U.S. Should Make the Right Decision: Support Economic Reconstruction of Ethiopia & GERD Completion

Economic Refconstruction and GWERD Completion Key Tasks for Ethiopia

Addis Media Network-March 22, 2023

ETV Addis Dialogue-March 26, 2023

Watch my two interviews above.

Following the destructive two year war, Ethiopia needs to become unified with all citizens supporting the future of the Ethiopian nation state as one nation. The thorny issue of transcending ethno-nationalism and ethnic federalism must be undertaken with the expectation that it will be contentious and highly emotional.

However, we can look at two other policies that will help Ethiopia overcome the nation’s current acrimony. One is to launch a massive inclusive economic reconstruction program that will satisfy the economic needs of all its citizens. I estimate a $50 billion price tag to rebuild and expand all features of infrastructure, industry, and agriculture. Secondly, the completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will cause a resurgence of the patriotic spirit comparable to that of the victory of Adwa.

The administration of President Joe Biden, has launched what is being called a “charm offensive” with several high level government officials visiting the African continent this year. It is well known in Washington and across Africa that the underlying purpose of the density these visits is to counter China’s influence in Africa primarily, and secondarily that of Russia. However, these well publicized visits to the continent lack real substance. Also, factions of the administration and the State Department are still determined to pursue their agenda of so called human rights, democracy, and good governance, without any concern to reversing the deplorable conditions of life for hundreds of millions of Africans.

If the current U.S. government and U.S. Congress are truly interested in promoting democracy, and human rights, rather than lecturing African nations, they should provide economic assistance to advance  development, beyond simply distributing aid. The most effective means to respond to China’s economic influence on the continent is for the U.S. government to issue long term-low interest loans for vital and lifesaving infrastructure. This policy of issuing government backed credit or public sector investment for essential infrastructure is not novel. It was how the U.S. developed our national economy under the leadership of such geniuses as Alexander Hamilton, and Presidents Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.

For example, compare U.S. leadership for Africa 60 years ago to that of today. Vice President Kamala Harris while she is in Ghana, is enjoying many photo opportunities while offering $100 million to all of West Africa. Six decades earlier, President John Kennedy collaborated with Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, to construct the Volta Dam energy and aluminum smelting complex. For the U.S. governement to supportively impact Africa, and Ethiopia in particluar, it should reject the dictates of the “human rights mafia” and return to our better days of US-Africa foreign policy.

Read: Americans Stress for Robust Relationship Between US, Ethiopia from Ethiopian News Agency-ENA

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Jeffrey Sachs Agrees With Me: Financing Infrastructure Essential for Africa’s Development

Watch this video of Economist Jeffrey Sachs addrressing the African Union (coutersy of africanagenda.net)

Jeffrey Sachs and I agree 100% on the absolute necessity to provide long term-low interest financing for infrastructure in Africa. The global financial system, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the so called international rules based order, do not understand the importance of building infrastructure in Africa, or they don’t care, or they want Africa to remain underdeveloped.

I, like Professor Sachs, understand, that the only way forward for African nations is; development: massive investment in physical and human capital. Democracy and good governance are empty constructs, cynically meaningless words, without economic development. If one genuinely desires democracy, than you must have abundant electricity! Without real, physical economic growth, which is not possible without financing trillions of dollars of infrastructure, African nations will not realize their potential in this century.

This requires a new paradigm based on development, which I have been advocating for decades.

Excerpts from Prof. Sachs, speaking before the African Union, on February 17, 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

And that is that African governments should take on a lot more debt and use it to keep the kids in school, to build the electricity, to build the rail, to build the transport systems because it can`t wait. And if you do it right the growth will be rapid, so what looks like a lot of debt today , 25 years from now won`t be very much debt at all.

But the problem with my analysis obviously is that I believe that Africa needs financing on 30 year borrowing , not on 5 year Euro Bonds, which is nonsense! Because development is a 30 year process

But you have lots of sources of capital and by the way, the cost of a thirty year loan , AAA is 3%. Imagine if Africa could finance its development at 3%. 30 year borrowing. Believe me , the issues would be finished! Because you would be on your way, this would be the biggest construction site in the whole world history, roads, power, housing, new factories.

