Saturday, May 25, 2013

Multinationals are the new colonialists

All the business journals and websites at one time have led with stories of Africa’s economic success. But if Africa is on the rise, it is on the rise for the elite and the multinationals, not for Africans workers themselves. Very little of the increased wealth is trickling down to ordinary Africans from latest boom.

The truth about extreme global poverty according to Jason Hickel is:
"During the colonial period, the gap between the richest countries and the poorest countries widened from 3:1 to 35:1, in part because European powers extracted so much wealth from the Global South in the form of resources and labour. Since then, that gap has grown to almost 80:1."

The reason is simply that multinational companies, supported by policies of the IMF and The World Trade Organization, have had access to cheap labour and resources and have been able to extract more out of Africa at the expense of the poor. China has come to the fore and China's priority is simply to develop and benefit the Chinese. They continue to invest heavily in Africa's resources while exporting their consumption goods back to Africa. In all cases Africa loses.

The sad part of all this is Africans are actually getting excited about all this, especially politicians who have failed to think beyond the colonial experience.

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