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Do Not Blame the West for Africa's Woes

Gershom Ndhlovu argues that Africa leaders are making a mistake by blaming the West for Africa's problem:

At the last EU-Africa Summit held in Belgium, Zambia's president Michael Chilufya Sata reiterated what other African leaders had said in the past about the West contributing to wars on the continent through the sale of guns and other military hardware. Quoted by Eil D’Afrique, Sata told the gathering that Africa had no gun factory that fuels conflict and that Europe was responsible for conflicts on the continent because weapons used in conflicts are manufactured in Western countries. “Most poor child soldiers involved in conflicts in Africa carry guns manufactured in Europe that cost thousands of dollars. These poor children could not have money to buy these weapons,” said Sata.

In its post-independence existence, Africa has had its fair share of coups and counter-coups and civil wars. Of course, most of these were brewed in smoky backrooms where Western diplomats met military officers while sipping on expensive wines and spirits, enticing them with not only the control of national resources if they kicked out an anti-Western radical leader but also the support of their capital. This is how megalomaniac tyrants like Mobutu Sese Seko rose to power and maintained a hold on it.

But to blame all or most of the recent conflicts in Africa on Western countries and European gun factories is being disingenuous and burying heads in the sand, ostrich-like. It is pathetic that African countries still blame their former colonial masters today for their economic failures clearly caused by corruption, mismanagement and sheer incompetence

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