|Col. Muammar Gaddafi|
We have been here before, of course, and have heard similar arguments whenever Africans’ best interests are mooted. When Kwame Nkrumah became president of
He was branded a ‘communist,’ [a literal death sentence for a Third world leader in the 1950s and 60s]; a ‘megalomaniac,’ and one who kept a dungeon beneath the Presidential Palace, among other accusations. The usual racist arguments were included at a time when racism was more tolerated - even encouraged - in the Western media. Skits were performed on British TV with white actors in blackface ridiculing African independence in pidgin English. Nkrumah effectively became the West’s Antichrist - a position unhappily accorded to Mugabe today.
Those who seek
Consider the fate of Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel, Laurent Kabila, Thomas Sankara and countless other foot soldiers for
What is it about the concept of a United Africa that provokes such paranoia, hatred and ridicule from the West? First of all a United Africa stands to demolish the stereotypes, propaganda and lies that have been increasing in intensity ever since independence with the subsequent psychological liberation for Africans the world over. Secondly, the almost limitless natural and human resources of the Continent will be harnessed under one polity, projecting immense power. Thirdly, such a large land mass under one government will have to develop the means to defend itself and its people, thereby producing substantial military, diplomatic and political forces. Any of these conditions will create a seismic shift in the global power dynamic and cause a severe restructuring of the social, psychological and politico-military pecking order.
It is natural, therefore that forces inimical to Africa’s interests will unleash a full-scale offensive to thwart
Thus, when Gaddafi urges [as he has for years] an end to procrastination and doubt and an acceleration of Africa’s integration, he is not voicing his own desires or executing his agenda, but seeking to incarnate the will of Africa’s progressive founding fathers. Gaddafi is merely restating the words and thoughts of Kwame Nkrumah and others, who fifty years ago presciently recognized the dangers of neo-colonialism and external exploiters’ need to keep
Africa’s fishing stocks are brazenly poached from coast to coast by the countries of several nations; toxic waste is dumped off her coastal waters; drug, people and resource smugglers operate with impunity all over the Continent; foreign armies tramp the Continent ostensibly in pursuit of ‘terrorists’ while advancing their own strategic aims. African armies are bought and sold to facilitate the movement of
To those Africans who say that we cannot do for ourselves, let me cite but two examples: at the end of the Nigerian Civil War [1967-1970] close to a million people died and over two million were made refugees and displaced. The nation was swarming with refugees. Immediately following the cessation of hostilities, Western aid agencies jumped in, jostling each other to offer aid and money, weeping over the ‘humanitarian’ tragedy. The ruler at the time, Yakubu Gowon, told the agencies to ‘keep their blood money’ [the West had armed both sides] and told Nigerians that there were neither victors nor vanquished and that the entire nation must pull together to heal itself. He called on Nigerians to feed, clothe and house the refugees while the government commandeered all its resources to end the crisis. The nation rallied and within less than a year,
The second example which seems to be forgotten are the almost Herculean achievements of the Liberation Committee: armies were trained to fight against the Portuguese, the ‘Rhodesians’ and the apartheid South Africans, intelligence gathered, supplies transported to the fronts, the wounded treated and evacuated and militias positioned to resist counter-insurgency efforts. The Committee was funded by the nations close to the conflict which also served as rear bases for the guerilla armies. Despite the ‘impossibility’ of fighting white professional armies armed with NATO weapons and intelligence, and blocked in the UN by America’s anti-communist machinations, siding with Portugal and South Africa, the Liberation Movement prevailed. There were no advisers from
The West, foreign aid, aid agencies, the IMF, World Bank, the UN - all have failed
Africa is not the
How will we make that connection to our people that will truly make us a nation-family? How will we defend our coastlines from the foreign pirates who poach our fishing stocks and dump their toxic waste in our waters, polluting the future life of our children? When will we exploit what binds us together as a people, instead of dancing to the rhetoric of forces that have ever sought to keep us divided while they steal from us?
Gaddafi is not being unrealistic or ‘erratic’ when he calls on Africans to move decisively on the creation of the United States of Africa. He is merely restating the logical case for continental unity as envisioned by the founding fathers of African independence like Nkrumah and Marcus Garvey before him. There is no sinister hidden agenda behind his call as the propagandists of the Western media would have us believe. In terms of economic development, power projection, political survival and regional prestige, a United States of Africa, while not instantly solving
For this, we do not need the assistance and interference of foreign aid agencies, the World Bank, IMF or ‘advisers’ from the West who have all the answers that do not work. As a matter of survival we should exclude them from our councils and planning since they have ‘helped’ us so disastrously in the past. Africans and Africans alone, both on the Continent and in the so-called Diaspora, working together, sharing ideas and experiences, can and must build the United States of Africa. Too much blood has been shed, too much resources have been stolen, for the dream to be deferred another generation.
This 21st century is the century of possibilities and One Africa is possible and achievable. Muammar Gaddafi is merely the messenger of those who constructed a vision of Africa’s future long ago, and if the ‘leaders’ of today’s Africa lack the will or the perspicacity to lead us to the fulfillment of that dream, then the people themselves must lead themselves, challenging the loyalty and commitment of their leaders. The African people are not as docile and tractable as they seem. There is still time to move in the right direction and avoid a conflagration.