The Duty Of African Leadership

African leadership, no doubt, has a duty to save the continent’s people from dying in the high seas, but the African People also have a duty to elect, empower or accept leaders who are fit to lead their nations.

It is our collective duty, as the owners of our countries, to build systems and civilisations that address our problems and ensure our future security, but we cannot do this until we produce and empower leaders, who not only know what the REAL problems are, but have the knowledge, awareness, enlightenment and most importantly, the political will to always do the right thing that is in the best interest of our peoples and no one else.

A lot has been said and written about our stubborn, dogmatic and almost foolish adherence and commitment to a Global economic and financial system that has little to offer the African masses, except dependence on aid and massive national debts, but unless we choose leaders who are willing and capable of thinking for themselves and for us, rather than being mere copyists, imitators and implementers of ideas, whose real implications are not fully understood by them, individually and collectively, we will continue to be used, exploited and regarded as a continent whose views are insignificant and don’t matter on the global scene, especially at the decision making levels.

Libya is a very good example. A sovereign, independent member state of the African Union that was destroyed by US & NATO, through a military campaign that the AU clearly disagreed with. The Libyan crisis would probably have had a different outcome, if Africa had military capabilities that could match both US & NATO and serve as a deterrence and insulation to foreign military aggression against the continent.

The Continental body (AU) preferred a peaceful resolution to that emerging crisis and would probably have succeeded in brokering a peace deal in Libya, if it had been given time and the required support, but the obsession with Colonel Gadaffi and the opportunity to achieve long term aims of regime change, in order to access Libya’s vast oil wealth and scupper Colonel Gadaffi’s economic plans for the continent (amongst other reasons), was not going to be missed by certain individuals in certain governments. So fxxk the AU and to hell with your sovereignty and independence, declared US & NATO, one could say.

And that, without diminishing the tragic loss of lives in the seas, should be the biggest and most worrying thing for the African People, but are we alive to this vulnerability, one may ask ? The answer, I believe, is in the negative.

In fact, the absence of passionate reactions to this important and thought provoking piece from the Kaironews readership, is perhaps indicative of our “blindness” to the dangers that the current Global System and the emerging economic, political and social realities in the Western hemisphere (US & Europe), pose to our existence as people worthy of living dignified lives, as human beings that are inferior to non, and not less deserving of good livelihoods, as any other people.

That apart, we should also understand that the re-emergence of White supremacist ideology, emboldened by the prominence, and in some cases, electoral success of people with similar views, as well as the rising number of people who subscribe to these views across Europe and the USA, is steadily nudging the world into an irreversible direction and we may be witnesses to the beginning of what may be history repeating itself, as it always seems to do, but are we in Africa ready to protect ourselves from the painful experiences that history visited upon our forebears ?

Or are we naively thinking that international protocols, conventions and agreements that all nations have signed to, would protect us because they would be adhered to ? We should think again, because the concept of EXCEPTIONALISM and UNILATERALISM, where some countries have arrogated themselves the almighty right to operate outside of international law, means that those documents are not even worth the paper they are written on, where the interest of influential individuals or groups within these hegemonic powers are concerned. And again, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya ( to a certain extent) are cases worthy of being cited, where the UN was bypassed or a resolution misused and abused (as in Libya) by these hegemonic powers to achieve their desired geopolitical goals.

This fact may be lost on the African People and leadership, but it is well recognised by other nations whose people have probably endured a far lesser painful historical experience at the hands of foreigners, than we in Africa, and they are taking monumental steps to develop defensive and offensive systems and mechanisms which would ensure that their peoples are never again threatened without serious consequences to the aggressors.

Perhaps, we in Africa, should learn from the European Union and NATO, which has recently described Donald Trump’s America as a threat, much on the same level as Russia and Daesh/ISIS, and has identified the growing internal and external challenges that Europe faces to protect its liberal democracies.

In the forward section of the third edition of the annual Munich Security Report, published as a prelude to the Munich Security Conference 2017, the author states:

“…..The US might move from being a provider of public goods and international security to pursuing a more unilateralist, maybe even nationalistic foreign policy. We may, then, be on the brink of a post-Western age, one in which non-Western actors are shaping international affairs, often in parallel or even to the detriment of precisely those multilateral frameworks that have formed the bedrock of the liberal international order since 1945.”

On emerging political trends in Europe, the report states:

“The past twelve months have been a resounding rejection of the status quo. In several elections and referenda, political outsiders succeeded, while the establishment was dealt major blows. Populist parties are now part of the government in about a dozen Western democracies. And even in countries where the populists only received a small share of the vote, they often exert a defining influence by shifting the debate or pressurising mainstream parties to adopt different policy agendas…..:…The main dividing line in politics runs less and less between left and right but between a liberal cosmopolitan pole and a populist (or even xenophobic authoritarian) one.”

