Africa's tense ties with West … Tense Britain-Malawi relations are symptomatic of how African nations are increasingly intolerant of Western criticism as China steps up its no-pressure approach to aid and trade. Malawi's president on Sunday defended his decision to expel Britain's senior envoy, a move symptomatic of how African governments are increasingly prickly toward criticism from the West. In his first statement on the issue, President Bingu wa Mutharika (pictured left with Chinese President Hu Jintao) told reporters that he would not take insults from Britain, including former envoy Fergus Cochrane-Dyet's statement in a leaked diplomatic cable that the president is "intolerant of criticism" – which led to his April 26 expulsion. The president's spokesman had previously explained that "the tone in the leaked cable was not diplomatic." – Christian Science Monitor
Dominant Social Theme: Africans get upset from time to time, but they know the West is right – and most especially right for them.
Free-Market Analysis: We've stayed with the recent Ivory Coast neo-colonialist incident because we think it represents a sea-change in the West's sway over Africa. We try to identify important turning points in elite memes – the fear-based propaganda campaigns with which the powers-that-be have controlled the world in the past and readied it for global governance and the Ivorian incident seemed to be one of them in our view.
Africa is an important element of world domination given its large population and mineral wealth, and European powers have always sought to control it, carving it up conveniently in the meantime. But those days may be over.
The Christian Science Monitor article excerpted above – entirely mainstream reportage – gives us an idea of what the West is up against in such cases. It tells us that the West's current neo-colonial approach is probably the wrong strategy at the wrong time.
In fact, the West's recent heavy-handed actions in the Ivory Coast, in Libya, in Kenya and other countries may prove increasingly counterproductive. The Internet itself strips away the illegitimate justifications for the use of force and in a multi-polar world there are other patrons who may be introduced to provide protection against Western depredations. These include most prominently the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika's actions in this regard are especially noteworthy. Far from being cowed by the recent episode on the Ivory Coast, Mutharika has not shied away from a confrontation with the West and especially with Malawi's patron. Britain, which gives $154 million per year, is Malawi's largest aid donor – an important sum of money for an impoverished country where many live on a single dollar a day. Britain immediately retaliated by expelling Malawi's officials.
As the article points out, tiffs between Africa and the West are growing. Kenya's government has not taken kindly to having an initial six officials hauled before the International Criminal Court (apparently a George Soros invention) over the election massacres of some two years ago. Rightly or wrongly, Kenyan leaders see the court procedure as further inflaming wounds and as an interference with Kenya sovereignty. There have been threats to withdraw Kenya from the ICC and, in doing so, to lead a charge to remove other African states as well.
Zimbabwe's sociopathic leader Robert Mugabe has never been shy about confronting the Western colonial legacy and is famous for saying he does not need lectures from his country's former colonial master Britain and that Britain can "go hang." In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi is confronting what increasingly looks like full-fledged Western-style regime change. And in the Ivory Coast, such regime change has already been carried out – with ramifications still to come.
We would suggest that the Christian Science Monitor has it right. "It's these types of tiffs that are pushing African nations to do business with more accommodating trading partners such as China, which refuses to make its aid or investment conditional on small matters like international human rights treaties, anticorruption rules, or legal frameworks that allow opposition groups and news organizations to criticize their government leaders."
The numbers are starting to build up. According to the Monitor, China's investment in Africa – estimated to be $100 billion in 2010 – is the fastest growing sector of foreign investment. The BRICS involvement in Africa is being facilitated by the fifth BRIC – South Africa, which in April joined the exclusive economic club.
South African President Jacob Zuma was none too pleased with the French coup in the Ivory Coast, and the Monitor article carries a telling quote from him, as follows: "You can no longer talk about the old Africa. We need to develop very urgently partnerships that are different from the past – relationships that benefit Africa more."
Is 20th century business-as-usual going to prove very effective in the 21st century? We are not at all sure. The Anglosphere elites are increasingly turning to military force as their fear-based programs founder and fail but that didn't slow the changes made by the Gutenberg press and it likely won't make a difference in this era of the Internet Reformation. France's episode of regime-change in the Ivory Coast is far from over as well. The ripples continue to spread and Africa itself may not turn out so neatly (from a pro-Western standpoint) as Anglosophere elites hope.