Framing the population debate in Africa: Part Three


WHAT has so far come out of Part One and Two is that the West, led by the US, has been spearheading attempts to control the growth of populations in the so-called Least Developed Countries(LDCs) in Africa, Asia and Latin America since the 1940s.
Because huge populations in all former colonies are perceived by the West as a direct threat to its interests at many levels.
According to the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM200) authored by Henry Kissinger in 1974 and ever since a key factor in US foreign policy, large populations in LDCs are prone to “civil disturbances affecting the smooth flow of materials”!
Such disturbances would be less likely to occur “under conditions of slow or zero population growth”.
To note here is that the ‘materials’ referred to in the memorandum are in fact abundant natural resources belonging to LDCs, but which are defined intriguingly as US national interests!
Put briefly, concern about rates of population growth is all centred around continued access to natural resources of the LDCs by the West!
Accordingly, what appears like care by the West over over-population growth in LDCs is indeed part of a low intensity war over access to resources of the Third World!
In order to curb the rapid rise of population growth in LDCs the NSSM200 proposes the sponsoring of population reduction programmes in LDCs with birth control measures at the centre of every programme!
Kissinger continues, “mandatory programmes may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now … allocation of food resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control… In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion”.
In plain language, refusal to implement birth control measures means no US-AID coming!
One of the measures recommended by the NSSM200 is to persuade, convince and if necessary, compel leaders of the LDCs to support and promote birth control policies and programmes in their countries or else face sanctions in one form or other.
Another measure is for the US to assist financially in setting up and supporting organisations and or institutions which promote birth control policies in LDCs.
In this context higher institutions of learning and research such as the University of Zimbabwe are deliberately earmarked to receive funds from these seemingly good Samaritans!
The assumption is that such prestigious institutions will, in turn, set-up departments in which programmes designed to promote reduction of rates of population growth in Africa are hosted. Similarly ministries of health right across Africa are also earmarked for donations so that they play a frontline role in the implementation of birth control measures proposed by the West!
All this is done under the guise of humanitarianism and goodwill of the West.
In such a context it is no wonder our own intellectuals and researchers become beholden to Western donors, more so when they are also earmarked for scholarships and or research funds and staff development fellowships!
The aim is to create a critical mass of seemingly ‘organic intellectuals’ whose role is to propagate and legitimise population policies and programmes designed by outsiders.
This is just one of the many examples of how our own thinkers and scholars are tamed and rendered impotent to initiate anything original and designed for the good of Africa — they become more concerned about pleasing those who fund them rather than those to whom they will always belong and whose destiny they are bound to share!
The result is a paradoxical one — our African scholars carrying out research projects designed by outsiders, research projects whose findings and or conclusions have already been pre determined by those who donate both population policies and funding to Africa for strategic and geo-political reasons stated above.
Those who believe in population control in Africa and the so-called LDCs and have deep pockets to back up their convictions are — Ted Turner, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, David Rockefeller III etc — all billionaires who often donate population control funds through their foundations but often prefer to do so through the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).
The less visible they are the better for them, often masquerading as unknown benefactors!
Of interest to Africa is that while the desire by the West to curb the rate of population growth in former colonies remains undiminished up to the present, in some Western countries themselves, the priorities are different, for instance, Germany!
The country has about 80 million people and is often considered the most densely populated and the most powerful locomotive of European Union economy!
Every year Germany spends US$265 billion on family subsidies because between the year 2000 and 2013 its birth rate dropped by 11 percent compared to the rises in the UK (4,3percent), France (3,6 percent), Spain (12,8 percent), and Ireland (8,9 percent).
Right now Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is throwing money at families and encouraging them to have more babies for the sake of stopping the drop in population growth which is regarded as a threat to the German economy!
The observation is that the labour force is graying and more workers are needed!
In Russia, for instance, President Putin is struggling to raise the plummeting birth rate among Russians.
In 2011 he announced plans to invest US$53 billion to help raise reproduction rates in Russia by 2015.
With a population of only 142 million people and a size of 6,5 million square miles, Russia is the largest country under the sun, possessing all sorts of minerals coveted by the EU!
Accordingly he needs more people to protect Russian national interests!
And it is also obvious to him that the meteoric rise of China’s economy is partly attributable to its large population of 1,3 billion people!
In light of the above we need to ask ourselves key questions: Why should those in Europe favour population growth while Africa is coerced to reduce its population numbers which barely go beyond the one billion mark, more so with over 11 million square miles of surface area possessing all sorts of minerals and natural resources that we can think of!
Coming nearer home, the population figures in Southern African Development Community (SADC) are as follows: Zimbabwe, 13 million people, Zambia, 15 million people, Mozambique 23 million people, Malawi 16,8 million people and South Africa 52 million people.
These figures speak for themselves!
Zimbabwe has one of the lowest population growth rates in SADC (about 1,1 percent) and it would be the height of folly to look at these figures without taking into account the effects of ESAP, European economic sanctions during the last 14 years and the HIV and AIDS pandemic!
The US$42 billion often cited as the loss inflicted on Zimbabwe by European sanctions is nothing, when compared to the loss in human capital during the same period.
It is important to consider what Tobaiwa Mudede is saying about Zimbabwe’s population figures and the use of contraceptives in light of the scenario outlined above!
Just going by the population figures alone, it is obvious that Zimbabwe is dangerously under-populated especially taking into account the size of the country and the huge and rich natural resources lying under and above its soils which need to be protected from fortune hunters from the West.
History tells us that when white settlers came into Southern Africa the key argument they constructed to justify the vast looting of African land and resources is that they found the land empty and uninhabited.
A population size that is large enough to act as a deterrent to such predatory human species is a must or else we will be run over as the war over resources escalates as the economic needs of the West also escalate. It is not a secret that Iraq was attacked by the West because of its rich natural resources and relatively small population.
The same West has been itching to attack Iran militarily in order to control its vast, but untapped crude oil reserves but its huge population of 77,7 million people has so far persuaded the same bloodthirsty West to think otherwise!
Telltale signs of such a resource war are already visible in Libya, Central African Republic and Mali.
According to recent revelations by Thabo Mbeki, Zimbabwe itself was scheduled for a second military assault from the same culprit which invaded us in 1890-Britain.


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