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EAST AFRICA’S OIL BREAKTHROUGH; WILL IT BE THE USUAL TALE OF FOREIGN CAPITALISM AMIDST LOCAL STATE OF DISCORD & DISARRAY?

I’m sure You have heard the phrases “Curse of Oil” the “Dutch Disease” or the “Resource Curse”. Basically this is the Paradox of plenty where naturally wealthiest Countries are usually the most destitute, oppressed and underdeveloped Home to  some of the poorest and most depressed People on Earth. This is characteristic to

Oil is the Lifeblood of the World’s Economy

all naturally wealthy Nations especially in Africa and even across the World.

Oil in itself is historically quite a delicate and hotly contested Resource and Matter. Oil is the World’s largest and most important source of Energy; Essentially Oil is the Engine or rather the Lifeblood of the Global Economy. The World’s biggest Economies which also happen to be the most industrialized and powerful Nations primarily rely on Oil to run and manage their dynamic Economies which explains why they happen to be at the Center of every Single Oil Block and Oil Well across the World.

China which is currently the most industrialized Nation in the World produces 3.8 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it consumes 13 Million Barrels of Oil daily. The U.S.A which is the World’s biggest Economy produces 13.1 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it consumes 19 Million Barrels of Oil daily. Africa as a Whole produces 9 Million Barrels of Oil daily; In turn it only consumes 4 Million Barrels daily.

Note: 1 Barrel equals 159 Litres.

Before I introduce you to East Africa Oil breakthrough let us have a moment of Silence for the Republic of Venezuela which has the World’s largest Oil Reserve with a whopping 303 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and the Republic of Libya which has the largest Oil Reserve in Africa  with 48 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve.

The Relationship Between Oil,Peace and Prosperity

Libya is still embroiled in Civil War since 2011 with Venezuela now teetering to a Civil War. We must not forget the Oil War and Unrest experienced/being experienced in Iraq, Syria and Niger Delta in Nigeria. All these boil down to the Oil Question and Control happening under the guise of Political Power Struggle under the Machinations of Giant Foreign Capitalists and Imperialists.

The 1st of August 2019 Announcement by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta that Kenya has now joined the League of Oil exporting Countries in the World with an initial Consignment of 200,000 Barrels of Crude Oil Export valued at Ksh.1.2 Billion has elicited mixed reactions, responses, emotions and expectations across the Country as Kenyans seek and try to interpret, understand and make sense of what this News actually means. Discovery of Commercial Oil in any Country is usually expected to lower the means and cost of production which directly translates to low Cost of Living and improved Standards of Living to its Citizenry.

The discovery of Viable Oil in Kenya was made in 2012 making it the Second East African Nation with Proved Oil Resource after Uganda who discovered theirs in 2006 and South Sudan whose first Oil Block was discovered in 1978 long before its Independence from the main Sudan.

Impeccable Reports have it that Kenya has over 1 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and 750 Million Barrels of Recoverable Oil or Commercially Viable Oil within Turkana area. The main developers in this Project being Britain’s Tullow Oil Company alongside France’s Total and Canada’s Oil Corp Companies who are currently extracting 2000 Barrels daily with Production Sharing Agreement remaining a Top Secret between Kenyan Government and the Developers as maintained by Petroleum and Mining Minister John Munyes until August 16,2019 when the Kenyan Government finally revealed its deal with a UK-based China Oil Refinery Company (ChemChina UK Limited) who bought the first Crude Oil Export Consignment flagged offf on August 26,2019 by President Kenyatta at the Port of Mombasa. Uganda on the other hand has 6.5 Billion Barrels of Proven Oil Reserve and 2.2 Billion Barrels of Recoverable/Commercially Viable Oil with its main developers being Britain’s Tullow Oil alongside China’s CNOOC, France’s Total and Italy’s Saipem SPA Companies. Uganda is yet to start extracting Commercial Oil due to Disagreements with developers over Taxation and Production sharing Agreement. South Sudan who have only explored 30% of their Total Oil Potential currently has 3.5 Billion Barrels of commercially Viable Oil. It’s currently producing 165,000 Barrels daily down from 350,000 Barrels that it used to produce shortly after its Independence in 2011-2012 before the ongoing Civil War/Unrest that broke out on December 2013. The main developers of Oil here are China, India, Malaysia with Russia and France also expressing their Interests.

The real Discord, Disarray and Disaster is in how these Three Oil Nations in East Africa do or intend to do with their Crude Oil in terms of Refinery, Value Addition and Value Proposition.

With East Africa’s Sole Oil Refinery Plant KPRL (Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited) in Changamwe-Mombasa Kenya inoperative since 2013 with all efforts to Revive and Modernize it Vain; Kenya like South Sudan has started its Oil Business with exporting Oil in its Crude form.

Kenyan Government Officials seem to be reading from different Pages on the Issue of Oil Refining. On January 2018, the then Industrialization Minister Adan Mohamed said it makes more sense to build a new Oil Refinery than to revive and modernize KPRL which he termed as a very old Facility adding that Deliberations for a new Oil Refinery were on course. Just recently on February 2019 the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum Andrew Kamau ruled out the possibility to construct a new local Oil Refinery saying such an expensive Capital-intensive Project would not make Economic Sense going with the current Crude Oil production capacity of 2000 Barrels daily not even in the expected daily Optimum of 80,000-100,000 Barrels.

The now defunct KPRL Refinery that has a daily capacity of refining 80,000 Barrels of Crude Oil is being used to store Crude Oil before Exportation. Its proposed Ksh.120 Billion revival and upgrade plan in 2013 was abandoned never to be reconsidered again even Kenya acquired its full Ownership on June 2016. Kenya has since KPRL Closure in 2013 been purely relying on imported refined Petroleum Products and it seems this will be the case as its Oil Business starts in Crude Oil exportation.

