From Caesar Zvayi in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
PRESIDENT Mugabe has urged Africans to sing the hymn “Africa for Africans” saying the continent’s resources should belong to Africans with foreigners coming in only as friends.Departing from his prepared acceptance speech soon after his election as Africa Union chairman yesterday, President Mugabe said God had blinded the erstwhile colonisers to some of the resources on the continent which were being discovered now and which resources should be harnessed to improve livelihoods on the continent.
“Let me congratulate Equatorial Guinea for having agreed to host our soccer event (the AFCON), on taking the burden to host the event. Equatorial Guinea is a small country, we used to call it Fernando Po, and in geography we actually found it difficult to locate it on the map but now it’s big enough, we have made it big enough.
“And as fortune would have it, they have discovered oil. They are not the only ones who have had this recent fortune, oil as God has provided them with oil as others also have been discovering oil, oil, oil, oil, which the blind eyes of colonialists missed. It was the handiwork of God, we thank Him.
“African resources should belong to Africans and no one else. Except those we invite as friends, friends we shall have yes but imperialists and colonialists, no. Africa is for Africans, let us sing,’’ President Mugabe said to thunderous applause from delegates.
Zimbabwe recently discovered diamonds in Chiadzwa, Manicaland which invited a severe backlash from the West which wanted them classified as conflict diamonds to prevent the country from benefiting; while in the case of Equatorial Guinea, the government of Mr Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was only served from a potential coup by the timely interception of a plane-load of mercenaries by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in 2004.
President Mugabe’s comments come on the back of disturbing revelations that 60 percent of the African Union budget is donor-driven as many cash-strapped member states are failing to honour their membership subscriptions yet billions of dollars worth of semi or raw resources are exported from Africa costing the continent much-needed revenue.
Add to this illegal financial outflows partly the work of multi-national corporations externalising funds to their home countries and the picture gets even more grim.
To this end, former South African president Thabo Mbeki will today present a report of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa to the Heads of State and Government Summit.
The Panel, which he chairs, was established in February 2012 to investigate how Africa loses resources and to make recommendations on steps that should be taken to combat the problem.