Updated: Jan 24, 2021
Let’s kick off by exploring the term “Trumpism”.
According to Wikipedia;
Trumpism is a term for the political ideology, style of governance, political movement and set of mechanisms for acquiring and keeping powers that are associated with the 45th United States president
Wikipedia’s definition of Trumpism shy’s away from what Trumpism truly reflects in terms of policies and actions.
We defined Trumpism as a facist and racist far right form of governance that utilises divisive and dishonourable tactics to acquire and maintain political power.
We refuse to acknowledge Trumpism as just another ideology or methodology because this would insinuate that there is logic behind the actions and policies implemented through Trumpism, when there are none.
Trumpism is everything that encompasses and epitomises President Donald Trump and should be much more likened to psychopathy. A psychopath lacks emotions and doesn’t need a reason to kill, much like the behaviour associated with Trumpism defies all human logic and can only be put down to Trump’s own thought process, which makes no sense at all. There will always be people who support Trumpism but this form of politics has no place in a progressive world.
President Donald Trump spent the last four years in office spreading hate, discord and instigating conflicts, both at home and abroad. His actions during his four years in office surmises what Trumpism stands for.
Now that we are done exploring what “Trumpism“ means, let’s look at instances of Trumpism and where possible, explore how it has impacted Africa.
Trumpism incites Islamophobia
During his tenure as president, Trump incessantly targeted the muslim community inciting islamophobia and tagging them as terrorist. Through a series of executive orders, Trump issued travel bans which were tagged as the “Muslim travel ban” because they predominantly affected Muslim countries.
The travel ban was challenged legally which led to a second executive order being issued and Iraq was taken off the list.
The travel ban was later extended through a Presidential proclamation to include North Korea, Chad and Venezuela, while Sudan was taken of the travel ban list. In total, six African countries were impacted by this travel ban and they included, Nigeria, Tanzania, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Libya. If you are a fan of statistics like me then 46% of the countries impacted by Trump’s Muslim travel ban were from Africa.
Trumpism gains followership through the spread of false information and rhetoric
According to Glen Kesler of the Washington Post, President Donald Trump made approximately 30,000 false claims during his four years in office.
Firstly, let’s differentiate between the two common types of false information spread by Trump. Misinformation and disinformation are both the spread of false information but the key difference between them is intent. Misinformation is the spread of false information and it doesn’t care about intent, so it isn’t strategic or targeted in nature. Disinformation on the other hand, is the spread of false information with intent, so it is strategic and targeted.
I think the best example of disinformation is the Trump speech that led to an insurrection at Capitol Hill on the 06/01/21 when congress came together to certify the 2021 election result and confirm Joe Biden as the next US President. In Trump’s speech on the 06/01/21 to his supporters, he kept on reiterating the false narrative that the election was stolen and instructed his followers to march on Capitol Hill. Trump’s intent was to use this disinformation to rile up his supporters and disrupt the election certification process at Capitol Hill.
At the end of this incident, six people died, including a police officer. Trump was quick to distance himself from the event and stated he was committed to a peaceful transition. As the proverbial saying goes “There is power in the word of mouth”, something Trump never seemed to learn in his four years in office.
This domestic terrorist attack at Capitol Hill was a build up of years of disinformation being spread by Trump on Twitter. The disinformation became more severe after the presidential elections. Trump insisted that the democrats stole the election but produced no evidence. He insisted there was wide spread voter fraud but provided no evidence. All the while his 80 million followers on Twitter bought into this disinformation and eventually acted upon it, leading to a domestic terrorist attack at Capitol Hill by a bunch of white supremacist.
Africa on the other hand has been a victim of Trump’s misinformation rather than disinformation. For instance Trump stated that Chloroquine medication was a game changer against COVID 19 and also claimed he was taking it. As a result of this misinformation there were multiple reports of chloroquine overdose in countries like Nigeria. These are but a few misinformation and disinformation tactics used by Trump. Least we forget Trumps disinformation that Barack Obama is not American and that his birth certificate was fake.
