|New World Order: Which way for Africa?|
|Wednesday, 07 September 2011 02:00|
They have issued especially, but not accidentally, from various circles in the UK, a call for a "new imperialism" and therefore
the "recolonisation" of Africa! Because we considered this to be an obviously preposterous proposition, as a Continent we ignored this voice.
The argument has been advanced that the process of globalisation has created such interdependence among all nations that the "post-modern world" (Western countries) has a responsibility to ensure the integrity and proper functioning of the global system.
For instance, in a June 2, 2003 article, Bruce Anderson, columnist of The Independent (London), wrote: "Africa is a beautiful continent, full of potential and attractive people who deserve so much more than the way in which they are forced to live, and die. Yet it is not clear that the continent can generate its own salvation. It may be necessary to devise a form of neo-imperialism, in which Britain, the US and the other beneficent nations would recruit local leaders and give them guidance to move towards free markets, the rule of law and - ultimately - some viable local version of democracy, while removing them from office in the event of backsliding."
On April 19, 2008 The Times (London) published an article by Matthew Parris entitled "The new scramble for Africa begins" in which he said: "Fifty years ago the decolonisation of Africa began. The next half-century may see the continent recolonised. But the new imperialism will be less benign. Great powers aren't interested in administering wild places any more, still less in settling them: just raping them. Black gangster governments sponsored by self-interested Asian or Western powers could become the central story in 21st-century African history."
Yet the implicit suggestion of recent reporting from Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, sometimes echoed in London, is that imperial intervention might indeed be welcomed by peoples threatened with mayhem, anarchy and civil war . . . What Africa really needs, Maier, (in his book This House Has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis), seems to suggest, is the advice of a new generation of foreign missionaries, imbued with the new, secular religion of good governance and human rights. Men such as Maier himself and R W Johnson would fit the bill admirably.
"The new missionaries are much like the old ones, an advance guard preparing the way for military and economic conquest."
Led specifically by the ‘post-modern countries' of France, the UK and the US, the UN Security Council authorised the current NATO military operation against Libya, which has absolutely nothing to do with helping the Libyan people peacefully to resolve the crisis afflicting their country.
This means that we must understand the role of the proposition of "the Right to Protect", which has been used to justify military interventions allegedly to protect civilians and advance human rights. Similarly we must put in its proper context the elevation of "international justice," as represented by the ICC, even above the search for peace to save human lives.
This point is emphasised by the reality that many organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group have challenged the arguments used to justify the NATO military action against Libya.
The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a "bloodbath'' in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and last rebel stronghold . . .
Libya's leader promised amnesty for those ‘who throw their weapons away'. Gaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight ‘to the bitter end'."
If the NATO military intervention in Libya succeeds, this will open the way for these countries to use the Libyan experience as a precedent which would encourage them to intervene everywhere else in Africa.
themselves as "the post-modern world," are resolved to ensure that they determine the destiny of Africa.
the interests of the world community of nations as a whole.
The challenge we face is seriously to internalise the reality that nobody but ourselves can and should take responsibility for the renaissance of Africa towards which the billion Africans aspire. We have to act together to make our future and think together about what that future will be. When HE Ben Mkapa, former president of Tanzania, delivered The Thabo Mbeki Africa Day Lecture at the University of South Africa on Africa Day this year, he said:
"I consider these three freedoms - from food insecurity, from ignorance and from disease - as the fundamental and priority measure of the dignity of African Independence. More emphasis should be given to the war against them. The terrain to fight them must be of our own demarcation.
"This is the first challenge and imperative facing the second generation of African Leaders." I could not agree more! President Mkapa went on to quote what the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere said when he addressed the South African parliament on October 16, 1997: ‘We have to depend upon ourselves, both at national level and at the collective level. Each of our countries will have to rely upon its own human resources and natural material resources for development. But that is not enough. The next area to look at is our collectivity, our working together. We all enhance our capacity to develop if we work together.'
As Africans we must mobilise ourselves to respond to the challenge starkly posed to us by "the new world order" which demands that we should not merely proclaim our right to self-determination, but indeed act to determine our destiny!