Uganda on April 2018 signed a Deal with a Consortium of American and Italian Firms to construct a $4 Billion (Ksh.412 Billion) 60,000 Barrels  Hoima Crude Oil Refinery by 2023. It has in this invited its EAC Neighbors to buy Shares in this Refinery. Kenya and Tanzania have actually taken up Shares in this with Tanzania taking 8% and Kenya taking 2.5% .The rest have remained silent on this forcing Uganda to to take up the Shares it had offered them. France’s Total has consequently come into this taking up 10% with the majority 60% being left for other Foreign and Private Investors. Uganda intends to refine about 11,000 Barrels of Oil for its daily Domestic Use and Export the Excess.

At the declared Rate of Extraction Kenya and Uganda’s proven Oil Reserves are expected to take at least 55 Years to deplete.

South Sudan on the other hand continues to export all its Crude Oil to Sudan’s Khartoum

EAC Oil Nations-South Sudan,Uganda and Kenya Flags

Refinery before exporting it via Port Sudan. South Africa is in an advanced Process of signing an Agreement with the Government of South Sudan to construct a 60,000 Barrels daily Oil Refinery at a Cost of $1 Billion.

 

(Photos & Graphics Courtesy)

 

 

 

The Africa We Want:Radical Thoughts For A Demanding Cause

THE AFRICA WE WANT

Introduction

Triggered by his inaugural address remarks to African Youths that they (African Leaders) cannot build Africa without us for we are professional Men and Women with full role to play; Two Days after his Election as the Chair of the African Union (AU) and its Leader of Reforms, I wrote an Open Letter to President Paul Kagame through the Weekly  East African Newspaper of February 3,2018.In it was a Congratulatory Note, my take on AU’s 2018 Theme on the War against Corruption and a request to have Youths in Africa actively involved in it and the greater African Prosperity Agenda as enshrined in Aspiration 6 of our Agenda 2063.It is in this light that I express my Thoughts,Ideas and Vision on an Ideal Africa

The Seven Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 (Graphic Courtesy-NEPAD)

under the Theme of ‘The Africa We Want’. As a Pan-African Youth who passionately subscribes and believes in an African Dream;an Ideal Africa I hereby Propose my Composed Thoughts of an Ideal Africa as I Envision  it.

I am in my Submission solely guided by the African Union Concept,Ideal and Spirit of the January 1961 Casablanca Summit and most importantly the Casablanca Group’s Submission at the Historic first ever Independent African States Leaders Summit at Addis Ababa on May 24,1963 as Concisely captured in One of the greatest Pan-African of all times;Ghana’s Founding Father President Kwame Nkrumah’s Speech in this 1963 Summit THAT; “No Sporadic Act nor Pious Resolution can Resolve our current Problems;Nothing will  be of Avail except the United Act of a United Africa”.

My Submission is built on the 7 Aspirations of our Agenda 2063 on Critical Questions that we need to ask ourselves and Actions needed to be taken now to revamp and fast track the realization of our Grand Goals and Dreams as spelt out on our Africa Agenda 2063.

My Proposal Essay

  1. A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development

Being the Youngest Continent in the World; I fail to understand why Africa and her Young Nations are so much obsessed with extortionate Infrastructural Projects that are way beyond our Financial Wherewithal with little investment to the basics of a developing Society. In as much as Infrastructure is a requisite for growth and development, let us go for modest Infrastructure in order to strike balance with other equally important requisites of a developing Continent for sustainable growth and development. It’s alarming that the International Monetary Fund has warned of our Debt Burden saying over 40% of Low Income and Low Middle Income Countries in Africa are already in Debt distress. China; our biggest Trade Partner who has now become our biggest Creditor has Cancelled Debts owed to it by over 30 African Countries that it has described as Poor and heavily in Debt 3 times in a row. What this basically means is that we are borrowing to Finance unsustainable and unviable development Projects. As the  acclaimed Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of needs puts it; Physiological human needs are the basis of their survival and the first step of Motivation that must be fulfilled  before pursuing satisfaction on a higher level failure to which other further pursues lose meaning. What would a homeless Man, hungry, thirsty, depressed in tattered Clothes want to do with a Bullet Train or a Multi-Lane Super Expressway?. The Global Hunger Index shows that 4 out of the Hungriest Countries in the World are in Africa with 12 out of the 15 Hungriest Countries also being in Africa. Is this really the Africa we want?. What inclusive growth and development can we claim before feeding our Hungry and Undernourished People?.

I suggest strategic high investment in Food and Livestock Agriculture, Crop Irrigation, Textile and Food Industries, Housing, Health and Lifestyle with modest investment in financially demanding Projects like Transport Infrastructure and other Secondary needs. Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and Development of any Society is always a result of its robust Social aspect. I suggest the consideration and inclusion of this aspect in our Agenda 2063 Flagship Projects.

  1. An integrated Continent, Politically United based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the Vision of Africa’s Renaissance.

