Donald Trump and Why Africa Must Do For Self

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Africa --Trump isn't your president

[Column: African Awakening]

I have often watched with amazement, the excitement that American elections cause in Africa.

In that vein, the recently-concluded Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton campaigns have not been any different. In 2007-2008 when Barack Obama, who was to later become the first African American to ascend to the US presidency, emerged on the American political scene, excitement engulfed the entire African continent.

When the prospect of an Obama presidency became real, Africans from Cape to Cairo expected Mr. Obama, the son of a Luo from Kenya, to do many wonders for Africa.

Many expected Mr. Obama to somehow improve their material welfare as well as help overthrow many of Africa’s despotic rulers who had run some countries to the ground.

It is now less than two months to the end of Mr. Obama's presidency, but there is nothing significant that President Obama’s presidency has delivered for Africa.

He, like his predecessors, continued the one-size-fits-all idea of giving "aid" to Africa, an approach to economic development that has not worked for the continent at all.

Certainly, using aid to spur economic growth and development isn’t a bad idea when properly executed. It has worked elsewhere.

For instance, U.S. aid to Western Europe after World War II, in the form of The Marshall Plan, resuscitated the economies of the targeted countries within only about four years. The U.S. pumped into Western Europe $12 billion at the time, which is equivalent to $120 billion 2016 dollars.

In Africa however, the story has always been quite different. Anyway, the point here is that President Barack Obama, in spite of having his ancestry in Africa, is first and always the president of the United States; he works for, and protects and advances American interests, not African peoples’ interests. So, it was unrealistic for Africans to expect him to be a panacea to African problems.

Mr. Donald Trump has just won the U.S. Presidency. As is usually the case, many Africans followed keenly the campaigns that pitted him against Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the wife of former President, Bill Clinton. Even though many Africans supported Mrs. Clinton, the victory of Mr. Trump has been by and large, a welcome political development in many parts of the continent.

Ironically --save for his somewhat unpredictable temperament-- the expectations of African peoples are very high in the Donald Trump Presidency.

Why is this? Because during the campaign a fake story about how Trump promised to swiftly deal with two African rulers went viral in Africa. In the story, which is probably familiar to many Africans who still believe it's authentic, Trump during his campaign had vowed to depose two of Africa’s longest serving tyrants, Mr. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Uganda’'s Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

(Please Google 'Donald Trump Promises to Arrest Mugabe and Museveni'

http://www.politics.co.ke/global/will-arrest-mugabe-museveni-lock-prison... )

It's perhaps an indication of how desperate things are in some African countries that such a fake story resonated and is still believed.

Why is it that millions of Africans peg high hopes and expectations on a U.S. President to solve their problems? This is precisely because the US has through its mass media global hegemony, and, aid and humanitarian NGOs outreach, programmed African minds to think perpetually in that dependency fashion.

This is for two main reasons. First, to emasculate Africans’ ingenuity to solve their own problems, consequently, making Africans to always look to the U.S. --and other outside powers-- for solutions to their problems.

Secondly, the US would then have leverage to pursue with reckless abandon, its own selfish political and economic interests in Africa.

Africans need to recognize that although the epoch of trading overtly in enslaved humans has ended, Africans are currently enduring the worst forms of socioeconomic, political and mental enslavement.

The Americans and the entire Western world designed a sophisticated world order that promotes and protects their individual countries’ and continental interests.

The World Bank and IMF were designed to promote and protect their economic interests. That is why, according to John Perkins, in his book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," the World Bank and IMF abandoned their founding mission of reconstructing economies of countries devastated by World War II and started making profits in collusion with multinational corporations.

They channeled funds from the Bank and its sister organizations into schemes that appeared to serve the poor while primarily benefiting a few wealthy people.

They identified developing countries with resources that the corporations coveted, such as oil, arranged huge loans for such countries and directed most of the money to their own engineering and construction companies—and a few collaborators in those countries.

Infrastructure projects, such as power plants, airports, and industrial parks, sprang up; however, they seldom helped the poor, who were not connected to electrical grids, never used airports, and lacked the skills required for employment in industrial parks.

On the political, military and diplomatic front, the Americans, with the "consent" of other countries, instituted the United Nations (UN), supposedly a neutral world organization whose objective was purportedly to secure world peace and stability as well as solving socioeconomic and political problems, international in nature, around the world.

However, the UN has variously reneged on these objectives. The world has watched with awe as the U.S. sowed mayhem and pillaged natural resources of UN member countries before the watchful eye of the UN.

In the early 1960s, shortly after gaining independence, the U.S. together with Congo’s colonial master, Belgium, orchestrated the murder of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba under the watchful eye of the UN.

This marked the beginning of anarchy and massive pillage of Congo’'s natural resources by the U.S. and other Western countries. These criminal acts --they continue today-- were perpetrated in many other UN member countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. The UN stood by and watched.

Africans must wake up from their slumber and stop deluding themselves that the U.S. will solve their problems.

The U.S. and its leaders, whether it is Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, or Donald Trump, will not work for, protect and advance African peoples’ interests.

They work for, protect and advance their own national interests. It is in fact, Africans’ responsibility to solve their problems --whether shifting the structural global economic imbalance or removing tyrants-- not Americans’.

For, the Americans understand very well what their interests are in Africa and they will always pursue them. It is thus incumbent on African political leaders to come to the realization that it is their responsibility to work for, protect and advance their national and continental interests.

The US will not do it. Europe or Asia will not do it. Africans must do it -- do for self.

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