“When an African becomes rich, his bank accounts are in Switzerland. He travels to France for Medical treatment. He invests in Germany. He buys from Dubai. He consumes Chinese. He prays in Rome or Mecca. His children study in Europe. He travels to Canada, USA, Europe for tourism. If he dies, he will be buried in his native country of Africa. Africa is just a cemetery for Africans. How can a cemetery be developed?” – Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin’s remarks carry with it a lot of truth and provokes a reality check for Africa’s population and its leadership. Nothing much to dispute, I particularly see it as positive criticism demanding good governance. However, the idea of boxing clever while seeking homage of a piece of Africa referring to it as a “cemetery” falls under the so called imperial agenda ideology for neocolonization of Africa.
Africa is currently home to many Russians reestablishing ties. Ties that weakened after falling of the Soviet Union in 1991 that led to a turbulent relationship between Africa and Russia, giving room for the sprouting number of different economies with interest in Africa, from the EU to the US of A and of late the Chinese who seem to have identified business gaps and moved in swiftly, creating different dynamics in both our economies and how we relate, with some of the surviving relations playing host to Russian troops enjoying training grounds through military ties and partnerships.
Beside the military partnerships, a newly proposed Logistics base in Eritrea and other enjoyable imports Russia enjoys from turbulent relationship: ranging from rich Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee and tea amidst many imports from Africa, this not speaking of the 19% total import that comes from China, but lets refocus back to Africa; could it be the rich mineral “coffins” God buried in Africa that suddenly seem to caused a turn on for Russia? If so, what world leadership is Putin showing, what’s so different from all other leaderships our earlier colonial and economic masters had for our rich and resourceful “cemetery” continent, those who came before with different disguise and implemented the existing systems that continue to suck out and run dry this continent?
No civilization out there has developed without resources from Africa, all have partaken a fair share from our rich resourceful land, this despite them dropping degrading fancy names they give us, “hot bed of terrorism”, “Shithole” and the newest being the so called “Cemetery for Africans “ crafted from the “rich African man” spending behavioral disease. Be it in terms of free labor, paid work force, natural resources in both raw forms or even in finished forms exported out of Africa, in as much as the returns back to Africa never equivalent of the exports due to shady, dodgy and undercutting deals without transparency.
Africa is too big a player in the world economy to ignore and write off using mere “problem summarizing” names, we might be in need of the services of an “exorcist” to exorcise the spirits of corruption, war, terrorism and bad leadership; however, basic fact remains that Russia is not that self-proclaimed all in one exorcist it’s trying to pose as to exorcise these and many other spirits from our land.
Our so called “cemetery” bears ability to feed the whole Russian population for ages with its fresh fruits and vegetables without a blink or fear of scarcity not forgetting supplies to those factories and industries in need of raw material, the all-round the year sunshine that shines on this “cemetery” is incomparable to the cold freezing “natural morgue” conditions that barely support the tones of yield we get, however, i leave the comparison in the shallows before I get carried away into childish “one on one” comparison of Russia vs Africa, simply because that scale can/will never balance.
Putin’s courting proposal comes out in light that places Africa’s value at its lowest before engaging in what should be engagement for a mutually benefiting relationship from the start. China must have raised the bar for business entry standards into Africa a notch higher compared to 21 years ago when the Soviet Union and the US competed for global hegemony, imposing their will across the globe virtually unchallenged. Now the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting once more as the US loses ground and influence, the EU showing signs of fracturing and new players scramble to gain the high ground; play catch up with nobility without assumptions of the same economic power and influence you held back then Mr Putin.
“He who comes into equity must come with clean hands”
It would be a noble idea if what Russia wishes to bring on the table stands to elevate the lives of the occupants and leadership in this “Cemetery”, bringing tangible and positive cultural value that stands to mutually benefit the citizens of both “the morgue and the cemetery” besides what all those others who’ve come before managed to achieve. Unless provision for everyone and nobility is the driving force to reestablish and build a new economic power block, we the occupants of this “cemetery” do not want to be despised and are much better off where we are and the Russians better off in their “morgues” , after all, where else is best to be laid to rest after all the contribution Africa has made to the world.
Let us see Russian universities sprouting all over Africa reaching out to deliver quality change in this “graveyard”, let us see more successful Africans doing business in Russia without subjection or fear to racism, establishments of mutually benefiting economical environments never achieved by those others that came before courting Africa by the day light while siphoning it’s treasures when the night falls, exploiting loopholes in the current structures and leadership, creating even worse beneficial balances.
It is in the desire of Africa’s population to benefit from advancement in technology in which i hear Russia is quite competent at, this is besides establishing a solidified relationship.
While we hope arms sales is not top or part of the currency Russia is hoping to use as a form for in their bid for neocolonization of Africa, to make this an even less populated “cemetery” with more bodies buried because of greed in the “new scramble for Africa” madness.
Russia and the rest of the world should forget about the so called imperial agenda ideology for recolonization of Africa and focus on helping one another, establishing fair deals for citizens of both worlds “the morgue and the cemetery” working cultural links and ties between its populations and not making way for the so called Russian “Oligarchs” to come for pieces of this so called “cemetery”