Does the Vision, Spirit and Ideals of our very first Leaders in Independent Africa still exist?. Do the Resolutions, Declarations and Aspirations of the Historic May 1963 OAU Conference especially those of the “African Unity Now Casablanca Group” that I consider a precise Panacea to Independent Africa’s Past and Present Problems still exist in the realms of Today’s African Leaders. What was adopted, what was modified and what was ignored and forgotten. The attitude towards Pan-Africanism might change with every generation but the Core of this Ideal is Sacrosanct. The content, message and ideals in the 32 Speeches made at this Historic Conference holds the clearest picture of the African Dream at Get-go. It forms the very naissance of what is and should inform the essence of Pan-Africanism. Do we have an African Character, do we inculcate it to our Children. Pan-Africanism is not about being black in Complexion but rather what identifies and inspires us as we dream, speak, do and be. We can achieve an integrated Africa, yes, when we acknowledge, bespeak and appreciate our entwined past, cultivate our Today together and foster an all-inclusive Future together. It’s so refreshing and promising to see the progress of key Agenda 2063’s Continental Integration Projects namely the Africa Free Continental Trade Area that is almost coming into force, the Single Air Transport Market, Integrated High-speed Train Network, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport that are on Course. These are momentous strides in our Integration Journey that we need to zealously Fast track. We must also reinvent our approach to Leadership and Politics. We have over time contaminated our Leadership with wasteful Politics. We have taken Politics for Leadership and Leadership for Politics only to mess the solemn call of Leadership. Authoritarian, Despotic,Dynastic,Personality Cult, Populist Politics of Propaganda,Rhetorics and Charades that are totally Vague in Vision,Ideology and Strategy have costed us Big Time. That our daily discussions and aims are about how to deal with or Oust Failed and mostly oppressive Rulers and Regimes or how and who to install as the next Leader is not only wasteful but also retrogressive. Let us invent a Comprehensive Model of Practical  Leadership and Governance that only Recognizes/Adapts What and How to do in Governance not who to get into Leadership/Government. I believe an all-inclusive team of African Union’s Governance Architecture in conjunction with the Political Affairs department can come up with such a Model and then present it for debate, consideration and suggestions of improvement in individual African Countries. This would be a good point to start the process of Political integration which will in time translate to a Politically Sane,Visionary and Informed Continent.

  1. An Africa of Good Governance, Democracy, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law

The endeavors of this Aspiration are all tied to one thing; the Rationale and Sanctity of our Institutions of Administration and Governance. The Institution of Government Executive, Judiciary, Electoral Agencies, Lawmakers and Human Dignity Activism. We have a tendency in Africa where heads of Institutions always want to be and actually end up being bigger than the Institutions they head always seeking special privileges, immunity and impunity in the face of the Institution’s mandate. This beats all logic behind such Institutions. We can achieve good Governance when every Leader however high or low their office and Institution ranks is subject to Scrutiny and Accountability.An Average African Voter/Common African Man Needs and Deserves to be Enlightened on what Constitutes,What Defines and what Makes a truly Good Government,Governors and Governance Structure.This is the Basic and the Surest Means of achieving Good,Productive and Visionary Governance across Africa.The African Union should recruit specially trained Envoys to make this the very firts and most Elaborate and Intense Activity before every General Election is held in every part of this Continent.We also can achieve True Democracy when all our Centers of Democracy led by our Electoral Agencies and Lawmakers are truly free from all imaginable interference and manipulation. We can achieve true Justice and Rule of Law when we let our Constitutions and Law reign supreme above all regardless and Champion for Justice for all without delay. All African Countries should now ratify Article 1 of June 1998 Protocol to affirm and have the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights Fully-fledged. This will give it Authority to Investigate, Prosecute and Arbitrate on all cases of Human Rights Violation anywhere in this Continent. On the intention to merge this Court with the African Court of justice to have an African Court of Justice and Human Rights that shall have Criminal Jurisdiction as per June 2014 Malabo Protocol I have a reservation. The Rationale behind this is great but one of its critical Provision reeks of Manipulation and Handicap. Why would sitting Heads of States and Senior State Officials want to be free from Charges and Prosecution by this Court? Why would our Leaders create such a good institution as an African Solution to African Problems and then place themselves above it? Is this not an impediment to its mandate and authority? The essence of Justice and Rule of Law is the Supremacy it exerts on all its subjects. I humbly call upon our Leaders to reevaluate and readdress this specific aspect.  Human Dignity and Rights advocacy groups across Africa should also be empowered to be the Eye and Ear of this African Court of Justice and Human Rights. As the Celebrated Pan-African, Revolutionist and Former President of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara said, let our Revolution towards this Aspiration be a collective effort to transform reality and improve the situation of Africans with Concrete solutions not about Public Speaking, Fine phrases and Slogans to look like we are offering solution when we are not.

  1. A Peaceful and Secure Africa

First things first; what ignites Conflicts and War in Africa, what Fuels it?. The leading causes of War and Conflict in Africa are Power, Territorial/Border Conflicts, Resource benefit sharing Conflicts, Ethnic Wars, Religious Extremism and Terrorism. Power is atop the causes. It is the reason behind Coups, Mutinies, Civil Rebellions, Armed Rebellion, Civil Wars and Uprisings witnessed in African Countries from time to time with some going through this at this very moment. Leaders who take Power through Unconstitutional means, Vote Rigging, Authoritarians, Leaders who do not want to Share nor leave Power Fuel such Wars whose aftermath is usually Mass Killings and devastating Human torment/suffering. Border Conflicts fuels armed Rebellion and Confrontations, Natural Resources exploitation by Local and Foreign Cartels fuels animosity and sometimes armed struggle as People seek to benefit from those Natural Resources which are indeed their Birthright. Ethnic Wars mostly ignited by feelings of Segregation in Power and Resources sharing Policy leads to armed confrontations and sometimes Secession struggles. These eventually offers a breeding ground for Religious Extremism and Terrorism as People struggle to dominate or resist domination.  Whilst I appreciate the gains of the various Peace and Security Measures spearheaded by African Union’s Peace and Security Council there is still a huge challenge ahead in securing the Peaceful Africa We Want. Even as we seek to Silence Guns by 2020 through the Africa Peace and Security Architecture Road Map 2016-2020 and the ongoing implementation of Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa 2018-2028 we need to invest the biggest amount of Africa Peace Fund on Preventive Diplomacy so as to Pro-actively anticipate and Prevent Conflicts and Wars long before they materialize. The African Governance Architecture should form an all-inclusive body and come up with an African Governance Framework Protocol, Resources Sharing Policy and Formula and also Arbitrate on long-standing Border Conflicts. We shouldn’t let our Individual Sovereignities to set us up against each other but rather to be the undying Source of our Cordial Coexistence,Values,Wisdom,Ideas and Heritage.Peace Education should also be taught to all Generations  across all African Communities stressing on the importance of Dialogue, Tolerance, Integration, Peaceful,Productive Co-existence and Synergy amidst our rich Diversity.