According to the report, there are a number of reasons for the upsurge in populist politics ( a nice word for white supremacists and narrow nationalist and neo-Nazi fanatics) and the one that caught my eye is as follows:

“Populists are experts in the politics of agitation, forming an “axis of fear” across the West that exploits the insecurities and grievances of the electorate, often by twisting the facts or even by spreading outright lies that speak to the preconceptions of their supporters.”

It is clear that Europe is acknowledging a clear emerging danger to its liberal democracy by an obnoxious ideology that it is unable or unwilling to address, and it is the same ideology that plunged the world into one of the worst conflicts in human history. By continuing to ignore this danger and pretending that everything is fine, Africa is sleep walking itself into a catastrophic future for her children and their children’s children.

And in case you are like the many Africans in Europe and USA, content and comfortable with your life and false sense of security from injustices and persecution due to your acquired statuses as naturalised citizens or legal residents, think again and take a sober reflection on the Executive Orders of Donald Trump, that stripped entire families, but all with similar characteristics, of their Green Card residency rights overnight, with just the stroke of a pen. Thank God, we still have enough good people in America, who are willing to stand up for the other guys, but will there be enough in say, 50,60 or 100 years from now, with the rapidly changing attitudes towards people who look different? Waiting for that answer with folded hands, like we are doing in Africa, is taking a massive risk with our very future.

Whilst the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians and Persians are all striving to improve their defensive and offensive capabilities, Africa is not only doing nothing, but much more worrying is the fact that it is opening itself up to infiltration by the same forces that might one day be used by fanatical all White supremacists governments across Europe and USA against us. If anybody thinks this is a far fetched possibility, take a look at the political scenes across Europe and the USA. Everywhere, the xenophobes and Neo-Nazi White supremacists, disguised under various banners, are on the march and becoming more and more bolder in the public space by the day.

Is any one worried this or about a xenophobe American President and commander-in-Chief of US Armed Forces with control and direction over troops stationed in the heart of Africa and with strike capability to anywhere on the continent..? I don’t know about you, but I am more worried by this lackadaisical attitude to our collective security than anything else.




  1. Hey Bax , your this article must have written by Yaya Jammeh and delivered to you . This is because your thinking is the same as his thinking . Your anti-western diatribe and blame game of western development and its military power is exactly what he jammeh has used to confuse many citizens like you during his oppressive rule .
    You failed to understand that indigenous citizens of west and America have spoken in their respective elections just like indigenous citizens of The Gambia have spoken in our election. You may call our victory tribalist victory but the fact is that indigenous citizens irrespective of tribes have spoken loudly and clearly to take back our country. We have won . That was exactly what happened in USA despite the fact that Mr trump has aggressive anti-immigrants policy .
    You and jammeh have the same mindset because he used anti-western diatribe for his propaganda while he bought a house in USA , USA is second home to his gold digger wife and daughter. You also sit down in your little apartment in U.K. While you criticized the west for African problems. I think you should file an asylum in Equatorial Guinnea where Jammeh is currently living because I sense that you share the same philosophy. Please do my friend . Why can’t you blame Africans for our underdevelopment and backwardness? My friend, it is close to 60 years since we had our independence. Yes I agree there was oppression of Africans before by the colonialists but you must remember that Africa has produced worst leaders like jammeh , Gaddafi and many who were responsible for underdevelopment, human rights violations, oppression, massive exodus of Africans to Europe and America. Globalization is a blessing for Africa. Example , without globalization, Gambians will not be able to remove Yaya jammeh , thanks globalization, I sit down here in USA and use my smartphone to write my thoughts or views about The Gambia political oppression. In fact I rarely use my laptop, I always used my smartphone to respond or write comments on kaironews. This is why I am always writing on here . Globalization helps us with technological advancement and its use in many dark corners of Africa to make differences In the life of the people.
    Think positive and use your brain to move Africa forward than blaming west . Enough of blame game.

    • Max…

      It is you that is reading anti-West diatribe here. I only pointed to emerging trends in Europe and USA, a fact acknowledged by Europe as stated in the Munich Security Report, and asked whether Africa is equipped to respond to these threats. Obviously, people like you are so consumed by your gadgets that you can’t see beyond their shiny little screens.

      I have made it clear that protecting Africans is the duty of both the people and the leaders. I have NOT blamed the West but pointed out quite clearly that our adherence to neoliberal economics and policies has brought very little benefits to the masses. Yes, there is corruption in Africa, but Africa’s underdevelopment is far deeper than just corruption.
      That’s not being anti-West or is it ?

      Why should I call our victory “tribalist victory” ? Our victory is a victory for all tribes because it is a victory for the whole of Gambia. I don’t see tribe..

