Africa at the Dinner Table of The Conceptual West

Africa at the Dinner Table of The Conceptual West

First of all, let me thank you. I’ve prepared two papers which I believe will be circulated because they are not being projected. But if you can see, first of all, I want to agree with the honourable minister. I’ve done two pictorials. One of them is described as Africa at the dinner table…And if you look at Africa at the dinner table, Africa is on a plate and it is meat. And the diners at the dinner table are France, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, the Chinese and progressively, the Arabs.

And my second picture is the African hotspots. It is not visible from there, but if you look at Africa today and you make a clean sweep with your mind, there are different conflicts of different intensity. In Somalia, in Northern Mauritania, in Northern Mali, in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, in the Cameroons, in South Sudan and one can go on and on. And there is a sense in which Africa has always been alive to the question of interference.

I will refer this audience, particularly those who are starting to take time and read the 32 odd speeches, that were made in the month of May 1963, by the then heads of states and governments of independent African states. The 32 of them. And there are 2 speeches that I want to isolate for this presentation.

One was by David Dacko of Central African Republic. And in thanking Emporer Haile Selassie and Kwame Nkrumah on that day he said; “that we must never forget that the colonial power has not left us. We must recognise that he did not go willingly. And if we don’t check them they’ll come back again and what would little Central African Republic do against them” Today he is right.

Today, if we remember the activities of France and how they have propped up the regime of Jarbedal Pokasa*** He was right. Today as the honourable ministers have indicated, Africa remains the only continent in the world that is referred to in these terms; Anglophone. To mean that we are a sphere of our erstwhile colonisers.

About 2 weeks ago there was a meeting of the Commonwealth in London, England. And a friend of mine who is an Anglophile sent me the photograph very gleefully saying to me this is a meeting of 53 equal states. I told him no. If it was so, why is it that the leadership of the Commonwealth is hereditary rather than rotational?

In other words, in the minds of the British, her former colonies are still under her tutelage. And I want to submit to us, that in the minds of what I’ll call the conceptual West, they think they have a divine duty to instruct Africans what to do. And in the minds of many African leaders, they think they have a divine duty to accept what they are told.

That in my view is what the honourable minister was talking about, the mindset. And this is something that has been examined. We have seen France and its very pernicious presence in Africa. We know what they did in Burkina Faso against Thomas Sankara. We know what they did in Mali or Sudan against Modiba Keyeto or against Seko Toure in Guinea. Pernicious to the core.

The Portuguese. We know what battles had to be fought in that area. And let me put this very bluntly. When the former leader of `Portugal Marcello Cayetano was asked – Why can you not allow the colonies to gain independence? This is what he said in substance.

“As I have examined world History over the years, the following have emerged. That the Caucasians are responsible for monumental discoveries in the development of man. So have the Chinese, so have the Arabs. But the Africans have been responsible for nothing. They are only fit as hewers of wood and drawers of water.”

And I want to submit to you who are present here that in the conceptual West unguarded moments or guarded moments, that is what they think. And that is how they relate to Africa. So the whole idea that they will interfere is something that they think is their God-given duty.

Africa At The Dinner Table

I said there were 2 speeches in 1963 that I wanted to refer to. I refer to David Dacko. The second one was the speech by Kwame Nkrumah. And Kwame provided the solution. He did not complain about colonialism. He said “we must leave here with one army, with one command. We must leave here with one currency. We must leave here with one country. I do not know where its capital will be but I suggest Leopoldville or Bangui. Other leaders may have their thoughts”

Kwame was right. But who would listen to him? Several years down the line and I have said it in my paper. They were coup d’états which were engineered. They were mutinies which were engineered and other forms of destabilisation. And I want to believe that the person who actually said it very well in the nineteen hundred and eighties was the former American president, Ronald Reagan.

He said the United States of America does what is in her best interest. And I agree with him. Does Africa do what is in her best interest? Do African leaders do what is in the best interest of Africa? Interference will be there. In very blatant and brazen ways and in subtle ways.

I’ve always asked. Until very recently now many African countries manufactured bullets. Very few. Until very recently how many African countries, in fact, how many African countries manufacture Jet fighters? How many African countries are involved in the arms industry? Some of the leading conceptual West countries which pontificate to us about prizes, peace prizes, are the leading manufacturers of landmines.

And if you look at their foreign exchange annals, it is the military and security items. So they say with their mouths what they do not believe in their hearts. In Kiswahili, we say “vita vi apanzi firahi Akunguru. That when the locusts are fighting, it is the joy of the hawk. Because when they kill each other, they get the food easily. Dead.

It is in the best interest, I dare submit without fear of contradiction, that the elite in the conceptual West does not want Africa to stabilise despite their assertion to the contrary. And you’ll see it in every country because conflict is a major industry.

Today, you look at South Sudan and the many peace conferences that are being held. But if you ask who supplies the arms? Who provides safe havens? It is the conceptual West. And when I use the term conceptual West, I’m saying that it extends to countries which are geographically not in the West like Australia or Canada.

So I’m submitting in answer to your question Joel that interference is there and it is part, to use this old cliche, of the neo-colonial project. The neo-colonial project requires that Africa must remain within this sphere of influence of these states.

Today, if you look at the United Kingdom which has left Europe. One would have thought that those are their cousins and that they should sit in comfort with them. You now see their involvement being de-emphasised in Europe, and their interest and appetite growing towards the Commonwealth.

In the Commonwealth, they are the majordomos. They’ll tell us what to do. In Europe, they have to grapple with the Germans and the French and they don’t like it. That is the unspoken bit of it. The French also are in Europe but the Germans are too strong and they don’t like it. So they want to hold Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and tell them what to do.

I do not know how many of you saw the press conference that was attended by President Macron of France and Nana Ado of Ghana. And when Nana Ado spoke as an African should, you could see the body language of the French president. How dare this man speak this way.

In other words, I’m saying that the interference is the mother’s milk f European economies. To answer your second question, they have their own recruits, who Professor Philip Numoro will be speaking here, to use the old vocabulary of those days, they have the people you call their comprador bourgeoisie you must remember. The comprador bourgeoisie are Africans with black faces but essentially they are doing the bidding of these powers.

They are the ones you’ll find them in different spheres. And they will be present. They are in your cabinet but they are actually representatives of the foreign intelligence agencies of those countries. We know this, if you look at the declassified papers from the United States, we now know that some of the leading cabinet ministers in many African countries were working for the CIA. Or some Western agency.

So you are sitting in cabinet and in these days of the mobile phone, they are possibly texting their masters in Europe and America. So interference is also exacerbated by these comprador bourgeoisie, for their own benefits and it has never changed honourable minister.

In the early days of slavery, they gave some of the chiefs mirrors and alcohol. Today what they give them are flats in Paris or Dubai and that is what makes them undermine Africa.

The third mode of interference is through institutions. Look at the competition as it is now. There is a new entrant into the market that is called China. China is very subtle. Many people wrote the obituary of Rwanda in 1994. Twenty years down the line it has been demonstrated that Africans can actually do it.

Between nineteen hundred and eighty-three and nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, I think Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso also demonstrated that it can be done. We saw in Somalia despite their problem.

So my prescription is African unity. Africa must now begin to negotiate initially in terms of blocks. Sadak, Ekoas, East African community and ultimately as African Union and lo and behold, we must do it. And I’ve always said this cliche. We must do it because if we don’t do it, we will be done.

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