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Donald Trump’s parallel universe

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
US President Donald Trump

We all cheered on Saturday as news filtered out that former Gambian president, Mr. Yahya Jammeh had finally caved in to demands that he vacate the presidency and was reportedly en-route to neighboring Guinea.

The deal he had struck with the United Nations, the AU and ECOWAS, guarantees that he would not face charges for alleged crimes against his people, and he gets to keep his loot, monies he had pilfered from his country’s coffers.

Such is politics in Africa; you gratuitously violate the basic human rights of your people, steal millions of their hard-earned foreign currency, and at the end of it all, you get a free, unhindered passage out of the country.

A day before Mr. Jammeh’s exit, America inaugurated its 45th president in the person of the insufferable Mr. Donald John Trump. The world was thrown into a state of utter shock and disbelief.

Here is a man, a demagogue, an unabashed racist, who had disparaged minorities, immigrants, Muslims, women and people with disabilities, being crowned the most powerful political leader in the world. This is a man our president, Mr. Nana Akuffo Addo professed much love for two months ago.

Yes, folks, Mr. Trump will have control over the most lethal army in the world, preside over the most vibrant economy in the world and have control over the nuclear codes, a very frightening scenario given the man’s unpredictability and hot temperament. His relatively short inaugural speech was shockingly dark and narrow with its emphasis on putting America first.

I am trying to avoid being over-dramatic about my new president — yes, I live in the United States — so, of course, he is my president — but the very notion that this arrogant and self-conceited man will run the government of the United States for the next four years gives me pause.

Trump lives in a parallel universe where falsehoods are the order of the day. He believes everything he says to be the ultimate truth. Not surprisingly, he is in a battle with the American media, the one single entity that can hold him to account for his transgressions.

The world is right to be scared of Trump, but Africans ought to be worried more. The man has little knowledge about our continent except for the standard erroneous and slanted information about us that dominates western media platforms.

He practically has no use for Africans; he has no financial or economic connections to the continent, no Trump business is situated anywhere in Africa, and during the long campaign for the White House, Trump never once mentioned Africa.  No one knows zilch about his policy, if there is any at all, towards the continent.

And recent questions his transition team asked the State department ( the foreign affairs ministry) about Africa revealed Trump’s deep negative inner feelings towards us and our place in US foreign policy. The questions dripped with skepticism and revolved around issues of security and aid.

As the New York Times widely reported, the Trump Team questioned the value of US engagement on the continent in humanitarian aid, anti-terrorism campaigns, trade deals or the search for Joseph Kony, the head of the violent Ugandan guerrilla group, the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Because of its dire financial circumstances, Africa, experts say will bear the brunt of climate change, and there are already signs the effects are taking a toll on us.  While China, one of the leading emitters of green house gases has committed itself to fighting climate change — it signed the Paris Climate Accord, Trump an avid denier of climate change, and leader of the other leading emitter of green house gases, has indicated that he would not abide by the terms of the Paris treaty.

With Trump at the helm, America will rapidly become an inward looking nation, instead of leading the world in fighting global challenges. Indeed, we are in for a rough ride the next four years. Africa, especially, will be marginalized and become a footnote in the Trump administration


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