Ever since the old scramble for Africa by European countries, with the distant participation of the United States, which had just liberated itself from British Colonialism and Imperialism through the power of the gun, the Continent has been strongly Eurocentric economically and politically. Its ecology and environment have been destroyed by the Europeans and Americans in pursuit of its resources.
Over the last six or so decades, Anglo-American influence in Africa grew almost exponentially in terms of economics, politics, militarism and even socially. Many political regime changes on the Continent have been instigated by the Anglo-American axis of global power by propping up politico-military rebellion, not so much to benefit Africa as to maintain and sustain a state of chaos and instability for the benefit of the exploitative corporations of Britain and USA.
Corporations, the pillars of capitalism, tend to benefit more where there are hotspots of violence and chaos. This has been most exemplified by the violence and chaos in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where, amidst so much violence, exploitation of her resources by foreigners has peaked to greater heights than ever before, accompanied by the enormous loss of human life.
The Anglo-American axis has, accordingly, promoted and financed illegitimate governments, equipped them militarily, created dictators and promoted proxy wars using countries such as Uganda and Rwanda, whose rulers also have their own interests in enriching their cohorts and establishing their own ethnic hegemony in our region, at the expense of DRC resources.
Indeed, Uganda is currently paying reparations to DRC for robbing its resources and eliminating the lives of hundreds of that country’s citizens in the process. Rwanda escaped the burden of reparations to DRC, although its rising diamond exports in recent times have been explained by some writers in terms of robberies of DRC diamonds. Whatever resources have been robbed from DRC have ended up mostly in European and American markets, although some people have benefitted from the robberies individually, thereby becoming stinkingly rich in a deepening sea of poverty, by virtue of being in power or in service of power.
The Anglo-American axis of power has been at the pinnacle of preaching peace, security and democracy. At the same time, it has been funding and equipping its collaborators in Africa with military weapons to fan trouble or wars in order to maintain a state of insecurity in Africa necessary for it to exploit the resources of the Continent without accountability. In a way, the Axis has been funding the oppression, denials and exploitation of Africans by their own rulers for their own benefit. It has done business with illegitimate groups outside legal structures and functions of African governments taking advantage of what is called “business confidentiality”, which is criminal because it allows secret deals to be pursued even if they are injurious to a country and its people. Therefore, it keeps the citizenry in ignorance of what is going on, yet the justification is always that all is done in the interest of the people and country.
This is what creates local and international criminal groups. Also, criminal states arise. The leaders of criminal states can pose as the legal and legitimate power and authority in those states, while they are committing serious economic or environmental crimes in the name of business and trade. They may even pretend to be constitutionally doing so. They periodically organize elections to renew their power and authority, yet they, with the subtle support of some forces in the Anglo-American axis, simply manipulate the electoral processes, even militarily to serve their own interests and those of the axis.
To proliferate their illegal and illegitimate actions, disguised as legal and legitimate, they facilitate the emergence of a deep state in which unelected officials may yield far more power than the elected officials, thereby destroying accountability and transparency mechanisms. Most of the money the deep state uses is either money coming in as foreign aid or stolen from government coffers. However, some is illicit money got through illicit activities such as human trafficking, human organ trafficking and drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, the rulers of Africa frequently publicly, and unashamedly, talk of the politics of interests instead of the politics of identity. Their primary role in governance is to sow what matters to the Euro-Anglo-American axis: the money economy, which is the iota of corporatism and, hence its corporations.
So, if there is a concerted effort to destroy the identities of African peoples, we should not hesitate to connect it to foreign interests of the Euro-Anglo-American axis. We see Identities of indigenous or traditional peoples being disconnected from the land, displaced, scattered and turned into internal refugees, to create space for collaborators, who may not be natural or traditional nationals, to do business that services the interests of the corporations of the West.
Concurrently cultures are being destroyed and alien practices imposed on the African people. The aim is to destroy the ethical-moral fibre of the African societies to make it easy for foreign interests to re-penetrate, dominate and exploit the Continent. Therefore, if there was a scramble for Africa in the past by European powers, there is a new scramble for Africa, this time around facilitated by Africa’s rulers driven by selfishness and greed.
