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How the Post Soviet Collapse Influenced the Political Systems and Parties In Africa Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Antony Felix O. Simbowo, Kenya Nov 10, 2005
Human Rights   Opinions


The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1992, leaving in its wake countries that had been, in more than one way, over-reliant on it for the so-called alternative Balance of Power (BOP) phenomenon; an allegory of socio-economic and political patronage. The West, or the United States of America, remained the sole superpower - the undisputed globo-cop in a world harangued by wars and rumors of wars, as well as the collapse of the formerly Soviet-inclined economies.

Here comes Africa to the scene. Having been pivoted against the relentless globo-power struggles between the West and the USSR in the better part of the last Century, the continent was now receiving a special focus. African politicians, who had previously been called 'Soviet sympathizers', were now left with no option but to surrender their political ambitions, as the West (America) was not about to let them gain power; not with suspicions regarding their socio-political and economic ideology, and not with some bastions of western-opposed mentality, existing in the form of Cuba, Libya (at that time), Iraq, North Korea and China among others.

In the 1940s through to the 80s, there was a pitched battle between the African 'Communists' and 'Socialists' on one side of the spectrum, and the African 'Capitalists', or ‘Democracy-proponents' on the other. Many were the political assassinations and covert operations performed by the CIA, KGB (now FSB), MI6, South Africa's BOSS, German BND and the French DGSE in Africa at that time. Tales of foreigners 'mysteriously' disappearing in the African jungles never to be seen again thrived, as Secret Service agents struggled to outdo each other in a display of technological, mental and physical ingenuity. The prize was the heart of Africa.

With its collapse, the Soviet Union lost the struggle for world dominance. In addition, its African 'friends' had to face the mounting revolts, insurrections and rebellions by their countrymen; who at the backing of the Western power lords, decided to try and quench their thirst for power.

Down south, Jonas Savimbi launched an attack at the Luanda government of Eduardo dos Santos. Northwards, John Garang increased the level of his attacks on the Khartoum government of Omar al Bashir. Across several parts of the continent, political parties were launching oppositions to monoliths and dictatorships.

The era of Africa's blue-eyed political and economic 'reformists' was launched. Western donor funding went to the 'reformists' in lorries as they perfected their 'diatribe' against the leadership of the day that was perceived to be corrupt. Elections, free and fair at that, became the ‘in thing’ in Africa. Hope started trickling into Africa as freedom of expression emerged to be the order of the day. Hard work and honesty were finally finding a niche in this colonized, neo-colonized and negatively exploited continent.

A decade has past since the initiation of this era, and the once supportive West is crying foul with allegations of corruption, bad governance and poor leadership in Africa: once promising African leaders have succumbed to the lure of strong-armed power and its absoluteness. Yet, many others have fallen victims to the seduction of illegally acquired wealth, with its hedonistic and debauched abodes. Political parties across much of Africa have become more like donor-fund seeking, mediocre outfits. Rather than fight for the welfare and rights of the common man, as many have claimed their mantles to be, they have mutated into cocktails of social, political and economic intrigues: a free for all affair. .

In Kenya, for example, many political parties have become like ethnic conglomerates. It is easy to witness a majority of a tribal line voting for a specific party simply because the head of the party is from their ethnic background. While many have assumed that lessons should have been learnt in the atrocious 1994 Rwanda genocide, it appears that very few disregard ethnic innuendos in Africa. Instead of using ethnic diversity as a pathway to unity, it has been used to sow seeds of division and hatred. The Central Africa's Lendu and Hema saga is a point in hand.

Africa is a beautiful continent full of unexploited resources and other potentials. While Africa appreciates the assistance from other foreign countries, the continent does not need negative external interference. Time is rife for such absurdities as the Thatcher-Equatorial Guinea scandal to fail to be common across the continent.

Leadership needs some polishing in the continent. While many have expressed the desire and ability of the continent to solve its own problems, tangible action is needed. Wise, respected, sober and conscious African leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and Muammar Ghaddafi should come to the aid of the continent. Their guidance is seriously needed.



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Antony Felix O. Simbowo

TakingITGlobal has never been more apt than it is now in providing a forum for expression. This is because the dynamic world has undeveloped challenges that pose a great problem to the growth and daily life of any youth in the global society. What with the incessant wars, poverty, HIV/AIDS, pornography, racism and several other vices creeping into the society in a culture best objectified as vicious gradualism.
Here is where writing comes in handy and the TakingITGlobal literati, glitterati and pundits alike have provided a vital conduit through which these vices, positive and negative dynamism can be expressed.
I am saddened for example, when a promising youth is reduced to a hopeless parasite by drugs. More saddening is when I see the mercilessness, the hopelessness, the dereliction, the lack of love that many children, youth and people are subjected to due to wars, poverty, pornography and such as other negativities which silently and slowly kill the spirit and will within humans! Having gone through such experiences myself, I pray that God gives me the massive ability to be able to help these people to the best of my ability with His guidance, provision and protection. I have often wondered whether the expression "do unto others what you would have them do unto you" is being subjected to relativity. These are the problems which need highlighting and what better forum is there than TakingITGlobal.
I am privileged to be part of this ideologically vimmed and gustoed community.
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