UK convenes donors summit to raise funds for…itself
From the Wit-hole countries…is African Arguments’ satirical section. It’s the news, but absurd. It’s sometimes better than the real thing, sometimes not quite real, and sometimes much more real.
Last January, the United Kingdom assembled her former colonies – plus some new associates – to discuss how they might come to Her Majesty’s Government’s aid in a time of need. The gathering was called the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
The meeting harked back to times past when the colonies helped Great Britain bolster its wealth, increase its global influence, and decorate its hallowed museums and private homes through a progressive open access policy towards its mines and resources.
On 20 January, several of these former colonies (such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya) were joined by more recent allies (such as Rwanda, Egypt and the DRC) in London, united by their belief in the moral imperative to share their commonwealth with the beleaguered UK. The former colonial power is currently in economic straits after being locked in an ungenerous partnership with the European Union (EU), a regional bloc that imposed equitable trade deals on the Kingdom for decades and insisted on the reciprocal rights of its people to settle there.
By contrast to the EU, the leaders who gathered at the UK-Africa summit ascribe to a significantly more open-hearted, generous and distinctly un-European attitude. For generations, African countries openly welcomed the British: treating them to unfussy visa requirements (or none at all), serving them first at restaurants ahead of local guests, offering them prime real estate for their cultural councils, and assigning them the honourable title of “expatriates” and discarding the less fanciful “economic migrant”.
The largesse doesn’t end there. Some African countries in an admirable display of undying loyalty still celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
Scandalised by the EU’s treatment of the Kingdom, Africa’s heads-of-state were quick to answer Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s invitation last month to see how they might help. At the summit, they are said to have offered large shares of industry such as oil, gas and agriculture. Nothing was off the table in keeping with the understanding that Africa has a historic and unpayable debt of gratitude to the Kingdom and still much more to gain from the alliance today.
In Ghana, for instance, President Nana Akufo-Addo has learnt invaluable lessons from the Royal Palace on how to run a family-based government. He has appointed cousins, in-laws and other relatives to form a cabinet of a record 123 ministers. In Nigeria, the country has benefited greatly from the UK’s generous hosting of its ill president Muhammadu Buhari for months at a time. These restful periods have likely been essential to both Buhari’s success in technically defeating Boko Haram in 2015 and his harsh, loudmouth critics like the journalist Omoyele Sowore. In Egypt, the people have much to thank the UK for its decades-long consistency in supporting dictators such as current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who is diligently resolving the issues that led to the 2011 Revolution by hiding away discontented citizens in jails and other lesser-known locations.
Unsurprisingly then, the UK-Africa summit was roundly agreed to have been a resounding success to the extent it attracted the close attention of other global powers. Turkey, India, Russia and the US are reportedly planning copycat conferences in the near future, while China followed the summit closely through the news and a few pre-emptively compromised servers. None of these powers, however, is likely to match the UK-Africa Investment Summit with its shared commitment among all participants that God Save The Queen, with the former colonies doing the saving.
…and just to reiterate again, this is satire. Read more of From The Wit-Hole Countries here.