  1. An Africa with a Strong Cultural Identity, Common Heritage, Values and Ethics

As I noted in Aspiration Two; being truly African is not a matter of being black in complexion, it’s not even much about being born in Africa; like the Legendary Pan-African and first President of Ghana H.E Kwame Nkrumah said ‘I am not an African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me’. True African Cultural Identity is about the African Character, Spirit and Fiber. It’s that which should set you apart as you imagine, envision, speak and do about your Individual Country and ultimately about your Continent Africa. I have seen some African Leaders give very impassioned Pro-Africa speeches only for their Character and Actions to reveal absolute opposite. In order to Treasure and Cherish our common Heritage; we must acknowledge and establish our intertwined Past and History, Foster our present as one People and Collectively Forge our Future as a People of the same Motherland that is Africa.An African Identity will require One Truly African Language which should as a matter of Urgency be actually introduced in every School and in every Community at every Corner of our Continent.Forget about English,French,Portuguese,Spanish,Italian,Arabic,German or even Chinese;These are Colonial Heritage left by the Imperialists to forever Cause Discord in every African Discourse so that for example Anglophone Africans are completely Alien to Francophone Africans.We must rise above this historical impediment Now.Communication is a Basic and the most important point of Contact,Connection,Relation and Interaction between and among Human Beings.We can Never truly Integrate or Unite as One African People without One Common Truly African Language from East-to-Central-to-West-to-Southern-to-Northern Africa.On Values and Ethics; we must effect substantial Renaissance of Pan-Africanism, Afro-Optimism, Afro-Centrism and Afro-Futurism. We must rediscover, reclaim and rekindle our Wisdom and Knowledge on African Morality, African Virtues and Values as fashioned by our Founding Mothers and Fathers whose erosion and corrosion began way back in the Colonial Era and is still going on in the face of a highly influential Foreign and Europe/Western Culture. The African Union’s Social and Cultural Council together with the Pan-African Parliament should kick-start this Mission in earnest.

  1. An Africa whose development is People-driven, relying on the Potential of African People especially our Women, Youth and Caring for Children

“To take part in the African Revolution; It’s not enough to write a Revolutionary Song. You must fashion the Revolution with the People; If you fashion it with the People the Songs will come from them” said a True Pan-African; the first President of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure. He was absolutely right; Africa’s Agenda 2063 is a Masterpiece but it might not have a meaning for Africans without them at the Center of its every step and stage.Over 60% of Africa’s Population Today is below the age of 25 years with Africa’s Median Age being 19 Years. Africa is home to the World’s Youngest Population. This is in itself a Goldmine; it’s equally a Time Bomb. It all depends on the Strategy Africa has for this delicate Demographic. Whilst our Leaders seek to prepare a Future for us, it’s prudent that they also prepare us for the Future. We are not too young to lead and if indeed we are, then we are not too young to be part of our Continent’s Strategy Formulation. We have our own Visions, Ideas, Opinions and Desires; Involve us actively and consistently. I am glad we now have an AU Youth Envoy; the next most important thing is to transform the Envoy into an Afro-Optimism Movement that shall Traverse Africa conversing with the Youths on what they believe should be an Ideal Africa and bring their ideas together for Action. Our Women our Mothers are our all-time Treasure; they bring and nurture Life to the World. They are the very first Teacher one learns from in their Life. Every Child in this Continent deserves an Enlightened and Empowered Mother. The AU Directorate of Women, Gender and Development should revamp its Policy, Strategically lobby and increase the Fund for African Women and then use ‘Rights of Women in Africa’ division of our African Court (ACHPR) to establish Women Empowerment, Enlightenment and Welfare Program and Centers across Africa for our Women and Children to Learn and Advance themselves which will translate to Enlightened Communities across Africa.

