African unity needed now more than ever

Tatenda Mugwagwa

The emergence of a new generation of Pan-African leaders across Africa poses a significant threat to neo-colonialism, marking the end of Western dominance and the exploitation of African resources.

Recently, African leaders have taken bold steps to protect their national sovereignty and territorial integrity by implementing nationalist policies that embody self-determination.

The resurgence of the spirit of African strongmen like the slain leader of Libya, Colonel Muammar Gadhafi and the late former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is a refreshing change in the geopolitical discourse, highlighting Africa’s potential to shape global politics.

Historically, Africa, with its vast natural resources, was dependent on Europe for development, with Europe wielding significant influence over African affairs. The Europeans also devised liberal mechanisms such as the imposition of Westminster democracy; debt traps, guised as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) and other forms of lethal aid that perpetuated the subjugation of African states, leaving them susceptible to the West’s imperial machinations.

History has recorded how the West uses force to export Westminster democracy. The wars in the Middle East post 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America (USA) bear testimony to this.

Closer, woke African leaders like Gadhafi who lobbied for the creation of a United States of Africa, which is not dependent on Europe were slain. Other African leaders who were slain because they wanted to emancipate their compatriots include Patrice Lumumba of Congo and Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso.

Even African strongmen like Mugabe who stood hand in glove with Europeans had negative constructions created about them by the Western media propaganda machinery, which regarded them as “ruthless dictators.”  Yet, they were fighting to liberate their fellow citizens from the legacy yoke of colonial oppression.

In the same vein, periodic elections are often used by the West to impose its puppet leaders who give them easy access to natural resources. This has been the case in Southern Africa, where the West has been working hard to replace revolutionary and current ruling parties of former Frontline States and replace them with their cronies.

The trick worked in Zambia and in Malawi but it failed to produce desired results in Zimbabwe, Swaziland and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite this, the West is not resting. There is a great danger that there could be regime change in South Africa, which is scheduled to hold its plebiscite on 29 May 2024. The same danger lurks in Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique, which are set to hold elections this year.

However, this new crop of African leaders is challenging the status quo, rejecting the imposition of Western democracy and economic models that have perpetuated Africa’s subjugation.  They are embracing African traditional governance systems and prioritizing policies that benefit locals. Resultantly, states like Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Chad and Mali have installed “popular dictatorships” that replaced puppet regimes that used to reign over them.

Suddenly, Europe’s unfettered access to African resources has been cut. The new breed of leaders that emerged from the popular dictatorships in these countries are prioritizing policies that benefit locals. The Europeans are being chased like rats from these countries, with locals taking over the means of production.

Never before has an African renaissance been so broad and bold. However, Europeans are not going down without a fight.

This was the case with Zimbabwe. When the Southern African nation embarked on a corrective fast-track land redistribution exercise, the West united to punish it. It even created an opposition party to create despondency in the country. When their puppet party failed to achieve regime change, the West even contemplated to intervene militarily.

However, Zimbabwe’s all weather friends; Russia and China, vetoed the proposed military invasion that had been brought to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) by the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

The Zimbabwean experience provides a real-life experience to other African states on how the neo-colonial West remains adamant on reversing indigenous policies that benefit Africa. That Zimbabwe resisted all forms of chicanery employed by the Europeans to either coerce or compel it to reverse nationalization of its resources should be a motivating factor for African states that wish to walk this road. Unity is key. Africa stood by Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe chose her international friends wisely.

Therefore, African states that decide to repossess their means of production should brace up for a brave fight from the Europeans, who will not let go easily. They will deploy all means available to them to ensure that Africa remains subjugated.

The African renaissance is unstoppable, but the consequences are dire. Nevertheless, where there is no pain, there is no gain. African unity is needed now more than ever before.

Victory is certain!