New scramble for Africa on the cards

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IT came as no surprise that the UK recently hosted the so-called UK-Africa Summit purportedly to bolster the British’s relations with Africa.

There was something fishy, however, about the way the UK invited attendees to their summit. 

For starters, the British invited a third of countries on the African continent, a move that smacks of divide and rule tactics at play, which Africa is all too familiar with.

In an Africa with 54 countries, a paltry 21 countries were invited. If this summit were about bolstering trade with African countries, why cherry-pick? 

Is this not to foster mistrust between brothers as invitees might be led to believe they are ‘more special’ than the ‘others’ left out in the cold? (pun intended)

Of course, Zimbabwe was not invited. 

How could Zimbabwe have been invited after embarking on a land redistribution programme that resolved a land ownership imbalance orchestrated by the British, ostensibly dispossessing their kith and kin? 

Today, Zimbabwe has been ostracised by the West due to this bilateral dispute.

This is not to say we feel left out. 

No!

We know the British have always had a soft spot for Africa because of its resources and the sunshine.

We remember how they came aboard their ships a century ago, promising to usher in civilisation, with the Bible leading the way while the guns were soon to follow. 

Even back then, they turned brother against brother, conscripting our own to support their nefarious machinations. 

Then, they were called caboceers, and these Africans who helped enslave fellow Africans were made to feel ‘more special’ by getting access to petty privileges while impoverishing their progeny for posterity.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had kind words for Africans who attended the recently ended DFID-funded Summit. 

However, the same Johnson, in 2002, blurted out the real thinking of the British establishment when he declared: “The problem is not that we were once in charge (of Africa), but that we are not in charge any more.”

As the curtain came down on the 33rd African Union (AU) Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme ‘Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development’, it was as clear as day that, until Africa unites and fights to eradicate poverty without the intervention of the West, Africa’s problems would persist.

The guns Africa wishes to silence were neither designed nor produced on African soil.

On the cusp of Brexit, Johnson has made his move to recolonise Africa, under the guise of opening up trade opportunities for struggling African nations. 

The same modus operandi is being implemented by the US and EU member-states.

It’s no secret that Africa has eight of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world and, by 2050, will be home to a quarter of the world’s consumers. 

That spells opportunity and a way of mitigating the damage of the fast-approaching Brexit.

However, the vultures have gathered, as they did at the Berlin Conference. 

The guns Africa wishes to silence were sneaked onto the continent hidden inside a Bible, in the robes of the clergy and in the baggage of the so-called missionaries.

In Shona, we say: “Tsitsi dzeyi tsvimborume kubvisa mwana wemvana madzihwa?”

Africa, beware! 

A new scramble for Africa is on the horizon. 

Once bitten twice shy.

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