Archive | August, 2012

The ICC Unfair in the Eyes of the African Union

15 Aug

By: Jillian Nowlin, Posted on August 08, 2012

Over the past several years, there has been no love lost between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the African Union (AU), and this past July the AU initiated talks in Addis Ababa on creating an African Criminal Court.  Various African leaders such as Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, and member of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, argue that the ICC’s preoccupation with Africa is biased. In all fairness, the ICC has seven situations and sixteen cases all focused on African countries. Following the indictment of President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, the ICC garnered the most criticism from AU leaders.  They argued that the indictment of President Al-Bashir jeopardized the fragile peace negotiations occurring at that time between Sudan and the now sovereign nation of South Sudan. 
However, it is also undeniable that Africa has several serious on-going conflicts that have taken many lives and infringed on the human rights of those still living through the conflict. All of the ICC indictments against African leaders and warlords are based on legitimate criminal activities and human rights abuses. Furthermore, many African citizens support the actions of the ICC.  After the AU’s decision not to comply with the indictment of President Omar Al-Bashir, some African countries and 130 African civil society groups protested in an effort to encourage their governments to rethink the AU’s stance. Thus, several questions remain such as: can an African Criminal Court prosecute crimes against humanity in Africa more fairly than the ICC?  Furthermore, why does the ICC have a laser-like focus on human rights issues mostly in Africa and how can the ICC restore its legitimacy with the AU and African people?

AU leaders would like to expand the duties of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to include the prosecution of African war criminals. However, this type of expansion would take several years, not to mention lots of resources. Is this a task African leaders are up to completing? Another problem facing an African Criminal Court would be Africa’s legacy of corruption and poor governance. Richard Goldstone of the International Bar Association believes that the ICC would do well to broaden its judicial scope to other parts of the world that also warrant investigation for crimes against humanity such as Georgia, Colombia, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Moreover, with the new instatement Fatou Bensouda, who is from Gambia, as the lead ICC prosecutor, the ICC’s focus could change.

Irrefutably, the International Criminal Court has spent the majority of its energy pursuing alleged African criminals, but on the other hand, this pursuance, although very controversial in some cases, has not been without reason and none of those accused have gone without fair trials. There have been many African criminals that needed to be called to justice.  However, some advocates who acknowledge the ICC’s preoccupation with Africa say that instead of taking over Africa’s legal issues, Africa’s national justice systems should be empowered by the international community to try warlords and ousted leaders themselves, only calling on the ICC as a last resort as was the intention for the court to begin with.  This type of support would free the ICC to investigate alleged human rights violations and crimes in other parts of the world, and give African governments the autonomy they deserve over their own justice initiatives. Do you believe the African Union should extend the responsibilities of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights? Or will the court fall victim to the cronyism prevalent in many African governance institutions? And how can the International Criminal Court better itself in the eyes of the African Union and those Africans who think of it as a tarnished and politicized institution?

The ICC Unfair in the Eyes of the African Union

See current ICC Cases:





“How to write about poor people”

12 Aug

The Aid Watch blog project of New York University has a satirical advise in a thread by William Easterly that is continuously updated by suggestions from commentators, for anyone looking to write about impoverished people and particularly those in the developing world. 

