Imperialism a stumbling block

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AT 55, like at each anniversary, Africa has to take stock of its achievements vis-a-vis the goals set out at the formation of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), in Addis Ababa on May 25 1963.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s speech at this historic occasion on May 24 1963 is a useful guide to the vision of Africa when the then independent states decided to unite.
At that time, Africa, which had 32 independent countries, still had over 20 counties under colonial rule.
It was resolved then that it was the duty of the newly-formed body to join hands to liberate the rest of Africa.
The founding fathers must be reasonably satisfied that today, 53 countries have already been liberated.
The dispute over Western Sahara is still to be resolved.
From the outset, Dr Nkrumah distinguished between political and economic independence.
While colonialists were prepared to grant political independence, economic independence, which meant surrendering control of the former colonies’ natural resources, has remained a problem.
It is not by accident that southern African countries like Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe got black majority governments after protracted armed struggles.
One thing common about these countries is the possession of minerals deemed ‘strategic’ by the West.
The West, with their big brother, the US, would not let these natural resource-rich countries go free just like that.
And the West knows that governments of former liberation movements are aware of the sanctity of their natural resources, including land.
The proliferation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is an attempt by the West to dislodge such governments and replace them with puppet regimes, eager to hobnob with their former colonisers.
We don’t have to look farther.
Elsewhere in this edition, a graphic description of how the MDC was formed by imperialists demonstrates how determined they are.
But this is not limited to southern Africa.
It is the grand design of our former colonisers, the French included, to install puppet regimes in their former colonies.
For they know stage-managed majority rule governments can be easily manipulated as a means to an end.
French President Francois Mitterrand knew exactly what he was talking about when he declared: “Without Africa (read, Africa’s cheap natural resources), France will have no history in the 21st Century.”
It is worth noting, however, that 55 years after the attempt to unify Africa, the West still wants to colonise us, even culturally — and by force if necessary.
There are Western cultural practices like the promotion of the so-called ‘rights’ of gays, prostitutes and lesbians, but you find the West linking aid to acceptance of these African taboos.
It is this dependency syndrome which renders attempts by Africa to unite and free itself from Western hegemony next to impossible.
The sad story of Malawian President Joyce Banda, who was forced to repeal a ban on homosexuality after Western donors had withdrawn their aid, is well-documented.
Agenda 2063, which seeks to see a fully developed, integrated, peaceful and united sovereign African continent is a noble dream.
It is, however, unlikely that the West will watch this scenario with folded arms.

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