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on the 25/05/2011, Trump repeated his claim that he had a team in Hawaii investigating Obama’s birth and said he’d been told the birth certificate was “missing” or didn’t exist. We all know where the story goes from there. It was all disinformation perpetuated by Trump with the intent to build political clout among those Americans who still have the fantasy of a white, anti-immigration America, where people from ethnic groups are targeted.
Trumpism incites discrimination
During Trump‘s presidential debate with Biden, he was asked point blank to denounce the far right white supremacist organisation call “Proud Boys“. Trump’s response was for “Proud Boys” to “stand back and standby”.
Well “Proud Boys” and millions of other Pro Trump supporters stood back and waited as instructed by Trump. On the 06/01/21 hundreds of Pro Trump supporters matched on Capitol Hill, broke into the building and tried to cause an insurrection, all while waving a confederate flag which is a known symbol of black oppression and slavery. Some of the Pro Trump supporters waved Neo Nazi symbols and some even carried KKK flags. Proud Boys joined the march on Capitol Hill with hundreds of other white supremacists. At the end of the day, they did this because they bought into the racist, facist rhetoric that goes with Trumpism.
Six people lost their lives during the Capitol Hill insurrection and questions are being asked about what would have happened if it was BLM supporters that broke into Capitol Hill. Would Trump have treated them differently? According to reports, it took Trump an hour before mobilising the National guard to quell the insurrection at Capitol Hill. If it was BLM protesters that broke into Capitol Hill, the death toll would have been in hundreds because black people are treated differently. With Trumpism there is a clear divide in racial preferential treatment being given to white people over ethnic groups and minorities.
Let‘s not forget the George Floyd incident and how Trump described Black Lives Matter protesters as a symbol of hate and thugs. All the while he kept totally quiet during the George Floyd protests, when the black community and country as a whole needed the voice of assurance from their leader. Trump and his administration have always insisted there was no systemic racism in US, yet the statistics show that black people are most likely to be stopped or pulled over by the police and most likely to be shot. The one movement that united the black community worldwide against racism, was the very same movement Trump incited hate against by calling them thugs and a symbol of hate. Trumpism became the very mechanism for inciting racism in against black people.
Africa has been on the receiving end of racial hate spread through Trumpism. Below are some of Trump’s famous quotes about Africa:
The Washington Post quoted Trump as saying "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump allegedly said this during a discuss was about immigrants entering the US from El Salvador, Haiti, and countries on the African continent.
Trump is quoted telling four US Congress women of ethnic origin “go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,”. It so happens one of these women was born in Somalia and naturalised in the US.
“I really like Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is just waiting to explode - not a good situation for the people!”. This was a tweet in December 2013.
“Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen - corruption is rampant!” This was a tweet in July 2013.
“Why are we sending thousands of ill-trained soldiers into Ebola infested areas of Africa! Bring the plague back to U.S.? Obama is so stupid” This was a tweet in September 2014.
I guess the quote that really hit home for me and most Africans was hearing that Trump referred to Africa as a “Shit hole”. Till date he denies saying this but multiple witnesses from the press confirmed he said it. The African Union requested an apology from him but he down played it, knowing an apology was also an admission of guilt. It is clear President Donald Trump never had any high opinions about Africa. What right does Trump have to call Africa corrupt when he has been accused of tax evasion and meddling with a presidential election. For crying out loud, he is the first and only president to be impeached twice. Least we forget he was impeached the first time for abusing the position of his office when he intentionally with held aid from Ukraine in order to illicit a favour. Members of Trump’s election carcus were prosecuted in court and found guilty of election tampering and fraud. Trump once more abused the power of his office to pardon these people. It is hypocritical for Trump to call Africa corrupt when he epitomises everything corruption stands for.
Trumpism can be likened to Terrorism
One would say comparing Trump to Bin Laden is a far stretch and an exaggeration. Some might even go so far as to say it belittles the severity of terrorism. I want to assure you that you are wrong. Let's start by looking at some definitions of terrorism:
United Kingdom's Crown Prosecution Service defines terrorism as the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause;
MI5 defines terrorism as groups that use violence and threats of violence to publicise their causes and as a means to achieve their goals. They often aim to influence or exert pressure on governments and government policies but reject democratic processes, or even democracy itself.
The FBI defines International terrorism as violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).
