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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid