By Fidel Amakye Owusu

1. During Apartheid in South Africa, some Western states had been ambivalent and sometimes supported the brutal and racist regime that oppressed the majority.

2. However, something else was obvious: the citizens of European countries and America had organised anti-Apartheid marches and protests across capitals and other cities.

3. In the US, the unpopularity of Apartheid made the Carter administration sanction South Africa. Of course these augmented the efforts of millions of Africans towards ending the regime.

5.In the early 20th century French citizens had opposed the colonial policy of Assimilation that was targeted at “Europeanizing” Africans. Their effort led to the modification of the policy.

6. In a recent video, I have seen a US Congressman “aggressively” questioning the senior most General of US African Command (AFRICOM) about coups d’état in West Africa and the role of the US military.

7. And so what?

8. The current scramble for Africa has led to debates about who is best for Africa. In these debates, many youths seem to take sides either with emerging powers or established ones. The US, China, Russia, France and UK are major contenders.

9. Less is being said about the national interest of individual African states. The economic, political and social wellbeing of African states and how relations with these powers could better them or otherwise are seldom discussed.

10. Interestingly in Africa, what constitute the national interest in most cases could be very parochial. Interest of leaders are often “vastly” different from that of the people. Leaders are mostly interested in prolonging their stay and sometimes making their children succeed them.

11. This calls for a deep introspection of Africa’s dealing with the rest of the world.

12. Should a particular foreign government go rogue in the continent, is it likely to see any pressure from its citizens? Do those citizens have the rights and freedoms to protest against their governments like it happened in the West in respect of Apartheid? How do states involved in Africa treat dissent in their own systems?

13.African youth are increasingly becoming active in respect of politics. They would like to have leaders who allow them to express their opinions and dissenting views without persecution.

14.To achieve these, the external powers that wield more influence on the respective African government and the kind of politics they practice in their countries will be critical.

15. Most importantly, no power will put its interest after Africa’s. The destiny of Africa is best handled by Africans. However, politics could be contagious.

16.Many more…

By Fidel Amakye Owusu – International Relations and Security Analyst and Writer

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