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» Pan-Africanism » “African Union Faces Turbulent Headwinds” By Horace G. Campbell January 12, 2017

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» Pan-Africanism »
African Union Faces Turbulent Headwinds”

By Horace G. Campbell
January 12, 2017

The current efforts to elect a new Chair of the AU Commission have been caught in the crosswinds of the impact of illicit capital outflows, the question of reseating Morocco in the AU and the challenges that Africa will face during a period of the ascendancy of the ideas of Donald Trump and Marie Le Pen.

The AU will survive this turbulence. But the rise of the Pan African Movement will likely sweep away the present crop of leaders.

Introduction: Three crossing points

In all countries of Africa, from Egypt to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and beyond there are stirrings of the people who want to assert themselves politically in the context of realizing the pan African project of building a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.

These stirrings have created massive political tensions and are nowhere more evident than at the seat of the African Union where the poor and oppressed of Ethiopia have demanded a new democratic dispensation that provides real resources to the majority of the people. 

Despite the glowing figures of economic growth, averaging 10.8% per year in 2003/04 - 2014/15, exploited Ethiopians have taken to the streets and internationalized their protests at the recent Olympics in Rio.  At state of emergency in Ethiopia confronts the AU about its future in a society of contested politics.

The peoples of Africa are responding every day to the global capitalist crisis by stating that the goals of Agenda 2063 cannot be achieved with the crop of current leaders.

Genocidal economic relations in the South Sudan, dictators for life, idle threats to withdraw en masse from the International Criminal Court (ICC), war as a business in the so called War against Terror and the illicit capital flight from Africa preserved the interests of a class in Africa that opposed real African Unity.

This is one of the top contradictions facing Africa at the crossroad between self-financing and illicit financial flows out of Africa.

In response to critical opposition to the stagnation at the AU Commission, the current leaders promised to ‘reform’ the African Union and to work harder to realize the aspirations of Agenda 2063.

The goal of the ‘reform process’ is to transform the AU into a more effective and self-reliant institution.

It will be the argument of this short intervention that the African Union is now facing turbulent headwinds. 

The current efforts to appoint a new AU Commissioner has been caught in the cross winds of the impact of illicit capital outflows, the question of the reseating of Morocco in the AU and the challenges that Africa will face during a period of the ascendancy of the ideas of Donald Trump and Marie Le Pen.

The conclusion will suggest that the Pan African movement will rise to the challenges posed by the current moment and the real push for reconstruction and transformation in Africa will accelerate in this period.

African Union and capital flight
Most of the countries of Africa are now deeply integrated into the international illicit economy that is embedded in looted minerals, bunkering of hydrocarbons, money laundering, illicit funds from fraudulent activities and non-payment of taxes.

In my most recent contribution to Pambazuka, I had outlined in great detail the way in which Kenya is one of the principal beach heads for this global illicit economy.

Of any major country, Nigeria has probably had the highest percentage of its gross domestic product stolen— largely by corrupt officials—and deposited externally. Since the 1960s, up to $400 billion has been lost because of primitive accumulation, with $100 billion shifted out of the country.

In October 2016, the government filed 15 separate suits against 15 oil companies at the Federal High Court in Lagos to recover billions of dollars that have been illegally siphoned from the country.

As reported by Sahara News, “the Nigerian government used the consortium of experts for the intelligence-based tracking of the global movements of the country's hydrocarbons, including crude oil and gas, with the main purpose of identifying the companies engaged in the practices that had led to missing revenues from crude oil and gas exports sales to different parts of the world.”

Future researchers on the state visit of President Buhari to Washington in July 2015 will be able to analyze the call from Buhari for assistance in identifying the more than US$150 billion that has been illegally taken from Nigeria and what Obama informed Buhari of where to look for the money.

Such researchers will then be able to connect the travels of President Buhari to Kenya, London and Dubai in search of these funds and how these centers of money laundering rebuffed the Nigerian effort to recover stolen assets.

