Battle between the Chinese dragon and the American eagle: Part Two


DURING the Africa-US Summit held from August 4 to 6 2014, two issues which came up for discussion and which Africa should consider carefully are (a) Africa’s economic relationship with the US and (b) Security co-operation between Africa and the US.
Barak Obama defined the kind of relationship the US wanted to establish with Africa as follows:
“We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources… We don’t simply want to extract minerals from the ground; we want to build genuine partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples…”
Good words indeed and difficult to fault until we realise there was a big elephant in that summit room which Obama dared not mention: China.
The implication by Obama is that China is in Africa simply to extract resources to feed its ever growing economy at the expense of Africa. Unlike China, according to Obama, the US will do business with Africa on an equal partnership basis! Further the US will invest in Africa’s talent and potential, and in a growing African middle class which no doubt Obama sees as an emerging market for American goods and services.
Put briefly, Obama is saying the US has more to offer to Africa than China. But has the US ever been a good friend of Africa? Why should Africa believe it now?
Let us use history as a guide. For instance we all know that Africa has been an integral part of America’s rise to world prominence as follows:
It is African slaves who transformed the North American wilderness into proverbial plantations famous for the production of sugar, tobacco and cotton.
It is African slaves who produced the surplus economic value which the US converted into the much sought after American capital today!
In other words at the heart of the US success story is the paradox of the so- called nigger from Africa with all his descendants but never to be fully entitled to the fruits of their labour.
The recent story about black riots in the US town of Ferguson triggered by the murder of a black man by a white policeman speaks volumes about the fate of blacks in a white controlled environment! Blacks remain unwanted strangers in North America, discriminated against in the land they have done so much to build.
And the question which all those African leaders who congregated in Washington DC need to consider carefully is: if whites have not yet come to terms with the presence of blacks in the US, and continue to treat them as subhuman, how can the same white America come to accept blacks on the African continent as equals in a business partnership that Obama is preaching to them today?
If a black US president does not have the courage and power to address the structural inequalities which haunt blacks in the US and which white racism has entrenched in the US system as the norm, how can any US president champion the removal of structural inequalities and injustices which continue to undervalue all goods and services from Africa and the Third World?
White racism in the US is part of an inheritance bequeathed to the US by Europe and has flourished for centuries as an ideology which informs the global economic system today, much to the detriment of Africa and other less developed countries.
For example it is no longer a secret that at the heart of IMF and World Bank institutions is Anglo-Saxon racism which determines which countries to assist and which ones not to and Zimbabwe has been a victim of this same racism for over 14 years now!
In sharp contrast to the racism which informs US foreign, social and economic policies, China is a country which has risen from rugs to riches to become a formidable economic power in the world, notwithstanding all the isolation, demonisation and humiliation which the West, led by the US, inflicted upon it! It is therefore not surprising that many African countries today look at China as a possible source of an economic model to emulate.
Why not when China has no history of enslaving and colonising Africans? Why not when China itself worked hard and long and succeeded in defeating Western imperialism which, unfortunately, continues to be the bane of Africa today!
It is obvious to most that China is the game changer Africa has been waiting for. For the first time Africa has an alternative economic partner who does not necessarily seek to impose an alien and bogus value system on it like the US always does.
China has no time or wish to remake Africa in its own image like the US is always trying to do, much to the annoyance of everyone.
More importantly China has not been going up and down our continent like the US has been doing, looking for permanent military bases for its army, AFRICOM in order to control the politics of Africa, shape its economic policies so as to continue looting its resources as it has been doing all along using its corporations.
Unlike China, the US record in Africa is largely an unenviable one, a tainted one, in so far as it remains a beneficiary of African slave labour and has never bothered to apologise for it or pay reparations for being an accomplice to an African holocaust which remains unaccounted for!
The same US has been destabilising North Africa by bombing Libya and reducing it to rubble!
The result today is not democracy or good governance in Libya but chaos! The US killed Colonel Gadaffi because he had the vision of African unity and had the funds to back it up!
Under normal circumstances a country which destroys another as the US has done is considered an enemy and not a friend of Africa as our leaders who rushed to Obama’s Whitehouse seemed to imply!
It would be tragic if those same African leaders were to offer the US military bases it is looking for, as this alone would guarantee the re-colonisation of Africa by the West.
It would also be tragic if African armies were to be trained by the US to fight American wars on the African continent!
Unlike China, the US has been good at creating enemies for itself all over the world and Africa should not be dragged into such futile wars that the US itself has not been able to win in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.


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