Every political dictatorship – brutal regime, has its conscious facilitators.

Every political dictatorship – brutal regime, has its conscious facilitators. There’s a clear element of conspicuous and conscious complicity. The brutality cannot be squarely blamed on the single individual at the top alone. The brutality is a syndicate, the degree of complicity notwithstanding, everyone involved in it is an accomplice.

The individual at the top of a political dictatorship, in some, if not most cases, is just as a victim of the system as those the system wantonly victimises and brutalises systematically.

All brutal regimes are facilitated by people who are heavily vested in their existence and continuity.

Such regimes are facilitated by people who are beneficiaries – who benefit from both the entrenched structural strengths and weaknesses of the system. It’s such people, who benefit economically, financially and otherwise from the brutality of the regime, that facilitate and viciously defend its existence.

The person at the top of a brutal regime – a “dickheadship”- otherwise commonly referred to as a “dictatorship”, a transmogrification [bastardisation] of “dick” – English – and “tête” – French for head and “ship” – reference to stewardship – is a captive of the vested interests of the system.

Such individual like Paul Biya at the top of a brutal regime, a “dickheadship”, hardly knows what is being done, perpetuated in his (it has, so far, historically been men presiding over dictatorships) name through the ranks of the regime.

The brutality is, in most cases, sanctioned and supervised by those around the individual, merely a figure head – a walking zombie like Paul Biya – who rarely has any control or effective authority over such individuals and the general state of affairs carried out in his name.

Brutal regimes like Paul Biya’s in the Cameroon, are controlled and administered by a cabal of vested interests, usually who control all economic activities of the country. People who use national wealth and resources as their personal property and for purely personal aggrandisement.

It’s people who carry and are dominated by a mindset that it’s only fair that they try to get their way in to the “eating” table, get as much of their “pound” of national “flesh” as they possibly can, who will have no trouble tearing the flesh of their own kith and kin part.

“Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome” Charlie Munger

This is the phenomenon of unimaginable human greed that is at the heart of the brutal regime in the Cameroon, but the same phenomenon that is playing out in much of the troubled and conflict saddled Africa.

All brutal regimes in Africa, as is similar anywhere, are facilitated and defended by men and women who – due to their own heavily vested interests, who are cosseted by such regimes, who feed off and benefit from the brutality meted on the people – consciously lost their conscience.

They come in all manners, they come in all garbs, official or otherwise. They often pretend to be “patriotic” more than the people they and the regime they consciously facilitate and defend brutalises, who they call all sorts of dehumanising names to justify and defend their brutality. They, consciously or not, are engaged in the brutal practice of weaponising of dehumanisation.

The people who carryout and execute orders, commands either from the individual at the top or the brutal cabal – the inner circle of brutality – around such individual. They are everywhere, in our midst, some pretend to be respected or respectable individuals with grand official titles.

Paul Biya in the Cameroon is not personally carrying out the atrocities perpetuated in the country. He could be much in the dark of what is happening, the genocidal atrocities perpetrated in the Southern Cameroon, as he possibly could be on who is sanctioning and/or ordering it, presumably in his name and capacity as the head of state.

Because, I like to think Paul Biya is a victim and captive of the brutal cabal around him, whose main preoccupation is to protect their wealth and other vested economic interests. He’s just a figurehead president maintained for the interests of such brutal cabal.

But this is precisely what is everywhere in Africa – the prevailing phenomenon – where entrenched greed of the few in and with power, driven purely by personal [private] interests and nothing in terms of collective national interests, who are in government and control and run government to perpetuate and protect their interests.

Unity and reconciliation should not replace demands for justice and reparations for the victims of social and political injustice.

It is only africans who promote phony ideals of “unity” and “reconciliation” without demanding true justice for the victims of injustice, and above all else, REPARATIONS from the perpetrators of injustice on african victims.

While unity and reconciliation are undoubtedly essential elements for social harmony, peace and all that, and above all, part of conflict resolution mechanisms in conflict-tone sociopolitical environments, they should not come at the expense of and certainly aren’t substitute for justice.