The FBI defines domestic terrorism as violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.
The UN General Council states that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.
By now, you would have noticed that there are hundreds of acceptable definitions of terrorism worldwide, with no two of them the same. There are however common characteristics associated with these definitions of terrorism. Most notably, almost all definitions incorporate elements of threats, violence, incitement, criminality and religious/political/environmental extremism. All definitions assume that there is a party committing acts of terrorisms and there is a party that is the recipient of the acts of terrorism. Lastly, governments tend to mold their definition of terrorism around their legislation to protect themselves from being classed as terrorist by their own constituents.
While you ask yourself how Trumpism has encouraged terrorism, i implore you to ask yourself two questions:
Has Trump incited violence in the last 4 years? Quick answer would be "Yes", absolutely yes. On the 6th of January 2021, while lawmakers at Capitol Hill were certifying president elect Joe Biden’s victory, President Trump took the stage near the White House to address Pro Trump supporters. In the aftermath of Trump's speech, a number of his followers took his words to heart and forcefully entered Capitol Hill with intent to hurt and kill congress members, including Vice President Pence. Their actions have been classed as an act of domestic terrorism on US soil. What did Trump say in his speech that riled up his supporters? In his speech, he instructed his supporter to march on Capitol Hill. He is quoted as saying "If you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore". He then continued with his false rhethoric claiming the election was stolen. We all know what happens from there. Six people died including a police officer.
Has Trump directly or indirectly killed anyone in the name of driving his political agenda? Research published by Robert A. Hahn of the Department of Anthropology, Emory University, attributed 132,630 deaths that occurred between April 3 2020 and July 21 2020 to Trump making face mask wearing non mandatory. Not to mention that as a leader, his people follow him and he refused to wear a face mask until he caught the virus. All six people that died in the Capitol Hill insurrection have also been attributed to Trump. If you are still not convinced about how Trumpism kills, then visit https://trumpdeathclock.com/. According to the Trump death clock website, Trump is currently responsible for the deaths of 238,032 people in America and counting. Trump was briefed about the dangers associated with Covid 19 in January 2020. Yet he down played it in public view, comparing it to the flu. He waited till March 16th 2020 before he acted and experts have estimated that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided.
I ask you my dear readers, what is terrorism? You associate it with suicide bombers and Muslim extremist but what do call a man responsible for more than 200,000 deaths?. What do you call an ideology that is backed by extremists such as “Proud Boys” and spreads hate which leads to violence ? Trumpism and everything it stands for is no different from terrorism.
Trumpism led to unfavourable and divisive foreign policies
Trump’s stance on immigration is well documented. He doesn’t want Muslims to come to America, he thinks Africa is a shit hole and he is building a physical wall between the US and Mexico, to stop Mexicans entering the US illegally. Well statistics show that the number of migrants detained at the US-Mexico border in 2019 was double the amount in any of the four years of Obama’s administration as shown in the graph below.
In short, Obama’s administration recorded the lowest amount of migrants detained at the US-Mexico borders, when compared to his predecessor George Bush and his successor Donald Trump. As of December 2020, the Trump administration had spent $15 billion on an ineffective wall. While the numbers of migrants detained at the border came down in 2020 as reported by DHS, it only came down to figures similar to those posted by the Obama‘s administration. Obama didn’t need $15 billion to achieve this and I am certain that money could have helped a lot of people.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran
Also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015 the five members of UN’s security council and the EU, signed an agreement with Iran to stop enriching uranium for the purpose of developing nuclear weapon. Without going into much details, Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium was reduced by 97 percent, from 10,000 kg to 300 kg. Stockpile of medium rich uranium was reduced from a 196 kg to zero. The use of nuclear centrifuges were also constrained and the IAEA were given access to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities regularly. In return, it was agreed than Iran would receive between a $100 to $120 billions from their assets that had been frozen by the international community.
In a summary, this deal was good for the international community and Iran. Along comes Trumpism, in 2017 the US withdrew from the deal and Trump once more used disinformation to justify this. Through tweets and press conferences, Trump told the world that Obama gave Iran $100 billion to stop building nuclear weapons. He insinuated that the money came from the US treasury coffers but in reality it was Iran’s money, which was frozen by the international community as sanctions against Iran. As usual, Trump’s intention was to create the narrative that Muslim countries like Iran are terrorist and Obama negotiated with them. Well it definitely worked, because Pro Trump supporters believed every bit of it, even though details of the Iran nuclear deal is in the public domain.