  1. Africa as a Strong, United, Resilient and Influential Global Player and Partner

During the 7th Forum for China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing last year; President Paul Kagame in his capacity as the AU Chair said Africa is not a Zero-sum game that our vigorously growing ties with China do not come at anyone’s expense; In another High-level Europe-Africa Forum still last year he said that Europeans should view Africa as Partners not beneficiaries of their generosity. We have also in the past seen France-Africa,USA-Africa,India-Africa,Tokyo-Africa,Middle East-Africa,Korea-Africa,Norway-Africa,Germany-Africa and most recently Russia-Africa not forgetting the oncoming January 2020 UK-Africa Summit where the World’s Super Powers are seeking to engage Africa as a Continent. The biggest and most Critical Question is how Africa goes to such Forums;Do we engage as One Bloc of 54 States or each of our 54 States goes into the Negotiation Table Individually.Remember at all these Conferences Africa is rarely the Initiator;It’s usually these Countries that Initiate,Invite and set the Agenda always coming into the Negotiation Table as One;Clear and Conscise on what they want for their Countries and People out of these Summits.This is more often than not a complete opposite of how Africa walks into these Summits.In retrospect;Africa we must with an urgency of now get our Act together,think about our Formation,Place,Space,Position,Gains,Give and Take in such High-level Global Platforms while Strategising on such Events in the Future.For instance our Trade with China our biggest Trade Partner and Creditor has been on a nosedive since 2014 due to weak falling Commodity Prices lowering the Value of our Exports to China as their Exports to Africa increase steadily. How about Africa’s Debt burden to China;why is China always waiving Debts for African Countries referring to them as Poor, least developed and heavily in debt while giving out more Money as Debt to the same Countries?;This is not Strength,it’s neither Influence nor Resilience for Africa.Are we not slowly but surely falling trap to Debt Diplomacy with China?.Russia also did the same in the just concluded Russia-Africa Summit.These continued Debt relief gestures from our Creditors should now be a wake-up call to African Countries;such Diplomacy looks/sounds too good and we must stay both Woke and Warned.Are we biting more than we can chew,what kind of Projects are we financing with these huge high-interest Loans that cannot repay the Loans?.I believe Africa can develop without these external Aid and Loans;we only need the right Mindset to realize this. Our Trade with Europe has also been imbalanced since 2014. Why is our Trade with Global Economic Giants always fluctuating? Here now is where our Agenda 2063’s ‘Africa Commodity Strategy’ as a Flagship Project comes in handy. We need to introduce a Standard Policy on Commodity State, Volume, Quality, Positioning, Value Addition and Proposition for all Exports from Africa and a Standard Policy for Necessity, Priority, Quality, Validity and Alternative for all Imports to Africa. The AU Trade and Industry Organ should begin this as a Process of revamping our Foreign Trade Policy. The process of Ratifying our very own 1.2 Billion People African Market, $2.5 Trillion worth Africa Continental Free Trade Area is done and dusted;A Grand Stride in our Continental  Economic Integration and Naissance. Every African is looking forward to this Great Initiative of our Agenda 2063 that is just about to come into Force;Its operational Phase beginning July 2020. Charity begins at home; the Success of AFCTA will place us as the Single Strongest and Biggest Trade Bloc in the World but we must be very pragmatic as we approach the operational phase of this momentous Program.

Another critical issue towards this Aspiration of becoming a Strong Influential Global Player and Partner lies in our Stake and Voice at Key High-Level Decision Making bodies in the World led by the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Security Council, the World Trade Organization General Council, the G 7 Alliance among others. As the late Zimbabwean President and Great Pan-African H.E Robert Mugabe once noted;It’s untenable, unreasonable and unfair that Africa has neither Influential nor Permanent Representation in some of these bodies whose Decisions and Decrees we are Subject and bound to oblige.We Must seek and have Real Substantial Place,Positions and Voice in these Key Global Decision-making Bodies and Organizations.

{The Writer Mr.Hezbon Mureithi is One of our Editors at Honourable Media Africa}

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria’s Intriguing Political Journey Right From Its Independence TO DATE:

  • #NigeriaDecides2019
    #Nigeria2019Election

    October 1,1960 Nigeria gained its Independence from Britain; Nnamdi Azikwe gets appointed as Governor  General alongside Tafawa Balewa as the Prime Minister.

  • October 1,1963 Nigeria became a Republic with Nnamdi Azikwe as its first President with Tafawa Balewa as its first Prime Minister.
  • While in his Third Year in Office; January 1966 President Azikwe travels to West Indies on a Medical Trip and while away a Bloody Coup is staged by the Military to depose him leading to the Killing of his Prime Minister Tafawa, Senior Army Officers, Prime Ministers of the West and North of N

    Nigeria on the African Map

    igeria among other Senior Government Officials. Major General/Commander Johnson Aguiyi alongside a battery of Igbo(Southerners)Power Elite suppressed the Coup and Seized Power to become a Millitary Head of State. This marks the start of Nigeria’s 3 Decades of Millitary Rule, Supremacy and Showdown.

