30 Years from Today, Africa, as a Bloc, Will Become the World Third Economic Power Behind the US and China, Provided… (Part 12), M. Frindéthié

Africa Ought to Enfranchise itself from Greedy Cosigners

The World Bank, the IMF, the Club of Paris and the Club of London are not philanthropic organizations. There are in the business of making money, and especially of producing maximum dividends out of minimum, and preferable no, investment. These financial organizations are the loudspeakers of the core states. It is in the interest of the core states and their multinational corporations that the peripheral states, which in the international division of labor have been slated as raw material providers, remain undeveloped; and the core states do work hard for the role of the peripheral states to remain unchanged. It is a mistake for African leaders to believe that when France or Great Britain, for instance, sponsors African countries for an IDA loan, these countries do it for the simple reason of world courtesy. These sponsorships are nooses around the neck of the African states that the core states tighten or loosen given the direction of the political wind, that is, given their own interests.

The core states are usurers. Their friendship is always interested and conditional, and their loans and aid packages are poisoned gifts that African countries ought to collectively reject.

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 since their very first encounters with the latter. 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 of 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.

The reader will certainly notice that in the solutions that we have just proposed to the development problems of Africa, we have avoided mentioning the dwelt-on question of Africa’s overpopulation, except to recognize that African cities are being overburdened by an exodus from the rural centers. Let it be known that we do not believe that Africa is overpopulated, and therefore we do not believe in the solutions often propounded by Western experts, which demand that African countries reduce their population size. Overpopulation is not what has kept Africa lagging behind. Lack of genuine exchange of technology and of industrialization is. From this perspective, we concur with Chinweizu who writes that [W]hen on the excuse of saving the environment, it is suggested that we perhaps ought not to industrialize, when on the excuse of reducing pressure of population on resources we are urged to control our populations, we ought to be thoroughly skeptical and have not just second, but even tenth thoughts on the advice we are given … the world may be overpopulated as a whole; but is Africa overpopulated with respect to what its resources, if used entirely in Africa, could support at some decent but not wasteful level of consumption? Africa’s poverty ought to end, and it can if the global discrepancy is readjusted in such a way that, instead of giving the West a monopoly on the “ingredients of survival,” those who have actually been at the source of the supremacy of the West are given control over the resources that they produce to that effect. The West should not be afraid of Africa’s success. It is not a matter of taking away from the West what it has. It is just a matter of allowing Africa to use whatever resources nature has granted it to genuinely pull itself out of poverty. A strong Africa is necessarily in the interest of the West, too. Nevertheless, whether the West approves of it or not, a strong Africa is coming of age in the next thirty years.

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