HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala / AKANI CHAUKE in Johannesburg
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – THE United States’ bullying tactics are losing steam as African countries choose sovereignty and self-determination over being dictated to by hegemonic foreign forces.
Washington’s colonial mentality raised its ugly head when it denied Uganda participation at the just-ended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in South Africa.
The ongoing war of illegal occupation in Gaza, Palestine overshadowed the conference.
Uganda’s isolation by America follows its refusal to grant rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities.
The US also threatened to end trade privileges for South Africa after the latter condemned Israel’s war crimes against defenceless people of Gaza following the murder of more than 10 000 people.
America also intimidated Pretoria’s duty-free access to the American market following its closer ties with Iran, Palestine and Russia.
These are rivals of the US.
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has lately been the most vocal against imperialism by the US.
He accused the West of overestimating their value in the African continent.
“These pressures from outside (the United States) are joogo (dharau – looking down upon somebody, underrating somebody) towards the Africans and must be rejected. I am told that some of the Arab countries have similar laws (on (LGBTQIA+). Why don’t these actors (the US) put similar pressures on them?” Museveni queried.
He added, “I need to advise you not to be over-concerned by the recent actions by the American government in discouraging their companies from investing in Uganda and on removing Uganda from the AGOA list. Some of these actors in the Western world overestimate themselves and underestimate the freedom fighters of Africa. Some of the foreign actors erroneously think that African countries cannot move forward without their support.”
Earlier, a US lawmaker, Chris Coons had requested Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, to undertake an immediate out-of-cycle review of South Africa’s AGOA over siding with the oppressed Palestinians.
“South Africa’s relationship with Russia, and most recently with Iran and Hamas (Palestine), undermine necessary eligibility safeguards in the AGOA statute, and the administration failed to take standard formal actions to communicate AGOA-related concerns to South Africa through a warning letter or demarche,” Risch wrote.
However, South Africa’s firebrand opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, insisted Israel’s onslaught on Gaza was apartheid and terrorism.
He said all African nations that experienced colonialism should condemn Israel’s actions in the strongest terms.
Citizens across the continent commented on the issues.
“The only solution for Africa is to unite, develop critical public infrastructure to connect production centers (cities), especially railways, utilise their natural resources by processing them (human capital) and consume them with, develop technology and bargain as one block,” said Sam Kakuru.
Ash Mirembe urged leaders to be as bold as Museveni.
“If only all African leaders were as bold as you are then Africa would be very far at that bargaining table. The West wouldn’t be looking down on us this much. It is indeed an insult as they regard us as their kids. We can make our own decisions,” Mirembe said.
– CAJ News