  • Northern Nigerians who suffered the brute of this Coup saw this as a Conspiracy by the Igbo Power Elite to annex and subjugate them creating vile Ethnic Animosity. July the same year 1966 the Northern Soldiers staged another deadly Coup against their Southern Colleagues and Killed Aguiyi who was now the Military Head of State. In this Violent takeover, the Northerners killed close to 30,000 Igbos forcing them to flee to the South. On May 1967 the Igbos declared their Independence in a Secession bid to have a Nation of their own which they named Biafra State. This announcement became the start of a Ghastly, Bloody Civil War (Biafran War) that lasted for Two and a half years until January 1970. Gun battle is believed to have caused over 100,000 Deaths with Drought, Hunger, Starvation and Diseases claiming over a Million Lives of the Igbo Community. Upon a thoroughly suppressed Igbo Warriors and a decimated Population; the Igbos surrendered on January 1970 and the Military Ruler General Yakubu Gowon who took over after Aguiyi’s assassination accepted them back to the Nigerian State ending the deadly Civil War.
  • General Gowon ruled until July 1975 when he was overthrown in a bloodless Coup that happened while he was away in Kampala Uganda for the 12th OAU Summit. General Muhammed Murtala took over as the New Military Head of State. Barely 7 Months into Office General Murtala was on February 1976 assassinated in a failed Coup attempt. His Chief of Staff who had been promoted to a Lieutenant General one Olesegun Obasanjo was immediately appointed by the Supreme Military Council took over as the New Military Ruler. Obasanjo ruled for Four Years until August 1979 when the First Ever Presidential Elections were held where a Civilian one Shehu Shagari won the Election. Obasanjo stepped down both as the Military Head of State and Army Officer and handed over to the Newly Elected Civilian Head of State Shagari on October 1979. The Supreme Military Council was dissolved to give birth to a New Nigeria.
  • 3 Years into Office, Shagari’s democratically elected Government was on December 1983 deposed by the Military, a new Supreme Military Council was formed and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Current President of Nigeria) took over as the New Military Ruler. Buhari ruled for around Two Years until August 1985 when a New Military Council (Armed Forces Ruling Council) formed by General Ibrahim Babangida overthrew him and Gen. Babangida took over. The new Military Ruler promised to restore Democracy; he ruled for 8 Years. In a Visit to Egypt on August 1993 Gen. Babangida stepped down and appointed a Civilian who was a Lawyer one Ernest Shonekan as an Interim President. Shonekan’s Transitional Government was in its Fourth Month deposed by General Sani Abacha on November 1993 who appointed himself as the head of Ruling Military Coucil and Head of State. Gen. Abacha ruled for 5 Years until June 1998 when he mysteriously died in his Presidential Villa. His Defence Staff Chief Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar was immediately sworn in the same Month. Gen. Abdulsalami promised to hold a Democratic Election within a Year in order to hand over Power. He established an Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted Presidential Elections on February 1999. Former Military Head of State Olesegun Obasanjo won the Election and true to his Word Major Abdulsalami handed over Power to Obasanjo on May 1999. A modified version of the 1979 Constitution adopted during Abdulsalami’s Reign came now came into force with President Olesegun Obasanjo marking the birth of yet another New Nigeria.
  • In another Presidential Election on April 2003 Obasanjo’s Ruling Party PDP won a Second Term against his main Opponent and former Military Head of State Muhammadu Buhari(Now the Current President). Amid claims and accusations of intending to hang on Power with a Third Term, President Obasanjo bowed to pressure and stepped down after the Controversial April 2007 Presidential Elections won by one Umaru Yar’Adua. His main opponents again Muhammadu Buhari and Obasanjo’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar contested the results in Court but their Petititions were dismissed.
  • President Yar’Adua suddenly left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on November 2009 on a Medical Trip reportedly ailing with Pericarditis. After Three Months of his absence Concerns were raised with Pressure from Various Stakeholders in Politics on his inability to discharge his duties as President. Nigeria’s Senate bowed to Pressure and calls to declare Yar’Adua’s Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as an acting President. On February 2010 President Yar’Adua secretly returned to Nigeria with his state of Health still unclear with claims it had deteriorated. 4 Months later on May 2010 President Yar’Adua was announced Dead. His Vice President Goodluck was immeadiately Sworn in as President. 10 Months into office a Presidential Election was held on April 2011 and Jonathan confirmed his Position as President after beating his Close Rival Muhammadu Buhari.
  • President Goodluck ruled until March 2015 when another Presidential Election was held. He lost to General Buhari, Conceded defeat and handed over Power on May 2015. This was Buhari’s 4th Trial to become President through the ballot after his unsuccessful bids in 2003,2007 and 2011.He made history as the first ever Opposition Candidate to beat a sitting President.

  NIGERIA TODAY

  • General Buhari who at one time served as Nigeria’s Millitary Head of State between December 1983-August 1985 is the Current Democratically Elected President of Nigeria now running for his Second Term in Office in Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Election Set to happen This Saturday February 23,2019 after they were abruptly called off last Saturday 5 Hours to the start by the Electoral Commission INEC  citing Logistical shortfalls.73 Candidates have been registered to run for President although the real Race is said to be between Current President Buhari who is also the Oldest Candidate at 76 against Former Vice President and Business Tycoon one Atiku Abubakar at 72 both with a wealth of Political Experince from Nigeria’s Charged Political Battles in the Past. Atiku has unsuccessfully been in this race for 3 Times in 2007,2011 and 2015.  The race has also attracted Youthful Contenders like Mr. Chike Ukaegbu who is only 35, Madam Eunice Atuejide who is 40, Mr. Fela Durotoye and Mr. Omoyele Sowore who are both 47.A whopping 52% of the 84 Million registered Voters are Youths (35 Years and Below). 6 Female Candidates are also in the race this being the highest number of Female Presidential Candidates in Nigeria’s History. There are 84.3 Million Registered Voters set to cast their Votes in 120,000 Polling Stations across the 36 States of Nigeria.
    • The February 2019 Presidential Election which recorded a very Poor Turnout and Voter Apathy with over 53 Million out of the over 84 Million Registered Voters failing to Vote was Won by Incumbent President Buhari (APC Party) with 15 Million Votes winning in 19/36 States against his closest Rival Atiku Abubakar (PDP Party) who garnered 11 Million Votes winning in 17/36 States.President Buhari is Now in his Second and Last 4-Years Term in Office.
  • Nigeria is the Biggest Economy in Africa, the Biggest Oil Producer in Africa and 13th in the World, the Most Populous Country in Africa and 7th in the World with a Population of over 200 Million People across  its 250+ Ethnic Groups. Over half of its Population is below the Age of 20 Years with its Media Age being 19 Years.
  • Nigeria’s Capital City Lagos is the Largest City in Africa with a Population of over 22 Million People. Nigeria’s Official Language is English with Local Languages Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo having the Most Speakers due to their Massive Population. Islam Religion has the majority of the Population closely followed by Christianity Religion. Nigerian Naira is the Country’s Currency.

Photos Credit;Ballot Naija & 123RF.

World’s Youngest Population under World’s Oldest Leaders

Africa is the World’s youngest Continent with over 60% of its population being under

Africa Median Ages:
Image Courtesy

25 years of Age;Despite having the youngest Population in the World,Africa has the oldest Leaders in Power with about 20 of its sitting Presidents being 70 years and above.Forget about King Sobhuza 2 of Swaziland Monarchy (Present Day Eswatini) who ruled for 61 Years or Emperor Haile Sellasie who ruled Ethiopian Empire for 44 Years;Here is a list of Africa’s Longest serving Presidents some who ruled until Death took them out of Office; some are still in office Today;Some if all goes according to their plans could also end up ruling their respective Countries until Death parts them with the High Office;

1. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema-he took power after overthrowing and killing his Uncle President Francisco Nguema who was the first President of EQ in a bloody Coup of  1979 and from August 1979 To Date he has been the President Of Equatorial Guinea.The 76 years old President will be in his 43rd year in power when this Country holds its next elections in 2022.