Unity and reconciliation should not replace demands for justice for the victims of social and political injustice, committed by those who, for the most part, are in position to ensure injustice does not happen; that no one is victimised by injustice by the abusive powerful. The perpetual and chronic power abusers who often control the means of violence and are often in government and other positions of power.

When unity and reconciliation becomes an official policy over and above demands for justice – some might emphasise, ‘true‘ justice – whatever that means – then justice too, is victimised by that policy, on top of victims of injustice.

It’s a double whammy on both justice and victims of injustice. The perpetrators are rewarded, perhaps not intentionally, maybe inadvertently but the reward is given nonetheless. This is the political thinking and phenomenon in post-conflict countries in Africa.

It has become apparent, almost as expected course of sociopolitical action, by [from] most post-conflict African countries (societies) and the administrations (governments) that come after conflicts (have [been]settled), to quickly embark on the policy of, and thus strictly demand for “unity” and “reconciliation“.

There’s a fundamental flaw in this policy and mindset.

Firstly, unity and reconciliation cannot be legislated and enforced by laws, whether written, explicit or implied – through social pressure and manipulation. That approach may work for sometime but it has its own limitations.

If unity and reconciliation is enforced, then by principle and logic, legislated enforcement or socially manipulated and exerted unity and reconciliation contradicts the very fundamental essence of unity and reconciliation. It’s not and is no longer voluntary while in essence it should be.

If you unity and reconciliation is enforced, then by principle and logic, legislated enforcement or socially manipulated and exerted unity and reconciliation contradicts the very fundamental essence of unity and reconciliation. It is not and is no longer voluntary while in essence it should be.

Secondly, when unity and reconciliation is demanded over and above justice for the victims, punishment for the injustice perpetrators and reparations for the victims; injustice is not only ignored and normalised but it is also rewarded.

This partly, or possibly majorly, explains why injustice prevails despite socially engineered and therefore [en]forced unity and reconciliation in such societies.

True social unity and reconciliation is voluntary, not forced. If it is voluntary, it is predicated on forgiveness and forgiveness cannot be feigned.

It is impossible to have true, i.e, voluntary unity and reconciliation without true, i.e, voluntary forgiveness and voluntary forgiveness is not and should not be confused for blind forgiveness. True forgiveness demands commitment to justice and reparations for the victims of injustice.

Phony [ideals of] unity and reconciliation, particularly in post-conflict african countries (societies) is big money business and are not based and/or influenced by socio-moral values.

In such countries (societies), especially where unity and reconciliation is not strictly [en]forced by law and through other social means, it has either completely failed or is in shambles, and the hypocrisy of it only exposed by the social tensions and continued socioeconomic injustice and inequality.

National debt is a national issue, it should not be left to governments alone.

African countries are heavily saddled with foreign debt, this is a truism. The level of foreign indebtedness by african countries has largely been exacerbated by, in principle, commendable ambitious social and economic development programmes many african countries have adopted and embarked on.

In their determined efforts to implement their ambitious social and economic national development programmes, african governments have sought many ways to raise the necessary funds to implement such programmes. Many have taken different measures such as issuing international bonds and borrowing from international lending institutions and China. This has sharply increased Africa’s overall debt level, but also each African country’s national foreign debt level differently.

https://www.dw.com/en/global-debt-on-the-rise-africa-hit-hardest/a-48190068

While foreign borrowing to fund national social and economic development programmes has its own merits, it is imperative to consider and be conscious of what it costs the borrowing countries/governments and the underlying implications of such borrowing, say, in case of a default on repayment obligations.

National debt is a national issue, it affects national life although not equally.

A handful are more affected with it positively as they massively profit from it, help themselves generously on it, siphon a significant chunk of it for personal use and share the largesse with their cronies.

With privileged access to large sums of money that constitute national debt, they embark on an ego-pumping obscene and primitive expenditure, typical of anyone spending what isn’t theirs, what they haven’t worked for and earned.

