Africa has evolved and shown the way during Ukraine crisis

Author: Nkwazi Mhango

What you need to know:

Instead of being used, Africa should strategise on how to utilise this crisis

Politics Although Africa has remained in the international backyard, it recently – at least this time – got it right. It stood its ground to show its true colour and stance internationally. It maintained neutrality when many countries were forced to stand by their masters.

Uganda, along other 16 African countries, showed the way by abstaining from the UN General Assembly vote against Russia, with Eritrea voting against the resolution.

Uganda’s permanent representative to the UN, Adonia Ayebare, was quoted as saying “as incoming chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) neutrality is key. Uganda will continue to play a constructive role in the maintenance of peace and security both regionally and globally.”

Africa needs to show that it isn’t an onlooker anymore, but a player. It needs extraordinary courage to take such a stand.

The world is currently jittery and disquiet. Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine is but the beginning of the end of the US’ hegemony. The writing is on the wall.

To put it into context, soon after World War II, the US and then Soviet Union became superpowers.

This marked the beginning of the Cold War that ended in 1991 when the US outfoxed the Soviet Union, leading to the latter’s temporary evaporation from the political world map.

But on February 24, Russia that formerly dominated the Soviet Union, resurfaced with its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Instead of showing the US’ might, current president Joe Biden kept on issuing threats, besides the sanctions. The story of this steady decline started when the US voted in former president Donald Trump, who paved way for the destruction of US’ unchecked hegemony. He cosied up to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and exposed the US. Trump is recently quoted as saying Putin is a genius.

Two-time Democratic Party presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders recently told US leaders to stop double standards. He reminded the US of its roles in invading various sovereign states.

Methinks, the lessons from the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are now being understood. The US isn’t ready to repeat the same gaffe, and Putin knows this all too well. The former KGB intelligence officer has been studying them and has made good out of them.

Although it’s too early to conclude, the US as a hegemony is on a steady decline. This tells us that nothing human is permanent. As we ponder on this, we must admit that when the odds seem to favour Putin and defy the US, China, another superpower, is carefully watching events unfold. Many analysts agree that China will soon take over the helm from the US.

Of China, Russia and the US, China stands to gain from the Ukraine debacle. First, it isn’t involved directly in this obviously pricy war. Second, it’s now waiting to claim its prize, the leading place in global geopolitics. You can take this to the bank. The winner among the trio is China.

Russia is another winner. It better makes do with a silent China rather than with the raucous US. You can see this on how China’s maintained non-involvement and silence at the time the world is ganging up on Russia. The silent lion is the one that eats meat.

For the US and the West, it points towards weakening of their dominance. As for Africa, when two hawks start a brawl, the fowls must seek shelter. I heard Kenya’s envoy to the UN, Martin Kimani, making noise about Russia’s invasion. Nobody listens to you guys.

Instead of being used, strategise on how to utilise this crisis. If the tables were turned on Africa, you’d not hear any noise from either the EU, Russia or even Ukraine. It’s the right time for Africa to think about disbanding their colonial borders and unite as a strategy of asserting its power in the international community.

Mhango is a lifetime member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador         [email protected]

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