Now the problem is that Africa right now borrows at 13% on 5 years. This Euro Bond stuff is useless, worse that useless! I wouldn`t take any borrowing with less than 20 year maturing, anything. Because you cannot run development on a year by year basis. And that is what Prof Oromo was just showing, all these [up and down/high and low] swings are just finance swings. Commodity prices are high, finance is easy, you borrow, commodity prices come down, finance is tough, then austerity. All that Africa is suffering is finance swings. (All emphasis original)

Read the full transcript below provided by PD Lawton, created of the blog: africanagenda.net

Read my earlier posts:

My Thoughts: Poverty & Ethnicity Kill Democracy in Africa

Alexander Hamilton’s Credit System Is Necessary for Africa’s Development

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

China Fully Engaged in Africa for 2023-The Future is Trade Not Debt

By Lawrence Freeman

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed with Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, in Addis Ababa (Courtesy of VOA)

For the thirty-third consecutive year, the first foreign trip by China’s Foreign Minister was to Africa. China’s new Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, the former Ambassador to the United States, traveled to Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, and Egypt, from January 9 to 16, 2023. In addition to visiting these five African nations he was also invited to meet with African leaders at the African Union and the League of Arab States Headquarters. The stated purpose of the trip was: To deepen the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and boost friendly cooperation between China and Africa.

Friendship Remains Strong

Starting in the year 2000, China organized the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which meets every three years, alternating between China and Africa. These conferences provide a unique opportunity for African leaders and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to discuss future economic, cultural, and political collaboration. Contrary to continued efforts by the U.S. to malign Africa-China cooperation, China and Africa have remained steadfast in their shared common interest; the development of their people.


Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Qin Gang at ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Africa CDC. (Courtesy of African Union-au.int)

One of the highlights of Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s visit to Ethiopia, was to inaugurate the new Headquarters of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). The new Africa CDC, located outside of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, was built by China and given as a gift to Africa.

This is a critically important contribution to Africa, a continent of one and a half billion people, which was given a very low priority for vaccinating against COVID 19, and continuously suffers from a weak healthcare system.

Foreign Minister Qin met with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen. He was the first foreign government official to visit Ethiopia following the signing of the peace agreement of November 2, 2022, that ended a two year long war in northern Ethiopia. He expressed China’s support for “Africans in solving African problems in African ways.” This attitude differs dramatically from the U.S. and Europe, who undermined the government of Ethiopia during the war. Foreign Minister Qin pledged to assist Ethiopia in its reconstruction efforts, which are formidable following the terrible damage that the country suffered in fighting to maintain its sovereignty. Additionally, he announced that China will forgive thirty million dollars in Ethiopian debt.

In December 2022, the U.S. convened its first U.S.-Africa Summit in eight years. The unspoken “secret topic” and motivation for the three-day conference was, how to counter China’s growing influence on the African continent.  

There are yet to be any “deliverables” from the U.S.-Africa Summit. While the Biden administration seems to be more focused on exporting the “infrastructure of democracy,” China is building and financing more hard infrastructure projects in Africa than the rest of Western nations combined. These projects impact the daily material needs of the African people, which is essential to eliminate poverty on the continent.

China-Africa Trade Not Debt

China’s trade with Africa during 2022 expanded to its largest single year total of $282 billion. China exported $164.5 billion to Africa and imported $117.5 billion over that twelve-month time, which represented an increase of 11% over 2021. From January to November of 2022, U.S. exports to Africa, were $28.5 billion and imports of $38.9 billion for a total trade of $67.3 billion, almost no increase over 2021. Thus, U.S. trade with Africa was approximately one-fourth that of China for 2022. If the U.S. intends to counter or challenge China in Africa, it will have to do a lot more than “exporting democracy.”

