Western dependency: The black man’s burden – Part One

0
1059

ANYONE who listens regularly to the so-called world business reports compiled by reporters from BBC, CNN, and Sky News is nowadays bound to hear recurring statements such as — Africa now has some of the fastest growing economies in the world!
Or Africa offers vast opportunities for investment with high returns!
Or some of the most exciting emerging markets are in Africa etc.
There is no doubt that international capital always in search of cheap labour and resources is now looking at Africa as a new frontier from which to generate vast profits which in turn can be used to reinvigorate ailing Western economies.
A snap update on recent resource findings in Africa which Western companies are desperate to grab for a song helps us to appreciate what is at stake.
Apart from Southern Africa whose abundant minerals have earned it an unexpected name, the Persian Gulf of Minerals, recent discoveries on the eastern seaboard of Africa indicate that vast reserves of oil and gas lie abundant stretching for thousands of miles from the off shores of Mozambique, Tanzania right up to Kenya and parts of Somalia. Meanwhile, South Sudan and Uganda are increasingly cited as hosting the second largest known oil reserves in Africa — i.e. after North Africa, while the DRC continues to host under its soils vast quantities of every type of mineral one can think of!
As for countries on the western side of the continent, Namibia, Angola and all those countries surrounding the Bight of Benin and/or the Gulf of Guinea including Nigeria and Ghana, are also known to contain vast oil and gas fields both on land and offshore.
It’s as if the whole continent is floating on a vast sea of oil and gas and the sheer abundance of such has been exciting multinational companies from the West especially after 2008.
In sharp contrast to Africa which is laden with a rich range of minerals and crude oil which are being discovered almost on a monthly basis old Europe has exhausted most of its mineral resources and cannot think of its future without factoring in access to abundant African resources.
One is talking here about a Europe whose predatory development model, large population and extravagant lifestyles make excessive demands often disproportionate to its puny size and dwindling natural resources and can hardly survive on its own!
But the sheer logic of survival demands that Europe continues to hunt for cheap resources wherever it can easily find them in the same way in which the African hunter of yore had no choice but to continue hunting until he made a successful kill or else his family would starve!
And Africa has been a favourite hunting ground for Europeans beginning in 1450 when they started capturing and carting away millions of Africans and throwing them into a life of slavery which, in turn, generated stupendous profits on the basis of which they launched their industrial revolution!
When enslavement became outdated because of developments in agricultural technology the same Europe descended on Africa like a ravenous vulture and colonised it in order to continue the unbridled looting of African resources for another century!
Since then Europe has never stopped taking from Africa and giving next to nothing in return.
More specifically there has been a dependent or parasitical pattern of survival on African resources by Europeans for well over five centuries to a point where it has become a syndrome or an addictive and incurable disease afflicting all those descendants of Europe!
They have become an African burden for too long … making exacting and endless demands on human and natural resources of the mother continent!
It is in this larger continental context that the ongoing bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain has to be understood.
Britain, like other predator nations such as France, Spain, Portugal, USA etc has never accepted that resources in Zimbabwe, like all those in the rest of Africa, belong to Africans!
Why?
Because to do so is too costly for its material comfort!
Like its Western counterparts, the same Britain has never let go its control of its former colonies hence its obsessive attempts to micro-manage the politics not only of Zimbabwe, but also of post-colonial Africa as a whole! As far as it is concerned political control of its former colonies is a strategic matter of national interest with grave economic implications.
In other words, failure by Britain to control and manipulate Zimbabwe’s politics and by extension the rest of Africa has implications not confined to its foreign policy only—but also to bread and butter issues which directly impact on its population!
Accordingly, Zimbabwe’s Land Reform as well as its indigenisation policies are a direct threat to its long standing policy of looting African resources.
This is why Britain has compelled the USA to declare Zimbabwe as an extra-ordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.
As far as both countries are concerned Zimbabwe’s economic policies are a direct challenge to the looting tradition that has defined for centuries the nature of the asymmetrical relationship between Africa and the West–more so when Zimbabwe’s resource nationalism is regarded as setting up a bad example for other African countries to follow!
Already, Zimbabwe’s successful Land Reform Programme coupled with its indigenisation policy—which by the way is still work-in-progress—both are sending terrifying signals to those Westerners who have always enjoyed unlimited access to Africa’s resources for long at the expense of the children of Africa.
Such looting of other people’s resources has become so habitual and deeply ingrained that it has become second nature to them!
It is in light of the above that Zimbabwe has crafted its own economic policy dubbed Zim-ASSET which is specifically designed to address the question of ownership of resources and development of the economy for the benefit of Zimbabweans first and foremost.
It is a bold and brave attempt to break away from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank-imposed economic policies specifically designed to open up the economy of Africa to outsiders while leaving Africans themselves in abject poverty.
Put differently, Zimbabwe is saying that the take-away-everything –from–Africa– tradition to which the West has become addicted has to stop.
Already, both Thabo Mbeki and Julius Malema in their own different styles and manner of speaking acknowledge the significance of the ground breaking role which Zimbabwe is playing in trying to dismantle the economic architecture of the African continent which has been imposed by self-seeking outsiders.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here