Let’s hope that the first Africa Climate Summit is a step towards the continent’s true independence

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Kenyan President William Ruto

By Carlton Joseph

Carlton Joseph

We live in a world where people of color, especially colonized people, were taught that culture and education make a person; if you pursued education everything would be okay.  We knew that a few scholarships were awarded if you scored high on the exams set by Cambridge University, and the winners got to study in the “mother” country, England, or whatever country colonized them.

Racism existed, but you were unaware of it.  Some joined the “mother” countries’ military, fighting for democracy and freedom that they did not enjoy, and when the war was over, they could only work in menial jobs in the mother country, since the “good” jobs were reserved for white citizens.  They were participating in the global power war game without understanding how it functioned, or that it existed.

What amazes me is that in 2023, people of color, especially African leaders, still believe the colonial nonsense and blindly follow their colonial masters’ orders.  They don’t understand that the overriding goal of each state is to maximize its share of world power, at the expense of other states, they do not understand that powerful nations are only concerned with dominating the world, and that their economic and security interests supersede all other interests.

Africa Climate Summit

United Nations Summits, Climate Summits and every other summit are exercises in mental masturbation, where supposedly the world’s most “intelligent” people meet to solve global problems such as poverty; sustainable development; climate change; food security; weapons of mass destruction; pandemics, and health crises.  These summits produce lots of media headlines and photo-ops, but the organizations do not have the power to deploy any of the proposed solutions, its all a sham to make the global population, especially the impoverished, believe that some change will come to their pathetic living conditions.

The Paris Agreement 2016, touted as a legally binding international treaty on climate change, is an excellent example of mental masturbation.  The agreement affirmed that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are “less endowed” and more vulnerable.  To date, the developed nations have not contributed their fair share towards meeting the $100 billion/year goal. Three major economies: The United States, Australia, and Canada provided less than half their share of the financial effort in 2018, and at the recent G-20 summit, leaders failed to reach a consensus on climate goals, with deep divisions again emerging between developed and developing countries.

Since the 9-11 attack, the US has considered the Horn of Africa – Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan – a major source of terrorism and a strategic focal point in the war against terrorism.  South Sudan waged war with the North because they wanted to secede and move the South into the US Western economic alliance.  In this instance the US decided that they were not terrorists, they were seeking democracy and freedom, and improved relations with the United States, but that those efforts were hindered by high-ranking officials, who remain committed to the “radical” Islamist agenda, in this case, radical is anything that is not aligned with the Western neoliberal agenda, and supports their war efforts to become an independent country.  

President Barack Obama negotiated a peace agreement ending decades of civil war between North and South Sudan, resulting in South Sudan becoming the world’s newest country.  The US expected that this new country would serve US efforts in fighting “terrorism”; in this case, these terrorists are any people seeking to remove their colonial masters or their puppets, from dominating their economies and politics.  If you are thinking that it was all about securing peace and stability, and not about economic domination, think again.

Even before it seceded from the north, oil-rich Sudan was a top priority for America, because of its substantial proven oil reserves of 5 billion barrels.  In fact, from 2005 until 2016, the US spent $14 billion cultivating South Sudan (SS) as a geopolitical asset, and heavily backed the its bid for independence.  Today, SS is a haven for warlords and corrupt politicians who use ethnicity as a means of extending ethnic spaces, and is a text book case of political and economic instability, despite having significant economic resources of oil and gold.

Worst, since its creation as a state, the US imposed sanctions on South Sudan’s military and political personnel, imposed an arms embargo to halt the flow of weapons, and imposed sanctions on 15 of the country’s oil operators.  Recently the UN Security council extended the sanctions regime, claiming that the country needs a carefully managed support system to facilitate its “transitional journey” and overcome its security issues.   The council also condemned targeting of civil society, including journalists, human rights defenders and humanitarian personnel, emphasizing that the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity bears the primary responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Interestingly, the council did not sanction Israel for her past and present crimes, and current genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Finally, Africa seems to be awakening and has organized the first Africa Climate Summit 2023.  The summit’s declared goal is to influence climate commitments, pledges and outcomes, specifically, making richer nations honor the $100 billion-a-year pledge, made in Copenhagen, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help African countries cope with the climate crisis.  They affirmed the Nairobi Declaration, as a blueprint for Africa’s green energy transition. 

US Climate envoy John Kerry reflected on the “acute and unfair debt” of the climate crisis on the continent saying: “Of the 20 countries most affected by the climate crisis, 17 are here in Africa.”  Disappointedly, he announced that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $30 million in food security and climate resilience efforts across the continent. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the biggest pledge with $4.5 billion towards clean energy initiatives.

I am not optimistic about the summit achieving its goals, but I am elated that some African leaders are getting serious about their own development and climate security.

(Trinidad-born Carlton Joseph who lives in Washington D.C., is a close observer of political developments in the United States.)