Jose Socrates has done well to host the Afro-European get-together, after all it was his ancestors who pioneered the spirit of European adventurism across the seas which resulted in conquests of other peoples and the resultant colonialism.
But the party, as expected, has turned into a contest of who can outdo the rest in saying not so nice things about one Robert Mugabe. You’ve got to give it to this aging dictator for showing up knowing quite clearly that he was going to be welcomed not with polite kisses and back rubs but with vitriol.
And so today the bashing bagan with the German chancellor, and a lot more is to follow. It will be interesting to see which African leaders take the cue and say bad things about their brother Mr. Rob – although almost none of them, the possible exceptions being Festus Mogae and Navin Ramgoolam, has any moral authority to do so.
It is sad that the summit, or may be it’s just the media attention, has ended up not concentrating on issues of economic development and free trade which are most important to most Africans (to whom Darfur and Zimbabwe, by the way, are just as distant as they are to Venezuelans) but on the crises on the continent. The AU should have known better than to allow the two social misfits from Khartoum and Harare to attend the bash and hog all the attention because of their bad habits.