      Remember, I once told you that our tribal identity should be relegated below our national identity and that tribal loyalties have no place in a nation state. If I have the power and influence, I will “kill” tribal identity in Africa within a century and cultivate national and African identity in its place.

    • Dormu Rewwum Gambia (aka Luntango Suun Gann Gi)

      Max says:
      ” Hey Bax , your this article must have written by Yaya Jammeh and delivered to you . This is because your thinking is the same as his thinking”.

      You are correct Max. In views on NEO-COLONIALISM, Jammeh travelled the same route as Halifa, Bax, Fanon, Biko, Walter Rodney, Moja, Nkrumah, All African Revolutionary Party, Sankara, Myself, etc.


      Jammeh, a student like Bax of Halifa and Moja’s PANAFRICANISM, TALKED THE TALKED … but did NOT walk the walk. On the CONTRARY, he walked the CRIMINAL BANDIT ROUTE.

      A Pan-Africanist DOES NOT kill Africans and steal from them. A Pan-Africanist defends and NURTURE the lives of Africans. Jammeh was a THIEF and a KILLER.

      Halifa keeps talking RECONCILIATION because he finds it difficult to see the evil in his former student.

  2. Leaders cannot be empowered any more than mandated. Leaders need a CHECK @Bax, something repulsive to one like Yaya. Leaders should not be the only ”think tank’ and the citizenry be the ‘take-tank’. If such should be a situation to come to effect, I’ll bet a country will start its journey northwards Korea.

    Guys in your camp need a bit of orientation with regards to moderate political ideologies and realities facing the people of African countries today. Have Gambia made a breakthrough in inventing or atleast improvising a motorized or electro-mechanic farming implement that has made a change in the lives of the Gambian farmer? If we can atleast improvise farming machinery, perhaps we wouldn’t need to look over our shoulders for foreign aid. If Africa countries by now are fabricating their own defense hardwares, i.e, SAMs, torpedoes, combat rifles, armour cars, radar systems, man-less spaces missions etc etc., people outside the continent won’t always jump in their businesses any time they see that opportunity.
    Leaders like Ghadaffi can’t make a change in Africa because you don’t enforce policies using the lives of your own fellow citizens as pawns.

  3. Gaddafi not culpable and cannot be associated with Africa’s underdevelopment propaganda.

    Therefore this statement by Max extracted and quoted below is not valid (fact)!

    “Gaddafi and many who were responsible for underdevelopment, human rights violations, oppression, massive exodus of Africans to Europe and America. Globalization is a blessing for Africa.!???

    • Dawda,Gaddafi was fully responsible for Africans underdevelopment because he has supported and funded civil wars in Liberia and Sieraleone where hundreds of thousands were killed and significant destruction of institutions, economic development and infrastructures. Besides, he was responsible for thousands of deaths in his country during his time plus countless human rights violations. In terms of massive exodus of Africans, Gaddafi supported and funding of civil wars has resulted to massive exodus of Africans to west. Therefore Gaddafi was an evil human being who destroyed his own country and Africans. I know you and Bax love Dictators including Yaya jammeh, Gaddafi was the mentor to Yaya jammeh. Bax in particular is always in love with Dictators. He defended Gaddafi, Chavez and our very own little yaya jammeh.

  4. I’d like to offer that folks that subscribe to commentaries like what shows above take time to understand the substance of articles before jumping into the fray!
    Where writers, editors and subscribers do not attempt to clarify or offer a disclaimer clearly stating what represents the writer’s opinion from an editorial piece, originators of articles wouldn’t be doing the readership good service by offering pieces based on conjecture!! Certain online newspapers, chiefly the Freedom Newspaper, are notorious for offering poorly researched opinion pieces.
    It is therefore absolutely important that commentators take time to read and understand the gist of newspaper articles before backing up the wrong tree and ultimately embarking on a fool’s errand!

  5. Ggapm…

    I am very much open to reorientation (you do sound like Yaya here: remember “patriotic reorientation”) and would like to see what you have to offer in that regard.

    Empowering leaders does not necessarily mean a “journey” towards a N.Korea like situation. In fact, in a democracy, when we give our mandate to the elected, we empower them to act on our behalf. So “mandate” and “empowerment” are interrelated politically speaking.

    I don’t know where you got the idea that I was suggesting an arrangement where leaders become “think tank” and the people “take tank”. Is it because I said leaders should “think for themselves and for us”, rather than merely copying, imitating and implementing what others do or direct them to do ? If so, then you completely misunderstand my point. My point is that people seek to lead their nations because they have ideas on how to best manage their nations’ resources. Ideas don’t drop from the sky. They are conceived, through the process of thinking, and then developed into practical policies (in politics) that can be pursued by the state. These ideas don’t have to be original, but may need to be modified to suit particular circumstances. That’s the point I was making. Unfortunately, we have too many at the top just content to be implementing directives (they call policies) from elsewhere.

