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Opinions Thu, 5 Nov 2015

Trump on recolonising Africa

Real estate billionaire, Donald Trump has remained a frontrunner in the campaign for the Republican nomination for the 2016 US presidential election in spite of his rather abrasive and sometimes controversial outbursts.

In the early part of his campaign, Trump launched an attack on Mexican immigrants for bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the US, a claim which received condemnation from a large section of the American population. He further stirred controversy with his declaration to deport nearly 11 million illegal immigrants from the US.

Trump, who never held any political office, was not in any mood to tone down his message or attacks when he again watered down Senator John McCain’s Vietnam prisoner of war (POW) experience. That also brought to his table many criticisms from fellow Republican contenders and many Americans in general. But Trump is still in the lead, according to latest polls.

As a Ghanaian far away from the US and its politics, I care less about Donald Trump or what any of the candidates are saying to win votes from their delegates, knowing very well that at the end of the day, the US policy towards Africa, or for that matter my country, Ghana, will have very little to do with whoever enters the White House in January 2017.

However, I was interested when the business tycoon turned his attention again on Africans by describing us as “lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and thuggery.”

The Republican top contender went full throttle while speaking in Indianapolis, when he declared: “African Americans are very lazy. The best they can do is gallivanting round ghettoes, lamenting how they are discriminated. These are the people America doesn’t need.

They are the enemies of progress. Look at African countries such as Kenya, for instance. Those people steal from their own government and go to invest the money in foreign countries.”

“From the government to the opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required. How do you trust even those who have run away to hide here in the United States, hiding behind education?”

“I hear they abuse me in their blogs but I don’t care because even the Internet they are using is ours and we can decide to switch it off from this side. These are people who import everything, including matchsticks.”

“In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonised again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self-governance.”

This is the playback of Donald Trump’s words and he thinks one of the best things to do for America is to deport blacks, especially Kenyans back to the home continent as he illuminated how he plans to reconstruct America and restore its lost glory.

Sometimes, I wish we Africans have a solid ground to stand on to protest some of these dehumanising comments made about us. But do we? Do our leaders even read some of these things and resolve to do things right? So far, I do not think so because there are no signs that we are in a hurry to erase some of these negative impressions about us.

It is true our leaders continue to raid our national coffers to siphon hard-earned cash to foreign lands. It is true we do not manufacture anything apart from exporting everything raw to foreign lands to be processed and it is true we celebrate democracy on paper, while we lack the courage to go by its tenets.

Today, African leaders are in a frenzy to change their national constitutions so that they can remain in power for ever. Others will do anything to gain or retain political power not that they want to change the course of events but because they want to rip their countries apart to satisfy their insatiable greed.

Last week, African leaders were in New Delhi on the invitation of the Indian government for what was euphemistically described as India-Africa Summit but which was another platform for African leaders to solicit external support while mortgaging their natural resources which the host country desperately needs to pursue its industrialisation agenda.

Next time, the whole bunch will congregate on Beijing for a China-Africa Economic Forum and come back celebrating hefty pledges in foreign assistance from their hosts, just as India did this year.

As usual, how to get access to Africa’s rich natural resources in return for foreign assistance will be the main menu on the table for discussion.

One would expect that these platforms are used as equal partners to map strategies for Africa’s development, but alas, African leaders are always prepared to struggle for the crumbs that fall from the food tables of their benefactors because they themselves lack direction, the drive and the vision to harness their vast resources to transform their economies.

No wonder people such as Donald Trump can always foul-mouth us while we listen impotently without any form of resistance. Mark it, if Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the US in 2017, African leaders, without any sense of shame, will be the first to visit the White House with cap in hand, soliciting assistance, while back home, they will be sitting on enormous wealth which is the envy of their so-called development partners.

fokofi@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Kofi Akordor