OBAMA’S NEW POLICY ON AFRICA A JOKE, NAIVE
The Obama government of the USA has just released its policy document on Africa. The policy itself could have been a joke if it was not such a serious issue.
In this policy document the USA exposes itself as extremely naïve concerning African issues; paternalistic in its approach; and just plain uninformed.
The basis of the policy, as also indicated in the foreword by Obama himself, is the strengthening of democracy in Africa. That stance alone tells the whole story of an uninformed and naive United States administration:
– Democracy is a western ideology and system, developed and refined by western thought and western outlook on life. In Africa the term “democracy” means something totally different and in western terms the African “democratic systems” can at best be described as “emerging democracy”.
Obama and Hilary Clinton’s insistence on “democracy” shows an inherent paternalistic approach to world matters without taking into account traditional political systems in the East or Africa.
– The basis of political and social systems in Africa (and particularly the “role model” South Africa) is based on some fundamental building blocks that can never be incorporated in the system the western world is trying to impose:
– 1. The religious beliefs of Africa (again naively considered to be “Christian” by the USA administration) is a mixture of ancestral worship and some Christian practices brought to Africa by zealous missionaries three centuries ago who did not install the true understanding of Christianity, but chased numbers of so-called converted. Since then it has become increasingly evident that the African idea of “future” differs radically from the western idea of “future”, making it very difficult to explain and understand some aspects of Christianity. After three centuries traditional healers (sangomas) and traditional animal slaughtering still overshadow what the naïve American is calling Christianity.
– 2. The same belief systems of religion also apply to other aspects of life. The Obama administration should take note that the African culture is entrenched in “ubuntu”, a social system that puts it in direct conflict with the democratic political system the Obamas are envisaging. A core aspect of African tradition is collective responsibility. If the Obama administration expects any one African politician or civil servant to take responsibility like in a western democracy, they are going to wait a very long time. Collective responsibility is deeply rooted as a custom. Through a “pitso”, traditional gathering – even dressed in Parliamentary colours – a number of people will discuss and decide, Flowing from that the African will NOT accept individual responsibility for corruption, bad decisions, ill discipline or any other matter. In all of history Nelson Mandela was the first African to willingly lay down office. The custom in Africa is either you get kicked out by a stronger person or you be killed.
With Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Ghaddafi in Libya, and the whole lot of anti-colonial leaders since the sixties, one should think that by now the USA would be able to understand this principle of Africa. Obviously, Obama doesn’t. — with Hanna Ingber Win.
- 3. The Obama administration erroneously believe that Africa shares its western vision of rational investigation and furthering of study and education, philosophy, history, literature, communication, medicine, music, logic and grammar. The western USA thus places a high premium on technology, industry and self-improvement. Again it is paternalistic and naïve to think these are equally as strong in Africa. The truth is that the emphasis in Africa is NOT on these issues. One should think that the Obama administration should know by now that African economies can only be “carried” by these for very short periods. Obviously, the Obamas don’t. Just like collective responsibility, African society is based on collective ownership (nationalisation of land, mines, industry) and collective bargaining (educational systems of “pass one, pass all”) making nepotism a given that is not frowned upon.
– 4. The USA policy document on Africa reeks of western bias, paternalism and naivety. The five cornerstones of western civilisation are entrenched in it: individual freedoms, equality, citizen rights, a free market economy and communal government.
As a western ethnic grouping in South Africa, called Afrikaners/Boers, we believe that we have vast experience of the African culture, customs and beliefs. We respect these African systems, but at the same time realise that we can only retain our western outlook on life and our western standards by self-determination and independence. What we DON’T need in our quest for freedom is a world power like the United States of America putting forward an African policy document that is utterly unworkable, nonsensical and impractical.
The Afrikaner/Boer is the only ethnic group in Africa embracing western civilisation. Like in 1994 we will again be the only ethnic group in Africa to feel the brunt of the USA’s idiotic policies on Africa. We are murdered, kept out of the workplace, discriminated against in tenders and university bursaries; far in excess to our demographic numbers.
As a result, we, the westerners of Africa, will feel the backlash, as we did in 1994, of a flawed USA policy towards Africa – by being overrun by the East, China, India in trade; by badly-qualified Cuban doctors being brought in; by association with the skunks of the world like Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea; by strange laws.
The Obama administration’s naivety is doing us no favours.
As Afrikaners/Boers we call on all Americans to look at us and recognise the failure of multi-culturism and the believe that two vastly different cultures can live in peace in one territory.