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UNITED States President Donald Trump has since apologised to African leaders for his incendiary reference to their countries as ‘sh*tholes’ and presumably they have accepted his propitiatory posture of regret and remorse but the question is, does anyone seriously believe him. And what if Trump had not apologised?

Personally, I am under no illusion about the sincerity of Trump’s apology given his continued denial of the fact – he was merely retreating to the customary diplomatic etiquette under whose cloak scoundrel African leaders often seek refuge whenever they are under siege from external forces for the atrocities they commit against their people. In fact, there is a big chance Trump’s sentiments are common currency among leaders outside Africa but are being hidden under the cloak of diplomatic etiquette.

Had I believed in the sincerity of Trump’s apology I would be asking myself the question of to whom he was apologising exactly – the African leadership collective or the African people at large? That question is germane because the African populations – with an exception of a minority of cronies, bootlickers, sycophants, etc that are shoring up despotic leaders – are not responsible for the mess that Africa is in but their leaders. Indeed African leaders – with an exception of a very small minority - deserve everything that is thrown at them.

The mass migration of Africans to Trump’s America – over which he is very much aggrieved being the ultra-racist that he is - and elsewhere is largely caused by authoritarian and dictatorial regimes across Africa, whose net outcome is the wholesale suffering of their people manifesting itself through poverty, disease, extra-Judiciary censor and persecution, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity.  Conversely, the tin pot dictators – not forgetting their coterie of cronies, which often includes the military - that are the rancour of the Trumps of this world live on the laps of luxury ostensibly because they control the economic levers as well as the exploitation of their respective countries’ natural resources.

In essence the apology is to the African masses - certainly not leaders - who are themselves the victims of bad governance perpetrated by morally bankrupt leaders whose hegemony is often enforced by the barrel of a gun. 
This brings me to the question of what the African leadership would have done had Trump not apologised over his toxic reference to African countries. NOTHING! I say that in full confidence.

This position is informed by the truism that it is countries like the US and others in Europe that regularly pick up the pieces when the natural disasters, which African leaders are a part of, have ruined their countries. It is countries like the US that provide humanitarian interventions to restore the integrity of African people by cushioning their suffering and making their miserable lives bearable. The abortive response African leaders meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices of the useless African Union (AU) talk-shop the previous weekend had prepared - abandoned after receiving Trump’s letter of apology – would have been a waste of time since it would not have served any meaningful purpose whatsoever. After all Africa needs the USA more than Americans need Africa.

As I see it, besides lacking the moral high ground to condemn Trump, ruinous African leaders recognise and are appreciative of the external assistance, which they regularly loot, they receive from the US and elsewhere and would not want to burn their bridges – assuming they had the wherewithal to achieve that. Put bluntly, the majority of African leaders are politically beholden to the US and other nations elsewhere for their positive interventions in alleviating the sufferings of Africans.  

However, often times it is not because those countries coming to the aid of Africa are good natured but simply because they are complicit for causing many of the continent’s challenges, such as transforming the continent into a theatre of war and where new weaponry is tested. As it were, some of the worst dictators were groomed and nurtured by these so-called philanthropic external governments just so they could collaborate in exploiting Africa’s natural resources such as minerals that are driving their economies.  
That Africa is home to some of the wealthiest leaders in the world is not surprising because they are accountable to themselves and not the people. As usual, the AU turns a blind eye to many of the atrocities happening under its very nose, thus validating Trump’s posture on Africa.

The election of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a leader with no democratic credential but well-known for persecuting his political opponents, as AU chairman during its recent summit is further proof of African leadership’s love relationship with dictators. The AU has also failed dismally not only in resolving the many conflicts that define Africa today but to enforce some of its ethos, such as a plural body politic, across the continent even though its members are signatory to the relevant conventions.

Perhaps the one positive that has come out of the Trump insult is the need to reassess the value of diplomatic etiquette on the world’s body politic. The fact is diplomatic etiquette has provided refuge to errant leaders who treat their countries like private farms and the people like farm-hands. These are the leaders who previously used sovereignty of their nations to defend their misrule and unfettered hold on power.

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