    I was voicing my concern about our vulnerability to external military aggression, but you made a very good point about our inability to invent even the simplest mechanised farm tools to improve food production. Africa has one of the best agricultural lands and resources, if not the best, and yet our people’s are the most vulnerable to hunger and starvation. You don’t need to check the data to believe that almost every African country relies heavily on food importation to feed its people, and when the purchasing power of our peoples are continually being eroded, due to weakening currencies, the threats of hunger are knocking on the doors of an ever increasing number of families in the continent.

    What do you think is responsible for this situation ? Is it an “accident”, an “inherent flaw” in the African or by “design” ? I will wait for your answer.

    You know, despite Max’s claims, I have never praised Gadaffi’s political suppression of his people. I have even stated before that I have little sympathy for him because of the way he monopolised power, but we also have to be honest about the situation in Libya today as opposed to under (late) Gadaffi. I hope you don’t think like Max, who claimed that Libya today is better than under Gadaffi, contradicting Obama and Cameron, who both acknowledged that Libya was a disaster.

    Every evil that was perpetrated under Gadaffi is being perpetrated today under various rebel groups and “goverments”, but even worse is the fact that crimes that were never seen under Gadaffi are now part of every day life in Libya. Kidnappings, human/drug trafficking, prostitution, robberies, slavery, etc, not to talk about the insecurity and poor living standards. Simply put, Libya, the most prosperous country on the African continent not long ago, with living standards far above many European countries, is now a completely failed state.

    And Max claimed that they are better off than before. What’s your claim ?

    • There are many factors to the origin of Africa’s underdevelopment, and they are debatable. I certainly agree that both corruption and the neoliberal economic policies are contributing factors to Africa’s impediment to development. Although globalization has produced some positive outcomes, but it has also spread with consequences.

      It is a fact that Africa suffered numerous setbacks from horrible history, but many of our leaders continued to contribute to those horrible history. It is also a fact that the North / South relationship has never been always equal and balanced in many fronts, but in my opinion, this can be counterbalance if only Africa can unite to be one republic instead of many weak countries.

      I think what’s important now is for Africa to start producing leaders who are competent, honest, and dedicated to the love of country and regional integration. We should do our best to fight any form of corruption and take our rightful position in the world.

      • I also forgot to mention that to investigate why some African countries are doing much better than the rest, will also contribute to the understanding of development and underdevelopment in Africa

      • Totally agree with you.

      • Bax, I didn’t say ‘patriotic re-orientation and CONSTRUCTION’! I said, ‘guys in your camp need a bit of orientation with regards to moderate political ideologies and realities facing the people of Africa today’. How did that sound Yayah?

        It should be obvious to you that I don’t think like @Max, but do reason with him like I do with yourself, a fact why we would agree here and disagree there. I think you blew it a bit out of proportion making a statement like; ‘Unfortunately, we have too many at the top just content to be implementing directives(they call policies) from elsewhere’. I don’t think public opinion or ideals from anywhere should serve as directives or even (policies) for any constitutional government, if not to speak to the conscience of those entrusted with power to govern. Libya’s Ghaddafi was a crime free Libya indeed for citizens from his petrol-partnership countries but not the ordinary Libyan who will have to watch, eat, walk and smile Ghaddafi or if proven otherwise, you and your family are dead and that won’t be enough. He will scrape off your home if you have one, and throw it away in the desert according to claims I didn’t refute. I think all that goes from bad to worse in countries like Libya cannot be blamed on anything but leaders like Ghaddafi themselves. Sorry if I am far off away from track. @Andy won’t like that ethics.

        I agree with you @Peace, There are many factors to the origin of Africa’s underdevelopment and they are debatable.

    • Bax , I have never claimed that Libyans were better off today than when Gaddafi was in power . I would like to see that evidence where I claimed Libyans were better off today than when the former dictator was in power. I believe that Liyba is In deep trouble because of systematic oppression the country went through. It was the failure of Gaddafi to put in place democratic institutions so that there will be peaceful transfer of power but unfortunately Gaddifi has never intended to leave power peacefully just like Jammeh has never intended to leave power peacefully.
      Dida , I believe Mr Sallah is not too concerned about punishment of former dictator jammeh’s killers which is why he keep ringing the bell of reconciliation without strongly advocating for justice for the victims. I am glad that Mr mai fatty is in charge. Mr fatty will continue to do excellent job for the country. The internal security reforms of our country is very crucial for democracy and rule of law to prevail. Mr fatty’s background as a lawyer is indeed an asset for implementation of good governance and rule of law.

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