@Jamwanda2 on Saturday: ‘Africa can’t manage the world!’ President Emmanuel Macron

@Jamwanda2 on Saturday

Imbecility of Macron

Following a wave of anti-French feelings across Francophone Africa, a former Economic Minister for France, one Thierry Breton, took to twitter and posted the following: “It’s the imbecility of Emmanuel Macron that opened the eyes of Africans. 

“One thing is sure if France loses its colonies, our children and grandchildren will go to Africa to search for their livelihoods. Immigration will change direction. Macron needs to go. 

“If not, France will suffer. Europe needs to unite to fight this new African vision. If one of the heads of the putschists falls, the others will abandon the vision. Africa does not have history. So, Africa can’t manage the world.” This was in mid-December in the Year of Our Lord 2023.

Africa on forgetful Christmas

The tweet went largely unnoticed, especially here in Southern Africa where only one Zambian paper took notice. 

I suppose Africa was already on a Christmas break, which translated to a thinking break. Even for Zambia which took notice, the debate was not on the tweet; rather it morphed into a spirited debate on Zambian politics as if to suggest the Frenchman’s tweet was a needless diversion from pressing domestic politics.

    Sheer fatalism and indifference

I do not know by what trigger, but it turns out that the post has finally reached the shores of Zimbabwe a good six months later, even then triggering a muted debate. 

That is the speed of information in this age of digital Africa; indeed the speed of any danger alert. 

What accounts for this equanimity by a Continent which clearly is being put on notice for a second assault or scramble? Has she grown so inured or habituated to occupation and hegemonic control that any such threats trigger remarkable indifference and fatalism? 

Or maybe the sense which the French ex-Minister sought to convey was too hidden or recondite for Africa to grasp? 

In which case we might as well begin by unpacking the post by the Frenchman hoping Africans may begin to see the danger they are  in, hopefully to begin to get prepared,  roused and armed to meet it.

Sleeping continent

The rheum of the ex-French minister is on the “imbecility” of current French President Macron for opening “the eyes of Africans”! 

Those with long memory will recall that the epithet “imbecility” in colonial lore was synonymous with Africans who ranked lowest on Charles Darwin’s evolution hierarchy. 

That tells you the depth of Breton’s contempt for Macron. And the colonial trope builds even more directly: Africans are in perpetual sleep; have both eyes innately shut until some imbecile white leader happens by. 

Like this Macron. Only then are woken by this  dull white man’s blunders; left to themselves they are wont to perpetual sleep of indolence, never feeling an inner compulsion or urge to “see” with their brains, brains which are dead anyway! 

And that Macron has roused dead brains, implies a stupendous effort put through by his sheer imbecility. Point one.

Re-conquest of a continent

A reawakened Africa becomes unhelpful to France (read West), forcing France’s children and grandchildren to march on Africa in “search of livelihoods”. 

Lest the import is not clear enough to languid African minds, the angry and frustrated French ex-minister is not referring to French refugees or immigrants peaceably cast ashore our continent by sheer desperation and pleading for space as refugees or immigrants are wont to. 

He is referring to a Second wave of violent colonial occupation of Africa, herself the last post for natural resources the western world so eagerly needs for its survival and continuity. 

He means the invasion and re-conquest of Africa the same way Barbarians from the North descended on Europe far back in that Continent’s Dark Age. Point two.

Fighting Africa’s Vision

Lest you think this sentiment by the ex-French minister is particularised to France only, the ex-Minister rallies the whole of Europe: “Europe needs to unite to fight this new African vision.” 

Make no mistake, the ex-French minister is clear: events in Francophone Africa, epitomised by Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Guinea and now Senegal, are no mere chaos. 

If that were so, Macron would not have been an imbecile. Chaos, after all, has always been colonial imperialism’s best ally in managing Africa and Africans. 

To keep Africans busily distracted, well away from focusing on their natural resources which the West sorely needs, chaos through wars and political turmoil should be invented. 

What upsets the ex-Minister and requires more than a French garrison is that there is some coherent “African vision” behind the current anti-French movement in West Africa. 

And he doesn’t like it, even if it means granting the same Africans he dismisses as the rabble of history, some capacity to finally “open their own eyes” by cobbling an upsetting vision, unaided. 

That vision disturbs Western interests and must perforce unite Europe which must “fight”it! And “fight” is not a metaphor here. Point three. 

Against France’s divine right to rule

It is not a metaphor because the ex-French minister envisages and agitates for some illustrative violent ouster of one of those African leaders behind this disturbing “African vision”. 

Except he strips those behind the “African vision” of any dignified pretensions to being bona fide leaders of their societies, leaders busily meeting and fulfilling aspirations of their people. 

No, they are putschists who have usurped and overthrown France’s divine right to run and exploit Africa and her resources! 

One illustrative palace coup, or any other form of violent overthrow of just one of these emerging anti-French African regimes, will send the rest of these errant African visionaries scurrying for neo-colonial cover and safety! 

That way, the African clock gets reversed to the Berlin Conference days of the 19th Century, with African living happily ever after under Western tutelage.  Point four.

A continent with no history

Talking of the Berlin Conference of 1884 and beyond, Africa’s image was that of terra nullius and terra incognito, an uninhabited, unknown, dark continent. 

Even as we Africans knew it! The ex-minister rehashes that Victorian trope of darkness, adding: “Africa does not have history. So, Africa cannot manage the world!” 

This is a complete repudiation of Africa’s claim or pretensions to global leadership, whether on grounds of previous claims to history/civilisation, or on grounds of her resource endowments. 

A repudiation for all times! Africa cannot lead anything, anyone? Any prospects for some re-awakened or enlightened Africa are dashed upfront, suggesting even the self-comforting colonial notion of paternal tutelage is out of question. 

She lives outside history, the only material thing about her being her highly mineralised geology. Point five.

Nil allies or alliances

 Gentle reader, you may have noticed that the ex-French minister makes no mention of any other continent or alliances. It is all about Europe(read West) versus benighted Africa. There is no China,  no Russia or intermediate countries like India, Brazil, Iran, Indonesia or any other. Africa is stripped of any allies or alliances . Who partners with darkness anyway? Point six and last.

War in our lifetime

Gentle reader, I hope I  have unpacked what this latter-day French Otto von Bismarck meant as we snoozed lazily on the eve of last Christmas. 

As we still snooze now and tomorrow, forever! Who guards Africa now and in future? Breton makes it clear Europe projects inter-generational dominance of Africa. 

If it’s not her children, it will be her grandchildren fighting Africa’s rude vision that defines any other destiny for herself outside her servitude and submission.  

This column has raised alarm over so-called Strategic Mineral Resources movement on both sides/ of the Atlantic. 

America has drawn up a list of minerals she needs for her defence industry,  for her economic transition to a green age and for her continued dominance in world affairs. 

Europe has gone even further to legislate for access to those minerals it does not have, which only Africa had and easily releases whether through naivety or weakness. 

Whichever way, it is clear that  what Breton proposed in December last year, the West is already disposing.  Through guile and courtship for now. Through war tomorrow. And tomorrow is in our lifetime: you and I!

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