The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) recognizes the “U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit” — scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. December 13-15th — as nothing more than collusion between neo-colonial powers and U.S. attempts to advance and maintain dominance over the continent.
Liberal elements of U.S. civil society will preoccupy themselves with the issues they think should be addressed at the Summit, claiming to act in the best interest of Africa or, as with the Summit of the Americas held earlier this year, attack those who they say do not deserve to be invited. Such dispositions presume the U.S. has honest intentions for Africa and legitimizes/obscures its real interests and role.
Convened on the heels of Human Rights Day which is held every December 10, the Black Radical Human Rights and Peace Traditions must center the historical record of the U.S. in Africa and the geo-strategic interests it is committed to upholding. The carefully considered proceedings, side events, invitations, and public relations campaigns are designed to secure greater control of Africa’s abundant resources for U.S. “national interests” aligned with the interest of international finance capital.
Having assumed the racist mantle of the “White Man’s Burden” in the Global South in general and Africa in particular, the U.S. claims that this summit will “demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.” Such statements should be exposed as being disingenuous and an effort to cover up the United States’ malign intent.
African independence movements since the 1950s have been destabilized by U.S. administrations of both parties. Democratically elected leaders such as Patrice Lumumba of Congo, who was assassinated by the CIA, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who was overthrown in a CIA orchestrated coup, fell victim to U.S. government meddling, and they are only two among many. Contemporary U.S. interference has involved proxy wars in Congo with the assistance of Uganda and Rwanda, and in Somalia with Ethiopia (2006-2009) followed by a sustained drone war over Somalia under the guise of fighting extremists. In 2011 the U.S. led NATO in a regime change operation resulting in the total destruction of Libya. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) occupies 53 of the 54 countries on the continent in one form or another for U.S. neo-colonial hegemony.
A core goal of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit is to challenge the inroads of the People’s Republic of China and to a lesser extent the Russian Federation vis-à-vis the continent. The political sectors of the U.S. oligarchy are concerned about regional cooperation initiated in the Horn of Africa since 2018, and anti-France and pro-Russia expressions among the people in countries like Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, which is invoking the legacy of the revolutionary Thomas Sankara.
Most notably, the complicity and silence of the Congressional Black Caucus members over the role of the U.S. federal government in Africa and the dereliction of their professed purpose to represent the interests of Black and oppressed people will undoubtedly find political cover in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. CBC members will be key-note speakers, event conveners, and backdoor deal makers for the U.S. neocolonial, white supremacist, patriarchal order.
In contrast, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) is holding an anti-imperialist week of actions to raise public awareness related to the real issues that should be on the agenda for discussion at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. BAP calls for the dismantling of NATO, AFRICOM and all imperialist structures. Africa and the rest of the world cannot be free until all peoples are able to realize the right of sovereignty and the right to live free of domination.
- The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa;
- The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world; and
- The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to oppose the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent, with the full participation of members of U.S. and African civil society.