As you can see from the chart below the myth spun by Western officials and the media that China is primarily responsbile for Africa’s debt, is simply not ture. This intentionally false allegation has been refuted again and again, but Western governments continue to propagandize Africa nations that China is using a ‘debt-trap’ diplomacy to seize their resources. Chinese ‘Debt Trap” is a Myth-Biden Would be Wise Not to Continue Trump’s Attacks on China in Africa,

The total outstanding debt for sub-Saharan African nations to foreign entities totals: 454.4 billion USD. China is not even close to being the largest debt holder. China owns 79 billion USD of sub-Saharan Africa’s debt, less than one firth-17%. The debt held by bondholders, the World Bank, and the IMF, equals 286.9 billion USD,-63% of the total foreign debt of sub-Saharan Africa,

Courtesy of Reuters Graphics

Investing in Manufacturing

Contrary to Western propaganda, which accuses China of stealing Africa’s resources, China is actually expanding Africa’s manufacturing sector. This is a vital contribution since African nations suffer from an anemic production capability to add value their natural resources. A good example is the investment by Dinson Iron and Steel Company (DISCO), a Chinese steel manufacturer, who intends to invest in building a lithium battery manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe. chinese firm to manufacture lithium batteries in zim. The Zimbabwean government has wisely banned the export of raw lithium. Having its own manufacturing plant, will create jobs and improve the standard of living of Zimbabweans, since mining and export of valuable minerals does not lead to economic growth for the population.

This kind of investment in local manufacturing along with China’s Belt and Road strategy of building infrastructure throughout Africa, is exactly what is needed to assist African nations in creating strong sovereign economies.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Exciting News for Africa! Djibouti Will Build Africa’s First Spaceport

Courtesy of qz.com/africa

The spaceport, expected to include seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads, will be the first orbital spaceport on the continent.

Africa is entering a very exciting period in which it is asserting its scientific and engineering capabilities. Humankind’s exploration of space is the highest form of human discovery of the universe, and introduces into society new advanced technologies. With the completion of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam in 2025, a scientific-engineering marvel, and the creation of Djibouti’s spaceport in five years, Africa is demonstrating its leadership for the 21st century, and creating the scientific foundation  for economic growth. This is true sceintific-econimic progress for the nations of Africa, whcih should make all poeple, of all nations happy. 

 Janary 23, 2023, Quartz Africa Weekly

Excerpts follow:

Africa could soon get a new spaceport after Djibouti signed a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility to launch satellites and rockets in the northern Obock region.

According to the preliminary deal, the Djibouti government will “provide the necessary land (minimum 10 sq km and with a term of not less than 35 years) and all the necessary assistance to build and operate the Djiboutian Spaceport.”

The $1 billion spaceport project will also involve the construction of a port facility, a power grid and a highway to ensure the reliable transportation of aerospace materials.

The deal’s signing was presided over by the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and the project is set to be completed in the next five years.

The spaceport is a massive milestone for Africa, making it the first orbital spaceport on African soil.

The Djibouti spaceport project

According to Victor Mwongera, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kenyatta University, the projection will avail a launch base that will serve all Africans.

“It will push eastern Africa off the sleeping state as far as active development of space-based innovations are concerned,” he explained.

Trial and small-scale launches have been executed in Africa in the past, including the Italian-operated Broglio Space Centre (San Marco) in Malindi, Kenya and Algeria’s Reggane.

Mwongera sees the expansion of Africa’s space industry—with a number of African countries already building and operating their own microsatellites—as a growing trend.

“It has taken time but we needed time as a continent to be ready for this age. Now that we are ready, you are seeing the number is increasing and it is bound to increase further,” he said.

Africa’s space industry is a billion dollar sector

According to the 2022 annual sector report of research firm Space in Africa, the value of the African space and satellite industry has risen to more than $19.6 billion.

The charge is fuelled by 14 countries that have launched 52 satellites into space.

South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, and Nigeria have the highest number of satellites in space as of 2022, each having launched more than five satellites.

Mwongera explained that east African countries are well positioned to harbor more spaceports, due to their proximity to the equator.

“At the equator… there is minimal energy required,” he said.

The original version of this article was published by bird-Africa no filter.

