not having, to invite the likes of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso on this occasion. Never mind that the AU is colonised by France, a fact which must be evident to the US. That argument evaporates further, if it could, when one considers that the AU is those same dictators’ club, even if the influence of France were dismissed.
In the case of Ambazonia, that word “prerogative” has been used to justify La Republique du Cameroun’s “right” to kill, maim and destroy homes of its purported citizens to maintain its territorial integrity! So is the US seeking to help people or states. The answer is “states”. That is who can vote with them in the UN, not the school children shot in Bamenda or Buea or the pregnant women and children of Ngarbuh.
It would be fair, therefore, to conclude that the solution for Africa [the people of] is not coming from the “international community” and should not be expected. That international community’s record does not include even one instance when the human rights of Africans were considered above their [international community’s] self-interest. The commitment to democracy and human rights would appear not to really include human rights! Does it include democracy? No. The US is party to the ludicrous idea of fectless “observers” taking on the role of “certifying” African elections as “fair enough”! Imagine any observers having to “certify” elections in Britain or America or France as “fair”? If someone needs to certify, that itself is proof that they are not fair!
Cross out the bullet point then… That is not necessarily the US’s probelm but that means they should not be posing as a provider of solutions. That posture is just as useful as the fectlesss certifiers’.
How about economic engagement? Well, what does it mean? Ambassador Cohen recently invited American companies to come and “exploit” the opportunities provided by Africa’s new Free Trade Area! He may not have meant “exploit” but that is exactly how the system works! If they can exploit they will as that is the system regardless of the poverty of the local populace.
About COVID the less said the better! Ambazonia News would “thank God” for saving Africa from the worst of the pandemic but that too is one of the biggest weaknesses of the African continent! We like to defer to God when there is a problem to solve! The point here is that the international community did not help Africa – nor should they have as the vaccines were developped with their capital! If we accept that, we need to discount the touted collaboration in that area. There are African deseases, such as sickle cell which are not researched, some have conjectured, because they only affect Africans. Yet the biggest problem on health is not there! Look instead at how many African doctors and other professionals are appropriated by the international partners who, first insist on African governments paying for their training and then also close their borders to other “lesser” migrants!
About food security… How strange is it that a continent whose main product is agricultural should be seeking food security from outside? If “they want” to help they need to stop dumping on the African market and let local producers become viable as the local consumer rightly consumes local. Of course the Biden Administration could actually “prove” this objective by doing food drops – the very rather than helping any local production!
The final irony is the climate crisis! As the main sufferers Africans can comfort themselves that that is the one fairly democratic and fairly shared product of humanity even if they are less culpable. For once fires and floods don’t only happen in Africa and they do actually need Africa to engage by not repeating the development mistakes that the “developed” world committed to get the planet to this stage. Fair?
Diaspora ties… This would mean the US wants to convince Africa’s dictators to pacify the long suffering guests of the West. Yes those people who slave away and gather resources to send back to “homelands” where they are not welcome will be wooed to help the US continued to maintain the unhealthy balance of poverty and “stability” that those dictatorships have afforded the West in this new slave trade. This time, no Westerner needs to risk their lives transporting the human cargo. Instead, the cargo will take te initiative of finding the means to embark on the trip and submit to near slave labour conditions. It is clearly not a fair comparison to make to the plight of those who were transported hundreds of years ago but the victim are exploited in relatively the same way.
The slick presentation skills the Administration has used to present the “summit” have been used elsewhere where it has been stated that “football is more important than human rights ” – especially of migrant workers! Of course they cannot be traded openly… The bonus is that the new slaves have paid taxes which compensated the owners who lost “property” when the slave trade was “abolished” in the case of the UK until very recently!
What should the Africa’s suffering under-classes do? Nothing. They do not know this summit is taking place and would not expect anything from it given they are being “represented” by their oppressors! The US is following the well-trodden path of international relations where self-interest trumps, okay pun intended as irresistible!, and wait to deal with any problematic outcomes in due course. One truth of the summit is that “the world” is dealing with problems arising from “Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine where Africa is suffering disproportionately”. That is true if Africa has not been under constant spectre of famine and other humanitarian threats since … for ever! So what has “woke”n the US? Self-interest of course!
So the beneficiaries of these common values which are to be reinforced, jokes!, do not even know and would not hold their breaths for those benefits.
What about the Diaspora? They are the biggest victims… at once not welcome in their “homelands” but pouring in their hard-earned cash to, unintentionally, help prop up the corrupt patronage systems of their oppressors and excluders. They should now count out any change that would improve their plight as the US is seeking to partner with the dictators in this marriage of self-interest!
The Diaspora would be better off writing off their “homeland” pretensions in favour of developing their status in their host countries. Only when they “settle down” properly and have political strength in their new homes could they have a voice enough to claim any dignity for/in their first homelands. That means explicitly stop sending their wealth back “home” while they deprive their progeny of the means to grow where they are [born and] bred. Africans in the US have more influence if the collaborate and make their votes count in American elections. American politicians will listen to them more than far away dictators would listen to a self-interested Administration. Those dictators certainly know they don’t have to give a hoot while you keep depriving your US family and sending your earnings back “home”!
Imagine setting up your children to be third-class citizens through poverty while you perpetuate your “home family’s” abject acceptance of your denigration and exclusion – and pay for it. Keep the proceeds of your hard work to help your [nuclear] family grow where they are! You don’t live in Africa! When Africa develops and welcomes you you can choose then, from a position of more comfort, to engage and invest fairly. If that is not convincing, remember that the hardship which the US is helping Africa cope with is affecting you too in the diaspora but you are not getting the “inclusive” partnership that US is seeking to provide to the dictators.