Monday, February 16, 2015

The Resource Curse

Africa is characterised by plenty of natural resources and yet fails to address social issues which includes high rate of unemployment, poverty, severe deprivation, food insecurity and so forth. Resources are in the hands of the few capitalists, which makes them to be unbeneficial and disastrous to the populace.

Many African countries that possess rich minerals they often fall short of victim to resource curse such as Congo, Nigeria, Botswana to name the few and have fared much worse than resource poor countries. Therefore, White people began their colonial rule with an act of political expropriation with the use of threat force to extract surplus from the country in the form of direct labour and the product of labour which was commoditised. They opened Africa to the effective capital penetration; they also opened the labour resource of the country including the whole continent to re-direct their functionality, socially and geographically in order to create surplus from which capital accumulation benefited their interest while majority of Africans live in deprivation.

If natural resources including land, gold, diamond, platinum, coal, silver and so forth were managed in the interests of the majority, the people in Africa would have been amongst the best fed, well-educated with proper employment that does not undermine one’s ability and capacity. However, the reality is the opposite.  Instead of promoting sustainable well-being the economy has degraded people and the physical environment. Africa has become poorer and poorer while exploiter countries become significantly richer. The wealth of Africa’s natural resources has mainly benefited colonialism. Many people in Africa experienced hardship because of the actual presence of natural resources. The discovery of natural resources has done little in the way of development to improve welfare and alleviate poverty. Africa has been rooted in the export-oriented surplus, extraction and accumulation of capital under neo-colonialism. Even within the contemporary political system “democracy“,  the resource curse is maintained and strengthened, because extractive industries is seen as indispensable for countries economic development. Moreover, in the current political system of servile governments is associated with exploitation of labour and remain subordinate to the colonial powers and their multi-nationals corporation.

Capitalism manipulated natural resources for the profit motive which made being home to these resources rather than a bounty and a blessing, a curse.

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