The African Union Capitulates to French Interest

In October 2017, the African Union (AU) appointed the Zimbabwean Arikana Chihombori-Quao, MD, as the second African Union Ambassador to the United State.

She succeeded the Tanzanian Her Excellency Ambassador Amina Salum Ali who inaugurated the AU head office in Washington, DC. in 2007. The AU Ambassador collectively represents Africa’s interest in North America.

Surprisingly, on October 7, 2019, the Chair of the AU Commission, Honorable Moussa Faki, from Niger, in a letter terminated the Ambassador’s tenure. Reportedly, the termination resulted from Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s remarks describing France’s ongoing imperialistic, parasitic and exploitative political and economic symbiotic relationship between France and francophone African countries. Allegedly, France mounted undue pressure on some African leadership and eventually Honorable Faki delivered the fatal dose.

Apart from Jerry John Rawlings, ex-President of Ghana, African leaders have not expressed any concern on this disgusting action.

Why the silence on this bizarre action by African leaders?

In her short stint in Washington, DC, Ambassador Chihombori-Qua made waves by first making her presence felt through her electrifying public engagements. Until her appointment, very few people including Africans in the Diaspora knew of the existence of an Africa Union’s office in Washington D.C. She understands the political and economic chokehold that continue to suffocate Africa in her quest to develop.

She understands the weak African political leadership and the concomitant fragile institutions that timidly cannot offer comprehensive, clear-eyed and well-reasoned policies to address the challenges that afflict Africa and its people.

She was bold and fearless where the men cowered and supported her assertions incontrovertible with facts. She conscientized the African Diaspora to mobilize against inimical, vested interests that militate against Africa’s development. She exposed the debilitating effect and naked rape of Africa by other countries, especially France.

Essentially her honesty made “the kitchen too hot” for the African Union leadership to handle.

We at Amandla are not surprised that some Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent were not comfortable with the hard-hitting Ambassador on former colonial imperialist masters. She defied expectations and failed to kowtow to the demands of her detractors.

In her presence, the world of the African political leadership suddenly was under siege and this terrified them. The establishment had never seen a threat like this, and – as we’ve seen – it fought hard to make sure it never sees one like it ever again.

In the spirit of Angela Davis, Ambassador Chihombori-Quao understands the importance of being an activist precisely because it allows her to give back and considers herself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement to radically transform Africa, African leadership and the world in how it relates to Africa.

The Ambassador’s unjustified firing is not any cause for glee and comfort. His Excellency Faki and his giddy group used their power over a powerful woman who speaks truth to power. We believe her firing is a sham and has nothing to do with her performance.

It’s about the African Union’s kowtowing to the parasitic demands by imperialist France. Foreign over-involvement, especially by France, is celebrated by the powers that be. The firing of the Ambassador has stirred all kinds of emotions from African Americans and the African immigrant communities worldwide, especially over the fact that no reasonable explanation has been provided.

African women have not ceased to prove themselves with equal footing with the opposite gender. We’re witnessing a lot of African women who are questioning men’s formula for getting Africa out of the doldrums. For example, trailblazers such as Lindiwe Mazibuko (South Africa); Mbali Ntuli (South Africa); Alengot Oromait (Uganda); the young Diane Shima Rwigara (Rwanda); Sophia Abdi Noor (Kenya); Joyce Mujuru (Zimbabwe); Aja Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang (Gambia) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia).

Of course, we cannot forget to mention Queen Yaa Asantewaa of the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana and her fierce resistance against Great Britain’s attempt to “steal” the Golden Stool of the Ashanti’s and the indubitable freedom fighter queen Nzinga of Angola and her resistance against the Portuguese for freedom.

A woman leader is expected to be polite and feminine in her speech and manners. The more authoritative, assertive and powerful a woman is, the more she is easily labelled as being aggressive. These realities call for the decolonization of the mind and the change of attitudes.

We think as an institution the African Union is being undermined by the very people charged to run it. Actions such as unjustified firing of effective leaders demonstrate an African Union under some serious strain. These and other such actions of the leaders do not reflect an independent Africa.

We say “Ayekoo” (“well-done” in Akan language in Ghana) to Ambassador Chihombori-Quao and urge her to have solace in a famous poem “Still I Rise” by the legendary Maya Angelou:

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise!

We urge the leadership of the African Union to reverse course and reinstate Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao. It’s not too late.

Posted by on Nov 13 2019. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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