Great American fumble in Africa

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By Raymond Chamba

The vulturous and vampire grip of China on Africa did not come without active American assistance. Yes, suucessive American administrations have woefully missed the trade imperative and went on to major in minors by concentrating on warm fuzzy stuff and optics. Who eats that.

It is US taxpayers money that was misused in being directed at the wrong things in Africa- an impressive NGO and US Agency infrastructure on liberal democracy workshops, and yes sex education (population control), coupled with a good sprinkling of misdirected economic sanctions.

China came in like Daddy Warbucks with a treasure chest of Investments in critical sectors of the African economy like energy, rail, road, agriculture and mining. Where was GE, Microsoft, Boeing, Eli Lily, Caterpillar, GM, Ford, Haliburton, Exxon, Amazon etal. 

There were all replaced by a sputtering of liberal hacks selling all kinds of staid political prescriptions that directed money to endless streams of useless opposition parties. Yes, American tax payer money since the Clinton years has been abused in supporting the proverbial losing teams instead of getting in at the table and inserting influence on the field of political and economic play. 

American prestige and dollars was misdirected to underwrite too many useless political activists and economic hecklers while China gorged itself silly while raping Africa. Decisive American multilateral and private capital engagement in Africa is missing in action.

The ordinary African citizen thinks the world of American people and values but strategically successive US administrations fouled out by forfeiting the natural opportunities to shape things out by concentrating on hectoring successive African administrations accusing them of what they are….corrupt and indifferent. This could have been more effectively done through engagement. Vital American assets are wasted on administering sanctions instead of directing forceful and effective investments into Africa.

In most of Africa, American tax payer money is wasted on proverbially funding innumerable nice political tail gate parties but in the rough and tumble of active play on the African field, America is woefully absent. 

In my native Zimbabwe, America strengthened the hand of China by forfeiting engagement through misdirected sanctions that hurt ordinary people and fortify successive dictatorships. 

Africa does not eat liberal agendas. We dont need aid but trade. We are a very rich continent in terms of natural resources and human capital. The solution to styming Chinas ugly and continuing ruinous economic stranglehold on Africa is strategic economic investment and bold engagement. You cant get anything done here by talking down to Africans. 

We need a quick reset to American engagement in Africa. Throw away your condoms, your food packets, your unending literature on neo liberal values that you dont yourself wholesale believe in. Lets trade, lets engage and you are better able to get the outcomes desired. Stop China by bolding starting afresh in Africa. 

Let’s trade. You can keep your aid. President Trump has an opportunity to dramatically and historically change things in quick order by pivoting to African investments/trade but time is running out.

Through the wire of  COVID-19 realities, the progressive world is on the one-yard line of driving home the point of bad Chinese influence on Africa. The American administration must not fumble…