While it is true that the scramble for Africa never really stopped even if the colonial enclaves called countries obtained political independence from their former imperial powers, they maintained neocolonial ties and established new links through institutionalization to ensure a continuous flow of resources to the metropole just like before. Far more resources flowed out than the former colonial enclaves received 8n form of money. Little was realized by the colonial enclaves for their raw materials while the metropole got far more from the former colonial enclaves for its manufactured goods. The situation is not different many decades later.
this time round the scramble for Africa is between the Chinese and Russians on the one hand and the Euro-Anglo-American axis on the other. The Chinese and Russians have recently sought to underlie their scramble for Africa in the form of a loose political and economic alliance called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). This seeks to dislodge the old hegemony of the Europeans and the Americans within or without the globalization framework and ensure that the West does not use globalization for renewed domination of the world. African rulers, most of them dictators, are facilitating the creeping Chinese and Russian hegemony, simultaneously continuing with facilitating the Euro-American hegemony. This is perhaps not surprising. Only South Africa belongs to BRICS.
The rest of African countries are sandwiched between the Euro-Anglo-American axis and BRICS just like they were when there was a cold war between the defunct Soviet Union in which Russia was the principal actor, and the Euro-Anglo-American axis in which the USA was the lead actor. At the centre of the new scramble for Africa is the collective interest of the African rulers to acquire and overstay in power to enrich themselves through the primitive accumulation of wealth, and Russia, China and the Euro-Anglo-American axis unlimitedly accessing resources in Africa. The corrupt African rulers tend to bank their loot in European and American banks, further enriching those countries through their wicked money.
According to what was initially called Jason’s Hypothesis of Corruption. Pin Jason Onyegbaduo’s Law of Corruption states that “The decibel of an average Africa’s public outcry is directly proportional to his distance from the opportunity to do exactly what he condemns.” It further states that “The difference between many a vociferous sanctimonious and pontificating African and the villainous, itchy-fingered kleptomaniac is probably the absence of the opportunity to steal”. Using his Hypothesis, Jason recognized two types of Africans in the corruption chain: the ruling wicked and the waiting wicked. The law seeks to explain the unimaginable acts of corruption being perpetuated by Africans in leadership positions. One writer submits that the Law has not failed the test when applied in the analysis of the behaviour of the rulers of Africa, many overstayed, in relation to power and public resources. It is interesting to note that the law has been innovated by an African.
The Jason Theory of Corruption maintains that the farther the distance between an African and power authority position, the higher the noise he makes against the acts of corruption; the nearer he is to the position, the lesser noise he makes… and when in the position, the noise ceases completely. Or else the noise persists opportunistically. Ironically, the Euro-centric or Anglo-American axis of power has often maintained strong ties with the corrupt rulers of Africa from whose loot it has gained since the rulers invest the loot in European and American banks as their people, further impoverishing the African countries.
Many military coups, that have occurred in Africa have either the Eurocentric or the Euro-Anglo-American axis firmly behind them. For example, the most recent military coup seems to be having Russia behind it. In all cases, the motivation is continuous access to and exploitation of African raw materials, often cheaply, to feed their industries and military apparatus. Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world has had its Uranium exploited by France, its former imperial power, and the USA, quite cheaply. At US$ 10,000 a kilo instead of the world market value of US$ 34,000 a kilo. Niger now prefers to deal with Russia in relation to its Uranium. We wait to see if Russia will pay Niger for its Uranium at world market value.
China and Russia have been developing strong ties with the corrupt rulers militarily and economically.
They have organized Chinese-African meetings and Russian-African Meetings in their capitals at which they have invited African rulers to interface with their strongmen, not so much as equals but as beggars. This is what we recently saw at the meeting between Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin, and African rulers, who filed to shake the hand of the nemesis of Ukraine and snored in the meeting, thereafter, only to wake up and put their requests to the strongman.
China builds their huge dams, not so much to power countries and their societies, as to equip the rulers with power, glory, wealth and continuous capacity to dominate the poor. Russia is arming the African rulers militarily and helping some, like President Tibuhaburwa Museveni, to build nuclear plants, ostensibly to produce energy for peaceful use. However, the plants help to hype the power, glory, and domination of/the rulers and to generate even more fear of the rulers in society. The bigmanity of the rulers, which I wrote about in another article, is enhanced and maintained weapons to serve their interests.
The big men of Africa who hate handing power over to alternative leaders never fail to preach that the Russians and Chinese are more friendly and helpful to Africa than the Euro-Anglo-American Axis. They often justify their growing ties with Russia and China by reasoning that the two countries helped to liberate Africa from European colonialism and imperialism, which vices have, nevertheless, persisted through them. The old scramble for Africa was an imposition purely from Europe without the involvement of Africans. Africans had no choice but to dance or succumb to the dictates of the Europeans, whose primary interest was to access raw materials for their mushrooming industries and military apparatus. The European companies were on the ground to exploit the resources as Africans looked on, or else provided cheap labour to them.