Since Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, the US have imposed new sanctions on Iran. Furthermore, the US launched a drone strike on Iran that killed a top Iranian general called Qasem Soleimani. They claim he posed a clear and present danger to the US but have provided zero evidence to justify the assassination. In a report by UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, stated that the US had not provided sufficient evidence of an imminent threat to life to justify the attack.
The US drone attack on Iran was no coincidence and it was a clear violation of International law. The US already withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 because they knew they were going to commit acts which would be perceived as a breach to international law. As a result of Trumpism, Iran started enriching Uranium to build nuclear weapons once again.
Iran enriching Uranium and bolstering their nuclear capability is bad news for Africa. The closest African countries to Iran are Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. Somalia, Libya and Ethiopia are a little further out but not too far to be affected by radiation fallout from a nuclear strike.
According to armscontrol.org there are four types of ballistic missiles which can be used to arm a nuclear weapon.
Short-range ballistic missiles, traveling less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles);
Medium-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 1,000–3,000 kilometers (approximately 620-1,860 miles);
Intermediate-range ballistic missiles, traveling between 3,000–5,500 kilometers (approximately 1,860-3,410 miles); and
Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), traveling more than 5,500 kilometers.
According to armscontrol.org, Iran’s ballistic missile inventory shows that they are suspected to have ballistic missiles capable of reaching 2500 kilometres plus, which is approximately 1510 miles plus. Iran is 1,427 miles from Egypt and 1,812.65 miles from Sudan. Somalia which is the furtherest Eastern African country is 2356.80 miles from Iran. This simply means that East Africa is within shooting or rather nuking range of Iran. God help us all, if Iran wakes up on the wrong side of their bed .
Paris Agreement on climate change
The Paris climate change agreement was created in 2015 and signed by 198 countries with a goal of preventing global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees celsius.
Between 2012 and 2020, Donald Trump’s opinion on Climate change and Global warming changed numerous time. We have captured five of his popular quotes which reflect these changes:
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”— Donald Trump, Nov. 6, 2012
“Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee - I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” — Donald Trump, Dec. 6, 2013
“I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that. I think I know more about the environment than most people.” — Donald Trump, Aug. 26, 2019
“Climate change is very important to me. I’ve done many environmental impact statements in my life, and I believe very strongly in very, very crystal clear clean water and clean air.” — Donald Trump, Dec. 3, 2019
“Nothing’s a hoax about that. It’s a very serious subject. I’m a big believer in that word, the environment.” — Donald Trump, Jan. 9, 2020
On June 1, 2017, Trump announced that the U.S would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Climate change agreement which they signed on the 4th of November 2016. Unfortunately, the terms of the Paris agreement stipulated that countries which join the agreement can’t give notice of withdrawal within three years of joining. The U.S had to legally abide to these terms and gave a new notice of withdrawal on the 4th of November 2019.
The U.S leaving the Paris agreement had a detrimental effect on funding developing countries in Africa received towards Climate change projects. During Obama’s administration, the U.S contributed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund which helps developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. It was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 and plays a crucial role in helping countries fulfill the terms of the Paris climate change agreement.
GCF currently has 159 Climate change projects in their portfolio worth $24 billion. They have so far committed $7.3 billion to delivering climate change projects. $4.9 billion worth of projects has already been implemented. to date. You can see from the GCF chart below that 63 out of the 159 projects in GCF’s portfolio are aimed at developing countries in Africa. Losing the U.S contribution of $3 billion to GCF’s committed funds would have a negative impact on climate change initiatives in Africa.
Countries like the U.S and China contribute the highest amount of carbon footprint in the world because they are very industrialised. Africa as a continent has one of the fastest growing industrial economies in the world. While they only contribute a small portion of CO2 emissions to the world, their growing economy, population and increase in industrialisation, means their carbon emissions will increase, making the need for climate change initiatives in Africa essential.
