Africa’s Biggest Challenge Today is to Grow out of its Slave Mentality, M. Frindéthié

Africa’s biggest challenge today is to grow out of its slave mentality, and to grow veritably, in spite of the sabotaging acts of the nostalgic former colonizers assisted by their swarm of self-destructive native informants. This challenge is significant, as it amounts to displacing the frame of reference that informs the judgments of the African elites. Colonization was not just about draining off wealth from Africa; it was also about physically beating the African in the fields and on the worksites, and mentally beating his brain to pulp in the colonial schools and churches in order to outfit him for the maintenance and perpetuation of the ideology of Western dominance. This enterprise of alienation worked so successfully that the first leaders of the newly independent African countries—many of whom are still in power today through their progeny—govern their nations in the interest of the former colonizers. Whenever the Western frame of reference has been challenged by a few farsighted nationalists, whenever these nationalists have rallied enough support to imperil the Western influence on their countries, they have been simply eliminated by native hit men on the payroll of the rapacious Western interests, when their programs have not been sabotaged and their countries literally sacked and set on fire to confirm the propagated notion by a racist and self-centered West of the inability of blacks to govern themselves. Despite the danger of obliteration, a few audacious African intellectuals have not hesitated to challenge the presumed natural center of savage capitalism with its implied hegemonic agenda.

An they are right, for in spite declarations to the contrary, the presumed center is not the necessary center. The presumed center is inherently contradictory insofar as it has failed to uphold the very values upon which rests its assumed centrality. On the matters of freedom, equality, good governance, accountability, and above all, on the matter of democracy, the presumed center has demonstrated its imposture.

            It is understandable that foreign investors should seek to draw maximum profits from their investments in Africa. On the other hand, it should also be expected that African states would demand the maximum earnings for the exploitation of their resources by foreign multinationals. These two positions are not irreconcilable, and they should constitute the foundations upon which foreign investors and African governments conduct their negotiations. However, when multinational corporations from Western countries operate in Africa, they tend to bully African states to submission through economic blackmailing and threats of military invasions; for indeed, whenever a powerful state intervenes to invade a weak state, one can be sure that some private investors from the powerful state, unhappy about their returns in the weak state, have directly or indirectly triggered the military intervention. Western multinational corporations have often blindfolded, gagged, and tortured African leaders in the dungeons of Western jouissance. Though, for some inexplicable reasons, most African leaders seem to have enjoyed their servitude, their unexpected proclivities have been depressing for the African masses. For the welfare of the people they are accountable to, African governments ought to get out of their losing rapport with the West.

This can only happen if African nations first place themselves in propitious conditions for rejecting Western countries’ poisoned gifts of aid and loans. African states have to develop their own investment funds and enfranchise themselves from the abusive and exploitative “friendship” that they have maintained with the core states. African states should make it their mid-term objective to leave the Bretton Woods institutions, these rapacious organizations that prosper by cultivating misery in Africa. To enfranchise themselves from the usurers that the World Bank and the IMF are, African states, along with other developing countries, should agree to apportion a small part of their annual commodity export revenues to a collective development account from which member states could be loaned money for their development projects. Such an account could also help member states establish strong credit for getting loans, no longer from the core states, which have given enough proof of their insincerity, but this time from such transitional states as China. This idea is not novel. President Gbagbo from Côte d’Ivoire is an indefatigable herald for the creation of what he calls Fonds de Garantie et de Souveraineté, which is essentially the same concept.

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