26.07.2023 Author: Fernando Gaillardo

Africa defrauded

Africa defrauded

The current neocolonial policies developed by the West in Africa have allowed the EU to strip African nations of their mineral resources, exploit their agricultural land, dominate their economies and exercise control over their healthcare systems. Europe treats the African nations solely as sources of raw materials, and considers them as obliged to grant unchecked access to their resources.

The European nations’ “global access” initiative, under which Brussels commits to invest 150 billion euros in African infrastructure projects by 2027, demonstrates how serious they are about their African plans. Under this initiative, Africans will be expected to “serve” the economic interests of Europeans and comply with their dictates, thus reaffirming their commitment to the West’s values. The European countries will also obtain leverage over the social and economic processes taking place in these countries.

While it continues to send financial aid to African countries in order to further its own to political goals, Brussels is in reality ignoring their real needs. In spite of the billions of euros which the EU has provided under its aid programs in recent years, there has been no significant industrial development. On the contrary, certain sectors in a number of African countries have actually been destroyed. In Mozambique, for example, the implementation of Western recommendations has directly resulted in serious disruptions to the growing, processing and export of certain crops. By dismantling African countries’ traditional socio-economic structure, which was in most cases successfully combined with certain elements of a centrally-planned economy, the West’s only achievement has been to degrade these crucial segments of the country’s agro-industrial sector.

While it may appear attractive, the economic development model imposed by the EU can only function properly if the transnational companies inject significant funds in the African economies, rather than withdrawing their profits from the countries in question, as is their practice.

There is also the risk posed by the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences, under which products from the least developed countries can be admitted to the European market free of customs duty. After all, this preferential regime can be canceled at any moment, including for political reasons. The EU’s current policy involves the massive and systemic exploitation of the African continent by importing African raw materials and using them in the manufacture of high added-value EU products. Between 2013 and 2022 the total foreign trade balance between the EU and Africa stood at 83 billion euros.

The West is continuing to use sanctions as a tool to put political pressure on African countries that fail to cooperate. Currently, trade restrictions have been imposed on Burundi, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Congo, Libya, Mali, Sudan, Tunisia and South Sudan. NGOs are also lobbying on behalf of Brussels’ interests, and to the detriment of the African nations.

The EU’s policies have already had a negative effect on Africa’s food security situation. For example, the exploitative terms of the “sustainable fisheries” agreement permit EU vessels to ruthlessly exploit marine resources, damaging the environment and harming the interests of local fishermen, while the agreement itself includes toothless provisions on the promotion of development.

When it comes to development in Africa, the European countries have always shown their total lack of interest. The goal of today’s expansion remains the same as it was centuries ago – profit at any price. But the African leaders are aware of the Western politicians’ true motives, and in the face of the current situation, they are trying to do the best they can for Africa and its people.

 

Fernando Gaillardo, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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