"The 55 African heads of states understand very clearly that in order for Africa to take its rightful place on the world stage; in order of sustainable development to come to Africa, the African Diaspora must be front and center of that conversation, " affirmed then African Union President Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao
in an African Union investment brochure. In a recent Farewell & Appreciation Town Hall Meeting, the newly ousted Chihombori-Quao affirmed her vision for Africa and the African Diaspora.
“I did not come here for a job,” proclaimed the admirer of Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah about her move from her medical practice in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Washington, DC to serve as the African Union’s ambassador to the United States. “It’s a calling.” However, with almost three years on the job, the African Union abruptly dismissed her.
“I’m a very impatient Black woman,” said the Historically Black Fisk University and Meharry College graduate during her farewell talk at Montgomery County’s Blair High School that centered on making Africa a powerhouse. She also talked about current polices of the former European colonizers and how they are a continuation of the 1865 Berlin conference, a more moderate view of LGBQT+ rights, the inclusion of the Diaspora in Africa’s struggles, and the power of women.
Even at Europeans carved up Africa at a table during the Berlin Conference instead of warring amongst themselves and later declaring them independent, the mother of five believes that Europeans are still colonizing Africa through many arrangements. She remains outspoken about a colonial tax on Africa that nets France about $500 billion each year. “It goes back to the Berlin Conference,” she said, “our continent is still under siege.” “How long are we going to say ouch, before I punch you in the goddamn face?” she asked.
She went on to acknowledge that same gender loving people are nothing new to Africa as she recalled growing up with “spinsters” who never got married, but lived with other women. “It wasn’t an issue,” she proclaimed. While she opposes outsiders defining African culture, behavior, and norms on sexuality, she said of same gender loving people, “let them be, let them be.”
Her plea for a more independent and progressive Africa calls for the inclusion of the African Diaspora. “We must go home,” she said as she told the story of a traditional African woman who marries and moves to her husband’s village where she is expected to wait on others. Then, the newlywed runs through the village naked to draw attention to her plight. Chihombori-Quao then turned to her UN fight with France and said, “Do you want to arrest 500 naked Black women?” to much laughter and a thunderous applause.
Many have suspected that it was her outspokenness that led to the African Union to dismiss her. However, the African Union refutes that. "This is normal diplomatic practice for political appointees everywhere," said Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Chihombori-Quao then turned to her UN fight with France and said, “Do you want to arrest 500 naked Black women?” to much laughter and a thunderous applause.
As Benin President Patrice Talon announced that foreign reserves of the West African CFA – currency used by eight countries in the region – were to be withdrawn from France, Chihombori-Quao admonished, “Let’s keep our eyes on France.” She continued to rally, “France, keep your hands off Benin! Colonizers must get out of Africa!”
AfricaNews reports that some experts stressed that current foreign reserves arrangements with France keep African countries dependent on the European monetary policy, a situation others routinely labeled “neo-colonialism. ”In interviews with French broadcasters RFI and France 24, Talon reportedly said the current model was more of a “psychological problem” than “technical.”
Whether the breaking of this or other unbiblical cords are technical or not, Chihombori-Quao is not planning to go anywhere. She says her next move it to take France to the United Nations.