US withdrawal from W.H.O during the COVID 19 pandemic
Historically, the U.S have been the largest contributors to W.H.O. In 2019 alone, they contributed over $400 million to the WHO, which was roughly 15% of WHO’s overall budget.
When Trump announced that the U.S was withdrawing from its W.H.O commitments pending an investigation, the W.H.O had already secured commitments amounting to 94% of their $450 million COVID-19 funding target for 2020. While the U.S withdrawal will have little impact on W.H.O short term, it would undoubtedly have a detrimental impact long term, especially on Africa.
Africa receives more than double the budget allocated to any of the five other regions the W.H.O administers globally, and about 60% of that budget focuses on limiting the spread of infectious diseases.
W.H.O‘s Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, acknowledged at a press briefing that halting U.S. funds would have broad repercussions on areas such as Polio eradication as well as other priority programs that address communicable diseases such as HIV, and malaria.
If the U.S and the western world in general have learnt anything from the spread of COVID 19, it is that infectious diseases are not limited by borders nor do they discriminate based on race or economical status. The decision for U.S to withdraw from W.H.O, especially during a pandemic was careless, selfish and dangerous for Africa and the world in general.
Trade war with China
Since July 2018, the US and China have been embroiled in one of the biggest and most expensive trade wars in human history. So far, the US has slapped tariffs on US$550 billion worth of Chinese products. In return China set tariffs on US$185 billion worth of US goods.
I am not going to bore you with the timeline for this trade war, because it is like a movie that never ends. I am not joking, the trade war always starts with US increasing tariffs on Chinese imports, then China reciprocates the gesture by increasing tariffs on US imports. Then both parties file cases with the World Trade Organisation, after which, both parties agree trade talks. While trade talks are ongoing both parties agree to suspend any tariff actions . Once trade talks fall through they begin their trade war again.
All trade talks to date have failed to come to a final compromise. China and US have had more than 15 trade talks over two years and still have not agreed anything. If you are interested in reading a vicious boring predictable cycle of the US and China playing ping pong with the world’s economy visit https://www.china-briefing.com/news/the-us-china-trade-war-a-timeline/.
So why did Trump start a trade war with China? Well, Trump has been clamouring for trade tariffs on China since the 80's according to the Wall Street Journal. On a 1987 newspaper ad, Trump states that Japan and other nations have been taking advantage of the US for years. Trump advises that the wealthy nations should be taxed to end their huge trade deficits and reduce their taxes.
Then on May 2nd 2016, during Trump’s campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Trump said
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.” .
When the US announced they would be increasing tariffs on China goods in July 2018, they sighted unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft as their justification for this. In reality, Trump was only implementing a 34 years old plan without weighing the wider consequence.
Before we proceed, we need to define the economic term "Trade deficit" because it is about to come up a lot. In simple terms, trade deficit is the negative net difference between expenditure accrued from importing goods and revenue generated from exporting goods. It occurs when a country’s revenue generated from export is exceeded by expenditure accrued from importing goods.
The US is known to have a large trade deficit with its trading partner countries. As of 2019, 42.1% of the US trade deficit in goods was with China and was worth $346 billion. This trade deficit was created by $452 billion in imports from China to US. When Trump came into office in 2017 the US - China trade deficit was at $375.58 billion. It climbed to $419.53 billion in 2018, just when Trump decided to start the trade war with China. As a result of the trade war, the US-China trade deficit drop from $419.53 billion in 2018 to $167.04 in 2019 as shown in Statista’s chart below. You would probably say that this was beneficial to US but you are wrong as you will soon find out.
While the trade deficit with China went down, America's total trade deficit went up. Between Q3 2018 and Q3 2010, America's total trade deficit went from $152.41 billion to $188.41 billion as shown in the table below. Since Trump came into office, America's total trade deficit has increased not decreased. Ultimately, Trump's trade war wasn't beneficial to the American economy.
On the other hand, China has a trade surplus not a trade deficit. This means that unlike the US, China’s revenue from exporting goods exceeds their expenditure from importing goods as shown in the chart below from Statista.
Although China’s economy is in a trade surplus, their GDP growth rate has declined since the start of the trade war in 2018, as shown in Statista's bar chart below.
