Africa’s ‘shithole countries’ say bye-bye to Donald Trump


The outcome of the US election won’t change the face of the continent, but nevertheless, Africa does care about the fate of the capricious Donald Trump, even if it shows a certain ambivalence.

During a presidential campaign rally on 16 October, Donald Trump said that losing to the “worst candidate in history” would embarrass him so much that he would perhaps have to leave the United States. Would African countries be tempted to welcome the ousted president? Probably not the “shithole countries” that the outgoing president expressed disdain towards back in January 2018. Although…

Africans haven’t been systematic or unanimous in their condemnation of Trump’s insults. The same can be said of his frank, macho way of speaking – mannerisms that quite a few African citizens tolerate from their own leaders – as well as the substance of Trumpian thought which, like his slight against “shithole countries”, has pleased the most tormented objectors of the continent’s poorly governed regimes.

Official congratulations

As one might expect, African heads of state offered their official congratulations to Joe Biden, mentioning “his vast experience” (Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari), the promise of “unity, security and prosperity” (Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo) and the prospect of a “trade agreement granting African countries duty-free access to US markets” (Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni).

The most satirical internet users alluded to the grumpy “Omar Trump Bongo, clinging to power like a true African dictator” and whose stubbornness could be grounds for “the intervention of a peacekeeping force led by land-locked Chad’s navy”.

Temporary state of grace

While intellectuals such as Alain Mabanckou are delighted to see the end of an administration which “put the United States in a ridiculous light these last four years”, the nonconformist fringe of the continent’s amateur political commentators will only grant Biden a temporary state of grace.


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