African leaders say “Give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt”

February 12, 2007- Washington DC, World Bank Headquarters. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Sigh. Look. You’re tired of reading about it; we’re tired of reporting about it. But the Donald Trump win is, like some fetid venereal disease, the gift that just keeps on giving. Every time you feel you’ve covered it from every possible angle, here comes another twist that begs for attention.

Today’s Trump news is brought to you courtesy our African leaders. While Western leaders, even the right-wingers, have greeted Trump’s success with what can only be described as cautious words of congratulations; our African leaders have been eager to welcome the new president elect and anticipate a harmonious working relationship.

First, it was the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame:

Then it was our very own Bubu and the Ugandan president, Museveni:

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, seemed perhaps the most guarded in her speech, but her comments brought about the one thing that concerns me with the African greetings. She  told the BBC said that she hoped that Liberia-US trade deals would not be affected by Trump’s policies.

“We just don’t know what the new policy towards Africa will be under a Trump administration,” she said. “We’ll have to wait and see. Obviously, we are concerned but we have to just give him the benefit of the doubt.”

We really are going to have to find out a way as a people to stop currying for favours. There is no time – none, zero, zilch – that America has ever wished Africa well. We have never entered a deal with the West that has been beneficial to us. And if ever there was an American leader who has a problem with foreigners, it is Donald Trump. So perhaps it’s time Africans started looking inwards much as the Chinese have done. Time we made use of what we have in abundance, and I don’t mean the ability to be shortsighted and settle for instant gratification. I’m talking more along the lines of raw materials and labour.

In her defence, Johnson Sirleaf, who is Africa’s first democratically elected female president, also expressed her disappointment at the fact that the US failed to elect its first female in Mrs Clinton.

“We are extremely saddened by this missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalisation of women,” Johnson Sirleaf said. “However, Liberia has a long and historical relationship with the United States and we expect the good relationship to continue.”

Hopefully, we will get our heads out of oyinbo asses soon. Before they yank it out for us. For the umpteenth time.



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