The first wave of slavery was slavery, as we knew it- the actual enslavement of the people of Africa; first by the Arabians and subsequently by the Europeans. The second wave of slavery is the slavery of our land and of our mind that saw the enthronement and the deification of European manners, etiquettes and ways of life. They call it colonization; I call it slavery- because, that is exactly what it is! The third wave of slavery was conceived, initiated and implemented in Washington DC by the Breton Wood Institutions masquerading as international aid agencies. They call them World Bank and IMF, yet they are the agents of this third wave of slavery that should be resisted. The strategy for resistance is what I would enunciate below in this article. For if our appeals in the first article falls on deaf ears, we definitely have not exhausted our options- there are one ways than many that we can achieve our purpose.
The first and most feasible option for African countries is sure as medicine but slow as death coming! It is simple- good governance, coupled with the strengthening of the democratic institutions of our blessed continent. For when we have achieved a good level of leadership practices, economic prosperity would naturally flow from the golden ebbs of our continent, and we might not even need economic aid or even debt cancellation. It would require restoring the integrity of the electoral process, putting in place measures to guarantee freedom, free market economy, eliminate ‘sit-tight’ syndrome and ensure the mechanisms that uphold the rule of law are in place. It would require building consensus, spending less on defense, eliminating corruption, fashioning indigenous democratic systems that work and increasing government support for business and pro-growth policies. It would require an immediate increase in intra-African trade, a veritable means of Trans-African transport and elimination of undue barriers to trade and foreign investment.
The second option is an option of looking inwards. It requires an introspection that would see to it that all looters of public funds in the past are brought to book and made to refund all the monies they looted. It would require the government of the day setting up a Public Debt Trust Fund to invest these monies along with a fixed amount equal to about 25-50% of money used for debt servicing in high yield foreign and local investments. That would potentially yield greater than the debt and fund future debt servicing after the initial 10-15 years of contribution to this fund. The fund can even be used as a future bargaining chip to negotiate down debts, as threat of withdrawal of such funds from nations hosting these investments in a single day could potentially be fatal to such countries and prove extremely disastrous comparable to offering lower rates on these debts or completely canceling them.
The third option is what I would recommend for only African countries rich in resources or foreign direct investments. This solution is quick, effective and very practical. It would require the foreign ministries, finance ministries and the political institutions of the nations that would be involved to act concertedly, decisively and in consultation with every nation involved with this option. It would only be effective if at least five to ten countries carry this out, while instituting the first option. For in the absence of good governance, the countries that would be involved in the third option run the risk of alienation and blackmail by the industrialized world. This solution is hard nosed and I like to call it “The Putin Method”. I have named it after the Russian President because he has effectively implemented it against his political enemies with little or no consequence. This method involves promulgating laws that would retroactively charge taxes equal to the national debt of the nation on the most lucrative foreign investments in the nation. This would tie the forgiveness of such ‘legacy taxes’ to the foreign company lobbying their home country on behalf of our nation and obtaining full debt forgiveness equal to such tax dollars to the last cents. It is common knowledge that most of the foreign oil and mining concerns in Africa are politically influential in the homelands, and it smacks of corporate irresponsibility for them to continue turning blind eye to the problems of the nations where the make obscene profits. These companies should be charged interest rates on these unpaid ‘legacy taxes’ equal to the rates charged by their home nations on our debts and should be made to pay back in a stipulated period, failure to do so may eventually lead to losing their investments. Repatriation of their profit should also be stopped immediately these taxes are assessed and they are informed.
Last but not the least, African countries can look eastwards and turn their backs on the West. This would involve the immediate boycott of all Western products, repudiation of all debts owed to western nations and the boycott of all institutions like the United Nations, World Bank, IMF as well as any organization they control or belong. This would also come with negotiating with China and India to fully supply the resources they require for growth in return for setting up a Southern Hemisphere styled World Bank that can be referred to as the ‘Global Bank’ that would effectively compete with IMF and World Bank. China foreign investments as well as India’s should be effectively guaranteed preferential rights to the continent of Africa, while handling over the keys of European Investments (since I consider the most uncooperative of all industrial powers on this matter, especially France and Germany) to Chinese and Indian industrial concerns. This option must be implemented even with our progressive southern American counterparts like Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil that aren’t tied to the tutelage of western interests. African foreign missions must also implement a divide and rule strategy that would effectively grant America some access while fully denying their European cousins; this would keep the channel open for further discussion on this matter.
The future of our continent is in our hands and it is only by our actions that we would determine to be subservient to suffering while we lose our children to poverty, disease and wars while the children of the west feed fat on our resources and charge our children obscene usury on unused capital or free ourselves. The time to act is now, and it can only be done with effective purpose and reason in mind. Rise O Ye Mother Africa and save your children!