Advertisement
In Summary
  • A Trojan Horse is anything that looks good on the surface
    but may pose great danger for whoever accepts it as a gift.
  • Anyone could have observed the enthusiasm with which many
    people from abroad, including heads of state, ministers and corporate
    executives have been trooping to our shores, carrying gifts and promising
    more,
    signing agreement after agreement, vying with each other for our attentions.
  • We all know that all these nations and the economic
    interests they represent are after the resources they can access here at
    minimal cost.

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, runs the Latin adage.
Liberally translated, it means, I fear the Greeks even when

they come bearing
gifts.


Unpacked, it means that bad people are bad people, and you
should be wary when they come to you, even if they bring you gifts and
presents.
The phrase traces its origin in the so-called Trojan Horse
affair, which we talk so much of today.

In fact, the thing was not a horse and it was not Trojan
either. It was just a huge wooden structure in the shape of a horse the size of
a village that the Greeks left at the gates of their arch rivals in Troy, with
whom they had fought a bitter, long and bloody war.

They made the gullible Trojans believe that this was a
genuine gift from former enemies who were now offering a hand of friendship.

The Trojans were warned by their prophets and sorcerers not
to accept this outlandishly large horse of timber, but to no avail. The Trojans
wheeled the thing into their town and went to drink and make merry to celebrate
their good fortunes. The war was over.

But, with the Trojans drunk and in pursuit of the pleasures
of the flesh, the Greeks, who had all the time sat patiently in the belly of
the monster “horse” got out, opened the city gates and let in thousands of
their colleagues who proceeded to systematically kill, ransack, burn, rape, as
well as other courtesies of war.

Thus a Trojan Horse is anything that looks good on the
surface but may pose great danger for whoever accepts it as a gift.

Now, anyone could have observed the enthusiasm with which
many people from abroad, including heads of state, ministers and corporate
executives have been trooping to our shores, carrying gifts and promising more,
signing agreement after agreement, vying with each other for our attentions.

I smell a huge Trojan Horse carrying hidden soldiers.

We all know that all these nations and the economic
interests they represent are after the resources they can access here at
minimal cost, and they know that our negotiators are often either dumb or
corruptible, or both, and that they think nothing of signing away whole
districts for a bar of candy.

Of course, each suitor comes offering sweetheart deals that
appear irresistible, and at the same time he will be badmouthing his competitor
and telling us how the other crowd are only bent on exploiting us.

The Americans will tell us how the Chinese are taking our
resources to feed their factories, which manufacture cheap products, which they
then sell to us, or something to that effect.
The Chinese will tell us how they have always been the
friends of Africa, which is easy, since they did not send slave ships and they
were not in Berlin in 1884.

But the crux of the issue is for Africans to know what they
want from all these “partners” and to know how to squeeze maximum benefit for
themselves from every resource that is exploited.

One way is to refuse investments that are really
outvestments, in which we outvest our resources to other countries, which
create jobs for their youths and expand their skills bases while our youth
vegetate in helplessness and self-derision.

So, I look at the visit by Xi Jiping and I look at the one
just ended by Barack Obama, and I ask myself one very primary question: Did we
invite him or did he say, Hey, please prepare to receive me because you are on
my itinerary.

If we invited them, then we probably know what we want from
our interface, and we probably worked to secure our advantage. If we were just
part of their itinerary, then they know what they want from us while have no a
clue as to what our interest could be.

Meanwhile, I hear Tanzanian officials talk about their
“economic diplomacy,” but when I see the ambassadors they send out to serve
that diplomacy, I realise I do not understand a thing in this world

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here