Their demeanour suddenly becomes of the proverbial deprived children from a deprived neighbourhood on a day trip to an adjacent wealthy and privileged neighbourhood who, out of the kindness of the privileged to the unprivileged, are allowed access to candy shops and exotic toys.

They are instantly overwhelmed by not only plenty but also choice – very dangerous combination for any deprived mind (person). But that feeling quickly wears off, replaced with, what and how much they can carry away – they become wildly greedy.

They appropriate as much as they have access to and can get away with to build massive mansions they’ve no need for. They erect glittering edifices, shopping malls in the middle of social deprivation

They become overnight millionaires and live in obscene, primitive opulence without care to the effects of their mischief to national plight, national wealth and national sovereignty. A heavily indebted country cannot claim to be sovereign.

The misappropriation of foreign debt in african countries by government officials to enrich themselves and their conspiring cronies, is what is the threat.

https://www.dw.com/en/africas-new-debt-crisis/a-46020639

While a handful benefit from national indebtedness, taking advantage of it to enrich themselves and their cronies to the hilt, the majority of the population are and will be affected in varying ways and degrees, albeit mostly negatively, by national indebtedness.

https://www.dw.com/en/africas-debt-crises-not-the-fault-of-creditors-alone/a-47564756

National debt is a matter of national pride, national sovereignty, national security. It’s a matter of whether or not the country will be able to survive and stand as a sovereign and independent country in the future or as a slave colony to whoever it’s heavily indebted.

African governments should come clean on national debt, on the level and health of national debt. They should be mandated to inform the public – nationals – in clear and comprehensible and honest communication not overloaded with mindless, incomprehensible economic jargon that obscures truth.

National debt is too important a national matter to be left only to some government bureaucrats and technocrats who operate in purposely created opaque economic frameworks and conniving economists from lending institutions, private or public, who are only interested in their share.

African governments should be mandated to run national debt awareness programmes nationally, informing the public on the levels and health of national debt. These programmes should be free from government manipulation and should be conducted in transparent cooperation between governments and the public.

The public should also take it as a national duty, a civic duty, to demand governments for clear communication, information, on a periodic basis – for instance, every six months – on the level of national indebtedness.

 

China’s relationship and intention with [in] Africa, is like that of a farmer on hired farmland

China’s relationship and intention with [in] Africa, as laid out in its “Belt and Road Initiative” is clearly comparable to that of a commercial farmer with/on hired farmland and his animals. Plough the land, plant, harvest and ship out everything. Feed the animals, let them grow, sell them. Repeat the process!

This demonstrates or helps explain China’s interest and great emphasis on building infrastructure in Africa. It is to China’s great benefit, although to some degree, one might argue – and indeed, this is the prevailing narrative pervaded and promoted by african governments in their “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)” attraction initiatives – that it is to Africa’s interest as well.

However the fundamental motive and the benefits to both are not the same, and this is a critical aspect of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Africa that is ignored and lost in the euphoria and admiration for the infrastructure edifices erected by the Chinese but which ought to be closely examined by african governments.

China is building chinese, and [but] not african, infrastructure in Africa primarily for the benefit of chinese interests – that is, to facilitate and further chinese interests – not african interests. African interests are not the priority but secondary, if not an unintended positive consequence of a primarily and purely exploitative strategy and motive by China.

With China’s interest in Africa and its dubious and aggressive “investment” strategy [plan], it is quite likely – if the current trend is left to continue unchecked, unregulated and if african governments and their officials don’t wake up to the fact that, through their “Foreign Direct Investment” attraction Initiatives – they are either wilfully or foolishly signing away and selling their countries to foreign corporations but mainly to China which is systematically, through its BRI, resettling its nationals.

In 30 to 50 years from now – not a very long time – Africans, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, will be the dominated and subjugated minority population and the chinese, constituting the dominant and subjugating majority population.

