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Genuine democracy in Africa: West’s worst nightmare

Local elections in Eritrea



Genuine democracy in Africa: West’s worst nightmare

By Simon Hagos | Twitter: @tewerwari_1

When discussing Africa’s political practices, and the level of cynicism snaps out of politicians from the western world, one should not look beyond U.S department of African affairs within the state department.

On December 8, 2017 acting assistant of states for African affairs Mr. Donald Yamamoto’s press roundtable discussion at the U.S embassy in Addis Ababa floodlighted nothing but this Machiavellian ideas embroidered with empty promises.

“…. the U.S. national strategic interest is to ensure that we have open governments and countries that are responsive to the people. Accountable to the people.”

The fact that Mr. Donald Yamamoto held the roundtable in Ethiopia and talked openness and responsibility is a mirth. But what makes these political courtesans fret and stew more than any other time in history of their imprudent world dominance for well over 27 years is, the fact that African youth are conscious of the political dysfunctionality in the continent.

Even if main stream media are doing stupendous job in hiding it from the public, African youth disquiet of the contemporary political process is evident.

It is inconceivable to repudiate that a new eon of “political consensus” has started in Africa as most Africans are voicing their disaffection to see their continent’s political system appears to be so woebegone and impaired. It is not less of a veridiction for the majority, African leaders are quandary when dealing with issues that matters to the people.

Even though internal misadventures have implications, external encroachments are salient. It is potent to argue, since the formal end of colonization, the west’s purposive deeds of controlling Africa’s political system and wealth in the form of “neo-colonization” despond the political, economic and social progression of the continent.

Thus, politicians like Donald Yamamoto shall accept the “era of external encroachments” is everything except acceptable.

Further add ups to their vexation, African youth finally understands the phenomenon of “The era of external infringements” as pertinent as it gets to unreservedly unravel the decadent political culture and behaviors of dissipation within African leaders.

Yes, Assassination, Coercion and Intimidation of visionary leaders while supporting and protecting brutal but at the same time loyal dictators has been utilized as a common tactics of control and domination.

Assassination: no sagacious person can gainsay that to the younger generation, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, and the west’s vehement support of the brutal, dictatorial and despotic regime of Mobutu Sese seko evokes the dark history. Historical facts like it elevates their political consciousness.

As Belgian colonial official and diplomat Jacques Brassine once famously said

“Patrice Lumumba was dangerous to the west because he was not open to the kind of proposals   and solutions the west wanted to apply.”

Coercion and intimidation: Western leaders lack of impertinence and their level of insolence towards our political process is mind-boggling. A young student from Burkina Faso recently confronted French president Emmanuel Macron with the following question;

“Why is today there are more French soldiers in this country than African exchange students in France?”

The French president lost his temper and responded by saying this forgetting how France build its economy;

“Imagine a young woman living in France, she may never have heard of Burkina Faso, her younger brother may have died in recent months to save you. And you thank her by saying that. You do not have your younger brother fighting in Belgian or French soil. Do not coming and talk to me like that about French soldiers. The only thing you owe them is applaud.”

The above incidence in Burkina Faso can highlight, Africa’s “political processes” has been totally hijacked and expropriated by western powers and their special interest groups.

What is happening with our youth?

Noam Chomsky once famously said:

“Political systems increasingly function without public input. It means to increasing extent not only do people not ratified the provisions presented to them, but also not take a trouble participate in them because they assume the decisions going on independently regardless of what they may say or do in the polling booth.”

The argument Noam contrived, as tenable as it gets also solidified my premise above. Democracy today is far from the real idea of “democracy”. What the west and their media calls “democratic process”, is a system where a “pseudo-dictatorial” liberal leaders who are utterly submissive and acquiescent to western interest gets elected every 4 or 5 years for decades.

The west understands, African leaders heed only in maximizing their personal gain at the expense of the people. In a sense, most African leaders function outside of their social structures, the cognizance to common purpose and their duty to their constituents. Social structures that incorporates values of caring for others ebb the moment they take office. So, they support them.

For example, in July 2015, former US president Barak Obama called a kleptocratic regime in Ethiopia a “democratically elected” government and defended its criminality.

Obama stated:

“We are very mindful of Ethiopia’s history, the hardship that this country has gone through,”.

Obama did not elaborate the root causes of those hardships or contributing facts. In defense to the popular uprising, the people asked genuine reformations, and democratic practices, but in an unprecedented move, the former president opted to defend the brutality and criminal acts of the regime in Ethiopia. Thus, the question remains relevant. Does the west want genuine democratic practices in Africa? Is it in their interest?

The first answer to the above question is, “No”. Because western “democratic practices” and its methodology originates from the idea of “wealth accumulation” at the expense of the public. The consequences and significance of this practices is that, a genuine form of democracy cannot survive in such environment; a narrowly concentrated power structure is more preferred than participatory practices.

The second answer to the above question is also “No”. Because, if the west wants genuine “democratic participatory practices”, they would have applauded Eritrea’s achievements thus far.

Eritrea is a bad example.

Western governments, their main stream media (MSM), and their NGO’s never apprise successful stories, and accomplishments in Africa. The narratives they tirelessly work to insert in our medias are elections, freedom of speech, marriage equality etc.

For example: over the past 26 years, Eritrea managed to create an economy autonomous of western aid, and IMF/world bank written programs. Its healthcare achievements are peerless. But the praise it gets is minuscule. According to world bank:

“Despite significant progress in malaria control on a global scale, Sub-Saharan Africa still bears the brunt of the disease, with over 90 percent of clinical cases occurring in this region. Eritrea has made considerable progress in reducing malaria prevalence through a combination of case management, larval habitat management (LHM), wide-scale distribution of free insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), and indoor residual spraying (IRS) in high-prevalence areas.”

According to BORGEN Magazine:

“The U.N. has praised Eritrea for its successes in public health. Its health statistics are much better than many of its African counterparts. Infant and child mortality rates are lower, vaccination rates are higher, and Eritreans have better access to healthcare facilities. The government covers the hospital bill for people too poor to afford care. New clinics have been built across the country and healthcare workers travel to villages to advise and educate locals, deliver supplies and provide vaccinations. Eritrea has made some major progress in improving public health, a major victory in the fight against poverty, but it has come at a terrible cost.”

After witnessing vibrant, and rampant uprisings across the continent over the last 2 to 5 years, one can fully understand, Africans are tired of the west’s policy of instituting and protecting suppressive dictators that serves their interest.

Conclusion:

If the west genuinely interested in a progressive, and democratic Africa, then they need to accept the era where people ought to have a set of mentality parallel to their leader’s habit of praising west’s altruism is over. Because, this sort of attitude not only crippled Africa’s economy and social institutions, but also threatening the future of this continent.

Politicians like Donald Yamamoto and other western official’s unscrupulous statements of reformation, openness, and good governance yields nothing. By complimenting fake elections like in Kenya and Ethiopia and by supporting “one-man” rule of Ismail Omar Guelleh in Djibouti, western powers are not only totally obliterating the political future of this continent but also fermenting social tribulations.

Because in the end if they surmise an illusion of “active participation” can exalt their interest, then Africans will not be blamed for firmly believing West’s interest is creating a maelstrom continent.

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