Poverty in a land of plenty


WITH all the richness of the African continent, most of its people continue to wallow in poverty. 
How do we explain all this poverty in the midst of all this wealth? 
The simple explanation is lack of value addition.
Let us not listen to these other explanations thrown around by those bent on forever exploiting the continent.
It is a truth now universally acknowledged that modern Europe owes its development to Africa’s natural resources which were hauled to their metropoli and turned into finished products for value-added export.
We must forever remain students of history and never ever forget that the West dominated, divided and exploited Africa by force of arms and colonial rule.
And now with economic globalisation, Africa is in play again for its natural wealth by all of the developed countries of the world with competition fiercer than ever.
We are an unfolding story whose full narrative is unravelling, but it appears the chapter on the need for value addition is thin.
Many of the protagonists of African conquest are the same ones today; in fact many never really left Africa.  
Zimbabwe and Africa’s economic growth and development is being affected by exportation of raw materials.
Through shipping out raw materials, we are exporting jobs and getting a pittance instead of huge returns for our commodities.
That the country’s reform agenda has captured global attention is no longer a matter of debate or discussion.
We possess rare earth minerals that we have not even begun to exploit.
And critical is that we first call for setting up of refineries to process these minerals.
It will surely not benefit us to sell a commodity for a dollar only to buy it back for a hundred.
This will perpetually keep us in poverty.
As we exploit our finite resources, let us get full value for them.
One of US’ chief architects of that country’s foreign policy, Henry Kissinger, said the world can be controlled by controlling money. 
We know that they control money by dominating ‘international financial organisations’ such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. 
In reality, as revealed in the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman, these organisations are loan sharks that get countries in debt, keep them in debt and wreak havoc on their national sovereignty. 
The world over, these ‘international financial organisations’ have opened up countries rich in natural resources to foreign exploitation. 
If we are to get money from these institutions, let us use it to develop value-addition industries and not be made to use it to extract and export raw materials. 
Let us get all the benefits that can be accrued from the land; all the benefits that can be gained from our minerals; every benefit that can be accrued from every tourism product in the country.
And most importantly the benefits that we can gain from our globally renowned human resource capital base.
Sustainable development will be achieved from getting maximum value for our resources.
Long after our diamonds, gold, lithium and many other minerals are depleted, let us continue to enjoy their value.
Finished and processed products will result in skills transfer, technology transfer, job creation and increased revenue inflows.
In the short-term, we must do away with exports of raw and semi-finished agricultural commodities and minerals.


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