Africa is an innocent bystander in this trade war. China is Africa's largest trading partner and Africa's largest foreign investor. When Trump increased tariffs on China goods, it had a reverberating negative impact on Africa's economy. The trade war between China and America has impacted African in three key areas. The first being the GDP growth of China's economy which impacts their demand for goods in Africa. The second is a drop in African commodity prices and the third is contraction of Africa's economy.
As previously stated, China's economy has grown at a very slow rate due to the trade war with US. The COVID 19 pandemic further plummeted China's GDP growth rate to 1.85% in 2020. Due to the this slow GDP growth rate , China's import from Africa reduced. As you can see from the UN comtrade bar chart below, China’s import from Africa stopped increasing in 2018, when Trump started the trade war with China. By 2019, China's import from Africa remained the same as 2018. It is forecasted that in 2020 and 2021, the import figures will continue falling as China tries to balance their economic growth.
To top things off, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced Africa's forecasted GDP growth from 3.3% to 3.1% in 2019. They cited the trade war and China's slow GDP growth rate as some of the key factors causing Africa's economy to contract. IMF also warned that the trade war could alone cause up to a 1.5 percent cumulative drop in Africa’s GDP growth by 2021.
These dire forecasts have reduced investor confidence in the African market, leading to a drop in commodity prices, local currencies, and major stock exchanges. This is very much aligned with basic macroeconomics principles. When demand for goods and services reduce, the supplier in this case Africa, suffers from what we call “over capacity”. To stimulate economic trade, Africa had to reduce prices of its goods and services exported. The bottom-line is US started this trade war and China are no saints but they are still Africa's biggest trading partner. So harm to China's economy is harm to Africa's economy. Never thought i would ever hear myself say that.
US withdrawing military support to Africa
Around January 2020, the US signaled intentions to withdraw a large percentage of their military presence from Africa. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated that the reason for this was to free up more resources to address challenges from China’s military. The last i checked, China has not openly challenged the US military forces, if anything, the US have been the aggressor in 2020. In the 21st century, if China wants to challenge the US, it definitely won't be via military. China are already engaged in cyber warfare and trade wars with the US. Both parties have intercontinental nuclear war heads that keep each other in check and guarantees mutual self destruction.
It is estimated that there were approximately 6000 US military personnel in Africa helping to fight various elements of terrorism especially in the eastern regions of the continent. The withdrawal of US troops from Africa is aligned with Trump's foreign policy to reduce the involvement the US in foreign wars. One of the key ideologies of Trumpism is that terrorism is foreign element associated with Muslims. An Trump's strategy to handle this is to ban Muslims from immigrating to America and to withdraw American troops from countries currently under the scourge of terrorism. US troops have also been withdrawn from Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign countries since Trump took office in 2016. The BBC chart below give a better picture of how the presence of US troops abroad has reduce since Trump became president. Least we forget, this was one of his promises during his 2016 presidential campaign.
In December 2020, Africa was dealt another blow when approximately 700 US troops were ordered by Trump to withdraw from Somalia early 2021. US defense officials claimed that many of the forces will be redeployed to neighboring Kenya which had roughly 200 US military personnel on ground at the beginning of 2020. The biggest terrorist faction in eastern Africa is the Al-Shabab, a terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda that has between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters according to US defense officials. The US reducing its military presence in Somalia will only incentivise these terrorist group to grow and spread.
In 2019, it was reported by New York Times that the US was scaling back its military presence in West Africa by 25% even though insurgents are now attacking northern Burkina Faso and pushing south along the borders with Niger toward areas that have never been targeted by extremists before. This includes the Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo and Ghana, where the Pentagon has established logistics hub.
Our view is this, the US are within their right to withdraw some or all their troops from Africa if they want to. It is safer for their soldiers and it saves them money. Where does this leave Africa?, maybe they need to turn to China or Russia, as both countries see Africa's potential where the US doesn't. The only issue with this is that China and Russia both have ulterior motives for investing in Africa, but then again, who doesn't.