Read entire article: Africa Will Get A New $1 Billion Spaceport in Djibouti

Read my ealier posts below:

GERD: Utilizing the Blue Nile to Create Energy for Development in Ethiopia & The Horn of Africa

Science and Space Exploration Essential For Africa’s Economic Growth

Science and Technology Will Transform Africa: Ethiopia to Launch New Satellite in 2019

China & the US Can End Poverty by Exploring Space: Africa Gains

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Freeman Interview: ‘Fighting the Fight’ for Ethiopia, Africa, Justice, and Economic Development

Lawrence Freeman with Dr. Brook Hailu of nahoo tv, December 22, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This hour long interview above provides an excellent overview of my thoughts concerning Ethiopia, Africa, and US-Africa relations. Topics discussed include:

  • Economic development
  • Ethiopia’s agricultural potential
  • Ethiopia as an economic model
  • Ethno-nationalism
  • Importance of capital intensity and infrastructure
  • Credit and the public sector
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • China’s approach to poverty
  • Railroads and electricity
  • My visit to Northern Ethiopia and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • Africa, the center of politics and commerce in this century
  • U.S.-Africa Summit

Lawrence Freeman looking over the huge beautiful reservoir and ongoing construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam -Dec 19, 2022

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

PM Abiy Ahmed Raises the Bar for Human Rights in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

Ethiopians celebrate Thanksgiving Festival in Addis. Image : IOL

My colleague, PD Lawton, creator of African Agenda-africanagenda.net, confirms in her insightful article below, what I have known for many years. The most important and fundamental human right, is the right to economic development. Without economic growth, human beings suffer and die. It is the lack of economic development in Africa that is the most serious human right violation. It is about time that all advocates of human rights recognize this indisputable reality. Through Ethiopia’s aggressive economic development policy, the government is addressing human rights more seriously than its attackers.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill discussing the Atlantics Charter at the Argentia conference.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

To read full transcript on Minister Pandor’s presentation at the UNGA: Click here.

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

To read the full transcript of Minister Wang Yi: Click here

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

Read my earlier posts:

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Is Democracy Being Weaponized Against Russia and China in new US-Africa Strategy?

September 2, 2022

Please watch my provocative interview (click above) on the Lambom Show, conducted by Lambert Mbom, on the subject of the the new US-Africa Strategy, released by U.S. State Department on August 8, 2022. In our hour long discussion, we go into depth about the implications of President Biden’s policy for the lives of Africans. My contention is that the U.S. strategy is seriously flawed because it focus on imposing western democracy does not serve the interest of Africans, who desperately need assistance in improving their abysmal conditions of life. This will require billions of dollars of investment credits in infrastructure to facilitate the development of industrialized African nations, which is not part of this strategy. Unfortunately, rather than addressing seriously the requirements for economic development, Biden’s strategy for Africa, like that of his predecessors, is couched in the geopolitical framework of maligning Russia and China. Lambert and I agreed that a renaissance of new ideas for the development of Africa is needed.

Read my earlier post: Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Review of Biden’s US-Africa Strategy

What Is True Democracy?

August 29, 2022

Minister Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken, President Cyril Ramaphosa (Courtesy thehindu.com)

  1. Blinken’s Flawed Trip to Africa

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s six day visit to three sub-Saharan African nations, despite assertions to the contrary, was an attempt to strengthen U.S. geopolitical interests on the continent. Blinken traveled to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda from August 7-12, in an effort to counter the growing influence of Russia and China in Africa. This is obvious to all serious analysts of U.S.-Africa strategy. His trip was proceeded a week earlier by U.S. ambassador to the United Nation, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who visited Uganda, Cape Verde, and Ghana. The U.S. is desperately trying to regain its authority to use African nations as pawns in its geopolitical war against its self-declared China, and Russia.

China’s positive impact on African nations is ever-present. China has invested  and built more vitally necessary hard infrastructure projects in Africa than the entire Group of Seven combined. As a result, it has become the most favored nation among African youth. The U.S. has admitted that it cannot compete with China economically in Africa, even as it attempts to feebly counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The lack of support for President Biden’s war against Russia was a harsh wake up call. U.S. administration officials were stunned at the March 2  U.N. General Assembly vote, when almost half-48% of the African nations refused to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine. Of the 54 African nations, 17 abstained, 8 did not vote, and Eritrea voted against the resolution. The same sentiment was repeated in April at the U.N. when only 10 African nations supported the removal of Russia from the Human Rights Council.