The african population will be protesting and demanding for equality, equal rights and all the socioeconomic amenities that any and all subjugated minorities anywhere, tend to be deprived of by the dominant and subjugating majority.

They will be fighting for a small piece of land on which to live, on what was theirs in the first place but sold off to the chinese and other foreign [private] interests by the current generation of african government officials with a ‘buccaneering’ mindset, for their personal greed.

We are truly witnessing history repeat itself in the twenty first century in our wake – under our watch – the kind of history when african chiefs sold off their lands and people for western (European colonial) and Arab fake shiny gold and diamond plated worthless pieces of trinkets.

What we are witnessing is shrouded in the dubious “Foreign Direct Investment” attraction initiatives by many african governments, which they use to deprive their people of their property, confiscate their ancestral land under the dubious claims that land is the property of the State. The reality is that there’s hardly such concept as the ‘State’ in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Government is the almighty authority and the State.

But once land is confiscated under the pretext of State interests, it is sold off or freely handed over to foreign private interests who in turn, promise such government officials a slew of worthless intangible deliverables, as long as it satisfies both their greed and allays their fears for, primarily loss of their power grip.

 

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises, but it is no reason to ignore history.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises to raise the standard of living for more than a billion people by making it easier for Africans to trade with Africans

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/united-africa-give-china-moment-shine-190801211213476.html

This narrative is rather misleading, if it’s not a well calculated, albeit, dishonest PR gimmick by the african officicals behind this historic and monumental achievement, at least, on the face of it, for now.

It might not be wrong for one to suspect, rightly so, given a catalogue of past disappointments and failures by many african officials who, pretending to act in public interest, usually signed and/or entered into agreements that where rather more in their personal interests and less in public interest, that there’s no such hidden personal motive in finally bringing AfCFTA into force – as commendable as it is.

It is not easy to trust most african [government] officials or take them on their words. One does so, on one’s peril, especially where big money and opportunities for wheeler-dealing is involved!

It is better and good advice for one to start from suspicion of and question their motives, and put the onus on them to demonstrate honest dealing and earn one’s trust; even then, one must trust them in bites of doses, on an incremental basis.

To say or claim that AfCFTA will “raise the standard of living for more than a billion people by making it easier for Africans to trade with Africans” is rather disingenuous a claim and one perhaps made by intentionally ignoring the fact that africans have been trading with africans – cross border trade is common in Africa and has been the norm for centuries.

The cogent question to ask, however, is what africans trade mongst themselves?

The trend has always been, and it remains, that africans are trading other people’s (foreign) goods -mainly industrial goods – amongst themselves and importing foreign services and knowledge in form of “education

This is made possible [worse] by the fact Africa is more a consumer than a producer continent of finished goods – goods that are essential and therefore needed for daily use – despite being a major producer of some of the best raw materials essential for production of such essential finished/final goods. This is what “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)” should focus on and seek to address.

The AfCFTA should have a solid industrial development framework. Industry development and manufacturing are extremely essential.

African countries should be able to use their own natural resources and raw materials to produce, manufacture products (goods) to the standards that the rest of the world not only can consider as an option but as essential and therefore have a need for in daily use. This is important!

It is important to ensure that african products (goods) – “Made in Africa” – are needed, not simply considered and treated as optional products in [by] the world consumer goods sector.

During the same period, the value of trade between China and Africa exceeded $200bn, and projections suggest it is still growing.”

Despite that seemingly impressive figure in US Dollars terms, it is critical, and let us not ignore that for expediency purposes, to honestly ask ourselves the question: what kind of trade is there [currently] between China and Africa[n] (countries)?

How much ‘african’ consumer goods leave the African continent to China and are conspicuously displayed in chinese shops in China the same way chinese products (goods) are conspicuously flooded in Africa from construction materials to, as shameful as it is, foodstuff?

China is (has taken to) feeding Africa, the continent, indisputably, of plenty, endowed by mother nature with everything. The only continent of the globe that indisputably symbolises, if it isn’t the basis of, the “Paradise-Garden-of-Eden” concept.

