Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Africa: Victim of Oppressive Globalisation?

African Leaders at the WEF last year





Is globalization becoming its own enemy? Currently, rich countries are gasping for new air. They’re facing a worst ever economic recession that is threatening the stability of some governments. Iceland became the first casualty of this mess. The Prime Minister Geir Haarde was shown the door by the angry citizens. In Europe, no government is sure of its survival..

Though former US President George W. Bush proposed bailout as a magic bullet, it is not working wonders as expected. Taxpayers are feeling the pinch as their money is awarded to inefficient corporations. Rich countries have the money to bail out their economies. What of the poor countries whose fate and plight has always depended on begging? Who will bail them out at this moment of truth?

Think again. Apart from bailout there are stimuli. Where will we get these economic missiles with which to zap economic down turn in poor countries? If big guys are shaken, what is the plight of little guys?

In the name of globalization, poor countries allowed their public utilities and resources to be bought by agents from rich countries at a throw-away price. Capital flight became an in-thing as corruption surged. We were taught how to kill our economies first. After all productive firms were felled; our goons privatized them to the agents of the same wheel dealers. After privatizing everything, themselves included, they’re now caught off guard!

African Leaders at the WEF last year Photo:Courtesy
Social services were abused and killed. In Tanzania the so-called cost sharing and bearing was introduced. To make matter worse, World Bank and International Monetary Fund offered full-proscription-packed loans to see to it that the already felled utilities are sold to the buyers who also enjoy loans from the sellers. In Kenya there was the Goldenberg scandal while in Tanzania, EPA raised its head. All those became money sinkholes that cost our coffers dearly but enriched the rulers.

Our farmers and producers were told to work hard. They did. But to no avail. Our economies kept cascading despite all the hard work. True, our rulers ruined our treasuries as they crucified our people. Now we are at Waterloo, dumbfounded.

Recently in Davos, British Prime minister Gordon Brown said that the IMF and World Bank are outdated. This means; even their way of doing things. This being the case, what will we do as the victims? Were we prepared for this eventuality?

What the West doesn’t’ want to tell us openly is the bitter truth that at this moment, it is everybody for his own survival. And indeed, the fittest will survive. While they’re presently bailing out their economies after shrinking, they did not allow us to do the same to ours when shrank in eighties. What was regarded as socialistic and unacceptable misguided principle- bailout- is now legal when it comes to bailing out their economies!

Which lesson have we gotten from this? What worries me a great deal is the fact that our rulers are busy expanding their governments. To them, recession has nothing to do with their personal interests. In Kenya we currently have three Prime Ministers. In Tanzania, the current regime has more ministers than the past ones. Who cares?

As we open our borders and economies even more, the champions of free market are applying protective measures for their citizens to sail through. Try this in third world countries. You will face their wrath. Eyebrows were recently raised when president Barrack Obama came in with 'Buy American.' This did not augur well for Europe.

Whilst the developed world is providing subsides to their farmers, we’re loaning produces from our already suffering farmers! Even when we try to propose that the produce be subsidized, we’re being reprimanded for thinking about the unthinkable! As brainless creatures as ever, we’re bowing in order to serve our personal interests as we sacrifice our hoi polloi! Unfortunately for them, our hoi polloi still pin their expectation to us! Whilst in Europe governments are being punted out, in Africa, they’re tying their grips on powers!

Super-rich nations are openly saying that they don’t want to see their people suffer from the credit crunch that, in essence, they caused themselves. Coming to the poor countries, we’re not allowed even to finance the education for our youths. This means: we’ll produce half baked academicians who will depend on western ones to mislead them as they are doing to our current rulers.

In Tanzania, the government was able to ruin its treasures thanks to giving loans to fake investors that made away with it. The government feels at home to dish out money to offer the investors. But the same does not want to invest in education. Cheap and corrupt investment is condoned for it’s a good source of ill-gotten wealth for a privileged few. Can such a myopic approach usher in meaningful development ?

It pains to realize that Africa does not want to create its own economic paradigm. Instead, its greedy and egoistic honchos and academicians every single day beg from the West as if they have neither brain nor hands! They’ve turned us into beggars while we don’t spend even a dime they beg! Shall we allow ourselves to be misled a great deal more as our economies flop?
It was republished by The Herald Zimbabwe Feb.17.

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