Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/30/lesson-west-africa-global-inequality-ground-zero
Two of the Colonial Powers that claimed the majority of Nations inside of Africa as their own are France and the United Kingdom. Both of them extratced billions of wealth from those ex Colonies and both contunue to do so in different a manner.
France demanded that on “Freeing” their Colonies , those Countries pay restitution for all of the lost property and infrastructure they had built as they were plundering those regions. (they did much the same to Haiti for their lst “slaves”). The sum total of this tribute is around 500 billion a year and includes the proviso that all of those Countries Foreign reserves have to be kept in France and France insisting on not only a cut of the same but restricting access to those funds to no more than 10 percent a year.
The United Kingdom continues to extract wealth via its banking system. They work in conjunction with the World Bank and the IMF to continue to milk tribute from those ex colonies. This coupled with banking systems set up in places like the island of Jersey where the despots of Africa are encouraged to store their wealth so as to keep it safe in case there an uprising. Both of these Countries will actively support destabilization efforts inside Africa if a leader rises to power that might be deemed a threat to their systems of plunder.
Much like the United States they use the Trojan horse of “democracy and human rights” to get a foothold in these Countries in Africa so that Corporations based in France and England gain a foothold and control over the resources of those Countries. These Corporations work in conjunction with the French and British Governments to ensure that those Uber rich in Africa are amply rewarded and supported at the international level so that plunder can continue.
Much like the USA sees Latin America as their own even going so far as to cite the Monroe Doctrine as they try and force Governments on the peoples of Latin America that are friendly to neo-liberalism and the US Corporations , the EU sees Africa in the same way. (A Body in the EU even went so far as to propose entire Cities in Africa turn themselves over to the Control of European Corporations which in turn will help build infrastructure and invest Corporate dollars in the same).
The “Heart of Darkness” is the system we call Capitalism , where concentrated wealth is not only demanded but needed and that concentrated wealth is achieved by extracting the labor and resources of the many to enhance the wealth and power of the few. Capitalism is fundamentally a system built around extortion and theft.
Outstanding commentary, Suspira! I am unworthy, awe-stricken, mouth agape. I tell ya, it’s embarrassing. You write as well as I hope to, someday.
But I would like to know more about the public/private partnership idea for African cities. I regularly check out In These Times’ “This Month in Late Capitalism” – this item must have slipped through the cracks.
Read between the lines. They claim this to help Africans but it begs the question. If they are extracting PROFITS from the region how is this helping Africans. When these African Countries were colonies of the British Empire, Germany, Italy , Belgium and France , those Countries also invested in “infrastructure”.
Between the lines? It must be really ugly between lines like this:
American Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer developed the idea a decade ago.
In 2009, he said developing countries should consider surrendering part of their territory to foreign states which would then build what he called “charter cities” from the ground up.
The cities, he added, would operate under a set of laws separate from the host country.
Good gawd! They’re taking the missile they used to nuke the Oakland Unified School District and aiming it at the mother continent, fer cryzakes.
Yep and they always couch it in terms of helping PLUG IN COUNTRY name here achieve prosperity, freedom and human rights. We know for a fact they support none of these things no matter how many times they say it.
It a crock and this why I maintain that the EU is just continuing the same Imperialism its member nations were committing for the past few centuries. They formed that union because they could no longer compete with countries like the United States of America in asserting dominance over the rest of the world as individual nations and so needed to combine their economies so as to leverage that added economic might. As one Italian minister pointed out, If France lost its 500 billion a year tribute from Africa its economy would be measured as 20 percent lower. As per wikileaks when France decided it needed to take out Qaddafi as he a threat to their Colonial model , they recognized they could not do it on their own and needed NATO allies (in particular the USA) to join in with them. This the same mentality of the EU.
That’s a book-length thesis, Suspira. Lotta history there… up to here. Thanks.