That the “African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)” is now into force, a historic achievement nonetheless, it should seriously seek to redress the existing imbalances in trade between Africa and the rest of the world. It should seek to renegotiate existing trade agreements with its trading partners and the rest of world, if it is going to benefit Africa, by creating trading and commercial opportunities, to improves millions of lives.

 

 

 

China is buying, not lending to, Africa.

China is not necessarily or intentionally trapping Africa into debt servitude. Far from it, China is not interested in loan interest payments, that’s peanut. That “drip-return on investment” strategy is for Pension Funds. China is not a Pension Fund.

China is buying, not lending to, Africa by buying african governments’ or rather their officials’s fears (insecurities) and greed.

China has a grand dream – vision- and China’s intention is much bigger than collecting periodic interest payments on its loans to the Chinese money hungry African governments. China’s intention is to strategically buy Africa by extending ‘unserviceable‘ loans on stringent concessional agreements to African governments.

China’s strategy also comes at the back of something China knows too well about money hungry african government officials, a weakness that is exacerbated by their Pavlovian-like response when they smell money or when money is invitingly dangled at them.

And that’s, not their inability to read well and comprehend intricate legalese nuances typical of agreements for such arrangements. But rather, their impatience – stimulated response – to read carefully such often long important documents, without divided attention under such excitement causing their minds to wander off and run wild about how and how much they will siphon away as much of it as they can to their personal accounts or projects.

China is buying Africa by simply responding to and buying its government officials’ greed and desire for personal aggrandisement and the fear to lose their power grip.

China’s strategy in Africa is not terribly different in principle from the Western strategy, but only in the outcome.

The strategy is the same, that is, in principle. First, find out what their (African governments and their officials) dreaded fears (insecurities) are, something or things they’re willing to give all to avoid happening to them. Second, sell them their own fears (insecurities) and stimulate greed in them in the process and buy their greed cheaply.

However, while Western strategic interests in Africa are historically and predominantly resource extraction, China’s strategic interest is not only the extraction of Africa’s abundant resources but to own and take over Africa, enslave africans and/or possibly condemning them to the Australian Aboriginal fate.

Whenever and wherever China’s loans are given, China sends its own nationals, in big numbers, as part of the loan agreements – few return to China, they settle in Africa. There are possibly more Chinese nationals in Africa today, than they are western nationals.

This is all done and made possible by and through the collusion with African governments and their officials motivated by their fears and personal greed.

Individuals in African governments who – due to their personal greed yet purporting to act in good faith and on behalf of their governments, nationals and above all else, countries – mindlessly sign on Chinese loan agreements that are designed to hand their countries to China, in case the concessions are not met.

This is more than wilful abuse of official power and positions, it is tantamount to premeditated treason, and it must be treated and dealt with as such!

 

 

The threat to Africa’s political, and by extension economic and development stability, is the impoverished [political] mindset of its politicians.

It is not hard to find fault with Cameroonian President Paul Biya and his government. The overall stability of the country he has led since 1982, often from the luxury of the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, has crumbled over the past three years.” Reads Foreign Policy https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/10/the-u-s-should-bid-biya-goodbye-cameroon-security-foreign-policy-yaounde/

This is the major threat, in fact, great tragedy of african politics.

I’ve constantly and consistently argued that the major security threat to peace, stability, development and the sustainability of all that has been achieved in Africa is, and in fact, lies in the political mindset of those who seek political power and the control of government such as President Paul Biya.

Their real mindset to politics and power is quickly manifest in their conspicuous extravagance and the insatiable need for all the symbols and trappings and lifestyles of western opulence. Their mindset is to seek to imitate their erstwhile colonial oppressors and their way of life.

That imitation of their colonial oppressors and their way of life, symbolises liberation and freedom in both the eyes and minds of african politicians who, once they are in power, and for fear of losing it, inevitably become brutally authoritarian as a way to protect, preserve and perpetuate their rule[rulership] and amassed ill-gotten great wealth.

