The West believes its "owns Africa". After all, at the 1884 - 85 Berlin Conference, Africa was shared between Western nations, like a piece of cake.

The US participated in that conference, and had no objections, so Washington is invested in maintaining that old order.
The problem (for the West), is that even though this old order is no longer tenable - Western policy makers are fundamentally incapable of imagining a new kind of relationship with Africa, which isn't based on 19th Century paradigms like "the Scramble for Africa".
Chief among these is France, Paris is invested in a Quixotic quest, to 100% dominate the monetary policy, economies and military of its 13 or so former African colonies - ad infinitum.

This, of course, cannot work, but as Rosseau remarked, "the French are given to vanity".
The West "does not own Africa" - and an Africa that tilts away from the West is inevitable this century.

This is simple logic; the Industrial Revolution was a historical anomaly that led to Mombasa doing more trade with Manchester than Mumbai.

That anomaly is being fixed.

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More from @cchukudebelu

12 Jan
The British have traditionally seen Southern Nigeria as a source of clerks, teachers and low-level administrators;

But a politically irrelevant region.

That hasn't changed, if your substitute "clerks, teachers and low-level administrators" with "highly skilled migrants".
But the British didn't stop there;

They convinced their allies, the Americans to see Southern Nigeria the same way.

This was aptly demonstrated by the Obama Administration in the buildup to the 2015 elections.
One thing Southern Nigerians, with all their education and accomplishments need to understand, is that political organisation, and political power matters.

There are hundreds of thousands of Southern Nigerians in UK - but they have zero impact on UK's Nigeria policy.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
In geopolitics, things don't happen because "it is good if they happen". Things happen if it is the interest of some actor.

For example, while US policy makers might see Africa's prosperity as a "good thing", it is not where US interests lie. It is simply not their business.
US interests in Africa are related to containing China, ensuring that nobody launches a terrorist attack on US interests/citizens from here and securing access to key minerals / airfields /ports.

Will a prosperous Africa help US contain China? Neither here nor there.
Washington knows that trade with China will be a major driver of African prosperity - so African prosperity isn't a priority to them the same way prosperity of Asian tigers was.

What are the geopolitical benefits to the US if Africa's GDP doubles? Not really significant.
Read 7 tweets
6 Jan
"We see that the crisis of decolonization is not just a matter of the decolonized. During the Cold War, Western countries obsessed about African countries becoming satellites of the Soviet Union. Much more recently, we have seen a replay of this moral panic involving China".
"What this really betrays, though, is a dread of losing the continent as a Western satellite, and no European former colonial power has clung to its neocolonial privileges as tightly as France, which still sees the retention of influence in Africa as key to its grandeur".
Read 4 tweets
5 Jan
The British and French told the Americans there was no way they could rebuild their economies after World War2 without exploiting their colonies.

But Washington insisted they must let go of their colonies; that was the motivation for the Marshall Plan & other initiatives
US also opened its markets to former European colonial powers.

There was no way a small, poor European nation like Netherlands could prosper without colonies, it was all they had done for 300 years prior to the Second World War.
When the US opened it markets to everyone from Germany, to Netherlands, to Japan - these countries had another route to prosperity, which did not involving seizing and exploiting territory overseas.
Read 4 tweets
19 Aug 21
The Obasanjo Administration was not focused on rent seeking, that wasn't the point of its reforms.

The Buhari Regime's "intellectual foundations" are the same minds that gave us "import licenses" in the 1970s.

Rent seeking - and nothing else.
Lagos-based Nigerians in their 20s and 30s by 2015, had it easy. All they knew, throughout their working lives, was a government committed to some degree of "economic freedom".

They (wrongly) assumed that trajectory was sacrosanct. They failed to do due diligence.
They (wrongly) believed that an open GSM licensing process and financial sector reforms, was the natural order in Nigeria.

They didn't know that if Abacha had lived a bit longer, he would have simply handed over GSM licenses to his Lebanese friends.
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug 21
This is Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, Americans nicknamed him "Cash My Cheque", due to the Kuomintang's penchant for corruption.

One of the selling points of Mao's Communists was they were not as corrupt as the Kuomintang.
Lee Kwan Yew wrote that he developed zero tolerance for corruption, after seeing how the Kuomintang's reputation for corruption damaged their image among overseas Chinese - and made Communism attractive.

But this never stopped the US from cultivating corrupt patrons.
A similar story was repeated in South Vietnam. The US State Department talks a good game about "democracy, human rights & transparency", but when the chips are down - they will cultivate the most corrupt local patrons.

Has anyone forgotten Fidel and Imelda Marcos?
Read 5 tweets

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