Not your parents’ international system

Africa: Will multilateralism triumph over nationalism?

By The Africa Report

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Posted on February 25, 2021 16:59

RWANDA-KIGALI-AFCFTA-AGREEMENT-SIGNING © AfCFTA signing  – Gabriel Dusabe -//CHINENOUVELLE_CnynysE000067_20180322_TPPFN0A001/Credit:CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/1803220915
AfCFTA signing – Gabriel Dusabe -//CHINENOUVELLE_CnynysE000067_20180322_TPPFN0A001/Credit:CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/1803220915

It has been tempting to count the international order out. With nationalism the de facto route to political power for so many of the world’s powerhouse economies, many view multilateral organisations with suspicion.

The World Trade Organisation? The tip of the spear in the conspiracy to steal US jobs. The World Health Organisation? A pawn in a sinister game by a former Microsoft executive to track the general public via microchips injected under the pretext of a ‘vaccine’. Why not just track people using mobile phones like everyone else?

The WHO quickly became a punching bag in the US-China breakdown. And US President Trump tried to put sticks into the wheels of the WTO, blocking the election of Nigeria’s talented former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as director-general. Trump also tried to block the re-­election of Akinwumi Adesina as head of the African Development Bank.

Trump legitimated the more wild-eyed theories about multilateral instit­utions – run by ‘globalists’ in the lingo of Trumpworld. In the ‘America First’ vision of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, the ‘globalists’ are a

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