US President Joe Biden has sidelined a number of African countries from a US-Africa trade forum, the Financial Times reports. According to the US president, Uganda, Gabon, Niger, and the Central African Republic (CAR) have either been implicated in ‘serious human rights violations’ or have ‘failed to advance toward democratic governance’ and were not invited to the forum. In reality, the non-invites were a punishment for them ousting Western-leaning politicians in a coup or for passing anti-homosexuality legislation.
The United States introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2000. It offers qualifying sub-Saharan African countries tariff-free access to over 1,800 products in the United States.
President Biden said that Niger and Gabon, both currently under military rule due to coups this year, do not meet the eligibility criteria for AGOA. He emphasised that these nations have either failed to establish or are not consistently progressing towards the safeguarding of political pluralism and the rule of law.
Furthermore, President Biden justified the exclusion of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda from the program by citing “egregious breaches of internationally acknowledged human rights” committed by their respective governments. The truth is, there is no right to commit unnatural acts in any international treaty, much as Mr Biden and US gay activists would like there to be.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act was signed into law by United States President Clinton in May 2000. It was extended in 2015 by 10 years to 2025.
The stated objectives of the legislation include the expansion and deepening of the trade and investment relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa, to encourage economic growth and development as well as regional integration, and to help facilitate the integration of Sub-Saharan Africa into the global economy.
Under AGOA, total goods imports into the United States were worth about $10 billion in 2022, compared with $6.8 billion in 2021. But critics say the figure has now fallen back.
Nor is the initiative joined up with America’s Free Trade Agreements, as this article explains.
On Wednesday 1st November 2023 Uganda criticised the US move to eject it and other African countries from accessing the tariff-free trade programme. Its spokesman said the action was taken to punish African countries resisting the imposition of the West’s cultural values, Reports Reuters.
Odrek Rwabwogo, special presidential adviser to President Yoweri Museveni, said that with the trade move the US was telling Ugandans that ‘their already slim prospects for economic prosperity are contingent on whether they vote in line with the values of whoever happens to hold high office in the US, not their own.’
Ugandan government officials have linked the move to attempts by the United States to press Uganda to quash an anti-homosexuality law passed by the parliament in May. Sign our petition:
Modernisation or Westernism?
The US representative on trade, Katherine Tai, said, in a speech during the summit: ‘The US is looking at how to improve utilisation rates under AGOA, which is aimed at poor countries, while also focusing on how to support those who succeed in wining middle-income status.
She said AGOA can also be used to penalise countries that fail to meet the eligibility requirements laid out by congress, which according to her is ‘respect for human rights’ and ‘democracy.’ Given her statement, it is clear that countries which refuse to promote sodomy will be cut out of current and future trade talks and summits. If this is not Western imposition of their decadent cultural values on African Countries, what is it?
Responding to questions on democracy with the press during the summit said, Ms Tai said: ‘There’s not just one form of democracy. We all have our versions of democracy. But broadly speaking, I think when we talk about democracy, you break it down, it’s about a system of government where the people have the right and power to select their government. … I don’t think AGOA dictates the specific kind of democracy, I think the way that I have phrased it is AGOA is set up to support African solutions to the political and economic reforms that AGOA’s meant to encourage.’ The weasel words there are ‘support African solutions’. It means ‘force Western prejudices’.
Excluded for not promoting sodomy
Uganda and the Central African Republic are being cut out of participating in the AGOA for not promoting sodomy in their countries. The US government describes this as a ‘breach of international human rights’.
In August, The Ugandan government signed an anti-homosexuality act into law. The new law, brought in on 30th May 2023, prescribes that people convicted of aggravated homosexuality may be punished with a death sentence or life imprisonment.
Meanwhile in CAR, the penal code criminalises homosexual ‘behavior’, according to the U.S. State Department. The penalty for public expression of sexual attraction between persons of the same sex is imprisonment for six months to two years or a fine of between 150,000 and 600,000 CFA francs (between $334 and $1,334).
The coup in Gabon has ousted the corrupt puppet of France, Ali Bongo. Gabon’s coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema has been appointed transitional president. A church-going man of prayer, among General Nguema’s first acts was to repeal the decriminalisation of unnatural acts brought in by Ali Bongo last year on the demand of Boris Johnson to allow Gabon to join the British Commonwealth. The interim government have also embarked on a mission to track down Gabon’s aid millions, pilfered by Ali Bongo and his cronies.
Let Africa breathe
In the last couple of years, the West has consistently meddled in Africa’s democracy and governance, not only to promote partnerships and improve globalisations but to force Africa to imbibe Western culture. While countries such as South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius and others had given in, countries like Uganda, Nigeria, Antigua, Barbuda, and 60 others have stood their ground against sodomy.
To push sodomy and abortion even further, the West introduced different schemes and acronyms to sell same-sex relationships in Africa. Leading the charge is Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRH&R) combined with Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). These are pushed by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the European Union’s African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Cotonou Treaty.
Meanwhile, un-named African leaders are claimed to have launched an ‘Education Plus Initiative’ to benefit girls’ (and only girls’) education and ‘empowerment’ in Africa. But inevitably it is a creature of UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women. It was first announced by the UNAIDS Executive Director at their Nairobi Summit in November 2019, so CSE is part of it.
A better way
African-American economist Magatte Wade rejects Western aid and cultural imperialism as the way out of poverty for Africa and the developing world. Instead, she says: ‘In order for Africans to experience prosperity within Africa, they need access to robust systems of law and governance.’ African governments need to provide ‘property rights, rule of law, and economic freedom to develop a highly capitalised indigenous private sector’.
African nations must develop their raw materials into product, she says, but ‘the majority of initiatives from multilateral organisations such as the United Nations (“UN”), World Bank, IMF, and World Economic Forum (“WEF”) are primarily focused on the issues of climate change and foreign aid. Indeed, after some scepticism about the benefits of foreign aid in the 2000s, climate concerns have provided a fresh rationale for African governments to plead for foreign aid.’ But the aid is now against growth, with the World Bank ‘too heavily focused on preventing Africans from prospering from fossil fuels.’
Read and Pray
READ: Gen 1:27, 2:21-25; Deut 5:33; 2Chron 19:2, 20:37; Psalm 43:1, 118:8-9; Isa 31:1: Jer 17:5-8; Matt 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-8; Luke 4:5-8; Rom 1:18; 2Cor 6:14; 2Pet 2:6.
PRAY: For Christian Voice to help Christians in the developing world to stand against Western evils and to seek the Lord for prosperity. We need a vision which rejects Western evils so nations may secure the Lord’s blessing, but Christians also need to pray and witness for stability and prosperity. We can also pray for the Lord to raise up those who will go and teach business practice and as well as micro-finance, nations need macro-finance to move ‘Beyond Aid’.
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