By PAUL SEWE
The rise to power of minority Tory leadership in Britain in a loosely brokered coalition together with the liberal Democrats carries with it good tidings for Africa, but wait a minute they have myriad domestic and European issues to deal with including market deficit, weakening pound against world majors and Greek financial woes.
65 percent voter turnout is pathetic, especially after an equally poor turnout for European elections, though an improvement from 61 percent in 2005 and 55 percent in 2001 hence the Lib Dems clarion call for electoral reforms has merit, and also serves as a wake up call to politicians who – according to observers – no one cares about.
Though generally considered elitist in grooming language and marriage to Samantha who is of an Aristocratic lineage, David Cameron is a more rational leader than the emotional Gordon Brown who has led the Labour Party to self destruction. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, as a rookie, still has quite a lot to learn and therefore his input is not worth betting on, thereby leading to political commentators labelling him a greenhorn and his coming on board brings no turbo charge effect only increases bureaucracy.
Africa presents a wonderful opportunity for Britain to flex its muscles by perfecting and lecturing on governance, war on corruption and human right violations, what with the looming fifteen elections in Africa including in populous Nigeria and in the moderate Egypt with the possible exit of Hosni Mubarak next year alone.
Environmental degradation and Conservation in Africa and the world, oil exploration in Uganda from 2011 are other fertile grounds for Britain to peddle influence in the Continent not forgetting numerous countries here in desperate need of concessional resources due to the Economic downturn.
There also looms large the prospect of befriending well-run African countries such as Botswana and Ghana, thereby portraying China in bad light for doing business with rogue states like Sudan and Zimbabwe and with the Chinese encouraging consumption in their five year plan domestically there is definitely going to be a no holds barred competition.
The appointment of a pragmatist Mr William Hague rather than an idealist as Foreign Secretary also portends a good omen for Africa because many African problems chiefly require a pragmatic solution and not the many boring European Ideals and virtues which they also can not follow anyway as attested by the spending scandal which became the Labour Party\’s Achilles at the polls.
The Labour Party\’s rebuilding also gives them an opportunity to push African agenda after thirteen years of Tony Blair\’s eloquence and Gordon Brown\’s failed economic Odyssey. Alan Johnson\’s withdrawal and consequent backing of David Miliband also augurs well for the party should the very likable and able Miliband be handed the mantle in September 2010 and moving forward, he should help the party shed the bad skunk tag.