The fratricidal war in the Sudan is of great concern to Africa; to Zimbabwe especially. African Union’s Peace and Security Council, PSC, to which Zimbabwe is currently a member, must redouble its efforts so peace returns to the Sudan. Sudan, alongside Egypt, is an important symbol of Africa’s and the world’s riverine civilisation; indeed, a great symbol of resistance to colonial encroachment and occupation. She is a valuable part of our union; she must be helped to regain her peace and stability, so she contributes to the vision of our continent; indeed, to the African Century we envisage.
Second, Africa must be truly independent: in thought, culture, and in her politics and development options. She must be completely insulated from undue foreign interference, coercion and influence.
Here is Cecil John Rhodes advancing his theory of English racial superiority: “I content that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we can inhabit the better it is for the human race. I content that every acre added to our territory means the birth of more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence.
Added to this, the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars…. The furtherance of the British Empire, for the bringing of the whole civilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream! But yet it is probable. It is possible.”
Such obnoxiously racist credo, which was so common in Victorian and Bismarckian times, and which justified mistaken notions of “civilising missions”, “pacification of natives”, “assimilation”, “spheres of influence”, “direct and indirect rule”, sadly continue to colour international relations and so-called global values to this day. Africa must reject such credo.
As we now know, all men, women, races and nations are equal, whatever pigmentation of their skin. Human civilisation is the sum total of different civilisations, including, if not foremost, that from Africa. Equally, it is a fallacy that empires end wars; quite the contrary, they began and begin wars, including here on our continent. All this means an African Century cannot be a junior subset of European thinking or governance; rather, it must be its own, deriving its essence from African history, values, experience, philosophies and, above all, from African struggles.
Third, the African Century rejects foreign tutelage, which is quite distinct from mutual gainful partnerships between nations and continents. Africa has no masters; she should reject coercion by whomsoever, including being dragged into conflicts and rivalries in which she has no stake. Above all, she should be free to decide her own policies: who to relate to; what partnership to build for her futures; what values to espouse and promote and what development trajectory to choose and pursue. The days of coercive diplomacy are over; Africa must stand her ground.
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