  1. Use a precise  definition of poverty: living on less than $1.25 a day, adjusted for purchasing power. Give the precise number who fit that definition.                                                                         world-bank-poverty-numberIgnore the recent revision of  this number by 42%.
  2. Do not excessively analyze geographic or ethnographic distinctions amongst poor people.   blank-world-map
  3. Discuss the following: poverty traps, vicious circles, aid financing gaps.
  4. There probably won’t be time left to discuss the following concepts: initiative, savings, inventiveness, resourcefulness, adaptation to local conditions, or local knowledge.
  5. Discuss only income, health, access to clean water, and literacy. Leave it to anthropologists to cover areas like happiness, traditions, ceremonies, festivals, friendships, kinship, love between men and women, or love between parents and children.
  6. ug2_palenga_2boys_05Display pictures of poor children (alternatively women).
  7. Don’t show pictures of poor men, who make your audience think of drunkards, wife-beaters, or janjaweed.
  8. These topics are only for Marxists: power, class, discrimination, oppression, or history.
  9. Your knowledge about poor people should come from other writers who observe these rules.
  10.  Assume that all poor people everywhere have the same interests and views on all subjects.
  11. You can take the views of Western-based NGOs as a proxy for the composite opinions noted in rule 11.
  12. Leave untouched the assumption that poor people are all non-white, but never openly admit it.
  13. You may use the phrase ”these people” as an alternative to the poor, as in “these people have nothing” or “these people still live as their ancestors have for centuries”
  14.  Suggest specific answers that will end poverty in every possible situation, such as a package of microcredit, fertilizer subsidies, and a women’s handicraft cooperative.
  15. Simplify poor people’s cultural, social, and political systems as easy to understand and easy to change. You will not have space to attempt to explain why THEIR societies are so different from OUR intractably complex societies.
  16. It is not necessary to talk to any real poor people, they do not understand how to solve their problems anyway.
  17. Tyler and Sarah and booksquirm inspired the following:vanity-fair-bono
  18. Use liberally the pronoun “we,” such as “we must act now to end poverty.” You don’t ever need to make clear who is “we,” although it is obviously not the poor.
  19.  burning-hutWhen you give an anecdote about one poor individual, make sure it is as extreme and non-representative as possible, such an HIV-positive famine victim being chased by child soldiers
  20. Transitionland inspired:
  21. Do not mention any individuals in a poor community who have now escaped poverty, don’t seek any lessons, it was probably either luck or evil behavior.
  22.  Write about the interests of the poor as entirely consistent with other good things, such as preserving the natural environment and fighting global warming.
  23. Appeal to the voyeurism of your rich audience reading about “the poor,” but do so tastefully.
  24. If anyone does finally object to the label “the poor,” use “the vulnerable” instead. ”Vulnerable”  has the added advantage that it is so vague that you can make up just about any story you want about this group.
  25. Be sure to include statements in the form “X children die every minute because of  diseease or problem Y. Y could be easily eliminated at a cost of $Z (a modest number).” X, Y, Z can be quoted from other people whose methods of estimating X, Y, and Z you do not need to scrutinize too carefully.
  26. Indirectly inspired by many readers: Sarah-McLachlan Suggest to the readers some demonstrative action that they can do to end poverty,such as wearing a white band on their wrist. How these actions affect global poverty does not have to be completely spelled out.

“The outpouring of responses suggests a lot of discontent with the cliches, stereotypes, and tolerance for nonsense in poverty writing, tells poverty writers: “get serious, or beware of ridicule.”

By William Easterly | Published December 28, 2009

Read All and more at

How to Write About Africa

12 Aug


by Binyavanga Wainaina, a classic satirical essay from a Kenyan writer.

Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans.

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular.

Make sure you show how Africans have music and rhythm deep in their souls, and eat things no other humans eat. Do not mention rice and beef and wheat; monkey-brain is an African’s cuisine of choice, along with goat, snake, worms and grubs and all manner of game meat. Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it—because you care.

Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans (unless a death is involved), references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.

Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader, and a sad I-expected-so-much tone. Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can’t live without her. Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this. If you are a man, thrust yourself into her warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.

Your African characters may include naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermitic splendour. Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. The Loyal Servant always behaves like a seven-year-old and needs a firm hand; he is scared of snakes, good with children, and always involving you in his complex domestic dramas. The Ancient Wise Man always comes from a noble tribe (not the money-grubbing tribes like the Gikuyu, the Igbo or the Shona). He has rheumy eyes and is close to the Earth. The Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Or he is an Oxford-educated intellectual turned serial-killing politician in a Savile Row suit. He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country.

Among your characters you must always include The Starving African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the benevolence of the West. Her children have flies on their eyelids and pot bellies, and her breasts are flat and empty. She must look utterly helpless. She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment. Moans are good. She must never say anything about herself in the dialogue except to speak of her (unspeakable) suffering. Also be sure to include a warm and motherly woman who has a rolling laugh and who is concerned for your well-being. Just call her Mama. Her children are all delinquent. These characters should buzz around your main hero, making him look good. Your hero can teach them, bathe them, feed them; he carries lots of babies and has seen Death. Your hero is you (if reportage), or a beautiful, tragic international celebrity/aristocrat who now cares for animals (if fiction).

Bad Western characters may include children of Tory cabinet ministers, Afrikaners, employees of the World Bank. When talking about exploitation by foreigners mention the Chinese and Indian traders. Blame the West for Africa’s situation. But do not be too specific.

Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life—but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause.

Describe, in detail, naked breasts (young, old, conservative, recently raped, big, small) or mutilated genitals, or enhanced genitals. Or any kind of genitals. And dead bodies. Or, better, naked dead bodies. And especially rotting naked dead bodies. Remember, any work you submit in which people look filthy and miserable will be referred to as the ‘real Africa’, and you want that on your dust jacket. Do not feel queasy about this: you are trying to help them to get aid from the West. The biggest taboo in writing about Africa is to describe or show dead or suffering white people.

Animals, on the other hand, must be treated as well rounded, complex characters. They speak (or grunt while tossing their manes proudly) and have names, ambitions and desires. They also have family values: see how lions teach their children? Elephants are caring, and are good feminists or dignified patriarchs. So are gorillas. Never, ever say anything negative about an elephant or a gorilla. Elephants may attack people’s property, destroy their crops, and even kill them. Always take the side of the elephant. Big cats have public-school accents. Hyenas are fair game and have vaguely Middle Eastern accents. Any short Africans who live in the jungle or desert may be portrayed with good humour (unless they are in conflict with an elephant or chimpanzee or gorilla, in which case they are pure evil).

After celebrity activists and aid workers, conservationists are Africa’s most important people. Do not offend them. You need them to invite you to their 30,000-acre game ranch or ‘conservation area’, and this is the only way you will get to interview the celebrity activist. Often a book cover with a heroic-looking conservationist on it works magic for sales. Anybody white, tanned and wearing khaki who once had a pet antelope or a farm is a conservationist, one who is preserving Africa’s rich heritage. When interviewing him or her, do not ask how much funding they have; do not ask how much money they make off their game. Never ask how much they pay their employees.

Readers will be put off if you don’t mention the light in Africa. And sunsets, the African sunset is a must. It is always big and red. There is always a big sky. Wide empty spaces and game are critical—Africa is the Land of Wide Empty Spaces. When writing about the plight of flora and fauna, make sure you mention that Africa is overpopulated. When your main character is in a desert or jungle living with indigenous peoples (anybody short) it is okay to mention that Africa has been severely depopulated by Aids and War (use caps).

You’ll also need a nightclub called Tropicana, where mercenaries, evil nouveau riche Africans and prostitutes and guerrillas and expats hang out.

Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care. 

As originally published in Granta 92





What Will African Economies Do Upon The Inevitable Death Of The Dollar And The Euro?

10 Aug

By: Deitric Muhammad – Chief Economist of MGE19

Today we are witnessing the inevitable collapse of Western economies. Inevitable — not because of the encompassing debt that Western nations have succumbed to. Inevitable — not because of ill governance and misappropriation of fiscal revenue by government officials and embezzlement by central banking institutions. No. It is inevitable due the economic structures of these economies at the root. The economic structure is a parasitic design. The economic structures of these economies require “host” economies from which to gain its sustenance and preservation.

The genius of this design is its ability to make the host economies believe they are themselves “dependent” on the “parasitic” economies — and can neither sustain nor preserve themselves without the assistance, guidance, financial backing and currency of the “parasite” economies. Simply genius! An absolutely marvelous and wonderful design!

These parasitic economies required an external labor force in order to extract resources from external economies in order to import natural resources that would support and actually back these parasitic economic structures. This is understandable because these resources were not produced in large quantities within these economies. However, to accomplish this, those external economies had to be utterly destroyed in order to reap maximum (limitless) benefit. Actually, this was not the only option. A cooperative measure could have been instituted if desired. However, this was not the desired option.

Nonetheless, through deception and war-making, the twin institutions of slavery and colonialism were established. The purpose was to utilize the expertise and labor of the indigenous populations in order to extract the natural resources of those “host” economies in order to support and back the “parasite” economies of Europe.

Now we have the motivating factor behind European expansion into the Western hemisphere, Africa, Asia, and throughout the planet. This was an ingenious operation in its execution and effectiveness. The best executive factor is that the European populations actually convinced the indigenous populations that they can not produce anything for themselves from their own resources without the expertise of their successful European counterparts. This would be laughable if it was not true.

