It is a case of Same Game Different Rules, New masks Old Villains, Same Feces Different Toilet. The western world’s exploitation of Africa has taken on many different forms over the years. Countries now take turns in looting the continent. From the United States of America to China, everyone wants to get a piece of this continental cake or dare I say continental steak meat.
Africa has suffered a lot from outside exploitation: from the Atlantic slave trade, the Arab slave trade, western exploitation, and now the Chinese catching up very fast. All claiming to “help” Africa. Even the Slave Masters will tell you that they helped Africans by taking them out of their country, teaching them Christianity and how to read and write. Talk about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.
Fast-forward to 2018 and the same game is still being played. Among the aims of a recent G-7 conference was to “save Africa’s peoples from starvation.” To achieve that, the international corporations need to extend their ownership and control of large portions of Africa. Consequently, these corporations will possess an astonishing part of the continent’s land and markets.
This is carried out via the “Special Initiative” called The New Alliance for Food Security & Nutrition. Another fancy name used to cover up the apparent act of covert colonialism in play here. The aim of this initiative is to “mobilize private capital for investment in African agriculture”. At the same time though, we see a continuing education crisis not only in South Africa but all across the continent.
Now here comes the interesting part – “The New Alliance is offering African nations private and public money (the UK, for example, has donated almost £400m in foreign aid) if these countries will be striking agreements with the G-7 countries and their private sectors”. To get their hands on the money, African governments have to reach certain “agreements” that will enable unprecedented access for multinational companies to resources in Africa. This includes massive changes to their land and farming policies. Once again, talk about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.
Nigeria, Malawi, Benin, and Mozambique are some of the countries that have signed on to the alliance so far, and one of the agreements reached by Mozambique states thus “cease distribution in a systematic way of unimproved and free seeds only not for pre-identified crops in an emergency situation and to allow inspection for accreditation by the private sector.” Let’s hope that Africa’s “Brain Drain” will turn into a “Brain Regain”.
From slave grabbing to land grabbing, colonialism and exploitation rear their ugly heads again. In the Middle East it was oil and today in Africa it’s food and mineral resources. As Henry Kissinger once said, “When you control oil, you will control a state; when you control food supplies, you will be able to control people”. I am sure that past Slave trade and freedom fighters would be shocked to see that education is still in crisis and that so little has changed in Africa.
With that being said, it has to be acknowledged that it takes two to tango; To achieve a 100% you need 50% in two places. The corrupt governments in various African countries have also played their part, they should take their share of the blame. Their lack of respect for the country they govern is quite apparent in the decisions they make. Some of which are fueled by greed and dollar signs (Foreign Aid) – Africa’s major problem has long been poor governance and poor quality of education, and the West knows it.
“Foreign aid” is really “foreign bribe, its dubious purpose is to influence foreign governments to do the bidding of the country giving out the Aid. It also creates freedom for corrupt leaders. This situation is practically equivalent to that of a lazy man at work who sits there and does nothing but yet gets a salary at the end of the month. It allows the government to live beyond its means without consequences. In essence, it creates an incentive for bad fiscal behavior or in other words lining their pockets with cash!.
For years, Africa has been given various amounts of “foreign aid”, each taking more in return, yet there has been little or no major improvement in the majority of African economies. No country in the world that has successfully made the leap from being an under-developed to a developed economy has relied heavily on foreign aid. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of being a dynamic emerging economy is the lack of reliance on charity from the developed world. See also this post about Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.
Corruption is just more obvious in Africa
“Things like this get people killed every day,” said my friend the other day after we had watched a revealing 12-minute clip on Ted Talk a few years way back. The protagonist in this situation was Ghana’s Anas Aremeyaw Anas – The name literally translates to “naming, shaming and jailing” covering his face in a Lagbaja style mask, he delivered a sincere and shocking Ted Talk on his exploits as an undercover journalist in Ghana.
In a country filled with rampant corruption and lawlessness that is damaging and hurting Africa’s rich history and heritage, Anas takes on a very dangerous role, life-threatening at the least and he has successfully brought Mob bosses, filthy politicians and police officers to justice. Armed with his secret camera for covert filming, Anas puts himself in highly risky situations; an example of which was when he intentionally got himself arrested, convicted and then sent to prison – simply for the sake of showing the rest of the world the filth, drug abuse and destitute like standard of living in Ghanian prisons.
At the end of the talk, I was left with the eerie like feeling that he may not last long playing this kind of game – But I also acknowledged that Africa and the world need more people like Anas – because corruption exists everywhere, it’s just a bit more obvious in Africa.