At the United States-Africa Leaders Summit 2022 (this in itself being an imperialist tool of domination) African leaders lined up to beg the United States for various forms of assistance for the ‘development’ and ‘security’ of the continent.
Of late, the subject-matter of these summits held by imperial/colonial powers for the ‘benefit’ of Africa have come under heavy scrutiny, being criticized as mere disguises to further subjugate and impoverish the continent.
These summits have betrayed themselves as neocolonial forums of domination and manipulation, and one is perplexed at the fact that African leaders see absolutely nothing wrong with this — and in the process sacrificing their countries for vapid and deleterious global validation.
What this ultimately entails is the urgent need to make these summits obsolete for they serve no useful purpose to Africa whatsoever.
Of spectacular significance — in addition to all the folly exhibited by all African leaders who attended — was the colossal and embarrassing show of sheer ineptitude and obsolescence displayed by Cameroon’s senile president Paul Biya.
His frail and disoriented appearance at the US-Africa Summit left a sour taste not only to the delegates that attended the summit but to Africa and the whole world.
His inability to comprehend reality is reflective of the overall attitude of African leaders: they simply do not understand and appreciate the gravity of their folly, and the pernicious repercussions for the collective welfare of the African masses.
The key take-away from this is that Africa is seen as a hotbed of clueless leaders, who, in their inferiority complex, refuse to leave power. At age 89, Paul Biya does not even live in Cameroon anymore. He has found perfect residence and permanence in Switzerland, receiving the best medical care the world can offer while Cameroonian citizens are left to their own miserable fate.
Paul Biya has been Cameroon’s president since 1982 (he was Prime Minister from 1975 to 1982) and it is clear that he has set his intentions (it is now questionable whether he even still knows that he is the country’s president) on dying in office. As sad as his public appearance was, the whole thing is just farcical.
And this is characteristic of pretty much the majority of African leaders. These ageing, clueless, and insensitive leaders are the same who beg foreign powers for money at these ‘summits’. In addition, there really is no difference between the intransigence of African and American leaders — Joe Biden, the U.S. president, is 80.
What this embarrassment at the US-Africa Summit also proved — in the context of the bigger picture — is that the phenomenon of global powers holding so-called summits with Africa (the France-Africa summit, Russia-Africa, China-Africa, Japan-Africa, and so on) must now be put to an end.
The continent cannot continue to shame itself on the world stage, begging for financial assistance as if it does not have its own richness of abundant natural resources as well as brilliant, capable minds.
Africa must now take charge of its sovereignty and the continent’s leaders must cease selling away the birthright of all Africans to the world’s highest bidders. In this regard, Kwame Nkrumah’s prescient warnings on neocolonialism must be given due attention; and that the transformative tenets of radical Pan-Africanism must now take centre stage for the benefit of Africans.
These endless summits, purportedly held for the ‘benefit’ of Africa, are dangerously insidious and should not be tolerated. Such forums represent the modern-day tools of neocolonial and imperial domination. In this matrix of domination, repression, and exploitation, African countries are presented with a litany of specious ‘solutions’ to their endless lists of socio-political and economic problems.
But the important question to ask is whether the people who orchestrate the African mess in the first place have the moral and political standing to present various packages of so-called solutions. Key to this pressing issue is the fact that these much-vaunted solutions are packaged in the neoliberal language of foreign aid, global markets, and vapid rhetoric about democracy.
In the context of the US-Africa Summit, much of the billions promised to Africa under the guise of “shared priorities” and “strengthening transparent, accountable governance”, as well as “facilitating voter registration and constitutional reform” will come from the infamous behemoth of global private capital: the International Monetary Fund.
As regards the rhetoric on democracy, this obviously means pouring huge monies towards civil society and other regional institutions for spurious activism.
And lots of monies will also be directed towards fighting security problems bedeviling Africa in the form of various wars and conflicts, as if the West is not complicit in creating this dehumanizing smorgasbord of mayhem (it is important to remember the U.S., under AFRICOM, operates several military bases across the continent).
As such, can it be safely claimed that these global powers are altruistically acting in the interests of the African majority? It is disingenuous for global powers to promise money aimed at “security reforms” when they are responsible for fomenting armed conflict in Africa.
Rightly so, Ugandan writer Mary Serumaga derided the US-Africa Summit 2022 as the “Africa Puppets Summit 2022”. And this stems from the regrettable reality that these leaders — ostensibly corrupted by their inferiority complex and selfish interests — surrender, subserviently, Africa’s vast wealth to the “methodical tyranny” of the West and other global powers.
These summits also reflect the competitive neocolonial wars as regards the control of Africa. This pits the West versus China and Russia. But, certainly, African sovereignty should be regarded as sacrosanct. These summits rarely exude benevolence — they are imperial machinations; it is all about the “scramble for power and resources”.
Thus, the term “summit” is a misnomer. There is no semblance of mutual friendship or comradeship whatsoever. Whether it is the West or East. These summits perpetuate the stereotypes of Africa’s socio-political and economic problems, and the solutions parroted are tied to the fiction of commodity fetishism: money.
Africa’s problems cannot be solved by money alone, especially foreign aid that just exacerbates the unbearable and dehumanizing burden of foreign debt. It is disappointing that African leaders naively believe that any good faith arises out of these summits.
These summits are an absolute waste of time and are contributing to Africa’s further impoverishment and instability. And also, old presidents must be removed from power.