Africa Integrity has today published a new occasional intelligence paper covering the aftermath of elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Western powers notoriously mishandled their responses to the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya in March 2013 and now find themselves performing diplomatic pirouettes in order to engage with the leader of East Africa’s most important economy. Differing attitudes to the International Criminal Court proceedings involving President Kenyatta have put the west at odds with the African Union and many individual African leaders.
Robert Mugabe’s re-election as president by a landslide was rapidly rejected by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change under Morgan Tsvangirai. Western nations including the UK and the US were quick to toe the MDC-T line, with the UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague noting that early reports “call into serious question the credibility of the election”. However, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, both of which had observer teams on the ground during the elections, have endorsed the result and congratulated President Mugabe fulsomely.
The readiness with which the US and the UK reject the findings and standpoints of Africa’s main regional bodies and many of its prominent leaders is troubling. This attitude will not win any friends as Africa anticipates a further boost to its economic renaissance from oil and gas resources on its eastern seaboard.
In this latest paper, “Zimbabwe and Kenya: Africa Moves On, So Must the West”, Africa Integrity argues that it is time for the west to rethink its diplomatic approach to Africa and begin to deal with its governments as equals, not errant underlings.
To request a free copy of this intelligence paper, please click here.