Let’s fast-forward to the 1700s-1900s. All Western economies had currencies that were subjected to a monetary standard. This is a mechanism that allows a currency to be backed by a monetized commodity which is set at a particular nominal price per measure of that commodity. This set price/measure attribute was the indicator that detected inflationary and deflationary pressure at its earliest stages. This detection enabled the economies to check these market forces at their earliest stages by taking out and adding in currency in order to sustain the set price/measure of that monetized commodity. This brought price stability, monetary stability — for it stabilized and preserved the value of the currency, and ultimately, economic stability.

Although these parasitic economies were dependent on stolen labor, stolen natural resources, and stolen wealth, they were able to sustain and preserve themselves in real terms because they were able to support and back themselves with real resources. The currencies used and created by these European economies represented real value as a unit of account.

They only represented real value because the real value was in the real natural resources from which they extracted from the “host” economies. In other words, the currencies had no value within and of themselves.

Each parasitic economy had its own currency with its own monetary standard. These currencies were superimposed on their colonial “host” economies. This added to the dependency of these colonies on their colonial masters. These various monetary standards naturally had some difficulties in terms of trading and business. This is what prompted the call for Western nations to unite their currencies. Of course, there were other factors as well. During the first World War, the indigenous populations had experienced the power of the firearm at first hand when they used these weapons against the brothers and enemies of their colonial masters. This is what helped sparked the idea of revolution and freeing themselves of their imperialist masters.

The wickedly-wise Western powers saw this and needed to make preparations for this. It was not the idea of indigenous populations using weapons against them that scared them. On the contrary, it was the indigenous populations being economically-independent of them that warranted nightmares. A circumstance needed to be created that would enable these “parasite” economies to continue their control and extraction of natural resources (wealth in real terms) in their “host” economies in perpetuity. The most effective and proven means to accomplish this is through debt. The best established and most proven means to create debt is through war-making.

The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 from 1-22 July is where the Western “parasite” economies directly pegged their currencies to the US dollar. These “parasite” economies literally dropped their monetary standards and adopted the “gold standard” through the US dollar. The central banks of these “parasite” economies and their “host” economies harmonized in terms of policy in order to become effective. This conference is where the International Reconstruction and Development Bank (IRDB), the International Development Bank (now IDA), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank (IRDB and IDA) originate. Of course, the League of Nations became the United Nations in 1945. The same year these international banks were established. (,

The history of these organizations and institutions verifies the intent of their creation as mentioned in the paragraph above. Of course, after the liberation wars, these banking institutions and Western economies offered to help these newly-emancipated economies in the rebuilding process. They loaned money to these newly-emancipated economies in order to rebuild the infrastructure and help them to “re-structure” their economies in order to “pay them back”. The most poisonous advice given, in my opinion, was the advice to devalue their currency. The deception is simple. It was explained that if they devalue their currency, prices will rise.

The rise in prices will generate more revenue and increase economic growth. What these Western economists and international banking institutions failed to explain was that the economic growth would be inflationary. This means that eventually costs would catch up with revenue levels — significantly diminishing profit margins which will result in economic decline.

The other aspect of this inflationary economic growth is that the purchasing power of their currency will become significantly weak where their former parasitic colonial masters will be able to extract resources and labor from those “host” economies at a much cheaper rate than in their own economies. The implementation of this failed monetary policy is the direct reason why Western economies continue to have economic dominance in so-called developing economies. This is also the direct reason why Western economies can buy raw materials at a very inexpensive rate, create finished products, sell it back to the “host” economies at retail prices, and still make ridiculous profits although the “host” currency has a significantly-reduced purchasing power.

Fast-forward to 15 August 1971; the former US President Nixon was directed to sever the US dollar-gold link—liberating the US dollar from the restraints and the constraints of the gold monetary standard which governed US monetary policy. The fiat bill was created, and now the US economy was subjected to the money-supply decisions and the interest rate targets of the Federal Reserve bank. Although the dollar was no longer connected to gold, the world currencies were still connected to the US dollar. This, in effect, subjected the world economies to the money-supply decisions and interest rate targets of the Federal Reserve bank. (Now you know how what happened in the US housing market grew into the so-called World Financial Crisis. Oops!)