Trumpism influencing African evangelism
I know you are thinking, what in heaven's name is this writer talking about. A while back i spoke to some friends in Nigeria and they all seemed to have the same perspectives of Donald Trump, that he is God sent and they love him. Wow, goodness gracious, that was how i felt hearing their different justifications for liking Trump. Well none of the reasons outlined by these former friends had anything to do with Africa's economy or US foreign direct investment in Africa. Their justification for liking the racist, fascist Donald Trump was completely selfish and religious driven.
Before we go further and before you bite my head off, i would like you to know my stance on religion. I am a Christian but i am not a bigot, I believe we all serve one God and i don't believe in judging people even if they don't serve God. It is not my place to judge any man or woman about their lifestyle, their religion or their sexuality and i reserve the right to withold my opinion about such topics.
Listen, if we all spoke our minds every time we had a thought we would have no friends, a black eye and probably would be dead or in prison. Your thoughts are sacred and while it is necessary sometimes to speak out, sometimes it is necessary to shut up. What a man or woman does in their bedroom is not the business of any religious zealot, so i find it despicable when some Africans target people because of their sexuality or religion.
Now that is out of the way, let's look at why a large portion of Africans like Donald Trump. Even though he calls our continent a "Shit hole", even though he puts immigration bans on our countries, even though he doesn't care about African security, even though he withdraws funding from W.H.O knowing that alot of African countries would be impacted. Well to sum it up, some African's like Trump because they identify with his alleged religous beliefs. Republicans are known to be mostly christians. They are anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, anti - immigration, gun loving people.
I recently read an article titled "Trump is out, but US evangelicalism remains alive and well in Africa". In this article, reference was made to a tweet from Reverend Kenneth Meshoe stating:
"Please pray for peaceful elections in the US tomorrow (3 Nov), and specifically for President Donald Trump to be re-elected as the President of the United States of America"
But why? Why would a South African Reverend pray for a man who calls Africa a "Shit hole", to be re-elected? There is only one logical explanation and that is, he believes Trump is doing God's work in the White House because Trump is a Christian. A former friend of mine claimed that God put Trump in office to promote Christian agendas. Well i am a Christian and Christ will be weeping at what people have done in his name. I am not even going there. Go an readup how many people Christians killed in the past because they believed they committed blasphemy or were witches or were Muslims or they were idol worshipers. I think the Christian agenda has been spread quite enough and people need to stop using God's name as an excuse to judge, spread hate or commit acts of terrorism.
In another example, Bishop Mark Kariuki of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya claimed that a Trump victory would be a vote in favour of “good morals”. Good morals? Trump epitomises everything that is the opposite of good morals. To see Christian leaders who are supposed to unite, promote an ideology that spreads division is a disgrace. What happened to the good old "Judge not least you be judged"? Well if you are in this category that support Trumpism just because you want to spread a Christian agenda, i say this to you, you don't speak for all Christians, you speak for yourself and those selfish individuals that can't see beyond their nose.
Trumpism has been detrimental to Africa and the rest of the world as shown in this article. We should celebrate that Trumpism goes out of the window with Trump on the 20/01/2021. We should also be cautious not to expect any better from the Biden administration.
Africa needs to stand as one and African Union plays a big part in this. African presidents are notoriously poor at governing themselves and someone higher than them needs to hold them to account. In EU, legislation set by EU parliament supersedes any legislation set at country level. This means that an EU court has more power than a German court. African Union needs to redefine their structure to be similar to that of EU's.
If African Union can set legislation that supersedes legislation in African countries, the rights and democracy of Africans can be protected. Resources could be shared between countries and terms for exported goods should be governed from an African Union perspective rather than a country perspective. Imagine a Nigerian election or Ugandan election run solely by African Union with the help of EU. How will elections be rigged? How will presidents get away with manipulating their constitution to extend the length of their presidency? Put simply, with our proposed restructure of African Union, these Presidents won't be able to escape with tyranny, fascism or corruption. Countries like Somalia and other under developed countries would receive aid and military support from African Union.
African Union recently announced the creation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This will allow African countries strengthen their trading stand point, as they would be working to one policy and speaking with one voice. We hope this is the beginning of something new for Africa. An Africa united would be at the forefront of world trade, America knows this and so does China, why don't we. We hope you enjoyed the article, thank you.
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