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My Take On it: No African leader in important foreign meetings in Africa!


“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:17, 18

The forthcoming United Nations General Assembly Summit has led to a flurry of outbursts that President  Lazarus Chakwera “Malawi’s worst president with an appetite for flying.”

The accusations go further by advancing that “none of his previous trips have brought any benefit to the country reducing his visits to speech-making and photo opportunities.”

The verdict in almost all media in Malawi (social and traditional platforms, cried out that the Malawi leader should not go to New York for this year’s UNGA Summit. I hold a different view: President Chakwera MUST go to UNGA, it is among his prime duties as leader of the country, to stand for, speak on behalf of, and defend Malawi’s rightful place on the global platform.

In the year 1619, ships from the New World (the current United States of America) came to the shores of the African continent and began the commerce of procuring cheap, free labor; for several centuries the decision and practice to trade in humans called the slave trade was carried out without any African leader, and it soon spread throughout the whole continent.

In 1884, Otto von Bizmark called for a conference in Berlin, where the continent of Africa, was carved out on paper into nation-states, divided among European nations, among Great Britain (now the United Kingdom), France, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, and hosts Germany. No African was present in the room.

Lastly, in 1914 and 1931 during two major world wars (World War I and World War II), again Europeans came and enlisted Africans as soldiers in the battles fought mainly on European and Japanese soil. Again, no African was in the room on these pivotal moments that did not involve the African continent.

Despite Africans not being in the rooms on decisions that ultimately drew the continent into world politics, the decisions made by Europeans impacted Africans and people of dark skin in the most egregious manner of forced servitude, both physically and mentally.

From the 1960’s this picture sort of changed whereby like a wild forest fire, African countries (carved up in Berlin), began demanding freedom from the yolks of colonial enslavement.

It has been a long journey to independence, although in a quasi-manner. While black faces sit behind their country placards, it has been a long-gone state of affairs, that the colonials have remained behind the scenes calling the shots the African leaders take on the conference floors.

To add to this, African countries have been held under the thumbs of the Western countries, through the strength of monetary currencies; with or without the rich minerals African continent is bestowed with by the Creator.

The West needs Africa, Africa does not need the West or Russia, or China, a wise person said recently. Let no one say African leaders should not attend the UNGA Summits; it is a known fact that most of the work of the UN is done in Africa.

Thus there is no wisdom in decrying that the Malawi President should not attend meetings where the global meeting at the UN in New York, is going to make decisions about the 22 million souls that Chakwera represents. In fact, it is because of these 22 million citizens, that Chakwera must go to UNGA to speak for, defend, and champion the cause of keeping the respectability of the nation, Malawi.

If the Western allies were truly democratic, if the Western allies were truly human rights promoters and defenders, in all honesty, they would take their grubby and greedy thumbs off the scales of development, off the precious minerals (gold, silver, uranium, oil, diamonds, rubies, marbles) that are replete in abundance in the belies of the African continent.

There is no gold in England, yet the King traveled to his coronation in an obscenely all-gold carriage; Italy has no marble deposits within its borders, yet even the Vatican houses and places the Pope resides and hold a meeting, are decorated with marble floors; and lastly the biggest hog of the pack has to be France: the country has no uranium, AND yet, it carves uranium from the bellies of its former colonies (Niger, Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Mali, etc.) and turns them into nuclear powers producing electricity that it then sells to the rest of Europe, earning a whooping $3 billion. These are guarded by US military bases.

If the names Niger, Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Mali appear to be familiar or ring a bell, it is because these have undergone one military coup after another. They are all members of the least developed countries, and yet they are suppliers of the elements that go into making their former colonial boss (France) a nuclear power and a member of the G7 and G20.

France along with its European powers is attempting to sky-dive onto the continent with the clarion call for African nations to embrace human rights, by among other things changing African laws that criminalize same-sex marriages, allow abortion, and comprehensive sexuality education to minors, and grab away ACP-EU member states of their voting power. These not only look bizarre, but they speak of the continued plunder and hood-winking of African nations by European nations and their cousin the United States.

Back to history: when it finally dawned on some Europeans and Americans that slavery was a bad thing, they brought a book called the Bible which caused the continent to move away from its traditional religion and introduced Christianity. From this book, African nations have taken numerous verses and made the outlawing of same-sex marriages.

The Western allies are using the United Nations to push this new light on what constitutes human rights. The next time sharp-tongue opponents talk about the merits and demerits of our leaders attending the UNGA Summit, they must do so, with the above mini-history course embedded in this column.

The adversaries of Chakwera to UNGA trip must also remember that a large number of these trips was in Chakwera’s role as SADC chair, LDCs chair, and most important of all an opposer of the ACP-EU post-Cotonou Agreement, which in its current draft will rob (AGAIN) 79 countries of their voting rights at such for an as the UNGA.

Mr. President, Chakwera, we pray for your successful deliberations as you enter the UNGA Summit, to represent 22 million Malawians!

Janet Karim
Janet Karim
Author, high school Learning Disabilities Teacher, candidate Master of Education Special Education, Mason University; highly organized, charismatic and persuasive Communications Specialist and accomplished Journalist, Editor with 41 years in the communications field, offering expertise in all phases of print, broadcast, telecast, and social media productions. Enthusiastic story teller. Highly-motivated and trained media professional possessing exceptional writing and editing skills with ability to draft engaging and effective content; Opinion column contributor for leading national dailies (Maravi Post - 2015-PRESENT; Nation Malawi - 2015-PRESENT; Times Malawi (2004-2007). Other areas of expertise include grant writing and NGO project management. Highly trained in international, regional and local lobbying and election skills. Collaborates with international companies to initiate development policy change and foster public awareness, with deep commitment to social justice and health care equity; especially in work towards women's political, economic, and social empowerment; ending child, early and forced marriage; and promoting the human rights of the elderly. Advocate for highlighting climate change its effects on the planet. International development work experience with the United Nations headquarters (10 years, and two years UNDP field work); field experience (Malawi) - Oxfam, UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO. Superb public speaker who communicates effectively with target audiences through strategic one-to-one or large audiences, expert in event planning and PR campaigns. Conscientious, diplomatic, and tactful in all communicationsg.

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