THE BLOG

Foreign Investment Nearly Always Puts Africa At A Disadvantage, No Matter How Juicy It Seems On Paper

How much revenue does the entire African continent make from China, India and others minus Europe and America, as compared to how many countries leave our land in hard cash and natural resources?

14/09/2017 03:59 SAST
Shutterstock/ Gonin/ AOL Library

I want to highlight the realities that Africa faces which prove that Africa is in a dilemma and needs a critical, logical and pragmatic decision to position itself strategically in the heated global political arena which has a lot of economic dimensions.

Brexit has its own dynamics that will have a bearing on Africa's economic fortunes. To add to this challenge is the new international approach of current American president Donald Trump. There is another third and fourth group, China, India and others who somehow appear to be friendly in trade yet their interest outweighs any African nation's interest.

How much revenue does the entire African continent make from China, India and others minus Europe and America, as compared to how many countries leave our land in hard cash and natural resources? Not to mention the land degradation and constant infestation of the cancer called corruption of our greedy leaders?

Almost all thriving economies in Africa are not independent of foreign manipulation in the guise of foreign investment which is always at the disadvantage of Africa no matter how juicy it appears on paper, these are Trojan horses.

This is an old system in place which stifles Africa's quest to develop strategies to seek her interest fully. When Ghana started soaring after independence most of these Asian tigers and middle eastern powers hubs were in struggling state, at a point Ghana became a motivating factor. South Africa was at the pinnacle of painful apartheid experience, never again must this suffice in any form but sadly it has taken several forms and shape, Nigeria too was battling a lot of challenges so in summary African nations were fighting for self-determination; though some had back door arrangements which foiled any attempt for a continental bloc.

Currently, we have BRICS [economic bond between Brazil, Russia, Indian China and South Africa] and MINT [Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey] blocs, therefore, one will ask what has happened to ECOWAS and SADC? If we have not in evidence made drastic economic gains [amongst] ourselves, why try to court relationship out there? China and India have a lot of European and American interest which is obvious in their market shares and multinational companies manufacturing plants in these countries.

We cited language as a barrier in forming the African bloc but the EU has done it barring their language barrier.

The above presents a dilemma for mother Africa because African nations trade less among themselves than they do with Europe, America, China etc. AGOA and EPA are trojan horses yet we are partners to them as individual nations and we are working tirelessly to make them work. We cited language as a barrier in forming the African bloc but the EU has done it barring their language barrier.

African leaders have always come up with realistic ideas and policy blue prints any time they meet, but the implementation of these back home becomes a challenge because their economy is hugely supported by the very institutions and nations the said policy implementation won't favour. Africa has become a battle ground for USA, Britain, China and even India because all want supremacy over our raw resources and governance systems that will support their international relations and foreign policy.

Africa is indeed at the cross roads, but all is not doom and gloom. We must simply start rigorous trading among ourselves and invest strategically in each other's economy. We must curtail all the deliberate blocks we have established to make it difficult for two African nations to do business unlike how they easily trade with other nations.

How many containers of goods travel from South Africa to Ghana, from Ghana to Kenya, from Botswana to Nigeria, from Egypt to Ghana, from Guinea to the DRC, from Morocco to Senegal etc? We must understand that our common enemy is ourselves and that we play puppets to the same masters with different names including our own leaders who start as servants then become demigods on us.

One of the turf war points that we must overcome is religious extremism, if today, Dubai can be a real embodiment of an example of religious tolerance that is facilitating economic growth and development whilst Africa is slow in this regard then we must do something about it. We must make pragmatic efforts for easy movement to promote our own tourism and culture because it appears African youth tends to know more about Europe, America etc than they know about various African countries.

We must admit Africa has made few incursions but we cannot travel at this pace because globally everything is running like Usain Bolt.

We must make conscious efforts to nurture and unearth passionate results oriented leaders who can carry the dream of Africa. Today's generation across the board must deploy exceptional leadership qualities that will promote our growth and this cannot be limited to just grammar -- but the practical effective deployment of a cut-to-fit blue print that might differ slightly from one regional bloc to the other.

We must retool the AU to become our point of a collective bargain so that it doesn't happen in situations where countries go into contracts with e.g EU's EPA which have a ripple effect on its neighbouring country. China is striking deals with individual nations whilst the entire population of Africa comes nowhere close to China.

These are the realities on the ground which must put to the AU which is funded by Africa so that it can go to any negotiating table as our muscle as opposed to appearing as leaders with a cup in hand.

We must admit Africa has made few incursions but we cannot travel at this pace because globally everything is running like Usain Bolt.

Africa must arise, Africans must arise and budding leaders must purpose in their hearts, mind and spirit not to repeat the mistakes of our forefathers.