The legal action that has now been taken in Nigeria followed the earlier fine against that of telecommunication firm MTN for non-payment of taxes is one indication that at the highest political levels in Nigeria there is a commitment to curtail money laundering. 

A study by UNCTAD found out that between 1996 and 2014, “under invoicing of oil exports from Nigeria to the United States was worth $69.8 billion, or 24.9% of all oil exports to the US.”

With the release of the Panama Papers in 2016 there is now more evidence of the volume of ‘illicit financial flows’ and the amount of wealth funnelled out of Africa every year by capitalists.

Reports in the media that the world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy - were circulated in early 2016.

In these reports, Nigeria, Cote D Ivorie and Angola were at the top of the list of African states with high net worth individuals holding hundreds of billions outside their country.

One major area of future research by progressive pan African intellectuals at home and abroad will be to assess the linkages between political leaders and the opaque world of finance capital to unearth the infrastructures that have been put in place to ensure illicit financial flows from Africa.

Discussions on the non-payment of dues to the AU by member states have been another example of the failure of intellectual and political leadership at the top Commissions of the AU.

The fact that over 70% of the AU Commission is funded by imperialist states (called donors ) is itself one indication of the infrastructure of capital flight.

These ‘donors’ actually have the intelligence on how much money is being shipped abroad by African leaders, hence they seek to keep up the fiction of providing ‘aid’ to Africa.

One good example of this duplicity was the case of the stolen funds from Zimbabwe. A few weeks after stepping down as Chair of the AU in January 2016, in an interview on March 3, 2016, President Mugabe made the announcement that US$15 billion had been stolen from Zimbabwe over the past 7 years under his watch.

Yet, there has been very little exposure of how the Mugabe regime destroyed the economy while his cronies robbed the diamond mines and exported billions.

In order to facilitate their export of capital they resorted to using the US dollar as the currency of the society while printing worthless bonds for the people to use as a medium of exchange in Zimbabwe.

Why didn’t Madame Zuma act on the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial flows out of Africa?

British corporations are the most experienced in the business of stealing and looting minerals from Africa.

A recent report by the non-governmental organization, War on Want, documents how 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) — most of them British — have mining operations in 37 sub-Saharan African countries. They collectively control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s most valuable resources.

The details that are presented in this report are the kind of facts that should be studied in every major university and policy think tank in Africa. While this author takes issue with their designation of Sub Saharan Africa, we have witnessed the downgrading of African universities so that NGO’s can produce facts on ‘conflict gold’  but there is no serious research being carried out because the same ‘donors’ starve African researchers of real resources.

The most recent information by UNCTAD on the misinvoicing of minerals in Africa has exposed the fact that the question of gold exports from South Africa involved the pure smuggling of gold, “The most striking feature of the gold sector in South Africa is the huge discrepancy between the amounts recorded in that country’s official trade statistics and those reported in its trading partners’ records.

According to South Africa’s data, the country’s cumulative gold exports were $34.5 billion from 2000 to 2014, whereas according to trading partner data for that period they were more than three times higher, at $116.2 billion.

This is indicative of massive export underinvoicing.” In fact, the study reports, the physical volume of exports (using the data from SA’s partners) and export underinvoicing are in “perfect correlation”. “This suggests that export underinvoicing is not due to underreporting of the true value of gold exports, but rather to pure smuggling of gold out of the country.

“Total misinvoicing of gold exports to South Africa’s leading trading partners was $113.6 billion over the 15-year period. At an average exchange rate of R9 per dollar, this corresponds to over R1 trillion.”

What is true of misinvoicining in South Africa is true for every conceivable commodity exported from Africa.

One of the failures of Madame Zuma in her role as Chairperson was to fail to aggressively place the resources of the AU in the area of combatting illicit financial flows and following the recommendations of the Thabo Mbeki high level panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

Was it an accident that the press conference announcing the findings of this high level panel took place in Abuja where former President Mbeki announced that said African countries lose between $50 billion and $60 billion annually through illicit financial flow, IFF? .