2.President Paul Biya-he took power from Cameroon‘s first President Ahmadou Ahdijo in 1982 and from November 1982 To Date he has been the President;The 86-Years old now on a new 7-years 7th term in Office will be in his 43rd year in power when the Country holds its next elections in 2025.

3. President Alhaji Omar Bongo-Having been appointed Vice President by Gabon‘s First President one Leon M’ba on November 1966;Omar Bongo would later smoothly succeed M’ba who succumbed to Cancer on November 1967.He went on to rule for 42 Years until June 2009 when he also succumbed to Cancer.

4. President Col.Muammar Gaddafi-He took Power as a Young Army Officer after overthrowing Libya‘s Independence Leader King Idris 1 in the 1969 Coup (King Idris was then away for Medical Trip to Turkey).After taking Power on September 1969 Gaddafi transformed Libya from a Monarch to a Republic and ruled for 42 Years until October 2011 when he was Overthrown and Killed by Opposition Rebels in a Revolution that was backed by Western NATO Forces.

5. President Gen. Eyadema Gnassingbe- He took Power after leading Two successful Coups one in 1963 when he together with other Army Officers Overthrew and Killed Togo‘s First President Sylvanus Olympio and installed Nicolas Grunitzky to become the Second President who he would later Overthrow and Exile 4 Years later in another Coup of 1967. He Eyadema took Power on April 1967 and ruled for 38 Years until he Died in Power on February 2005.

6. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos– He rose to Power on September 1979 through Angola‘s Independence Party MPLA after the Death of Angola’s First President Agostinho Neto who succumbed to Cancer on September 1979.He went on to rule for 38 Years until September 2017 when he stepped down.He is currently 77 Years Old.

7. President Robert Mugabe– He came to Power as a Prime Minister in 1980 when Zimbabwe attained Independence and later Elected the Country’s First President in 1987. He went on to rule for 37 Years until he was Overthrown by Zimbabwe’s Military on November 2017.He is currently 95 Years Old.

8. President Yoweri Museveni-he took power after a successful army-led bloodless Coup that toppled President Milton Obote in 1985.On January 1986 Yoweri Museveni declared himself President of Uganda,a position he holds To Date.With the scrapping off of the Presidential Age and Term limit,Museveni who is now 75 has already declared his Candidature to defend his Position and extend his 35 years in power in the Country’s next elections in 2021.

9. President Dennis Sassou Nguesso-after the assassination of President Marien Ngoubai in  1977 the Military Committee of Ngoubai’s Party that took over after his assassination ran the Republic of Congo for two years after which it appointed one of its members Colonel Dennis Sassou Nguesso as the interim President on February 1979,On March the same year 1979 the Peoples’ National Assembly of the Republic of Congo confirmed Dennis Sassou as the President.He ruled for 13 years until 1992 when he lost to his main rival President Pascal Lissouba in the Country’s first Multi-party elections of 1992.In Congo’s 1997 Civil War,Dennis Sassou Nguesso with a group of  rebels and some significant support from some Angolan Troops ousted President Pascal Lissouba and on October 1997 Dennis Sassou returned to Brazzaville (Congo’s Capital) and declared himself President,a Position he holds To Date.By 2023 when this Country will hold its next Presidential elections,Dennis Sassou who is now 75 shall have ruled the Republic of Congo for 39 years.

10. President Omar-Al-Bashir-he took power on June 1989 through a bloodless Military Coup that toppled President Ahmed-Al-Mirghani and went on to rule the Republic of Sudan until April 2019 when he was Overthrown by Sudan’s Military amid his Plans to Extend his 30-Years Rule that caused 4 Months of National Civil Uprising across Sudan. The 75 Years Old is currently under Military detention.

11. President Hastings Kamuzu Banda– He rose to Power first as Prime Minister when Malawi got Independence on July 1964 and later as President from 1966 when Malawi became a Republic.He went on to rule for 30 Years until 1994 when he lost in Malawi’s first Democratic Elections.He died three Years later on November 1997 aged 99 Years.

12. President Idriss Deby-he came into power after leading a successful Coup that ousted President Hissen Habre who he had helped get into power only to turn against him when he (Habre) accused Deby of plotting a Coup against him.Deby fled to Sudan and organised an army that he named Patriotic Salvation Army with which he ousted President Habre out of Power in 1990 and has since then been the President of the Republic of Chad To Date. Deby who is now 67 shall be in his 31st year in Power when the Country holds its next elections in 2021.

13. President Isaias Afwerki– He led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front to Victory securing Eritrea’s independence on May 1993 and has been the President of Eritrea from 1993 To Date. Eritrea is a One-Party State with Isaias Party called People’s Front for Democracy and Justice being the only Party.There has been no elections in Eritrea since 1993 and there are no plans for the same as at now. Afwerki who is now 73 is in his 25th year in Power.

Above are those  who have been in Power for the longest time;The list of those wielding State Power in Africa for a significantly long time is big and it includes the following;

14. President Ismael Omar Guelleh- the now 72-Yeras old came to Power on May 1999 after winning the April 1999 Presidential Election succeeding his Uncle President Hassan Aptidon who retired  voluntarily.He has been the President of Djibouti from then To Date. He will be in his 22nd Year in Power when Djibouti holds its next Elections in 2021.