Secretary Blinken’s trip to Africa occurred two weeks after Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov’s African tour of Egypt, Uganda, Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.

A major purpose for Secretary Blinken’s second visit to the sub-continent within ten months was to release the new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, though there is little new substance in this strategy. It reiterates the Biden administration’s intention to “weaponize democracy” against China and Russia.

Blinken’s International Order Challenged

In his opening remarks at a joint-press-availability on August 8, with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken defensively stated that the U.S. does not view the African continent as “the latest playing field in the competition between great powers.” However, the content of his trip displayed otherwise.

The “international order,” which Secretary Blinken embodied on his three nation tour was rebuked often. In response to Blinken’s denunciation of Russia’s aggression, Minister Pandor raised the unfair and unequal treatment of the Palestinians,

“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.

We’ve not seen an even-handed approach in the utilization of the prescripts of international law, and we encourage that the world should have greater attention to ensuring that we are equal to everybody else.”

In response to a question from the Washington Post concerning U.S. efforts to get African nations to choose between China and Russia, and the West, Minister Pandor used what is considered strong diplomatic language against bullying sovereign nations,

“So indeed, it is important that all of us accept our ability to hold different opinions. We are, after all, sovereign nations that are regarded as equal in terms of the United Nations Charter…And one thing I definitely dislike is being told ‘either you choose this or else.’  When a minster speaks to me like that…some have, I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be treated. (Emphasis added)

So, this fear [about Russia]that we exist under some push is…a really unfounded belief in the relationship that we have with either country. And we’ve been quite clear in saying we really advocate peace [between Russia and Ukraine] because we knew what would happen. We knew there’d be destruction, there’d be death, there’d be desolation. And that’s what we’re all seeing. And what we’ve always asked is: where is this [war] going to end? Let us make every effort to get peace.” (Emphasis added)

Pandor Advocates US-China Cooperation

In her closing remarks Minister Pandor identified interference by external forces and the looting of Africa’s resources as contributing to the instability of African nations. She concluded by calling for cooperation between the U.S. and China to achieve economic growth,

“But to come in and seek to teach a country that we know how democracy functions and we’ve come to tell you, you do it, it’ll work for you – I think it leads to defeat, so we need to think in different ways.

“I also think that…one of the experiences we should draw lessons from is the reality that there has been a lot of external interference in Africa. And a lot of that external interference has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on…This is a reality.

“It’s a world phenomenon which results from Africa’s rich mineral wealth that has made it a significant target of external players that don’t always have the interests of Africa at heart.

“We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say it does cause instability for all of us because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive a point of rapprochement where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries because that’s extremely important for all of us. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.” (Emphasis added.)

I fully support and would highlight Minister Pandor’s perspective. If the U.S. and China adopted the shared mission to collaborate with African nations in achieving elevated rates of real economic growth; poverty and hunger could be eliminated on the continent, along with instability.

Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Biruta (Courtesy of allfrica.com)

Rwanda Defends Its Sovereignty

Secretary Blinken’s last stopover was Rwanda, where, after meeting with President Kagame, he spoke at a joint-press-availability with Rwandan Foreign Minister, Vincent Biruta. During their exchange, Minister Biruta defended Rwanda’s sovereignty regarding the trial of Paul Rusesabagina.

When asked about the incarceration of Mr. Rusesabagina, Minister Biruta insisted that he was tried and convicted  for crimes committed against Rwandan citizens. He was arrested “lawfully under both Rwandan and international laws. Therefore, Rwanda will continue to abide by our rules, and the decisions that were made by our judiciary. And we request our partners to respect Rwanda’s sovereignty, Rwanda’s laws, and its institutions.”

Secretary Blinken then responded with two veiled threats. First, he threatened to use the Khashoggi Ban to impose visa restrictions on individuals and their families whom the US has deemed to have participated in persecution against dissidents.