It is worth noting that the majority, if not almost all, of african politicians – even those who go on to occupy high government offices in their countries, come from an extremely impoverished background.

This is an extremely important and defining factor, it reveals a lot in their outlook to politics and power. It thus, significantly influences their conduct in politics and how they are willing to use power, once acquired.

African politics suffers from its colonial heritage and/or origin.

It is important to put african politics into its colonial context and origin, to help trace the motivation for african politicians into politics today or rather from ‘Independence’ on.

The entire african political structure or body politic is a relic of the colonial structure, from the way administrative structures are arranged and organised to ideological orientation and influence.

Nothing in that regard seriously changed as a result of ‘Independence’, if anything, and due to the agent-client state approach the colonial powers adopted to maintain their grip and influence in Africa with africans in power and as heads of state, things took a rather more difficult and violent course. History can attest to this!

But not to digress, the colonial structure symbolised power and wealth, yes, it was oppressive and violent but it is through that oppression and violence it maintained its grip to power that it used to plunder african resources to amass wealth, with impunity.

It is not far-fetched to argue that, part of the motivation for social agitation for political ‘Independence’ in Africa, was the envious desire for colonial wealth and the only way africans would have access to that wealth was through acquiring political power. So, agitation for political “Independence” made more sense and even more urgent by the oppressive nature of the colonial system.

So, given that the colonial system in Africa had denied africans access to economic wealth and subsequently and systematically condemned them to extreme impoverished economic circumstances, politics and power in Africa, was viewed and treated as an escape route from such grinding poverty.

That attitude to power and politics has since not changed, in fact, it continues to be the central motivation for people to go into politics in Africa today. This is because when those who go into politics are in power, and have access to and control of national wealth, they work to keep others away from it, impoverish almost everyone but terribly more so, those who challenge their access to and control of national wealth. So, this creates a vicious cycle of conflict and violent struggles for political power, to gain access to and control of national wealth.

When african politicians acquire power.

So, once african politicians have acquired power and are in government, which gives them control and access to national wealth, and coming from an extremely impoverished economic background, theirs becomes a race for becoming insanely wealthy by all means necessary and available within and as much as their political power, positions and authority allows.

They come to power and into government with an extremely impoverished mindset to wealth, such impoverished mindset sets the tone, the pace and their conduct under and with power. This mindset explains their uncontrolled urge for primitive accumulation of wealth and why they act with impunity.

We have many examples of african politicians who came to power and into government with nothing, but within no time, were living a palatial lifestyle, with great wealth and all the opulent possessions usually symbolised by western business billionaires such as fleets of expensive limousines and private planes.

The likes of Mobutu Sese Seko, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Paul Biya are the apotheosis of this impoverished mindset to power and the primitive wealth accumulation by african politicians, once they come to power and have control and access to what is otherwise collective national wealth. There are, of course, many out there today.

According to “foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/10/the-u-s-should-bid-biya-goodbye-cameroon-security-foreign-policy-yaounde” President Paul Biya has amassed a fortune of around $200 million

But this is a man who presides over a country where “At least 8 million Cameroonians live below the poverty line, with less than XAF931 per day” according to www.businessincameroon.com/governance/1212-8679-at-least-8-million-cameroonians-live-below-the-poverty-line-with-less-than-xaf931-per-day-ins

I have argued elsewhere and maintain that how african politicians come to power – into government – speaks volumes about their mindset to power and how they intend to use it, and usually, ultimately, use it.

They use their political power and influence to primarily gain access to and control of national wealth. Once access and control of national wealth is secured, they work to privatise it, that is, personalise it. It becomes their personal wealth and it’s thus treated as such – for personal use and gains.

It is this mindset and subsequent privatisation [personalisation] of national wealth and its use as a power bargain – as the proverbial carrot and stick – to win over support, that is at the centre of political conflicts and instability in Africa, and therefore, the threat to Africa’s political peace and stability.

