Today, Western interests have changed to imposing capitalism (in the name of globalisation and economic prudence), the continued plunder of African resources and fighting the ‘War on Terror’. Those receiving Western praise and support now include President Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia), President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), President Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia. In the words of Nii Akutteh: ‘The time and geographic elements also explain why some African rulers receive the Kleenex treatment from the West. When their usefulness comes to an end, they lose favour, are thrown aside and become pariahs, if not demons. President Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and ex-President Charles Taylor (and now Muammar Gaddafi) might fall into this category.’
When African leaders attempt to rein in these foreign predators and resist neocolonial imposition, unjustified sanctions are applied without morality and due consideration for the poor of that country. A classic example of this is Zimbabwe, and Ghana under its first prime minister, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and now Libya. Under these conditions, Africa is put in the spotlight and labelled ‘failed states’, ‘basket cases’ and similar patronisingly depressing accolades.