The Europeans established structures and functions, not so much to liberate the occupied areas from them as to entrench their presence and activities in those areas. Whenever the economic, political, social or judicial structures were established, the primary beneficiaries were the occupiers. If Africans contravened the established order and contradicted the desires of the occupiers, they were harshly punished. Some were either shot, imprisoned or exiled. Today, many African rulers are behaving the same way the colonialists behaved towards Africans. As if they are the new imperial power, they established laws to ensure Africans do not interfere with their rule. Freedom and democracy are secondary to their interests in power, resources, glory, wealth and ties with outsiders. The outsiders may be members of BRICS; mainly China, Russia or India.
In Uganda, the outsiders may be refugees. Here laws such as the Dual Citizenship Law, Sectarian Law, Terrorism Law, and Political and Other Organizations Law, have been erected, ostensibly to ensure law and order. However, they have served, and continue to serve the interests of refugees who may access jobs and businesses that would otherwise be for Ugandans. They have helped to create ecological-biological, socioeconomic, sociocultural and sociopolitical environments good enough for disempowering, dehumanizing, de-radicalizing, desocializing, decitizenizing, denationalizing, de-intellectualizing, de-professionalizing, dispossessing, displacing and silencing of the indigenous people and subduing them to foreigners for their effective and continuous exploitation.
Unions that used to be dynamic centres and of resistance, demand and identity pursuit in the economic sphere of human activity have now been completely subdued. The education system has been disoriented towards producing people to provide cheap labour to foreign interests. We have seen how Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs are treating Ugandans like non-human beings as the government more or less cheers them on by denying the workers of Uganda a minimum wage. The government itself has created huge income gaps between different categories of workers, even when they have similar qualifications and experience. The aim could be to divide and rule, but also to destroy interaction and intercommunication between working Ugandans so that that can be exploited in silence.
Politically the country has been put in a situation where alternative leadership is meant to be resisted on a continuous basis. This could be the reason why the National Resistance Movement (NRM) innovated by Prof. Yusuf Kironde Lule and his small team of Baganda neo-traditionalists in Kabete, Kenya, has been retained and disoriented to serve and achieve: distancing alternative leadership from power as much and as long as possible. The status quo is served best by the ruling class leaning more and more to the outside as a source of support against Ugandans to meet the interests of the ruling class and those of foreigners.
This, therefore, explains why for many a ruler in Africa their real enemy is not to be sought outside from within their countries, and the enemy is none other than the people. They spend an increasingly huge slice of their national budgets acquiring weapons of mass destruction, not so much to defend the borders of their countries and ensure genuine peace and security within the countries, as to control the people let down and denied freedom, democracy and opportunities. The weapons come from the BRICS, Europe and the USA, all of whom are anxious to ensure unlimited access to resources from African countries whose militarized rulers are armed to the teeth against the people.
In conclusion, old and new scramble for Africa are interconnected and the aim and actors are roughly the same. The reason has remained fairly the same too: access to raw materials by imperial power to ensure a continuous flow of cheap resources to the metropole. The Europeans and Americans have for long dominated the global human society in general and African society in particular. In pursuit of natural resources and land, they almost exterminated the Aborigines of Australia, the Maoris of New Zealand and the Red Indians of America and the bushmen of South Africa many years ago. They controlled South Africa for almost 500 years and killed millions of Africans in the process of grabbing land and resources for themselves. Like they took Australia, New Zealand and the Americas, they want Africa for themselves.
The new push for Africa is guided by the truism that Africa is the richest Continent in the world and has everything that the West needs in terms of resources. However, Russia and China feel threatened by the new scramble for Africa by the West. They have launched their own scramble. They are taking advantage of the African dictators who will spend any coin to acquire military equipment to sustain the fear factor among the people they rule. So, they will supply any equipment the dictators want so long as they are in power rather than support environmental sanity and social development.
Both the dictators of Africa and the dictators of Russia and China are unbothered about the need of Africans for development, transformation and progress in the 21st Century and beyond. African dictators want power, glory and wealth, and Russia and China are ever ready to help them militarize the environment to achieve those. Russia and China are happy to continue extending their ecological footprints into Africa to contain the Western re-penetration of the Continent for resources, which they also want. The First World War and Second World War were contests between European powers and the USA for global control of resources and their sources. It is probably too early to speculative to assert that a Third World War is in the offing for the same reason. If it came, the United Nations would be as helpless as the League of Nations was when the Second World War broke out.