Renowned journalist, political commentator and Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has expressed his unreserved dissatisfaction about the way African leaders were treated by the President of the United States, Joe Biden and the US secretary of States, Anthony Blinken. According to political analyst, the decision by Biden to send Blinken to hold a zoom meeting with African leaders instead of him(Biden) is highly disrespectful.
According to him, the US secretary of state will skip the foreign minister of Nigeria and talk to the President directly; “Anthony Bliken is not talking to the Nigeria foreign minister; he is talking to the President. It makes me sick.” He further added that “African leaders appear to have lost their dignity; and because they have lost their dignity, they are being treated in the most- shabby manner. And they are being treated in the most-shabby manner to their own applause.” He said, adding that “I’m embarrassed by this so-called meeting between the President of Nigeria and Kenya with the US secretary of state.”
He also stressed that the countries the President held direct meeting with are less than Nigeria in terms of population and economic capacity but the US decided to relate with African leaders through secretary. Mr. Pratt said those countries visited “don’t have the endowment of Nigeria. Nigeria is a major country; it has a population in excess of 200million, that is what Nigeria is. Nigeria exports 2million barrels of oil a day. Nigeria is a major player in the world of finance.”
The journalist also took a swipe at the United States for attempting to advise Africa against relations with China; “What right has the United States of America got to be defining who Africa’s friends are? Africa’s friends will be determined by the African people themselves; not by the United States of America. In the days when we were struggling against apartheid, in the days when we were struggling against national liberation as well, where was the United States of America?” he said
“The United States of America, went against our interest. The United States of America worked for the colonialist, worked for the racists, worked for the apartheid. How dare them turn around and tell us who our friends should be and who our friends are? They should listen to Nelson Mandela; when they made noise about the relationship that was being established between South Africa and Cuba after apartheid, Nelson Mandela told them in plain words that, they have no right to tell them what their friends were and that, South Africans are keenly aware of the fact that, when they were in the trenches, Cuba was there with them; the US was not there with them.” He added.
The veteran journalist draws a clear difference between China which they are trying to caution against and the united states; According to him, the US adopts a superior posture whilst dealing with Africa but china does not. He also indicated that, unlike the united states which tags it’s aid with many unfavorable restrictions in their own interest, China aims to see and promote visible development with every loan they grant Africa. Mr. Pratt paraphrased Thomas Sankara’s quote that, anytime you receive plaudits from the west whilst doing something, you must pause and reflect because you may be doing the wrong thing. Generally, he is not happy with the kind of treatment America subjects African leaders to.