Tuesday, October 29, 2013

African Elites' Neocolonial Servitude To The West

I am always amazed at how much time and energy is spent by those of European decent discussing “Africa’s development”. Birgit Brock-Utne, an astute European educator of Norwegian origin, wrote the following in her book about those who insist on preaching to Africa about development:
 “… when Europeans came to Africa toward the turn of the fifteenth century, they found a prosperous civilization and enormous wealth. Agriculture and cattle rearing, iron-work, pottery, fishery, salt-mining, gold refining and ornament making, weaving, hunting, and long-distance trading were well advanced at a time and Europe was still relatively backward…From the fifteenth century on, however, the fate of the two continents reversed….Africa stagnated for over three centuries as a direct result of slavery and colonial conquests. This part of global history, for the sake of maintaining a correct historical perspective on Africa and Europe, must always be kept in mind when looking at the contemporary African situation…The bulk of the African people fought heroically against the imposition of slavery and colonialism, though there were some Africans who collaborated with the white slave-hunters and colonialists as well…”

History of post-colonial Africa is replete with shameful stories of African collaborators who worked to undermine the progress and development of their own peoples. The West’s “divide and rule” tactics resulted in intractable conflicts, destruction and devastation of Africa, leaving its people at the mercy of the neo-cons and their political and economic systems that have sustained poverty through poverty perpetuating programs. The Structural Adjustment Programs of the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are an example.

So it comes as no surprise when modern day collaborators such as Mo Ibrahim, the British Sudanese entrepreneur, undermine Africa and its leadership, for no other reason than to force African leaders to submit to Western economic and political ideology. Today, Mo Ibrahim tells us that in 2012 and 2013, there was no African leader that qualified for the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
Mo Ibrahim’s views regarding Africans and their leadership is evident in this report from the BBC[2], which said:
  “…Mr Ibrahim says the good governance prize is needed because many leaders of sub-Saharan African countries come from poor backgrounds and are tempted to hang on to power for fear that poverty awaits them when they leave office…”
Afraid of being poor…do European and American presidents also share that fear? 

Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim selection committee tried to explain why no African leaders was chosen for the prize in 2012 and 2013 when African economies were obviously on the rise and much progress was seen in the development arena. This is what he had to say:
“…The economy has been moving forward relentlessly. However, economic progress does not give us a reason to be a little complacent about participation and the human rights of people…”
For example, western agencies have gone to great lengths to tout Ethiopia’s “economic growth”, but most economists agree that Ethiopia’s economic growth, subsidized by billions of donor funds, is not sustainable, and most importantly, does not translate into the betterment in the lives of the Ethiopian people. Yes, opening up its markets has filled the pockets of the corrupt and lawless minority regime’s cadres and “investors” (private and state), but has been of little or no benefit to the majority of the Ethiopian people, who continue to suffer from disease, hunger and extreme poverty. 

The Mo Ibrahim prize seems to be awarded only to those who toe the western line, stick to IMF and WB prescriptions for the development of their nations and most importantly, open up their markets to predatory multi-national corporations and leadership considered to be amenable to the west-systematic emasculation of Africa’s leadership.
Speaking of emasculation…Here is a man, a Moslem man… given the name Mohamed…presumably after the great Prophet Mohamed, but in trying to fit into his British image…he prefers to call himself Mo… I have never heard anyone referring to Jesus as Jessie or Jess…

For today, let us look at how awards, grants and prizes are used to emasculate Africans…

 By Sophia Tesfamariam from here

What follows is a history lesson of sorts. Example after example of crude self-interest of individuals (African and western), regimes and western puppet masters all intent on taking care of number one to the enormous detriment of the populations of many African countries. Neocolonialism still rules.

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