In his extraordinary 1980 autobiography - written in exile after his 2500 year old kingdom was overthrown and the fanatical tyrant Khomeini imposed a reign of terror in an illegitimate regime known as the "Islamic Republic of Iran" - the late Shah of Iran discussed what he saw as an "axes of Communist penetration in Africa" in the 1970s:
Iran, which is only separated from Africa by Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean, was concerned to see communist penetration into Africa along three axes: The first, going from Libya toward Chad, the Sudan, and Somalia, is the Mediterranean-Red Sea-Indian Ocean axis; the second aims to link the Mediterranean to the Atlantic by land; and third cuts Africa in two from Angola to Mozambique. The axes of Communist Penetration in Africa are real dividing lines. Both the longitudinal and transverse axes sever the African continent. This penetration is a vast strategic movement which threatens to destabilize the whole of Africa.Tomorrow what is called Black Africa could become Red Africa. (In an effort to thwart such actions, I [the Shah] had dreamed of contributing financially to a modern railway line linking the east and west of Aftica.)
It's noteworthy that Ronald Reagan felt the same way, as expressed in a speech at the 1978 Conservative Political Action Conference and a 1983 interview with the New York Daily News.
They were right, of course.
African Cardinal Blames Socialism for Corruption
Thursday, 29 Oct 2009 07:39 AM
By: Edward Pentin
A top African cardinal blames government corruption in Africa mostly on socialism.
Speaking to Newsmax at the end of a three-week Vatican synod on Africa last week, Cardinal Wilfred Fox Napier, the archbishop of Durban, said Africa’s traditions such as those of tribal chiefs could be partly to blame for government corruption but that “it has much more to do with the socialist ideology.”
Poor governance has more “to do with the influence of socialism and communism, where the party becomes supreme,” Napier said.
In contrast to such regimes, he said the traditional system of tribal chiefs is more democratic. Chiefs “are seen to have almost divine right to their position, but the chiefs exercise it, I would say, quite democratically because they have their councillors who would have quite an influence on the way the chiefs would behave towards their people.”
Many African countries developed their own brand of socialism in the 1960s, as it represented a break from colonization and imperial ruling tradition. African identity and socialism then became an effective combination in ending the era of old imperial regimes. South Africa’s ruling ANC party played a role in the African socialist movement.
But most socialist African regimes did not deliver on the promises of self-sufficiency, prosperity, and equality, leading to growing disillusionment with socialism on the continent. Some socialist leaders, such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, were lauded for fostering peace, but economically, he brought Tanzania to its knees.
Cardinal Napier welcomed the fact that the 244 bishops at the synod debated issues of governance, and that many African church leaders reported improvements in democracy on the continent. However, he said dictatorships often are replaced with ruling parties that believe they had a right to rule indefinitely.
“Whereas we had presidents in the past for life, now we have parties considering themselves to be in power for life,” he said. “We’re already seeing that in our South African situation where the governing party calls itself the ‘ruling party’ — an indication that they have a right to tell people how to live or how they want to run the country rather than listening to what the people are saying and the way they want the country run.”