With the financial crisis still looming across Europe and gradually creeping economic growth in the North and South America, the African continent has once again become a beacon and a place where super powers of the world and others Asian nations are tiptoeing days in and days out, by any means, to find a way to give a much needed Oxygen to their agonized economies, by attempting to once again to put their hands on what is left of the old continent natural resources.
These days, EU and NATO nations are preoccupied in exploring strategies in re-positioning themselves on the African Continent to counteract the fast pasting eastern power blocks influence of countries like China and India in securing infrastructures development projects on the continent. We should all be in agreement that these days, Globalization is unavoidable and requires that countries and continents interact with each other to forge economic and social alliances for the common good of theirs citizens, but these dealings should be fair for all parties involved.
It should also be said that African nations should be free to deal with whoever will enter in a fair contract agreement, provided that the best interest of both parties are met.
I’ m under no illusions that the current contracts signed by some African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with China for infrastructures development were fair or well thought deals, especially when it comes to Congolese national interests and the portion of the pie that DRC should be benefiting from the deal. But think about it by answering the following question: What “positive developments” did the EU and NATO nations brought about to the African continent since the early days of independence's (in the 1960), besides protecting their “puppets Dictators” which were put in place or supported, for decades, by the former colonial powers to protect their interests on the continent, even when it was obvious that the majority of the population was in dire need of basic needs?
Most of us know that, for years, natural resources exploited on the continent, only benefited very few natives’ cronies, and were used to build some of the greatest cities in the West.
I’ m a globalist, and I do believe in foreign investments to support some projects in Africa, but these foreign investments must target areas and programs that will enable Africans to stand on their own, build their own infrastructures, create and encourage entrepreneurship for their own citizens. Any foreign investment should stop, whenever there is conflict of interest between parties, or any evidence of corruption or misappropriation of funds or resources.
The sad observation is the facts that often the culpable parties in funds mismanagement and embezzlement are not held accountable for their crimes, and are sometime allowed to become repeated without any kind of punishment.
While foreign investments are always welcome in any nation, African Nations should rely heavily on their own assets first. After all, African countries have well qualified technocrats and intellectuals, on all areas of expertise, locally and around the globe.
All Africa needs for a real “Economic Renaissance” is accountability in natural resources management, good governance, intelligent targeted projects initiatives for development, and foreign powers who must refuse to deal with corrupted Regimes and Dictators; the last items being where EU, NATO or China have failed the African continent miserably with continuing back doors deals!
African nations must learn from past failures and look forward to address issues related to roots cause for the actual state of chronic impoverishment for their citizens and nations, lack of adequate infrastructures in basic healthcare, education and job creation to compete globally, and establish some corrective actions that all should be applying to reduce economic dependency on EU, NATO and China for that matter, and promote their own economic development.
We should agree that Africa must be self-sufficient and counts on its own first.
The key to success is accountability in natural resources management, security, conflicts prevention / resolution, targeted development projects and good governance.