“We established what is called the Khashoggi Ban to make clear that any country that engages in repressive actions against those who criticize it, if those persons are in the United States, they face consequences for those actions.”

Second, Secretary Blinken slyly indicated that how Rwanda deals with this issue could affect future relations with Rwanda.

I’ve shared all of this with President Kagame today [concerns about Rusesabagina]. It’s not for me to characterize his response, but these are concerns that I shared. And I did that, again, in the context of making clear our desire for an even stronger, even more productive relationship between the United States and Rwanda, building on what Rwanda has done so successfully, building on what we’ve already done together. But these are issues that we care deeply about, our Congress cares deeply about, the American people care deeply about.”

Minister Biruta was unperturbed by Secretary Blinken’s comments.

  1. U.S. Strategy Not Addressing Africa’s Interests

Acknowledging the global role of Africa for the remainder of this century, President Biden issued a new U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa.. The document fact sheet US Strategy Toward sub Saharan Africa identifies the geopolitical reasoning that compelled U.S. to respond to the growing influence of China and Russia. To wit: the continent has almost one third of the planet’s reserves of critical minerals; an advantageous location for international trade, contiguous to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the Gulf of Eden; a regional voting bloc of 28% of the nations that comprise the United Nations; and the fastest growing population in the world.

Contrary to claims by the U.S. that its new policy is to promote democracy in Africa, the geopolitical intent of this administration’s policy for Africa is revealed in the document’s second page under the title, Strategic Environment. Here the U.S. nakedly exposes its strategy to use the African continent as another arena for its war against China and Russia. It states:

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC), by contrast, sees the region as an important arena to challenge the rules-based international order, advance its own narrow commercial and geopolitical interests, undermine transparency and openness, and weaken U.S. relations with African peoples and governments. Russia views the region as a permissive environment for parastatals and private military companies, often fomenting instability for strategic and financial benefit. Russia uses its security and economic ties, as well as disinformation, to undercut Africans’ principled opposition (sic) to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and related human rights abuses.”

President Biden’s Africa strategy was released during Secretary Blinken’s stay in South Africa and consist of four main objectives.

George Soros, founder of the infamous Open Society Foundation. (Courtesy of opindia.com)

Its first listed objective, Foster Openness and Open Societies, wastes no time in maligning Russia and China, attempting to recruit African nations to U.S. geopolitical doctrine. It states: “Open Societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United Statesand counter harmful activities by the People’s Republic of China and Russia.” (Emphasis added.)Coincidentally or not, Open Society is the name of George Soros’ infamous global organization, which has been identified in numerous regime-change movements throughout the world, including in Russia and China.

Secretary Blinken’s trip was an attempt to cajole African nations to create so called open societies, respect Western rule of law, and follow the Western democracy model. This is recognized as a weak effort to counter the impact of Russia and China, especially China’s commitment to expansion of hard infrastructure across the African continent.

Principles, Not A Rules Based Order

President Biden and Secretary Blinken insist that African nations and the rest of the world must behave according to their rules-based international order and their notion of democracy. If nations fail to comply, they will be punished, by war, sanctions, or threats of both.

Who’s ruled-based order is it anyway? Who has determined these rules? The mantra of the rules-based order is an extension of the West’s adherence to their dangerous and destructive geopolitical doctrine. A doctrine that reduces national interest to vying for power in a zero-sum competition in an unchanging, non-developing world. However, nations and people are not fixed objects to be moved around according to the whims of the most powerful, like pieces on a chessboard. Nations and people are not to be regimented to perform according to a set of rules of dos and don’ts that is contrary to the real principles of freedom and democracy.

To understand the living sovereign nation-state and its relationship to other nations, we must first answer the question, what makes human beings, human?

Human beings unlike any other living species we know, are endowed with a creative imagination, the power to discover, and hypothesize the principles governing the physical universe. Economic progress is the result of scientific discoveries and their realization through modern technologies that transform modes of economic production from lower to higher forms of productivity.

All human beings are born with this same potential for creative thought bequeathed by the Creator. Human creativity is a principle coherent with the universe’s own living, non-linear growth process. Human beings seek to enrich their lives by contributing to the progress of civilization. Thus, all members of humankind are identical in their potential for creative thought, and similarly, the true interest of each nation is also identical. Nations exist to protect and foster this creative power in each of its citizens.

