The current humanitarian crisis in Somalia has exposed the West’s hypocrisy while at the same time showing how narrow our modern day pan Africanism is. If one does not believe that the west are hypocritical then one has to simply compare the many billions spend on the Libyan invasion to the millions spend on relief efforts in Somalia where millions are facing starvation and prominently death caused by a severe drought in their country. No reason to celebrate .
Well the pan Africanists should not celebrate when one speaks out loud on the West’s hypocrisy because as far as Somalia’s relief efforts are concerned the West has outdone the Africans. What is even more disappointing, is the silence on Somalia from our African leaders, who never miss an opportunity to grandstand at all big platforms lashing out at imperialism or West in general.
Okay Somalia might be too dangerous to the liking of our leaders to actually visit the affected people but which national leader has even visited the affected Somalis in the safety of the neighboring countries` refugee camps, your guess is as good as mine, none.
Where Pan Africanists lost the plot. “We spoke and acted as if, given the opportunity for self-government, we could quickly create utopias. Instead injustice even tyranny is rampant everywhere” Stealing from the words of Julius Nyerere (one of Africa’s illustrious sons) this points us exactly where the advocates of modern day pan Africanism lost the plot, when many countries attained self rule the pan Africanists in our leaders adopted a hear no evil and speak no evil policy. It was morally wrong to adopt such a policy in the midst of tyranny and injustice, their silence was profound it unfortunately this is the time Africa needed them the most. Not surprisingly they seemed (and they still do ) only to find their voices when the evil was(is) being perpetrated by the West.
Somehow modern day Pan Africanists and a whole lot of African leaders think that condemning dictatorships, leaders who disregard the rule of law, leaders who are brutal when dealing with their own citizens, leaders who steal elections aids the West in their quest to recolonise Africa. Our leaders always side with each other even when its easy to stand firm on principles, principles that they put signatures to, principles that guarantee peace, stability and a bright future for Africa. The African union has thus reduced itself to nothing more than a social club for presidents to meet each other regularly at the expense of the suffering African taxpayer.
The few leaders that have decided to speak out against some of Africa’s worst dictators have been castigated and labelled puppets. It is therefore not surprising that many people in Africa have no confidence in the African institutions to provide moral guidance to nations and to provide leadership in times of a crisis. Pan Africanism should not be used as a tool to protect leaders who are no longer wanted by the citizens in their respective countries. Why nations run to West Its by no coincidence that every time the people of Africa are confronted by either a man made or a natural disaster they run to the West, Its for the simple reason that the West acts when called to do so. This doesn’t make their intentions pure, just like any other foreign policy theirs too is driven by selfish interest and Africa has to understand this and the sooner the better. Africa always seem to drag its feet and many times than not only to react when it’s a little too late.
When the children of Libya rose against Muammar Gaddafi, Africa chose to remain silent rather than taking a proactive stance, they did the same in Ivory Coast only to be overtaken by events later. We have only but ourselves to blame, our inactivity or silence or both have always given opportunities for the West to intervene in Africa. If Africa is to be taken seriously it has to start to take itself serious and I do not see any better starting point than Somalia. Our leaders should not only mobilise financial resources towards this end but also provide moral leadership by visiting the affected people and if its not safe for them to go there then there is also another problem they need to solve. They have to face the challenges head on and take a holistic approach to our common problems as Africa.
Pan Africanism should be more than a fight against the West it should be about the aspirations of Africans to live peacefully and prosperously in the abundance of their riches. While the objectives of Pan-Africanism have changed over time, the essence of pan Africanism should remain steadfast which in more general terms should be about laying the destiny of Africa in the hands of Africans. It’s true that money buys you influence but unfortunately African countries (say they) don’t have money. Until this power dynamic can be effectively challenged, it is in the interest of African nations to find a way of making existing systems work to their advantage, most importantly to work towards protecting African people and securing a better tomorrow. Save Somalia