UN General Assembly: Lessons for Africa

Published on 25th September 2009

When Africa's leaders attended the UN general assembly, they carried the expectations of millions of people who strive every day to overcome the odds and make a decent living across this continent.


Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda wanted to sell his new idealism about transforming the macroeconomic climate in his country. Robert Mugabe sought to have sanctions against Zimbabwe which he asserts "Obama found on his desk" when he assumed office. Zuma sought better relations and help for programs especially in war-ravaged pockets of the continent.


Interestingly though, it was clear that the 'big brothers' who are also members of the security council were more interested in matters of nuclear superiority and seemed to sing the same song of disarmament. The fact that most walked out on Iran’s president during his speech to hold parallel deliberations underlines the inequalities of powers as well as the stark contrast of interest for which these  leaders gather.


It is a lesson for Africa that if she wants a share of the cake, she must rise and get it herself. Everyone else is busy with their own business.


It is however quite ironical that such powerful allies in Europe and North America who have immense nuclear capabilities including France, U.S.A., Russia and Israel in the Middle East have vetoed for an end to nuclear proliferations and related production.


Will they stop the on-gong programs before they point accusing fingers at North Korea and Iraq? My prognosis is that they will renege on this resolve in the manner of the crowd that dissipated after Jesus of Nazareth dared them in that famous quip, "He who has no sin, let him be the first to cast a stone.”


Let Africa harness the opportunity availed by her markets and natural resources that are always on high demand at world markets to negotiate for a fair engagement on socio-political and economic fronts with their 'powerful' counterparts rather  than rant about being ignored. Only then can they negotiate favorably on many issues that affect them.


By Eustace Makokha,


Nairobi, Kenya.

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