Tuesday, June 28, 2016
By: Global Information Network (GIN)
Writing on the blogpost This Is Africa, Malawi journalist Levi Kabwato tackled the much reported story of вАЬBrexitвАЭ from his own unique perspective.
вАЬEuropean Union policies towards Africa and the rest of the Global South are unhelpful to the ordinary African,вАЭ he began. вАЬIt is against this backdrop that we must see BritainвАЩs referendum on the EU and use what we have already seen the EU do to its poorer member countries to craft more critical and useful thoughts on how Africa can respond to developments such as Brexit.вАЭ
Kabwato noted the near uniformity of news reports on Brexit, bemoaning вАЬa weakened South African randвАЭ, and prophesizing an apocalypse as вАЬvital trade agreementsвАЭ implode.
He continues: вАЬThis is the same EU that, earlier in June 2016, signed an Economic Partnership Agreement in Gaborone, Botswana that included a bilateral protocol between the EU and South Africa on the protection of geographical indications and on trade in wines and spirits.вАЭ
вАЬWhat would this actually mean for a homeless person? Or a struggling black farmer, marginalized and not empowered?вАЭ he asked.
вАЬThe absence of an alternative narrative regarding this main news story should worry Africans who have been made to believe that they are facing imminent problems should Britain leave the EU.
вАЬIs a weak Britain necessarily bad for the continent because it threatens the вАШEmpireвАЩ? Is it not an opportunity for Africa to negotiate future trade and cultural deals from a position of strength?
вАЬIf Brexit must point Africans to anything, it is the pace at which democracy is being threatened in Europe, how poor countries like Greece are being further impoverished via their association with the EU and how the EU itself has become an anti-democratic institution, often meddling in domestic policies of member states. This means that the organic (local) hopes, dreams and aspirations of ordinary European citizens are routinely dismissed or ignored altogether.
вАЬIs this what Africans concerned about Brexit are mourning? Or is it the myth of British exceptionalism, with its painful links to colonialism? Perhaps it is the trade agreements вАУ most of them kept in secret?
вАЬMaybe it is to stand in solidarity with the working class of Britain, which has borne the brunt of EU-imposed policies that have impacted negatively on their income and quality of life.вАЭ
In a lighter vein, the website OkayAfrica posed the question WhatifDavidCameronwasAfrican?вАЭregarding the just-resigned Prime Minister. Patrick Nkusi tweeted back: вАЬWe would still be counting the votes and only God knows till whenвА¶вАЭ