“Monies for infrastructure and social amenities for the poor African population are being transferred to other countries via illicit financial flows,” said Mbeki at his report on the findings of the panel.

This report by the High Level Panel reinforced the research that has been done over the years and reproduced by the UNECA to bring home the reality that Africa lose between $50 billion and $60 billion annually through illicit financial flows. [1]

Capital flight and insecurity in Africa
There is competition between Britain, France, and the United States to decide on which country can produce the most corrupt officials in suborning African bureaucrats into the world of primitive accumulation of capital.

The US uses the institutions of the Washington Consensus and the US Africa Command for their corruption, the British seek to be sophisticated and hide behind  the mineral houses and London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) while the French are the most obscene in their corrupt and manipulative politics in Africa.

Eva Joly has exposed the role of the French intelligence services and oil companies in those countries that are still dominated by France.

The scandalous relations between France and the puppets in many former colonies are well known and it is these puppets who compete to protect France in the corridors of the African Union.

Before its name was changed, the French Elf state oil company, France’s largest enterprise with a turnover of 232.6 billion francs in 1996, had been robbed of over 2 billion francs—305 million euros—by its top executives, largely during the second seven-year term of ‘socialist’ president François Mitterrand (1988-1995).

Serious law schools in Africa need to get a hold of the judgement relating to the criminal activities of Elf. In their 1,045-page indictment and a further 44,000 pages of documents, the investigating magistrates described in detail "a large number of operations carried out on the margins of normal functioning of the group's structures, and destined... to collect assets off the books".

“Annual cash transfers totalling about £10m were made to Omar Bongo, Gabon's president, while other huge sums were paid to leaders in Angola, Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville.

“The multi-million dollar payments were partly aimed at guaranteeing that it was Elf and not US or British firms that pumped the oil, but also to ensure the African leaders' continued allegiance to France.

“In Gabon, Elf was a veritable state within a state. France accounts for three-quarters of foreign investment in Gabon, and Gabon sometimes provided 75% of Elf's profits. In return for protection and sweeteners from Elf's coffers, France used the state as a base for military and espionage activities in west Africa.”[2]

As reported at the time of the trial, ELF had been set up as a  state enterprise by General de Gaulle in 1963 “to ensure France’s independence in oil and which lived, grew and prospered in a special and incestuous relationship with Africa” (Le Monde, November 12, 2003).

As Loïk Le Floch-Prigent put it: “In 1962, [Pierre Guillaumat] convinced [General de Gaulle] to set up a parallel structure of real oil technicians. [By creating Elf alongside Total] the Gaullists wanted a real secular arm of the state in Africa...a sort of permanent ministry of oil...a sort of intelligence office in the oil-producing countries.”

Loïk Le Floch-Prigent, CEO of Elf from 1989 to 1993, received a jail sentence of five years and a fine of 375,000 euros. Alfred Sirven, former general affairs executive, also got five years and a 1 million euro fine.

André Tarallo, 76, former number-two in the hierarchy and known as “Mr. Africa,” was given four years and a 2 million euro fine. Alain Gillon, former refinery executive, received a three-year jail sentence and a 2 million pound fine.

However, their counterparts and underlings have intensified their work in Africa and France has been the most active within the ranks of her colonies and within the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

The name of the company Elf Aquitaine International may have changed (now Total) but the continuity in practices of theft and bribery are so clear that these elements from France and the EU cannot afford real democratic change in African societies such as Gabon.

The corruption of the French capitalists has been well documented by Eva Joly and more needs to be done in relation to the role of France in financing and supporting insurgents in places such as Mali and Central African Republic and then turning around to the Security Council of the UN to lead the fight against terror in Mali and Central African Republic.

The Peace and Security Council of the AU has permitted the European Union to set the agenda of what defines terror and terrorism in Africa.

Both China and Russia as members of the Security Council of the United Nations have been complicit in giving a pass to France for her activities in Africa.

In the case of former President Sarkozy, he particularly worked hard to get the Chinese to be allies in their corrupt practices.

