I used to doubt the sovereignty of almost all African countries. This is because since Africa gained its independence, the continent remained cowardly and pointlessly dependent on its former and new colonial masters. However, the arrival of the COVID-19’s pandemic has proved me very wrong. For, to the contrary, what transpired recently in a very poor and small country of Guinea turned my understanding to its head. I was one of those who wrongly believed that China has Africa by the balls. Little did I know there are some Africans who will not take anything for their independence ala the founder of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure who turned tables on French colonial masters when they wanted to give him fake independence just like they did to the rest of their ex-colonies whose reserves they retained up until tomorrow.
After watching the clips of Africans being maltreated in China, Guinea decided to take the bull by the horns timely. Guinea arrested Chinese nationals, demanding that they would be released when Africans stop being discriminated against in China and are returned to Africa in good shape.
Toure flatly refused half-baked freedom. The French wanted to offer independence and retain the reserve of the country and keep on charging it for keeping and printing its currency as has been the case for its other ex-colonies. This step infuriated the then highly feared French President Charles de Gaulle who ordered withholding of some French aid. To prove his seriousness, Toure told France to take everything including pins and papers. This relatively poor country has again flexed its muscles in solidarity with suffering Africans in China by arresting Chinese nationals who are within its jurisdiction as a quid pro quo to what racist China did to Africans.
Guinea’s move motivated other African countries to at least express their discomfort with what was happening to Africans in China. Video footages surfaced online showing South African police interrogating some Chinese nationals. In Uganda, the authorities apprehended Chinese nationals who were escaping self-quarantine as they headed for the DRC. This is a new trend for African countries whose law enforcers are known for bribe taking. Standing up against those who were deemed and thought untouchable is not only a new trend but an emancipatory gesture that many Africans who are still sleeping at the wheel need to heed.
A nation does not need to be a superpower or rich to stand for its interests. Instead, it needs just courage whenever an opportunity avails itself as is the case in question here. Africa needs to wisely deal with China. China has tried to hoodwink Africa that it is a friendly partner but not a colonial power like the West. While the West sent a few of its officials to colonise Africa by using local chiefs and sell-outs, China is dispatching its jobless army to occupy Africa. These poor and unwanted Chinese have somewhere to go and thrive thanks to Africans’ docility, corruption and myopic regimes. Chinese aim at taking over Africa. This is a lasting mission of occupation through elimination. China has been so generous in issuing toxic loans to many corrupt and inept regimes with the aim of taking their economies and resources soon after failing to repay such loans.
What should Africa do?
Stop supplying China with crucial resources that it needs for the development of its industries. Stop allowing jobless and unqualified foreigners to inundate the continent. Apply the international law of reciprocity by taking the same actions against China to force it to respect Africans and stop its racism against them.
China needs Africa more than Africa needs China. For, if it is the supply of manufactured goods, Africa used to get them from the West before China became a world workshop. African countries should come together and demand that China ceases xenophobic attacks against Africans. African countries such as those in the Maghreb and South Africa that tolerate xenophobic attacks against Africans should put their house in order first for them to be taken seriously.
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango firstname.lastname@example.org is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe and contributed many chapters in scholarly works on many issues of importance on Africa with the specialisation in the deconstruction and decolonisation theories he has been working on for a while now.