Ghana’s former President, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, has in an address in Windhoek, Namibia, challenged the United States and other Western powers to restore morality into the manner they approach global dialogue and international affairs.
Mr. Rawlings also called on African countries to support Russia amidst sanctions imposed by the USA and the EU. He urged African countries to not forget the support they received from the former Soviet Union and China during the struggle for independence from the same countries that now impose sanctions on Russia.
The former President said while Western countries continue to struggle with the essence of moral values within their countries, their interests and not morality counts more when dealing with other countries.
He cautioned that: “So long as the quest for capital and hence the disease of human domination remains with the West, so long should the human spirit of Africa also continue to defy their wrongdoing and ill justice. The triumph of evil has had its way for far too long.”
President Rawlings made the observations when he delivered the keynote address at a seminar organised by the Pan African Centre of Namibia (PACON), in Windhoek on Friday.
He also indicated that one of his biggest heartbreaks is the failure of the African continent to carry a unified voice on global issues.
At the seminar which was attended by Namibian Prime Minister, Hage Geingob and leading Pan Africanists and political figures from the Southern African region, President Rawlings said: “The innate sense of global right and wrong suffered a severe blow during the Iraq invasion by Mr. George Bush of the USA and Mr. Tony Blair of the UK.
“In one fell swoop, the arrogance of might was made to supersede and almost destroy the sacred might of right.
“No one must be allowed to forget that was a pivotal moment – the moment of the unipolar power being audaciously exerted and we in Africa suffered the consequences most harshly as some of our governments on the continent decided to take the cue from America’s behaviour,” President Rawlings said.
The former President called for an examination of whether true and genuine democracy is not under threat. “America cannot be right or wrong only when she says so,” he stated.
President Rawlings derided African heads of states: “No African president should position himself as to be summoned by a Western leader. International rules of diplomatic and political engagement are unambiguous about sovereign nations being one amongst equals, irrespective of how powerful or weak they may be.”
“This is the essence of democracy and the West is soiling that sacred cradle of maturity”.
The former president was perhaps alluding to the health crisis in West Africa. In the wake of the wide spreading Ebola virus in some West African states, the US has used any help it will give to coax and coerce some African heads of state into supporting the West’s new avalanche of wars in Iraq and the Middle East.
In particular to Africa, President Rawlings said the continent could not rise if it ignored the historical and cultural dynamics it evolved from.
“I believe strongly in change as well as the need to modify some of our cultural attitudes but that perception equally applies to Western democracy when adapted to our continent.
“The dictates of globalization means we cannot extricate ourselves from happenings elsewhere. When war and misfortune affect countries, the economic fallout spreads across the world and usually Africa with its frail economy, is hardest hit.
“All Africa is asking for, is the boldness to defy that, which is wrong and is an affront to our sovereign African right and authority. Unfortunately, a few too many of us on this continent have allowed the West, with their double standards to intimidate us. If they were intimidating us from a position of right, that would be easier to tolerate,” the former President said.
Africa has an “opportunity to affect global developments if we can simply clean up our act and restore the core values of our societies – the values that preceded the advent of colonialism and the current neo-colonialism that has morphed into an insidious virus collapsing our foundations as a people.”
President Rawlings is in Namibia on an official trip at the invitation of Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob.
On Wednesday a formal dinner was hosted in his honour by the Prime Minister before the delegation, which includes Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and two of their daughters called on President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Thursday.
The former President also called on Namibia’s former President and independence hero, Dr. Sam Nujoma.