When the funds and minerals are fraudulently taken from African economies, then the foreign banks establish special desks to ensure that the illicit funds flow to offshore bank accounts.

None of the reports on illicit flows out of Africa made the connections to the questions of militarism, insecurity, the so called war on terror and the role of international military operators, especially private military contractors.

Cameroonian intellectuals who are researching on the expansion of Boko Haram beyond Nigeria are slowly documenting the duplicitous role of France in the enlargement of terror in Central and West Africa.

There has been talk of the reform of the African Union and the leadership of this reform process has been placed in the hands of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

A visit to the largest gold refinery in the Gulf of Arabia will widen the discussion of reform in the AU to implicate the looting of resources from the DRC and to place the mandate of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in the elaboration of identifying the looters and their chief beneficiaries.

How can Kagame lead a ‘reform process’ in the AU when his regime violates the basic human rights of members of the opposition to the point of killings on foreign soil?

At the Kigali summit of the African Union in 2016,  the President of Rwanda announced an impressive team to spearhead the reforms at the African Union so that this Pan African body can be more self-reliant.

It was proclaimed that member states will be expected to contribute 0.2 per cent of proceeds from levy on eligible imports to fund operations of the organisation.

What remains striking in the proclamation  is the fact that these schemes seem to deflect attention from the ways in which African economies are integrated into the present global economy and that there can be no self-reliance until there are serious efforts to control the wealth of Africa.

Any study of the looting of the DRC by Uganda and Rwanda will expose their complicity in ensuring that Africa simply digs out minerals and all of the added value is accrued to other countries.

During the Kigali summit, a new funding model was adopted to make AU operations exclusively funded by subventions from member states. A few years earlier, a previous high-level panel chaired by former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, had been appointed to look at alternative sources of financing for the AU.

Then, there was the recommendation that member states raise revenue by imposing a $10 airfare levy on each international flight leaving or entering Africa and a $2 levy per hotel stay in Africa. This levy remained just another proposal with no real effort towards implementation.

Now, Paul Kagame as the lead person for the ‘reform process’ has designated nine prominent to oversee the reform efforts of the African Union. Of these nine, many are aware of the drain of resources because of the absence of processing facilities in Africa. Others have participated in the detailed studies of illicit financial flows out of Africa.

It will remain to be seen whether the Chairperson of the Reform process, (Dr Donald Kaberuka, the former president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Finance minister of Rwanda) will raise the question of African resources in the global value chain as part of the agenda of how to increase revenues for African peoples, and ultimately for the African Union.

Europe is afraid of the full unification of Africa
The question of the AU budget as discussed in the deliberations about ‘reform’ had steered clear of the questions of capital flight and definitive benchmarks of the African Monetary Co-operation Programme (AMCP) of the Association of African Central Banks. [2] Patriotic Pan African bankers who understood the full impact of external currency domination of Africa had been keen to develop the African Currency Unit as far back as 2002.

At the 1963 meeting of the OAU, Kwame Nkrumah had admonished the African leaders that ‘Africa must unite or perish.’  For fifty years the Pan African project was pushed forward by the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty of 1991 establishing the African Economic Community.

The former President of Libya had gone ahead with precise plans for the gold reserves of Libya to be used to anchor the African currency. After the NATO intervention in Libya it emerged that the primary motivation for the launch of the war was to halt the process of realizing the Pan African project of a common currency in Africa.

Revelations from the correspondence between the Secretary of State of the United States, Hilary Clinton and Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France in March 2011 revealed that the plans for the NATO intervention were dictated by the following issues:

·         A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
·         Increase French influence in North Africa,
·         Improve his internal political situation in France,
·         Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
·         Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.  

Many of the leaders who had retreated from supporting the African Monetary Cooperation Programme are being made aware of the real role of international finance as the more literate follow the rulings of the British court in relation to the resources of the Libyan Investment Authority that had been purloined by Goldman Sachs.