Once in power, many african politicians use their power to pamper and lavish with privileges – carrot – a small group that makes up their criminal inner circle and an extended but strictly controlled web of cronies who help and support them in the[ir] systematic and extensive theft of national wealth. At the same time, they ring-fence, as punishment – stick – everyone else who do not submit to their rule[rulership] and whims – often marked with brutality, out of access to collective national wealth.

This situation creates [the]need from those who, rightly so, feel denied and left out of access to collective national wealth and are, as a result, aggrieved, to fight them by any means necessary and within their possibility and thus inevitably result into political conflict and instability.

We do not need history lessons to know and understand that much of Africa’s political conflicts and instability are largely, if not squarely, caused by the desire [need] to acquire power and control and access to national wealth. Not the desire to do social good and improve general social life and welfare.

Too often, the fight for freedom and liberation cited and promoted as the motivation for political fighting and conflicts are, to a great extent false claims, except only for the liberation of and freedom for a small group to gain access to and control and steal what is otherwise collective national wealth.

Other than that, the reality is that these are mere pretexts that soon get flushed down the political gutters as personal interests, of the powerful- no more or less than a notoriously greedy and ruthless clique at the top of the power structure- take priority.

Government [sanctioned] corruption motivated by the desire to maintain power.

“Cameroonian President Paul Biya has been accused of paying American lobbyist billions to influence US perception of his regime and helping the regime to evade US sanctions and sustain Biya’s hold on power, the National Times said on Wednesday. https://www.journalducameroun.com/en/news-in-brief/biya-accused-paying-american-lobbyist-billions-influence-us-perception/

This is increasingly becoming a common occurrence in Africa and an approach many authoritarian political figures in Africa like President Paul Biya are using to extend their lease and grip on power.

Hiring expensive foreign PR firms, in excess of millions of US dollars, to sanitise their brutal reputation at home and shore up their international image, by creating and painting a human and humane face on their ruthless authoritarian regimes.

We’ve seen this most recently from the current embattled Sudanese Military junta hiring Canadian lobbying group for $6m.

https://www.ft.com/content/816fb488-99a7-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36

But this is also not uncommon and in fact, it is typically very african to have and demonstrate so much faith in and shamelessly favour foreign expertise over their own, in any field. It is not something just unique to authoritarian regimes in their desperate quest and attempt to create a humane face and/or paint a democratic approach to governance to appeal to and win over international support.

It is a common, in fact, acceptable norm in Africa and the mantra seems to be: if you are foreign and preferably ‘white’ North American or European, you are an expert, that is, you have superior knowledge and skills – technical or otherwise. On the other hand, as an African, you cannot and are not expected to be an expert. There’s no way an african can have superior knowledge and skills – technical or otherwise, than a ‘white’ North American or European.

Consequently, you see many africans falling over for so-called ‘white’ North American or European experts and/or consultants and willing to pay dearly for their expertise while denying their own such opportunities. Where africans are allowed in and seen, they are simply token faces, precisely the same way african token faces are seen in western (North American and European) corporations and institutions. So, Africans suffer and are victims of TOKENISM both at home, at the hands of their own kith and kin and outside of Africa, at the hands of foreigners.

The only expertise that foreigners, especially in the West – even when western nationals live in african countries – seem to recorgnise in africans and where africans are visibly dominant is the janitorial expertise. It is as if africans have a natural aptitude to janitorial services. Although, and not surprising given our reverence for all things “white” European/American (western), many africans would rather and much prefer to hire janitorial services offered by “whites” to africans.

Still even where we seem to demonstrate a natural aptitude, we stand at a disadvantage if and when a “white” person or foreigner shows interest. We will most likely lose out to them!

But this similar attitude by africans towards their own, is a mental sickness that is a direct consequence of the colonial indoctrination and socialisation process called “education” in Africa – a European socialisation process no less, designed to europeanise [westernise] africans (often in the false and misguided pretext and draped with the garb of ‘development’) and prepare and make them more easily controlled and governable.