15. President Paul Kagame- at 61-the former Military Rebel Leader has been the President of Rwanda  from 2000-to Date.He succeeded President Pasteur Bizimungu(1994-2000) who he deputised when they formed a National Unity Government that Ended Rwanda’s Genocide.He resigned over differences with his Vice President Paul Kagame who took over from him immeadiately.President Kagame will be in his 24th Year in Power when Rwanda holds its next Presidential Election in 2024.

16. President Faure Gnassingbe- The now 53-Years old took over Togo‘s Presidency immediately after the Death of his Father Eyadema Gnassingbe in 2005 and is still the President To Date ahead of Next Year’s 2020 Election which he is a Candidate after  instituting  a Constitutional Amendment through Togo’s Parliament to enable him seek Two more Terms.

17. Pierre Nkurunziza– A  former Rebel Leader came to Power in 2005 after Burundi’s 12-Years Civil War  that broke out in 1993 and he is still the President To Date after defying the 2005 Peace Deal that ended the Civil War by going for a contested Third Term in the 2015 Elections.The 54-Years old will be in his 15th Year in Power in the oncoming 2020 General Elections.

Percentage of World’s Population under 25 per Continent:
Image Courtesy

The Pitfall in Africa-China Financial Relations

The theme of the just concluded 7th ‘Forum on China-Africa Cooperation’ (FOCAC) at Beijing was “China and Africa;Towards an even stronger Community with a shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation”.In his address to the Forum that had brought together over 48 African Heads of States and Governments,President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in his Capacity as the

The Inaugural October 2000 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing

Chair of the African Union stated that Africa’s growing ties with China is not a Zero-sum game and does not come at anyone’s expense.

I wish to bring to light a Critical issue in our Financial relations with China that if unchecked is a time-ticking bomb.
Since inception of FOCAC 18 years ago at Beiing,Africa has borrowed over $ 150 Billion from China.In 2009 FOCAC,China cancelled some free interest loans owed to it by over 30 African Countries that it described as Poor,least developed and heavily indebted.These were debts that could have matured by the end of 2009.This came after its 2006 FOCAC resolution to double it’s Finance to Africa from $5 Billion in 2006 to $ 10 Billion in 2009.In a move least expected,China again doubled its Finance to Africa from $10 Billion in 2009 to $ 20 Billion at the 2012 FOCAC.Fast-forward to the immediate-previous FOCAC in 2015,China again without much elaboration cancelled some debts owed to it by an unspecified number of African Nations that it described least developed and heavily in debt.These again were interest free loans that could have matured by end of 2015.Surprisingly,China during that 2015 FOCAC tripled its Funding to Africa to $ 60 Billion.
On Monday September 3,2018 during the 7th FOCAC in a striking similarity of events,China has again promised to Cancel some debts owed to it by some African Countries that are staggering in development and heavily in debt.These are debts that could have matured by the end of this year 2018.Amidst these shortfalls,China has maintained it’s funding to Africa at $60 Billion.
This  begs questions;isn’t the deal getting too “good” for Africa,Isn’t it time for Africa to ponder and perhaps rethink its Financial relations with China.Is this this really a Zero-sum game  as President Kagame stated or it’s a ploy by the Chinese Government to tactically enmesh Africa in debt-trap Diplomacy.
As China keeps doubling and tripling it’s loans to Africa,the International Monetary Fund has raised a red flag on Africa with over 40% of low income and low middle income African Countries already in debt distress.Africa must now get its act together.Africa can develop itself without external aid and if it must borrow then it must only bite what it can chew;loans that it can comfortably service and invest the same in prudent,strategic projects with quick high return on investment.It must also firmly deal with Corruption that continues to bedevil its very foundation and course of development.

The just-concluded 7th China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing;September 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     African Nations must stay woke and wary with the rapidly increasing China debts and ask themselves what is it that they can surrender if China asks or even weaponizes these debts to demand something in return for debt relief. These are critical issues that African Nations must consider with dire urgency as they seek to deepen their ties and  cooperation with China.

On Uganda’s Growing Political Turmoil

On Uganda’s Growing Political Turmoil..

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (centre), also known as Bobi Wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the objectives of the African Union that also happen to be two of the fundamental principles of the East African Community are:

  1. Promotion and protection of Human and People’s Rights in accordance to the provisions of the ‘African Charter on Human and People’s Rights’
  2. Promotion of democratic principles, good governance and the Rule of Law
Under 1. above, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights ‘Civil and Political Rights Norm among other Rights guarantees:
  • Right to due process concerning arrest and detention
  • Right to fair trial 
The events,details and controversy around the pre-arrest,arrest,detention,charging and trial of Uganda’s Political Leftist Members of Parliament Francis Zake, Kassiano Wadri, Paul Mwiru, Gerald Karuhanga, Mike Mabike and Robert Kyangulanyi famed as Bobi Wine, among other Citizens after the hotly contested Arua by-election is all in blatant contravention of all the above provisions and dictates of both the AU and the EAC treaties. It is even more regrettable that this ugly situation in Uganda pits the AU against the Chair of the EAC and the EAC against it’s Chair President Yoweri Museveni.
This arguably could be the reason behind the continued silence of both the AU and the EAC’s Summit and Council, as Uganda’s Government continues to wreak havoc on the dissenting voices.
Anytime the People in positions of Power and Authority delay or fail to weigh in and adjudicate on issues of critical concern to the People;
The People will more often than not rise to fill the gap demanding action on what they think and believe is right and should be done.This often leads to destructive confrontation as the People in power seek to Pacify the People they lead like it’s currently happening in Uganda.
In this light; it’s only prudent for the AU,the EAC and Ugandan Authorities to speedily rein sanity of the Rule of Law on this whole saga to avert further deterioration of the ugly Political turmoil ensuing in Uganda.

Supporters and activists demanding for Bobi Wine’s release