On this year’s black history I will want to share some reality that still faces Africa and proves 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 it 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 some how appear to be friendly in trade yet their interest outweighs any African nation’s interest. How much revenue do the entire Africa make from China, India and others minus Europe and America as compared to how much 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 stymies Africa 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 ad 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 lot of European and American interest which is obvious in their market shares and multinational companies manufacturing plants in these countries.
The above indeed present 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 but common currency Eco for west Africa, it is struggling to come to fruition. We used language even as a barrier in forming African bloc but EU has done it barring their language barrier.
All these, have not stopped terrorist insurgencies in most former French colonies and Nigeria, not forgetting invasion Libya by France, Britain and America, today we know what they created and empowered in replacement of Ghadaffi.
African leaders have always come up with realistic ideas and policy blue prints any time they meet but the implementation of it back home becomes a challenge because their economy is hugely supported by the very institutions and nations the said policy implementation won’t favor. Africa has become a battle ground for USA, Britain, China and even India because all want supremacy over our raw resources and governance system that will support their international relations and foreign policy.
Africa is indeed at the cross road,but all is not bleak and doom. We must simply start rigorous trading among ourselves, invest strategically in each others 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 Europe, America, China etc
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 DR Congo, from Morocco to Senegal etc ? We must understand our common enemy is ourselves and we play puppets to same masters with different names including our own leaders who starts as servants then become demigods on us.
One of the turf war point that we must overcome is religious extremism, if today Dubai, can be real embodiment of an example for religious tolerance that is facilitating economic growth and development whiles 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 make conscious efforts to nurture and unearth passionate results oriented leaders who can carry the rest to the dream Africa. Generation of today across the board must deploy exceptional leadership qualities that will promote our growth and this cannot be just grammar but practical effective deployment of a cut-fit blue print that might differ slightly from regional bloc to the other.
We must resource and retool AU to become our point of collective bargain so that it doesn’t happen in situations where countries go into contracts with e.g EU’s EPA which have ripple effect on its neighbouring country. China is striking deals with individual nations whiles even the entire population of Africa comes no where close to China.
These are the realities on the ground which must call from a fire brand AU which is funded by Africa, so it can go to any negotiating table as our muscle than leaders with 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 mistakes of our forefathers.
Scofray Nana Yaw Yeboah