Equal partners

There is saying that everyone will be rembered for the problems they caused and the problems they solved. When you talk of Europe some people think of the continent which colonized the rest of the world, others think of the origin of both World War I and World War II. On the positive note however, many people from other continents have been benefitting from  European or Western education and the freedom of expression as well. For centuries the West has won the worldwide reputation of leading in the economy,military,science, technology etc..to the point whereby people from the developing world viewed the West as a paradise or greener pasture to visit, work or settle.

But things are changing now. With the recent global economic crisis that originated in the USA and hit hard Europe and the rest of the world, some non-Westerners have made calls to rethink the meaning of Western Capitalism, Democracy and Civilization. While Europe and the West in general have been blaming corruption on Africa and other third world countries, one should ask why Europe and North America allow the so-called world dictators to invest abroad. It seems like a cheap game whereby you condemn robbery and theft but help keeping the stolen items for the thief. The end result in this case is that a friend of the thief is a thief, pure and simple. Thanks to the West, Africa which boasts of a great deal of minerals, oil and other natural resources has been made "THE WORLD'S BLACK MARKET".

The West doesn't treat Africa like a partner but a prostitute who should always depend on her in every way without a proper partnership with real mutual interests in short, mid and long terms. And it wouldn't be surprising at all if Russia, China, India and Brazil learn from the West how to treat Africa in the same way. The question is after all who is willing to treat Africa as an equal partner?

Most of the treaties, conventions and protocols of which Africa is part don't benefit her in true practical sense. That is why there are already some voices across Africa calling on her leaders to completely pull out of the Common Wealth, Francophonie, UN and other organisations that are deemed non benefecial for Africa.

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The Western democracy has also started shocking countries in Africa when countries in Europe threaten to cut the foreign aid to any Government which doesn't legalize homosexuality. One wonders if Africa should also threaten to cut ties with any country which doesn't legalize polygamy? The current requirements for Africans to obtain a visa to the West are too demanding in general: all sorts of medical vaccinations, the big amount of money you must first have in your bank account, to book a Western hotel in advance, the invitation letter....and the question would be if this is the case why should it be simple to come to Africa? Why can't Africa put the same requirements which they put for her? Why is Africa so cheap?

When it comes to Human Rights the West portrays herself as a champion.

Wow! the way Roma people are treated across Europe which is their continent let alone the racial abuse of black soccer players in western stadiums undermines the true human rights.

The world was recently shocked to see the Kingdom of Belgium which is home to both headquarters of NATO and EUROPEAN UNION spending almost eight months without a Government due to its ethnic divisions.

And on diplomatic front, you wonder why the West isn't vocal when Russia bombards Georgia or when China threatens Taiwan and Tibet. The truth is even in the western democracy, you can't bite a thinger which feeds you. Rebuking Russia over Georgia might jeopardise the gas it continously supplies to Europe. And how can the economically instable West rebuke China which they need for loans and bonds? Maybe the Western democracy is applicable to some and non applicable to others since it means different things to different people.

And while the West plays an important role in the Middle East, it remains to be seen if the policies of Catherine Ashton hold a balanced and effective approach towards the Israeli-Palestian peace process.

While Sarkozy and Obama were recently caught complaining about Benjamin Nyetanyahu, it came spontaneously for Catherine to compare the death of Israeli children shot in France with the death of Palestinian children killed in Gaza strip.

Maybe the Netherlands can project herself to emerge as a new leader to restore  true democracy, civilization and capitalism. Or at least to uphold them if they were never lost.

Thomas Baganineza