Dear Startup Europe Africa Network,
If your goal was to create a manifesto that represented the interest of both continents, you would have gone about the creation in a completely different way.
What you have written is YOUR manifesto, written for YOUR interest and with a mindset that is alien to how we choose to interact and collaborate with Europe. Hence the outright rejection.
Stating that you have no intention of imposing a model while imposing a model is COMPLETE CONTRADICTION.
Imagine a group of Africans and 1 token European presuming to write a policy brief on Migration and Border Processes between Europe and Africa. Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? It wouldn’t even be given a second serious thought talkless of having a session dedicated to it at a Summit between both continents. If you would not accept that from us, why would you expect us to accept the same from you?
If you have a sense of context and history, you will understand that our continents have interacted for centuries and every time interactions have started like this, we (Africans) have been left at the losing end of the stick. This led to you giving us “civilisation and religion” and taking our lands, people, natural and traditional wealth in the process, amongst others.
The new generation refuses to deal in the same way hence the outcry you have seen expressed since I wrote this post.
You have written a manifesto, structured and expressing knowledge of our priorities without involving us. You have presumed what you have to give and what we have to receive without consulting us.
Your manifesto reinforces the power asymmetry that has seen you take from us endlessly for centuries.
You need us to grant legitimacy to your manifesto and the process through which it was created, by going to the link to contribute and by joining the network. WE REFUSE TO GRANT YOU THAT LEGITIMACY.
If WE need to write a manifesto to drive our collaboration, we would do it together from scratch as EQUALS.
Together we determine the priority areas and what both parties have to gain and give. Anything less is a sham and we would not join the process.