The ruling of the High Court in London in favor of Goldman Sachs against the Libyan Investment Authority is only serving to increase the literacy of Africans on the workings of the international financial oligarchy.

Recently President Museveni gave notice that the African Union will be working more aggressively to end foreign domination in Libya. Museveni stated that,
“We recently had a meeting in Addis Ababa and told all and sundry that AU intends to rescue Libya and we also made it clear that future attacks on African soil without coordinating with AU are not acceptable, to put it mildly. Can Africa defend African soil?  Very much so.”

This kind of bravado statement of Yoweri Museveni after the AU High Level committee meeting on 8 November 2016 belied the reality that at least three members of the AU committee, Chad, Egypt and the Sudan are partners of NATO in the current destruction of Libya.

In the book, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, this author brought out the graphic historical lessons from the destruction of Libya and what lessons that will be learnt when comparing the invasion of Libya to the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935.

The Pan African movement of that period accelerated the end of colonial domination in Africa.

Lessons from the Italian invasion of Abyssinia
Between 1935 and 1946 the global mobilization against fascism built new alliances internationally and quickened the pace of decolonization in all parts of the world.

That anti-fascist internationalism deepened with mass resistance inside of Africa and linked the pan African movement to the Bandung process to cement the South Project.

From that moment until now, the Pan African movement has been a central anchor of the South Project, that is the project of creating a new international economic order.

Africans are being called upon to rebuild and strengthen this project with calls from the belly of empire to defend black lives.

The present generation of youths is being mobilized through new means of communication to realize the goals of real Pan African solidarity from Burkina Faso in West Africa to Bahia in Brazil.

European project shatters in the face of solidarity in the South
The question of the re-joining of the AU by the present Moroccan leadership forms the next major challenge for the future of the African Union.  Since 1984, the political leadership of Morocco had placed its aspirations on the future of the European project, but with the implosion of the European ideal as manifest with Brexit, the Moroccan leadership has decided to re-join the African Union.

In the process, the Moroccan leadership seeks to strengthen the neo-liberal pressures of global capital inside the AU to challenge the anti-colonial stance of the African Union on Western Sahara and all outstanding colonial territories (Puerto Rico, Cayenne, Martinique, Guadeloupe Mayotte, etc.).

Progressive Africans have been tracking the economic diplomacy of Morocco in the rest of Africa.

As one commentator outlined, “Morocco is currently courting a number of African countries relentlessly, including Madagascar, Tanzania, Rwanda, and others. Morocco has signed 19 economic agreements with Rwanda and 22 with Tanzania—two countries that traditionally backed the Western Sahara’s quest for decolonization.

Nigeria Morocco have signed a total of 21 bilateral agreements, a joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe.

“It is easily transparent that the economic agreements with these countries imply ulterior motives for increasing Morocco’s leverage in its campaign to return to the AU and deal a blow to Western Sahara’s aspirations for self-determination. Morocco is waging a similar campaign internationally and in the halls of the U.S. congress by hiring expensive lobbyists and sleazy public relations firms.” [3]

It is in the push by Morocco to play a leading role in the AU that is helping to define the future of the AU in world politics.

The political leadership of Morocco has been working through states such as Cote d Ivorie, Gabon and Senegal to promote the interests of the Moroccan leadership but the limits of this alliance with Senegal and Cote D Ivorie were exposed at the heads of state meeting of the 4th African-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea

The Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), declared by the Polisario Front in 1976,  is a member of the African Union At the Malabo Summit of African and Arab leaders in  November 2016, Morocco found out the limits of its influence when it tried to force the question of removing the representatives of the SADR from the meeting.

When Morocco walked out of the meeting, only the most conservative monarchies of the Gulf - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman - pulled out of the summit over the participation of the Polisario Front delegation.

Many governments such as Egypt and Kuwait who in the past would have been supportive of Morocco decided to stay in the meeting, exposing the diplomatic isolation of Morocco.

This push by the Moroccans is also caught up in the struggles for a new chairperson of the AU Commission. My most recent article on whether Kenya can lead the African Union offered some reasons why the interpenetration of western financial and security interests in East Africa disqualifies Kenya from taking a leadership role.