Whatever happens in the US economy affects the world economies, and since the “host” economies devalued their currencies, they feel the effects of reckless money-supply forces and manipulated interest rates the earliest and the hardest. In a nutshell, the world economies are controlled by remote control via the US dollar — including China! See “Warning to Latin American Governments” in the R & A section at:

There’s no other reason why China is experiencing inflation in general and food-inflation in particular — except that the yuan is still directly pegged to the US dollar. Of course, the yuan was de-pegged from the US dollar by 2%. This increased the purchasing power of the yuan by 2% — allowing the yuan to receive more US dollars for less yuan — the center of the US-Sino trade disputes. However, the yuan is not 100% independent of the US dollar; it is only 2% of the way.

What is the point of this? What will African economies do once the US dollar and the euro collapse? African economies are in a very vulnerable position because of their artificial dependency on external economies — including China. It has been stated that those who control the resources of Africa will become the next superpower for the 21st Century. In 2005, you could hardly find any so-called developed economy seriously considering serious investment in many African nations.

Africa suffered from severe capital flight. It was known to be a hotbed for corruption, wars, famine, and poverty. Not much has changed, yet today there is an explosion of investors looking to invest in Africa. Investment capital, infrastructural financing, and other forms of capital are blasting their way to African economies from the US, Europe, China, and India. France, NATO, Africom, and other entities from parasitic economies are increasing their military presence in the continent.

Is their a sudden interest in the people of Africa or in the resources of Africa? Well, if it is the control of the resources of Africa that will make the prospective nations the next superpower in the 21st Century, should not Africa control its own resources and become the 21st Century’s next superpower? I’m just saying. What worries me is this: We have the Francophone nations still using the franc. This is why the French President Sarkozy interfered in the Ivory Coast elections because he did not want the Francophone African nations to develop their own monetary system. This is the same reason why Libya is being bombarded today.

Libyan leader, Muammar Al-Qathafi wanted to establish the gold dinar as the Pan-African currency and create a Pan-African monetary system that would no longer accept anything but gold to exchange for oil. This would have broken Europe just a little bit quicker than Europe is breaking itself. We have Anglophone African nations that still use the euro and are members of the British Commonwealth — although those nations are still impoverished.

Let’s take Zimbabwe for example. They are a revolutionary nation that has taken back colonially-stolen land and given the land back to the indigenous Blacks. This must be applauded and admired because this is a true act of justice and liberation for the indigenous Blacks of that nation who has suffered unspeakable evils by their white occupiers. Because of this selfless act, Zimbabwe is punished by economic sanctions. The sanctions caused the Zimbabwean economy to suffer hyper-inflation. In 2007, I had offered to help them save the Zimbabwean dollar from the effects of hyper-inflation. I have made this offer on several occasions.

However, they decided to shelf the Zimbabwean dollar and implement foreign currencies such as the US dollar, the euro, and the Azanian rand in order to stabilize their economy. This has been successful, although foreign currency has been difficult to attain, and those whose savings were in Zimbabwean dollars were wiped out due to the hyper-inflation. Now that the euro is collapsing and the US dollar is beginning its fall, what will the Zimbabwean economy do? Zimbabwe does have a “Look East” policy where China and India are making strategic investments in Zimbabwe under very good terms. This is great! It is great to have an alternative to the beastly dealings with the West. However, the yuan is still directly pegged to the US dollar and is subjected to the value-pendulum swings of the US dollar and so is the rupee.

My question is: Instead of “Looking East” why not “Look to Itself”? Zimbabwe alone was the third largest producer of gold in the world. It is mineral rich. All African nations are mineral and resource rich. Why not connect your currency to the land by backing it with a monetized commodity and disconnect it from the collapsing fiat currency market which is dominated by the parasitic economies? When the US dollar falls and the euro falls, the world markets are going to go down with them. This includes China — the largest holder of US debt. It is high time that Africa become the next economic superpower by gaining control over its own resources. I mean, c’mon, how simple is that?

About the Author: Deitric Muhammad is the Chief Economist of MGE19 Economic Research & Structural Models ( He was also the first to predict the so-called World Financial Crisis as early as October 2005. See MGE19’s Economic Report FY2006. To view more of MGE19’s Analytical Reports go to:

MGE19 Economic Research and Structural Models is an economic research firm based in the United States that specializes in Predictive Market Analysis (PMA) and economic structural models designed to create economic stability on a permanent basis and perpetual economic growth through monetary and fiscal paradigms.

MGE19 has designed the monetary policy for an oil-backed currency in which President Chavez is pushing for OPEC to implement. You can learn more about MGE19 Economic Research and Structural Models by going to the company website:

Meet the Cameroonian Afropeans and their Disappearing Acts at London 2012

8 Aug

NWANATIFU is a social critic and researcher on African politics and migration.

