Africa Should Have Military Forces Free From Western Influence: Member of BRICS Business Council

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Africa Should Have Military Forces Free From Western Influence: Member of BRICS Business Council
Africa Should Have Military Forces Free From Western Influence: Member of BRICS Business Council

Africa-Press – Kenya. The 37th African Union Summit, held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, has drawn significant attention to the continent’s pressing concerns. Press sat down with a representative of South Africa’s business community to discuss the continent’s pressing challenges and ways to overcome them.

The African continent should have its own armed forces to maintain peace, unencumbered by the ideals of the West, so that the latter does not dictate to the countries of the continent to follow, Elias Monage, President of the Black Business Council, Member of the BRICS Business Council, CEO of Afrika Group, told.

“Most countries in the continent need to have an efficient and effective militarily that is independent, not reliant on the previous colonizers. We need to have our own force that have been trained here in the continent and abide by the protocols and principles and the values of the continent as opposed to the West so that whatever that is happening here, we should not then be told by the West what to do,” he pointed out.

The businessman explained that most countries on the continent are still ruled by former colonial masters. He cited that colonial masters “dictate” who should participate in African structures, referring to the fact that six countries on the continent did not attend the AU summit.

The council member noted that Russia has been known and seen to support various parts of the continent in “their liberation struggle against the West, against the colonizers.”

To counter western influence in military affairs, Monage said, African countries can build military capacity by using or duplicating the experience of the BRICS countries on areas such as personnel training.

“That becomes a better thing that we are then having a common platform and common ideal, things that we aspire to. So that becomes a benefit utilizing the BRICS countries as opposed to the West,” the businessman outlined.

He highlighted Africa’s growing importance within the BRICS framework, with three African countries – South Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia – now part of the bloc. Monage emphasized the potential of BRICS to challenge traditional power structures, citing its significant population and economic weight compared to groups such as the G7 and G20.

“Out of the ten countries in the BRICS countries or formations, again, the population of BRICS as it stands now surpasses even the G7 or the G20 because the population constitutes 42% of the world population. And then it tells you that if we were to increase trade, that would become a new world order because that number surpasses both the G20 and the G7,” he stressed.

In this sense, the Council member called on BRICS to engage the rest of Africa to ensure that their trade with the members of the bloc “gives proper credibility and proper alignment within the continent.”

Turning to trade, Monage praised the AU Summit’s decision to reaffirm the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) in promoting intra-African trade and investment. He described the instrument as “a right step in the right direction” that will bring stability to the continent in terms of trade and investment, as well as harmonization of tariffs and increased trade between countries.

“The achievement of the AfCFTA so that, again, the trade becomes fair and the movement of people becomes much easier. So that is a huge benefit for the continent compared to the previous structures. South-to-South relations bring a different trade environment, a trade situation in a context that is more powerful than ever before,” Monage remarked.

He added that it is necessary to have an African financial institution to look at the feasibility of projects on the continent to then make them more efficient.

Africa’s Stance on Gaza Crisis

Elias Monage noted that the AU summit took place amid US attempts to intimidate South Africa for supporting the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel, including Washington’s threats to cut Pretoria off from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preferences program.

In this vein, the council member advised African governments to abandon the US program in favor of intra-continental trade.”We’re then supposed to say, you cannot dictate terms to us. If that was the case, again, if we have leadership that is profound and having principles, we’re supposed to say to the West, you rather keep your AGOA and leave us and then we trade among us in the continent because even that trade is so limited, to the extent that we cannot say that AGOA is beneficial to those countries,” he opined.

Returning to the Gaza conflict, Monage said that most countries on the continent support South Africa’s position to take Israel to the International Court of Justice.

However, along with South Africa, where marches are held every week to demand the closure of the Jewish state’s embassy, other African nations must pressure Israel for a cease-fire, the council member added. In particular, he called on the countries of the continent to ban Israeli planes from landing on their territory and to close Israeli embassies and sever diplomatic relations altogether.

Sputnik Africa

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