News / Africa

Africans Shed Few Tears for Gadhafi

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi  (R) prays during the celebration of the birth of the Prophet in Uganda's capital, Kampala, on March, 19, 2008 along with the Ugandan president and other African leaders.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi (R) prays during the celebration of the birth of the Prophet in Uganda's capital, Kampala, on March, 19, 2008 along with the Ugandan president and other African leaders.

The reaction to the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been mostly subdued across sub-Saharan Africa.

While Gadhafi's strongman governing style may not be missed, his economic contributions to the continent certainly will.

The death of a man who once declared himself the King of Kings of Africa, has been met with more relief than grief across the continent.

Lessons from Gadhafi's fall

On Twitter and Facebook, Africans are mostly cheering Gadhafi's demise, and wondering if other African strongmen will be next, with fingers pointed at Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Gadhafi's death is an unfortunate example of African leaders wanting to stay in power forever, says Nigerian social worker Mary Ene.

"This is a lesson to our leaders in this part of the world to know that power belongs to God and that God can take power from anybody anytime. It is time for our leaders to look beyond trying to grab all the things that belong to the public for their own pockets, for their own families,” Ene said.

Praise and legacy

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party offered some of the only words of sympathy for Gadhafi. The party's parliamentary whip told VOA's Studio 7 that his death was tragic and the African Union should have done more to prevent it.

Ugandan Government Spokesman Fred Opolot also had some praise for the man who invested so much in Africa.

“Gadhafi will be remembered in Uganda as a Pan-Africanist who contributed a lot to the workings of the African Union," Opolot said. "Also in individual countries he contributed a lot in foreign direct investment and let's not forget, he was a key proponent for African unity, so in that context, Gadhafi will be missed.”

Gadhafi's government enjoyed closer relations with Uganda, and had invested $375 million in various projects in the country through its investment wing.

Economic generosity

Signs of Gadhafi's economic influence are all over East Africa.

A Libyan-financed hotel towers over Sudan's capital, Khartoum, and has been nicknamed Gadhafi's egg because of its unique shape. Other Libyan luxury hotels stand tall in the capitals of Kenya and Rwanda.

The country also has been one of the biggest contributors to the African Development Bank.

Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, told VOA in August that with the fall of his government, Gadhafi's legacy of investment will likely become unraveled.

“Libya now needs to spend its money at home, it needs resources both for reconstruction, not only from the damage from the war, but also from the lack of investment in Libya, the neglect during Gadhafi's almost 42 years in power," said Pham. "So I think a lot of money will have to come home, so there probably will be a liquidation of many of these assets.”

Pham adds that it is unlikely Libya's new leadership will be as invested in Africa.

“There's going to be a lot of resentment to Africa, both because of money that's been spent there and, secondly, because the African Union and many African leaders, with a few notable exceptions, stood by Gadhafi instead of with the Libyan people,” said Pham.

A promoter of African unity

Gadhafi was instrumental in the formation of the African Union, and the international body was slow to accept Libya's Transitional National Council as the rightful government of Libya.

Following news of Gadhafi's death, the AU lifted its suspension of Libya's membership, allowing the new government to take its seat.

The AU officially recognized Libya's new government in September, and raised the country's new flag last week.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid