The US says it is promoting democracy and development in Africa, but military bases litter the continent and its intelligence activities undermine African sovereignty.
Press TV in its Africa Today program has interviewed Esther Stanford-Xosel, from Pan-African Reparations Coalition, about the progressive impact Western and other foreign corporations and governments are having on Africa and its people.
Also interviewed on the program is a professor at University of Buckingham, Geoffrey Alderman, and Director of African Union Advocacy from London, Ibrahima Kane. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
What say you on this? Are you concerned or do you think actually when you consider what’s happening in some parts of central Africa: Joseph Kony of the Lords Resistance Army - many Africans think he needs to be caught - Africans haven’t done it so may be the Americans can help; look at al-Shabab in Somalia, they haven’t been tamed, we may need the Americans to help with that as well; look at what’s happened in Mali, we had a coup we had the Declaration of Independence and the Islamist insurgency; and then northern Nigeria - Abuja struggling to deal with Boko Haram - maybe the Americans can help.
No. No. We definitely do not need the Americans to help because this is being done under the pretext of trying to protect African civil liberties and human rights and to restore some form of peace and democracy on the continent.
But we know there is a hidden agenda; a very nefarious agenda, which is part of a re-colonization of Africa.
Why do you and how do you know that it’s about a re-colonization of Africa?
It is. It most definitely is because of the strategic resources that Africa has. The professor (Alderman) has also spoken about the other threats that are perceived coming from China, there’s India and so forth; Russia is gaining ground again. And so America is simply seeking to secure its own interests.
Africa was recently said to be a fertile ground for economic growth and potential and that means that those powers that be, the American elite, would be able to maintain their lifestyle, but without regard to the Africans.
So yes there are issues, but we need to look at who’s really benefiting from this so-called violence, some people have even classified it as terrorism that’s happening on the continent of Africa.
And what we’re not also seeing in the Western media, the mainstream media, is the hidden hand that comes from the Pentagon that comes from the British government that comes from the European Union that actually benefits from this tension.
You’re saying we don’t see it and it’s not in the newspapers very often, but the African leaders surely see it and some of them accept it because they look at the Chinese they look at the Russians and say, well, we know Britain we know France we know the US, we can do a deal with them that benefits us and that benefits them.
I don’t really feel any African leader today has much of a choice to be quite honest. Africa is locked into a global economy and we are becoming servants and beggars in our own land.
So, there might be some misguided leaders who might feel that they can make a deal, but I think what’s happened with Charles Taylor (former president of Liberia) tells us otherwise.
Is it win-win in some cases, for example, if you look at what the US has done with troops here since the Second World War, troops in Germany, some of those towns villages cities have benefited from the presence of US troops; economic activity and also the ultimate security that big-brother friend [brought them] against the Russian during the Cold War.
And perhaps by allying themselves with African countries that may be weak, that may be struggling towards development that can also help those African countries?
I think that is a facetious argument.
Under enslavement, colonization and now neo-colonization, there will always be some people who benefit. What we must not lose sight of is the wider implications of what this means for African sovereignty and African self-determination.
Yes, every nation will have its own self-interest, but I would challenge the notion that America has legitimate self-interest in Africa.
Why would the American self-interest be illegitimate? What qualifies the illegitimacy?
What qualifies the illegitimacy is this whole question of terrorism, I mean, there is no real settled definition of what terrorism is. And I think if America was really concerned about terrorism and al-Qaeda...then they would have to start at their own door in terms of their own role in creating al-Qaeda, in terms of the CIA’s role in training many of these so-called al-Qaeda operatives.
And so they have to look to themselves first and tackle terrorism within the US government rather than go to tackle it as it has been exported and which they are still seeking to perpetuate this myth.