The Russia-Ukraine war in Africa, By Okey Nwamadi

The Russian-Ukraine war has thrown up unpopular primordial sentiments in Africa: those hush-hush emotions we like to pretend is not there. Putin is definitely not a mad man, he has not attacked Ukraine without a cause. I see it more as “misplaced aggression” because a great part of why this war is raging is Russia’s quest to compel the West to recognize its might and steer clear of its regional politics. Ukraine on its part has shown unparalleled courage, a virtue that every nation builder must possess.
However, I am concerned about how this war that’s barely a week has evoked the sentiments of racism, bias, relevance, superiority, kindred spirit and illuminated the multi-dimensions of contemporary warfare. This war has taught us again that social media, Google Map, FIFA, UEFA etc are all weapons of war. The conflict is also a grand mirror for Africa to gauge its poorly dressed intra-African diplomacy and make urgent adjustments.
The Caucasian conspiracy to maintain the title deed of power in the world is not in doubt. This may be the undoing of the world. They have succeeded in shaping the mainstream global culture and deployed huge resources to ensure that places like Russia, Asia and Africa are subservient to them. Their gusto is not without commendation; they understand how to publicly give expression to the values that promote human cohesion in their region on one hand, as well as maintain control and a voice in other regions, on the other hand.
The campaign for democracy and human rights, as noble as it is, is like an antidote which can only be extracted from a predator. Donald Trump in his recent statement where he called President Biden “weak”, expressed concern that from his days as a young boy, he always knew that Russia and China must never be allowed to be friends. He sees Biden’s weakness making this possible. What is the West afraid of?
Do they care about Africa? Does the world care about Africa? In less than a week, the entire West is mobilized to resist Putin. Even an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly held. Support is pouring into Ukraine from all sides and that’s understandable. While Ukrainians are busy defending their cities against Russian invasion, the West is helping them hit back at Russia through stiff economic sanctions and other measures aimed at inflicting lasting damage on Russia. They have mobilized big businesses and organizations in the West as players in this war. Google has taken action, FIFA and UEFA have all donned military gears to fight and even the aviation industry is not left out.
If I am to accept the humanitarian coloration of this conflict that “a bully is oppressing the weak” then the world has a lot of explaining to give to Africa. We see “Putins” rise up in Africa from time to time and hijack the reins of power. We have seen impunity, massacres of innocent people, senseless wars, genocidal aggression and grievous looting of public funds and the world only made speeches. What’s worse is the overwhelming evidence that conflicts in Africa have the subtle participation of Western countries: that African despots and looters are products of Western “factories” bent on destabilizing the continent in order to exploit its resources.
Furthermore , what is most nauseating is the treachery of public opinion in Africa. We seem not to understand the trend of global power dynamics, and that the pendulum does not swing in our favor. We are lost in an ironic romance with ‘whites’ not considering the incalculable damages they have inflicted on African unity. I don’t begrudge them for being their best, I shudder at the naivety of blacks everywhere to understand that Africa is their heritage, and develop it, and promote it. From Lagos to Johannesburg, I see churches, individuals and shameless politicians putting up banners “Pray for Ukraine.” Why have I not seen banners like “Pray for Nigeria,” “Pray for Congo,” “Pray for Ethiopia.”  … Africa has the largest trouble spots in the world. When will our opinion leaders and celebrities mobilize for a pro-Africa campaign?
So the lesson for Africa comes from the spirit of Ukrainian people in the face of an intimidating Russian invasion. I watched the trending video of a little Ukrainian girl child who stood up to a Russian soldier and an armored battalion. She was shouting and pointing finger at the soldier, defying him. She was not afraid of being hit, molested or married off by force. Her confidence obviously stems from an innate capacity built around her relevance to her community. It calls to question how we treat the girl child in Africa.
The Ukrainian President is also a hero of this war, whichever way it goes. He has showed love for country in a most touching way. The outcry by Africans on social media against discrimination in Ukraine against blacks should be viewed also from the perspective of “love and desire to save kind first“. What’s wrong with that?
Africans are the only species who do not have the natural inclination to “love and save their kind”. Why do we have xenophobia and intra-tribal conflicts across Africa? If African leaders had developed education in the continent, will we have such population of threatened blacks in search of education in Eastern Europe?
There’s so much to gain from a United Africa … the benefits are worth fighting for. We must reinvigorate a Pan-African agenda. The West has shown us that the theaters of war are multidimensional. Big social media giants, corporations and INGOs operating in Africa must all sign up to this pan African agenda. If the youth want a worthwhile battle of wits, it’s to fight for the goal of pan African prosperity. A more prosperous West holds little or no future for them. Let’s mobilize and fight for the good of our continent.
Okey Nwamadi is CEO, Goldridge Publishing
Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button