Understanding these profound and provable elemental concepts of human nature is the foundation for creating a lawful, just, and harmonious world order. One that is premised on the self-interest of each nation promoting the development of each member of its population.

True Democracy

The Biden administration is obsessed with the word democracy, labeling this or that nation and this or that activity, democratic or undemocratic. Shamefully, neither President Biden nor Secretary Blinken have an actual understanding of how a democracy should function. If they did, they would have made economic development the focus of all four objectives of their U.S.-Africa Strategy. By economic development, I contend that it is only  those policies that lead to an increased standard of living for an expanding number of people. (As understood by Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List, Henry Carey, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and echoed by Kwame Nkrumah, among others.)

Democracy is an empty construct unless it emphatically includes the right and responsibility of the population to debate and discuss what are the most appropriate ideas to guide the future of their nation. I was reminded during a recent trip to Boston, Massachusetts that prior to the American Revolution, there were Town Hall gatherings of thousands of residents to discuss their freedom from British rule.

Democracy cannot be denigrated to simply encompassing elections good governance. True democracy requires an educated citizenry with a material standard of living and leisure time to think and reflect on the best policy for their nation, which will affect their children and grandchildren. Does the public have the opportunity to deliberate on the best direction for their nation for the next one to two generations? What policies will lead to an improved standard of living for future generations, deserves to be fully debated by thoughtful citizens. Intelligent discussion of ideas, a process unique to human beings, is primary in a true democracy. Otherwise, what is one voting for, or about?

Poverty in West Africa increasing, Food insecurity is affecting millions of people.  (Courtesy of UNICEF/Vincent Treameau)

Without Development, Democracy Cannot Exist

For Africans to participate in democracy they musts be allowed to apply their creative minds to determine their future, the future of their nation. This is not possible if hunger and poverty remain pervasive throughout the continent. Over 500 million Africans live in extreme poverty-less than $2 per day. Over 600 million Africans do not have access to an electric grid, and millions more only have access for a portion of the day.

If a parents’ primary concern is searching for food to feed their family or hustling each day to subsist in the informal economy, there is no time to think. Under conditions dominated by survival, focused on the here and now, one is not in the state of mind to seriously ponder the nation’s future. If there is not sufficient room in a dwelling to raise a family, then both adults and children do not have the space and quiet time to read and educate themselves. If one does not have access to electricity 24 hours a day, how can one read when there is no sun light? How many schools and libraries exist for education of children and adults? Do the majority of Africans have the time, space, and comfortable lifestyle to meet with friends and neighbors to examine the issues facing their nation today and tomorrow?

Fulfilling these basic pressing human needs are categorically essential, for the realization of democracy. They are not optional. For decades, the U.S. has lectured Africans about democracy but with its anti-development agenda, has shown no interest in actually creating the conditions for it to thrive. Secretary Blinken’s and President Biden’s promotion of democracy to counter their perceived enemies will fail to achieve its goal. More importantly, it will fail the people of Africa. Democracy in the truest sense will not exist unless, and until, there is a full-throttled state-led mobilization of all resources to create an economic transformation across the African continent. If this is not advocated by the U.S. government, its like-minded “pro-democracy” institutions, NGOs, think-tanks, and institutes, then they must cease their endless preaching, or be exposed as frauds. Then all they are left with is “a sounding of brass or a clanging cymbal.”  

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Freeman Interview: “Living Conditions in Africa Today Are Morally, Politically, and Economically Unacceptable”

Listen to my 45 minute radio interview: TNT Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022, beginning at 5 minutes 50 seconds

July 16, 2022

I discussed the following subjects concerning Africa:

*Unacceptable living conditions in Africa today

*Fraud of the “green transition” to prevent industrialization

*Importance of China’s infrastructure investment in Africa

*Lack of U.S. development policy for Africa

*Current destabilization of Ethiopia using ethnicity

*Potential of BRICS plus

Listen to 45 minute discussion on TNT Radio Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.