Malawi Risks Running Out Of Friends In Africa

Since Joyce Banda took over as president of Malawi, her administration has done everything in its power to look as good as possible to its Western donors.

While the late Bingu Wa Mutharika often eyeballed the west, Banda has done pretty much the opposite. Anything the west wants, they get.

The latest decision is the one taken not to host the African Union conference in July because the United States of America threatened to cut aid if Omar Al Bashir was to set foot in Malawi.  The AU had insisted that the head of a member state could not be excluded because the west didn’t like them. Also with the crisis between the Sudans coming up on the agenda it would be folly to carry on with that conversation without one of the antagonists.

Now people will say Banda did what was right for her country. The reality that she risks suffering from the Savimbi syndrome. Whatever message the late Angolan rebel leader was going to send out to the rest of Africa he was treated with suspicion because he was too close the west and was willing to do whatever they wanted him to do.

She may be riding the wave of being seen as a reformer right now. But at what risk?