U.S. Drones In Africa; Only Nkrumah's Vision For Unity Can Save Continent

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[Black Star News Editorial]
The introduction of a U.S. drone base in Niger this week shows how far the continent has drifted away
from Kwame Nkrumah's vision of a united, powerful Africa, with a continental government and army to protect its sovereignty and immense mineral wealth.

Nkrumah was Ghana's first post-colonial prime minister and later president as that West African country led the way when rapid decolonization started in Africa. Nkrumah said the independence of Ghana would be meaningless until all African countries were liberated and united under one continental flag and army.

He argued that without unity, the dozens of small African countries would all remain weak and vulnerable to manipulation and intrigue by outside powers that coveted their mineral wealth and other natural resources. 

Nkrumah said the reason why Africa had become the source of enslaved labor that helped develop the Western world in the first place was the continent's division. A change in leadership, from European
colonial governors and administrators to Africans was an insufficient condition for development.

After Ghana's own formal independence Nkrumah had already seen the limitations his country had, operating in the globalized economy.  
Ghana remained a provider of raw materials for the industrial world without the ability to influence the price of its exports or of its imports from industrialized countries. 

In addition to increasing its range of export products, the solution was for Ghana to develop its own industrial base. The economy would create more jobs by processing the raw materials and adding value at the various stages of production; all within Ghana.  

A united Africa would also create a huge integrated market, spurring effective demand, and stimulating more industrial production.
Nkrumah knew there would be a price
to pay for advocating unity and for trying to fundamentally change Africa's economic relations with the industrialized world. 

Global capital would be hostile to this message and work aggressively to undermine or to depose his government. Ghana could only succeed working as a state within a United Africa, Nkrumah concluded. This same argument applied to all other African countries. "Our objective is African unity now. There is no time to waste," Nkrumah declared  on May 24, 1963 at an Organization of African Unity (OAU) meeting in Ethiopia. "We must unite now or perish," he told the leaders of the 32 newly-independent African countries at the time.  

More than 20 other African countries were yet to gain formal independence. Nkrumah insisted that without unity, Africa would become balkanized. The industrial countries would play each cou
ntry against the other and African countries, as they had done in Latin America, Nkrumah argued in his brilliant 1963 speech in Ethiopia.

Without unity, African countries individually, would remain weak and vulnerable to coups detats executed by Western intelligence agencies such as the CIA. The independence and sovereignty of African countries would remain meaningless. "Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference," Nkrumah said.

Nkrumah's appeals largely fell on deaf ear and his fears have now come to realization. 

Even though the Organization of African Unity (OAU) managed to minimize wars between African countries over boundaries drawn during the colonial era its successor, the African Union (AU) has not moved any closer to accomplishing what its name states.

One of the biggest advocates of union in recent years, Libya's Muammar al-Quathafi, was overthrown by a violent NATO bombardment campaign supposedly conducted to introduce "democracy" but which has now left the country's once impressive infrastructure destroyed and the country divided into fiefdoms controlled by rival militias. Nkrumah himself was deposed by his own generals with the encouragement of the CIA.

Other African nationalists, such as Patrice Lumumba, met a deadly fate. He was brutally murdered after his government was deposed by Mobutu Sese Seko, who became a long-time CIA agent in Africa and was very efficient in destroying the Congo. 

Mobutu was supported for decades by Washington because even though he was a great enemy of Congo and Africa, he served U.S. policy in Africa. Today, Congo is used as a reservoir for coltan, diamonds, gold, timber, copper and other resources. The country is vandalized in much the same manner as it was under Leopold of the Belgians, under the colonial regime, and under kleptocrat Mobutu. Today, two brutal U.S.-backed dictators Rwanda's Gen. Paul Kagame and Uganda's Gen. Yoweri Museveni are the conduits for the assault on Congo. 

The two generals have sent their armies to invade and plunder Congo numerous times, leaving millions of people dead --8 million at last count-- after each assault and yet avoiding any accountability for their
atrocities. The number of Congolese that have perished from Gen. Kagame's and Gen. Museveni's assaults, possibly equals the numbers killed under Belgian King Leopold's regime. 

Much of the billions of dollars of Congo's plundered wealth, through Rwanda and Uganda, end up in Western countries.

So as most continents have moved towards democratization, harmonization of politics, and regional integration, Western countries still find it convenient to work with repressive regimes in Africa who are hostile to the interests of their own citizens.

A united Africa would not allow the continued desecration of Congo. NATO would never have invaded Libya under a united Africa. There would be no Jihadists roaming in parts of Mali under a united Africa, providing France with the rationalization to intervene there. The United States would not today be opening a base for drones in Niger.

Nkrumah's vision still remains the best solution for the continent. The next generation of Africans' mission is clear: to work tirelessly for democratic regimes with leaders that have the best interest of the continent at heart. 

The continent needs leaders who will work towards realizing Nkrumah's dream for a United Africa.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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