This is what the West really wants from Africa

US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden (centre) poses with African leaders during the US- Africa Leaders Summit on December 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. 

Photo credit: Kevin Dietsch | AFP

Have you noticed the sudden intensification of Western interest in Africa lately? High-level officials, delegations, and political figures from Europe and America seem to be taking numbers to tour Africa, make loud statements and promises, and even send articles to the local press. 

All that to seduce the Africans and basically tell them one simple thing: keep away from Russia, no matter how beneficial cooperation with Russia is, just stay away and don’t listen to Russia, don’t talk to Russia, don’t even think of agreeing with Russia on anything, because Russia is bad, and everything bad in this world is because of bad Russia!

They also brag that their crusade against Russia has resulted in an “unprecedented unity of the international community in the anti-Russian alliance”, and their “sanctions from hell” (weird language, right?) led to the isolation and economic collapse of Russia. Why all this fuss about Russia?

To me, this is a manifestation (perhaps, unintended and rather impulsive) of a profound sense of insecurity and uncertainty. The louder and more hysterical they are, the more scared they appear.

Nothing works for them. Their “sanctions” cripple their own countries more than they do Russia. Their economies are in a deep state (sorry for the wordplay) of disorganisation and degradation. Their social systems are breaking down, inequality reaches unprecedented levels, and their people have to choose between eating and heating. Their infrastructure crumbles. Their share of global GDP shrinks.

Robbing and pillaging

More and more countries around the world see it and opt for a more independent and sovereign stand in the international arena, which problematises the West’s favourite pastime—robbing and pillaging colonies and former colonies. It also undermines the very foundation of their prosperity and hyper-consumption that consists of unfair trade and unequal distribution of global wealth. The only way they can assure the so-called “overwhelming majority” of votes in the UN is through pressure, intimidation and blackmail, and they know it.

And the worst part is that they don’t have a clue about what to do with all that. So they concentrate all their intellectual and political resources (and propaganda) on the Ukrainian crisis—which they created—and prepare to start a conflict with China in the vain hope that global chaos will somehow give them a chance to continue to fish in troubled waters, at least for a while. But for this, they need to create an impression that they still are the centre of the universe, allegedly capable of building and leading a global coalition to combat the “forces of evil”.

Interestingly, they (at least many of them) seem to have abruptly forgotten their mantra of “rule-based order” and reverted to the normal concept of international law that they had tried to erase (delete, rather) from international discourse. Apparently, to make their sermon more acceptable and palatable to Africans and the rest of the world.

But, frankly, it is even more ridiculous to hear systematic and repeat violators of international law (brutal, illegal, unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Libya, Syria, Iraq, it) preach international law and the UN Charter.

They claim that they are not asking Africa to pick a side. But, trying to draw Africa into their hegemonistic power games with Russia is exactly what they want. Amazingly, with their horrendous record in Africa! Does it make sense for Africa to side with a declining decrepit hegemon with an abhorrent history of colonialism and neocolonialist exploitation, thus making it stronger to further exploit it? 

Mr Maksimychev is the Ambassador of Russia to Kenya. [email protected].