Thursday, 23 February 2012

Listen Mr. African 'STATESMAN': Rants of a Troubled Pan-Africanist

OK listen AU, IGAD, EAC, NEPAD and all other multilateral African institutions and ‘statesmen’ who’ve perfected the art of perennially ranting and whining about ‘Western Imperialism’. I am talking as a Pan-Africanist disturbed by the ingenuity, ineptitude and slack of many a folk in the exclusive club of African leadership. 

Listen, an intergovernmental, inter-agency summit is underway in London, United Kingdom as I write. It’s the Somalia Conference convened by British Prime Minister David Cameron and his allies to address the troubles and restoration of Somalia. I know you are probably there already - INVITED, and must have carried elaborate delegations with you. Invited to participate? Invited to provide quorum? Or maybe just to be placated? Maybe to be arm twisted like you traditionally have been. Don’t you find it uneasy, disturbing or just funny that you are invited by a foreign entity, the same ‘Western Imperialists’ that you detest so much to deliberate on an endemic African predicament, a shameful scar on the Emblem of Africanism that is squarely on your mandate? Aren’t you a tad bit disturbed by your always sluggish, last-man response to matters of African welfare?

I listened pensively to presidential speeches at the recently concluded AU summit in Addis Ababa: African leaders whining, distraught and disenfranchised, faulting the West, NATO for their role in the destabilization of an African flagship country – Libya. But come to think of it, beyond that barrage of rhetoric, emotions and the display of flaring tempers orchestrated by the likes of Zimbabwean ‘statesman’ Robert Mugabe, What did you do about Libya? How much seriousness did you commit to standing with an African state? How much resources or even time did you devote to rescuing Libya? After how long did you act? Anyway, I guess my questions could be indeed irrelevant for a people who can’t even agree on a stable AU leadership, a people clearly disillusioned and oblivious of their mandate.

How shameful it is that you just get invited to an assembly of this calibre. How humbling it is that you will merely sign the resolutions but without the muscle and space to take centre stage in their execution. How I wish this would have been a partnership at the least, a joint caucus of an African multilateral institution with the western allies OR at best an African initiative strategized and executed by Africans drawing in international allies. As it is, I guess you haven’t mustered any serious leverage in these deliberations and you won’t be able to bargain and argue more aptly for Somalia, the Horn of Africa, and Africa. God forbid you might be participating effectively as rubberstamp ink, in a premeditated process of ratifying already engineered English/Western judgements on the prospects for Somalia.

Isn’t it time you cut the rhetoric and got more proactive, more strategic and more creative in sorting out the challenges bedevilling our beautiful troubled continent? Isn’t it time such big African economies like Nigeria, South Africa as well as promising ones like Ghana, Botswana rolled up their sleeves and contributed more in terms of resources, time and delved into the murky waters of African Unity like their counterparts in Asia, Europe and South America do? 

For as long as you proceed with the prevailing ambivalence about these imperatives, you continue to sell out Africa – Cut the rhetoric folks; get down to work!  


  1. true true, I can't say anything else...London conference on Somalia!!! sounds like a Tin Tin story.

  2. next there will be a New York conference on Boko Haram! come on, African presidents, get your acts together and take initiative

  3. True (Annonymous)... If only they could expend just a fraction of the faithfulness and commitment they pay to meetings convened by Western entities. Just wondering how different this meeting is from the perennially futile IGAD and AU meets

  4. Great one here Okwaroh! I can feel the force of your arguments in every word written and more so because every one of them is true. It is such a painful thing and I pray we get more fire-brand Africans like you in our generation to champion the course of long-overdue change in Africa.

  5. You hit the nail on the head Kenneth!! This is so true! You simply echoed my sentiments to the letter! When I heard about the conference, I asked myself, "how come a Conference on Somalia is taking place in Europe, London?" "Why not in Accra, Abuja, Addis Ababa or Nairobi?" Why do African leaders have to keep humiliating themselves, but then at the slightest opportunity when it suits them most, they start ranting about Western imperialism and how it is constraining them. When they are the ones who subject themselves to such imperialism.

  6. Dear fellow pan-African, I wish we would take African issues seriously ourselves. The westerners will keep us pre occupied with their "solutions" while it serves them. They bombarded Libya leaving it as a pale reflection of itself yet the best they can do for Somalia is talk about it in London. The fact that Al Qaeda have claimed shares in Al Shabab ( as if we didn't know) notwithstanding. As for these AU/IGAD meets, they are periodic reminders of the heavy millstone round our necks in the name of leadership. Pass my happy birthday wishes to one Bob of Zimbabwe, Morgan doesn't seem to be half as promising as Bob was 30 years ago. Poor us!! For as long we choose to be poor.