Many Africans largely drawn from West, East and southern Africa termed the inaugural initiative as neo-capitalist and a “betrayal of the African spirit.”
The majority Africans interviewed by CAJ News Africa disapproved their governments’ attendance of the Summit accusing the US of alleged bullying tactics, dictatorship, dishonesty, double standards, arrogance, pride, selfishness and hypocrisy when dealing with Africans.
CAJ News Africa conducted interviews in a number of African countries ahead of the event, among them Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia and Ethiopia.
“Partnership with America is like a woman falling in love with a rapist who will always arm-twist the lady to do as he pleases. We are sick and tired of the US’ dictatorship, hypocrisy and bullying of Africa for its mineral resources while they are stockpiling theirs for future use,” said Ijidike Lawal of Lagos, Nigeria.
Abbe Oruna of Onitsha, also from Nigeria, echoed his sentiments, saying he did not approve President Goodluck Jonathan’s participation.
“His attendance will endorse the US’ double standards against Nigerians and the rest of the continent. If I had powers, I could stop Jonathan from attending this ‘fake’ summit! This summit is nothing but a stage for the US to lecture on Africa for the things America will never do.
“I can forgive other African leaders for traveling to Washington DC to see America, but as for Nigeria and South Africa, if they ever attend this ‘fake’ and ‘hypocrisy’ (sic) so-called summit, I will not forgive Presidents Jonathan and Jacob Zuma,” said Oruna.
Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Barrister Peter Odia, told our Abuja Bureau, Augustine Osayande that the US was not “genuine” in any dealings with Africa.
“The main problem with most African leaders is that they enjoy being showered with fake praises while betraying their own constituencies and natural resources to the West, under the guise of ‘smart partnerships,” Odia said.
He cited the way the US handled the Nigerian matter when the West African nation passed the anti-gay law in which strings were pulled against Nigeria.
“The United States threatened to withdraw its aid to these African countries including Nigeria for passing the anti-gay laws. This, they (Americans) have started by not buying Nigeria crude oil,” he said.
South African, Ramosidi Mzwandile, said he regretted that President Zuma was the first African leader to “celebrate” the call to attend the US-Africa summit.
“Our President appears to be a ‘Yes Man’ for the US in almost everything! I remember when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bombarded Libya, a development that led to the death of Muammar Gaddafi, our President endorsed the destruction of Libya.
“Surely, some of our leaders are sellouts! They always betray the unity of Africa, and I’m therefore supporting new but vibrant political parties such as the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) so that they change the state of the continent’s affairs,” Mzwandile said.
Michael Kibet, a businessman in Nairobi, Kenya said he did not support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s participation at the summit.
“Our leaders quickly forget and are easily get carried away when it needed bold men to apply critical decision making. Only recently, our economy (Kenya) was made to suffer on flimsy allegations aimed at arm-twisting the country to do the will of the West, with the US being the ringleader.
“As I speak to you right now, Kenyatta and his deputy were humiliated when taken to the ‘kangaroo court’ of ICC for alleged human rights violations yet the West wanted their preferred candidate in Kenya,” said Kibet.
In Ethiopia, where the African Union (AU) is headquartered, political analyst, Elijah Debebe, said the continent’s mother body must have a common position before attending such meetings.
“We all know that nothing favourable to Africa will come out of this meeting called US-Africa Summit. Personally, I call the summit the US-African puppets’ Summit,” Debebe said.
However, Shadreck Addedov of Accra, Ghana, praised the move saying it would give the continent a “new beginning” with the US.
“Whether we like it or not, the US is the world superpower, so there is always a need to engage with the Americans for the world affairs. It will be foolish to underestimate the US in anything the continent does not want,” Addedov said.
Zimbabwean, Musa Mutangadura, said she had reservations about the US.
“America has done a lot of positive things for Africa and the world, but at the same time, they (US) turned to be the world’s worst enemy, a devil who is not worthy supporting.
“Right now, the war that the world is witnessing today in Israel has been manufactured by the US with the sole purpose to destroy infrastructure for the Palestinians in order to create construction contracts and business
opportunities for the West.”
The US-Africa Leaders Summit comes after China had a successful partnership, which many African governments endorsed.
Both the US and China are widely viewed as using African turf to battle for the control of the continent’s vast mineral resources it possesses. – CAJ News