It is the contention of this intervention that at this historical moment the ideas of the Moroccan leadership confront the aspirations of the Moroccan peoples and thus the question to be posed is not whether Morocco will be part of the AU, but what kind of politics will emerge in Morocco out of the present stirrings of the oppressed citizens of Morocco.

The death of a fishmonger in the northern town of Al-Hoceima who was crushed to death (inside a garbage truck as he tried to retrieve fish confiscated by police) exposed another reality of thousands of outraged Moroccans. 

The present leadership of Morocco has a short-sighted understanding of world politics and have not yet grasped the seismic shift that has taken place since the imperial interventions in Libya and the war in Syria.

Hence, they could not understand why Egypt is not under the thumb of Saudi Arabia as in the past.

The turbulence in the revolutionary politics that had been initiated in the streets of Cairo and Tunis may seem to have subsided, but the youths of Africa are assessing the new forms of organizing for the next round so that the decisive blow against neo-liberalism in the next round of revolutionary struggles will sweep away leaders who seek to reverse the gains of popular rebellions.

Reparations and African Descendants.
The third major contradiction for the AU will be how it confronts the growing threat of fascism. The election of Donald Trump in the United States and the rise of the ideas of Marie Le Pen in Europe have brought back the questions of racism and xenophobia to the center of world politics.

Repairing humanity from the scourge of racist and genocidal violence has been at the center of Pan African political activity since the days of enslavement.

In the last years of the OAU the Reparations question had been high of the agenda with positive interactions between the Global African family in all parts of the planet.

The present leaders of the AU who have been silent on the question of the black lives at home and abroad are now faced with a vibrant #Black lives matter social movement that is spreading in all parts of the globe.

When Haiti attempted to join the AU in 2016, this African society was rebuffed by a leadership that does not understand the history of Pan Africanism and the centrality of Haiti in the History of Pan African Revolts.

Leaders who understand the so called ‘diaspora’ only in terms of remittances are being exposed for their silence on what is happening to Africans on a day to day basis in the face of police killings.

The demands for reparations and for respecting Black Lives in the era of Donald Trump will sharpen the contradictions between the EU brand of Pan African partnership and that which comes from ordinary Africans.

There is little reference at the official level of how Agenda 2063 would affect the more than two hundred and fifty million Africans of the Global African Family living outside the geographical boundaries of Africa.

At the bidding of their ‘global partners’ that seek to set the tone for research and the agenda in Africa there is emphasis on the SDG goals instead of deepening the understanding of reparations and reparative justice.

Slowly, the EU-Pan African partnership is downplaying the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and in its place organizing meetings all over Africa on ‘good governance’ and ‘security sector reform ‘instead on the role of financial houses in money laundering.

On the whole, the present leaders had a different project from the producing classes who believed that the idea of Africa for the Africans at home and abroad should not be a slogan.

African intellectuals are torn between these two visions of social and economic change, with a small minority carrying forward the Nkrumahist vision that had inspired the call for full unity.

The political upheavals of the current currency wars and the wars on terror will have impacts on the entire process of African unity and one of the challenges for the progressive forces will be how to engage with the popular producing forces to seize on moments to push harder for a common currency and to make legal the idea of the free movement of the people of Africa.

When the AU Constitutive Act was being drafted, it was the conscious effort of the progressive Pan Africanists that the AU would be qualitatively different from the OAU.

The Secretary General of the OAU had worked from a Secretariat. The AU has a Commissioner whose powers to intervene are clearly stated in the Constitutive Act.

Current leaders such as Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame may grandstand on reforms and the capabilities of the African Union but the seriousness with which they will be taken will be determined by the levels of transparency and democratic participation in their societies. 

Non-payment of dues by member states of the AU is itself a statement about where their loyalties are. They have kept foreign banks alive while their people go without basic necessities.

It is in Nigeria where there is the largest section of the African working class where one will have to grasp the joint struggles against capital flight and Boko Haram.

