Africa should not let United States exploit it again
Prof Yoro Diallo-Correspondent
From December 13 to 15, 2022, the United States invited 49 African countries to the “Summit for the Reconfiguration of Relations between the United States and Africa”.
Announced by the US administration as an event of capital importance, the summit does not seem to have made many people hopeful, neither among the guests nor among the African populations.
The exclusion of certain countries and the theme determined by the American administration, the inviting party, exposed the selective and unilateralist characteristic of the US, the only initiator of this meeting.
The summit raised questions among many Africans.
These questions mainly concerned: the philosophy of the American political system, the Cold War spirit nourishing American foreign policy, the unilateralist and imperialist method of this policy aimed at the rest of the world, especially Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The contemporary history teaches us that the United States is a notorious trouble-sowing country and a champion of flight from the chaos and desolation that it creates.
The US is distinguished by the wars provoked in the name of American-style democracy. It has never won a war, but leaves chaos and desolation everywhere in its path across the continents.
Among them are wars that have directly or indirectly affected Africa, such as the Vietnam War in 1975 (American soldiers fled like rabbits in front of General Giap Vo Nguyen); the Afghanistan war (American abandoned many of its allies on the tarmac of Kabul airport); the Iraq war in 2003 (using fake proof, the US killed Saddam Hussein, caused thousands of deaths, and left the country in chaos and desolation); the Somalia war (a real humiliation with images of American’s soldiers bodies dragged on the ground); the Libya war (NATO and the US killed Muammar Al Gaddafi). Since then, Libya has remained in chaos.
The Sahel countries, Mali included, live in the security terror generated by the United States.
The US has found no better way than to decide to reduce its diplomatic personnel to a strict minimum and asked American citizens to leave Mali.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali summoned US ambassador to express Mali’s disapproval of the unfriendly act.
On December 11, 2001, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centre Towers and attacked the Pentagon, the symbols of American power.
No African embassy in Washington either evacuated its diplomatic personnel or encouraged their compatriots to leave the United States.
Members of a Chinese mission for the construction of railways were killed in a terrorist attack at the Radisson Hotel in Bamako. Chinese workers were kidnapped while working on the Bamako-Nara road. China neither reduced its diplomatic personnel nor urged its citizens to leave Mali. It is in difficult times we recognise our true friends.
What should Africans expect from the United States in this period of economic and political tension?
The United States has always considered Africa as the forgotten continent. They have never had a concrete policy for Africa.
The US is concerned that a large part of African countries have not supported the West against Russia in the conflict in Ukraine.
Donald Trump, the predecessor of Joe Biden, advocated “America first” and insulted Africans by calling them names. Joe Biden the American President, proudly declared at the start of his term that “America is back”. As on electoral campaigns with African leaders, he made announcements relating to the allocation of a seat to the African Union in the G20 and the United Nations Security Council; the release of $55 billion for Africa over the next three years in the areas of digital technology, infrastructures, health, fight against climate change and renewable energies, the promotion of good governance and democracy and to the security domain. He added, however the United States will do it based on its values . . . it is in our DNA.
For years, the economic sanctions unilaterally imposed by the United States and Western powers against other countries, including African, have proven to be a counterproductive practice.
Sanctions imposed on Burundi, Burkina Faso, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Republic of Guinea, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, must remind African leaders that each of them is a potential victim of the United States desire.
The Washington Summit generated many strong reactions in Africa symbolised by a protest demonstration organised in front of the place of the event in Washington.
The history of Africa will not be written in Washington.
Today the United States is going through a period of trials. They chose to make China and Russia their worst enemies. China is imperturbable and Russia is not weakening.
Hardship is giving way to disappointment, plunging American economy into the worst recession since 1945. African countries must beware of being used as “the stuffing turkey”.
The United States must “respect the aspirations of African people” and contribute to the development of Africa, instead of “relentlessly smearing and denigrating other countries”. The world should view with a “good open mind” China help to Africa to get independence. Since its establishment in 2000, the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation presents tangible results for the benefits of African people. – China Daily.
Professor Yoro DIALLO is a senior researcher and executive director of the Centre for Francophone Studies, director of the African Museum at the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University.