My national pride has been mortally hurt!

The false promise of Europe as an El-dorado mentally enslaves Africans and perpetuates the desire to migrate. Intensifying migrant control sends out the message that there is something there that is worth keeping out others. After centuries of exploiting Human and natural resources without making the lives of the exploited better, Europe now sees these abandoned Africans as threats to its economic survival and the cultural values of Europe. Africa is rising but are Africans rising along with it?
Until Europe as the core begins to allow its African periphery to determine the political and economic destiny of their human and economic resources, the talk of reducing migration into the EU fortress is an excellent fable!! Watching the London 2012 Olympic Games one notices that there are many more African diaspora athletes defending foreign colours than homeland athletes.  almost negligible investment on sports infrastructure, pre and post event training personnel or facility for athletes, absconding becomes an easy way out for those who succeed to breach national frontiers.
The French sports ministry like an industry is draining Africa of sports people, or how does one explain how a two-time Olympic long jump gold medalist from Cameroon suddenly became a French citizen on the eve of the games? How can one explain the issue of seeing Cameroonians run the track and play handball in French colours? Multiculturalism only applies to the few Africans who make up more than half of the French national football team while thousands of regular day Africans languish and survive on the edges and margins of Euro society, caught between legalization and integration speed-breaks to their potentials and abilities, bleeding for what others are begged to have.
If those seven athletes wearing the national colors and representing the Cameroon nation can create a media buzz of ‘disappearing’ in London during the 2012 Olympic games, despite their modest pay package according to Cameroon ‘standards’, what do we expect their fellow, repressed and deprived citizens do then? Despite the humiliation brought about by these disappearing acts, national sympathy from citizens at home and abroad is in favour of the vanished athletes. Sooner or later they will turn up in foreign colours or become  protected persons for committing this “treason” (valid grounds to seek asylum, based on the premise that they could be persecuted if   arrested and deported back to Cameroon after over-staying their visas beyond March to November 2012).

The faltering regime currently holding sway over the country has exalted peace over economics as a campaign slogan; peace in Cameroonian terms is the absence of gun shots regardless of  the chronic social injustice, widespread poverty and mass unemployment. Even the process by which these athletes were selected to represent their country is plagued with clientelism and patronage; it would not be surprising to hear that they are relatives of officials at the sports ministry or may have paid sums of money to be selected and  ‘trafficked’ via this event. Now they are being depicted in the media as ‘potential economic migrants or asylum seekers’, which just goes along to feed the stereotypical “Help Save Africa” campaign and appetite for labeling and tagging Africa as a continent of misery and risk projections.

Random picture on Facebook pages. Unidentified source.


Dear EU, before you absorb and quickly drain to waste these runaway talents, ask yourself why they ran away in the first place. Cease from enticing and deluding our nation builders to defect, for it is illogical and double standards when you have a tough anti-immigration stance, yet you shop for the best of talents and brains of the poor and at the same time expect their states and the masses to  be self reliant. You have thrust upon us and continue to legitimize those whom we now refer to as merely secretaries of your foreign ministries serving abroad in the persons of gerontocratic presidents’ for-life at the helm of our artificial states. These ‘leaders’ in effect are accomplices to the full measure of deprivation visited on their citizens and to the ravishing of their economies. This just goes to say the state of Cameroon is economically and politically very sick! Sports as with other employment is highly politicized, service is rendered to Cameroonians not as a right or duty, but rather as a reward to a ‘connected’ and sycophantic few. They like you and I dear reader, are victims of a global system of exploitation and deprivation, which alters national affections.
While FrontEX is busy shielding the heartland from invasions of the peripheral scum, let us reflect on the fate of these seven (number could rise) Cameroonian athletes just as other Africans before and after them, who have thrown away their careers in favour of washing plates and doing many other things that they and their hosts would not otherwise do.


Related News: 
London Olympics: Cameroon athletes ‘abscond’
Cameroon boxers ‘were threatened’ at Olympic Games by state authorities.
Four Congolese Olympians have gone missing in London 
** “Afropeans” are Africans who are assimilated, integrated and culturally obsessed about Europe wherever they may be.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own, representing just a fraction of the many perspectives to this topic.