Two Nigerian leaders were killed when they took assertive action against empire. The psychological warfare against Nigeria is most intense in order to detract from the calls to bring to justice the fraudulent leaders.

Both Murtala Mohammed and Chief M.K.O Abiola were eliminated when they decided to stand up for Africa. The late Tajudeen Abdul Raheem had worked hard for the building of Pan African Unity and he had admonished the youth to organize.

This call for organizing is now clearer as the liberal ideas of the West has been shattered with the coming to power of the alt right in Europe and North America. These neo fascist forces have made it clear that there will be no grey areas on the question of racism.

It is this same racism that entreats the leadership of Europe and North America to seek the recovery of capitalism on the backs and bodies of the African at home and abroad.

The current rebellions in Ethiopia and South Africa demand new engagement with new ideas about transcending neo-liberal capitalism.

The same foundations that have supported the leaders in the DRC, Ethiopia, South Africa and the Sudan are busy  organizing meetings to ensure that the rebellions now underway does not really disrupt the looting of African resources.

Kenya remains the model for western foundations of spending peanuts on studies on ‘democratic reforms’ while international capital support a Kenyan ruling class that divides the working peoples on the basis of religion and “tribe”.

The corruption of the Kenyan military led to their catastrophic defeat in Somalia in January at the el Ade (comfort base). Somali insurgents fighting against external military presence in Somalia killed 180 Kenyans in January at a camp in el Ade.

Eleven months after the killings, the Kenyan military refuse to provide figures as to the numbers killed. Instead, the Kenyan military is promoting their book, Operation Linda Nchi: Kenya’s military experience in Somalia. [4]

Faced with the fact that Kenyans want real information on the deaths in Somalia, the government of Kenya has refused to provide information as to how many were killed.

Given the revolutionary potential of the Ethiopian workers and small farmers, the President of the USA has used his authority to enlarge the operations of the US Africa Command in Somalia.

On November 27, President  Obama acted to give the legal authority for the expanding war in Somalia using the U.S. Special Ops, AFRICOM, private contractors, and the CIA with the 9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for Iraq.

US military personnel in Somalia can easily be redeployed to Ethiopia when the current revolutionary upheaval matures.

Member states of the African Union have been silent on this expansion of the war when for two decades it was stated in the corridors of power in Washington that it was the presence of US military personnel in Africa that acts as a magnet for misguided youths who are financed by the Wahabists.

At the time of submitting this article, the peoples of Africa were confronted with the clowning refusal of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to accept the results of the elections of December 1, 2016 when he lost  to the leader of the combined opposition led by Adama Barrow.

While the diplomatic dance of the AU and ECOWAS is underway, serious Africans need to engage with the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative that had been launched in 2007 by the United Nations Office on Drugs.

Such engagement will shift the discussions on the question of where to get the resources to fund the work of the African Union.

The renewed confidence of Africans is emerging in the midst of an economic depression in Europe and at a moment when Africans are stating clearly that there must be new values for African unity, for healing ourselves and the world (Maathai 2010).

Wangaari Maathai as a feminist and environmentalist in the Pan African Movement had brought the questions of environmental repair to the forefront of the discussions on Pan Africanism.

This new brand of Pan Africanism that respects life, health, peace and environmental reconstruction is slowly asserting itself in all parts of the Pan African world. The AU will survive the turbulent headwinds.

It is not clear whether most of the current leadership will survive. The three crosscurrents promise to blow many away.

* Horace G Campbell is the Kwame Nkrumah Chair at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana at Legon.

End notes
[1] Ajayi and L. Ndikumana (eds.), Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015
[2] Jon Henley, “Gigantic sleaze scandal winds up as former Elf oil chiefs are jailed,”
[3] Yohannes Woldemariam, Behind Morocco’s New Tango with the African Union,
[4] Official KDF Account, Operation Linda Nchi: Kenya’s Military Experience in Somalia,  Ministry of Defence, Kenya 2014

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