A new and expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is to have two slots for Africa. Who is to occupy the two allocated seats is the question now facing Africans through a decision to be made by their leaders within the framework of the African Union (AU). The US and its European allies are lobbying, in their own perceived interests, for Egypt at all costs and also for South Africa. The core of Nigeria is regarded as too African or "black" for their liking and Nigeria's impeccable Afro-centric foreign policy credentials are seen as too risky to the collective interest and future security of Europe and the US. President Hosni Mubarak's Egypt, which has taken no interest in Africa, is now discovering a need to win "African" votes at the AU for this coveted UNSC slot. This ploy to use "Africans" to service the interests of the Northern block will rear its manipulating hands again next month (July) when the AU summit is held in Libya without much civil society input.
What hurts most is how Egypt, under both Sadat and Mubarak, has by choice distanced itself from Africa's collective interest and security. This deliberate mental distancing has been made almost complete, to an extent where in Cairo a majority of the hotels and even those in the vicinity of the airport do not list a single sub-Saharan "black" country in their international telephone directory with the exception of Sudan. Egypt is therefore African when it suits its purposes, and only then.
When you accost some Nasserites about this reality in Egypt/Africa relations, they can only admit but in shame that they do not see any change in the mindset of Arab-Egypt towards the rest of "black" Africa unless another Nasser or a latter-day Gaddafi emerges in Egypt to actualise the Nkrumah/Nasser world outlook--that "the Sahara unites us".
Until a complete Afrocentric mindset shift is attained in Egypt, it would be unwise for AU leaders to allow themselves to be bullied or "bribed" by the US and Europe to anoint Egypt to represent Africa on the UNSC. Such is the concern and warning of the pan-Africanist minority in Egypt.
But the central psychological question here is whether our leaders are going to allow the interests of the US and its European allies to dictate their choice between Egypt and Nigeria or between Nigeria and South Africa?
The irony here is that soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US defined Africa in its own national interest and divided Africa into three spheres of interest with Egypt as the new power on the Northern block; South Africa on the Southern block (incorporating East and Central Africa) and Nigeria on the Western block.
Thus, at a stroke Africa became a US "slave plantation" or a clientele continent with its own choice of supervisors or subregional superpowers strategically …