Chamunorwa T. Chimombe
When President Joe Biden announced the hosting of United States-Africa Summit last year, he sounded like he was doing a favour to Africans. That was mistake number one.
That is old archaic politics, bereft of respect of African leaders, the undisputed custodians of vast untapped natural resources.
Little did Biden know that the current crop of African leaders is not loud-mouthed, but comprises of real politicians, who have over the years, mastered the art of pulling political strings to their favour, albeit silently.
From Zimbabwe to little everywhere else on the continent, African leaders had issues with US and wanted to be accorded the chance to work on the Summit agenda for a win-win dialogue.
SADC had issues with sanction imposed on Zimbabwe and on the eve of the Summit, the US announced new sanctions on Zimbabwe. What hypocrisy. What crass?
For Sadc leaders the new sanctions regime announced on the eve of the US-Africa was a spoiler.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had been running with the anti-sanctions mantra throughout the year and even took his anti-sanctions narrative to White House and he was very disappointed at the attitude of the US. He is still disappointed.
The US, as usual stuck in the past where its ego tells it that it is the greatest nation, thought it was still the old game where African leaders were subservient and sheepish. The US unilaterally made the Summit agenda like a big brother in the house.
At the end of the summit, the US lost everything. It was a white elephant. Much ado about nothing.
There is an African proverb that says, before you clear a speck in someone’s eye, clear the log in your own eye, first.
Before the United States continues lecturing Africans about how to run their countries against corruption, dictatorship and violence, the USA itself must look at itself first.
The US is the dirtiest in all those aspects when you look at its footprints and this is precisely the reason why the 2022 US-Africa summit was a monumental failure.
It was diplomatic disaster. And, the Washington is sweating over it.
The US-Africa Summit held late last year has left the US sweating and rethinking on how to engage with the continent without losing further ground to Russia and China.
Russia and China have proved to be tactically correct. The US is brazenly dictatorial and blatantly disregarding Africa’s knowledge base and capabilities.
One thing for sure, is that the US did not do enough research ahead of the summit and it thought it was business as usual, lecturing African leaders about how to turn the continent into Western democracy, good governance and accountability and yet Africa has its own ideas.
Africa has its own values and norms.
The African leaders of today have grown out of the shell of fearing big nations like US and know pretty well that they have the much needed natural sources.
The summit itself was a damp squib. It was a talk shop and a shopping opportunity for many Africans as they found the US’ foreign policy towards Africa nauseating. They gained nothing, compared to the Russia-Africa Summit or the China Africa Summit.
Suffice to say African leaders found it annoying that the USA still has colonial hangover mentality; that USA still has a big brother mentality; that US still believes in bully tactics and antics and African leaders found it crazy to be lectured on how to extract their minerals and who to make friends with.
African leaders are still shocked that US even had plans to block them from buying weapons of their choice from Russia.
Some African leaders wanted USA to come clean on corruption, war mongering and abuse of sanctions.
President Biden himself has not been able to explain his joint corrupt dealings with his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine and yet they want to lecture anti-corruption to Africa.
Biden has not been able to explain or clear his name from the biggest fears that he is supporting Ukraine in order to cover the tracks of his corruption.
He fears that the removal of the current regime would expose him.
African leaders have followed with interest how Biden has pumped billions of taxpayer dollars into the Ukraine war, simply to cover his footprints in corruption.
While Russia is justifiably defending its interests in Ukraine through a special military operation USA should have no direct interest.
His son Hunter Biden has been involved in bio-labs in Ukraine where dangerous war chemicals are being worked, with result that some tribes could be wiped out, using genealogy.
President Biden has not been able to explain why the State is funding his son in the bio-labs in Ukraine. He has not been able to explain the use of the bio chemical in the face of world peace and stability.
Africa feels destabilised and intimidated by the USA as manifesting in the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
Chamunorwa T. Chimombe is a Zimbabwean political scientist based in cape Town, South Africa. Here she writes in his personal capacity.