This weekend, African leaders, including President Mnangagwa, will converge on Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly (Heads of State and Government), the continent being plagued by a litany of challenges. approximately by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The summit, which will be held under the theme; “Building Nutrition Resilience on the African Continent: Accelerating Human Capital, Social and Economic Development”, comes in the year the AU celebrates its 20th anniversary.

It also comes as the continent reels from the impacts of climate change, the renewed desire of Malians to free themselves from colonial handcuffs and the insurgency in Mozambique.

In keeping with this year’s theme, President Mnangagwa has set Zimbabwe on the path to prosperity.

The Presidential Climate-Proof Inputs Program (Pfumvudza/Intwasa), launched in 2020, has seen more than 1.9 million farmers, including 1,050,479 women, trained in November 2021 to ensure food security and nutrition of citizens, especially vulnerable populations. communities.

The Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to developing political safeguards and an enabling policy environment to mitigate the impact of climate change and Covid-19 through broad partnerships.

While there is truly a lot to celebrate in terms of achieving the objectives for which the AU was established, chief amongst them being to empower African countries and ensure social, economic and political development for the benefit of all Africans, funding shortfalls have exposed the continent to power brokers.

The Covid-19 contagion, for example, has laid bare the power politics with which the continent must wrestle in its efforts to prepare for, contain and respond to pandemics and other disasters.

The issue of vaccines has also seen the gap between rich and poor countries widen.

Africa, in fact, was exposed both in terms of health systems and the imperatives of economic and social development.

Self-financing has always been touted as the holy grail that Africa needs to redeem itself from being a punching bag in global power politics.

Rich in natural resources and endowed with fiery human capital, the continent can establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the management of global affairs, instead of finding solace in detachment and waiting for handouts. .

It is troubling that 72% of the AU budget is sponsored by cooperating partners, with the US and its cronies contributing 60%, leaving African member states to handle the remaining 28%.

Such a situation is unsustainable and goes against independent ideologies as it deprives Africans of their sovereignty, thus muzzling their voices.

An unenviable situation like this creates acrimony among Africans through regime change programs disguised as democracy.

This is the dilemma in which Africa finds itself; where the melody is determined by whoever pays the piper, and the dance floor is a mirage that changes with every step.

Reading the quicksand the continent is trapped in, President Mnangagwa told his counterparts during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2019 that:

“Funding remains a major constraint we face as a Union, which must be a priority in the reform process.

“It is imperative that Member States share the financial burden of our Union through the timely payment of dues. Let us get out of the donor dependency syndrome and strive to fund our own agenda, programs and activities in accordance with the decision taken in June in Johannesburg, South Africa.”

President Mnangagwa then stressed that Zimbabwe was committed to playing its part by paying its dues on time.

“I wish to encourage others to do the same. Our commitment and our sacrifices for the sustenance of the Union must be matched by effective and efficient management of resources by the African Union Commission (AUC) and other organs of the Union,” he added. .

Certainly, commitment and encouragement are prerequisites for the effective management of resources for the common good of the peoples of Africa.

During the Summit in Rwanda in 2016, the 2017 AU budget proposal was tabled at $781 million, of which $569 million was expected from foreign donors, while the 54 African countries were expected to contribute $212 million, or about $4 million. by country.

There are countries in Africa whose budgets are financed by donors, which compromises the wishes of the citizens.

This hypocrisy on the part of empire locks the postcolonial African state in the intensive care unit as it loses more than it gains through looting disguised as aid.

There really is no innocent help. There are always conditions attached.

Dependent on help from the empire, Africa remains overwhelmed and tied to Europe and the United States, without the means to chart its own destiny in the future.

The former colonial power remains influential in the former colony, which places a wedge between African countries.

They will not speak with one voice, since they are cooperating clandestinely with the West.

It is in its nature for the West to renege on its promises.

For example, the British government reneged on its promise on the land issue in independent Zimbabwe, as set out in the Lancaster House agreement.

They had the audacity to call the deal just a piece of paper, but there are many such pieces of paper that the deceitful hypocrites want Africa to stick to.

The colonial pact between France and the 14 French-speaking African countries is immediately highlighted.

The atrocious pact, in force since the 1960s, requires African countries formerly colonized by France to deposit 65% (plus an additional 20% for financial liabilities) of their foreign exchange reserves at the French Treasury in Paris.

The former colonies have to do with only 15% for national development. Because they are always short of funds, the 14 French-speaking countries have to borrow their own money from the French treasury at commercial rates.

The hard-to-accept fact that these countries have no individual monetary policy, with everything pinned to the CFA franc, underscores the nefarious character of neo-colonialism, which the continent should collectively condemn.

Mali has recently taken the lead in this regard; aimed at breaking ties with its former colonizer, France.

Africa must speak with one voice against its critics and refuse to be robbed.

As President Mnangagwa has stressed, the continent must realize the true value of its resources. Notwithstanding the predicament of mocking glossed aid, African Heads of State should find ways to steer the ship to glory, and at the heart of this is the self-financing of the AU budget.

This is what President Mnangagwa advocates, reminding his fellow African leaders that the destiny of the continent is in his hands.

The West may vilify him, demonize or crucify him, and denigrate all he stands for, but he remains an astute statesman and visionary.

His actions, desires and words reflect what the continent aspires to, but have long pretended not to; lest he irritate Big Brother, seeing that he is holding the carrot stick.

That Africa is endowed with vast mineral resources is as true as the fact that the colonial world grew through their plunder.

Sadly, the continent remains impoverished and bows to the ground as the colonizers of old rape it.

Western hegemony that seeks to continue the subjugation of those once physically and emotionally colonized should be seen for what it is – a poisoned gift.

Africa has come of age and the days of having multiple voices to represent it are over. The export of raw minerals or any other resource should be eliminated. Adding value and adding value should be the new normal.

Anyone who wants to trade with Africa must be prepared to respect the conditions of the continent, because there is no freedom without ownership of the means of production, especially land.

Impoverished democracy is not what we aspire to, but a better standard of living for the majority in a world where all animals are equal, to quote George Orwell.

No race is superior to another when it comes to diseases and how to fight them. Every human being should have a chance to live regardless of race, creed or nationality in a global village free from thieving gangsters.

Furthermore, wars should not be fabricated to create anarchy and chaos as a means of plundering the ancestral resources of others, or generating bloody money through the sale of weapons.

Africans, like all other citizens of the world, yearn for a world where the power of force is harnessed to make the voices of the weak and vulnerable heard; mutilated, displaced and molested in full view of the world through generations of stoic submission; where the word “terrorism” is not used selectively and where the dreams of every soul are respected.

Such a world is what Africa needs, as evidenced by the words of President Mnangagwa when he called for self-reliance, responsibility and the prudent use of the resources of the motherland during the 32nd Assembly of AU in 2019.

Therefore, the momentum is expected to be maintained at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly (Heads of State and Government) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this weekend.

Africa must be given a chance to carry in its own way the immense basket of dreams and hopes of its children.

Such a position should not only be respected by a progressive world, but will function as a milestone that will go a long way in redefining the aspirations of the continent.

The time, indeed, is now for Africa to shine in the spotlight of global economic and political phenomena, as it redeems itself from the punching bag of the world and the free-for-all label.