The last post discussed one of the ways that the transatlantic slave trade has evolved and this post addresses another evolution. You see the powers that be are not content with stripping us of our human capital; no, no, no, no, no. They are also selling the continent to this one country in East Asia in the name of infrastructure development.
There’s no denying that African countries are still under imperialism – the policy, practice or advocacy of extending the power or dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas. For example, former French colonies such as Benin and Togo have their foreign reserves deposited in France’s treasury. These deposits are invested by France, gain interest income for France and are used for their economic development, at the expense of these countries’. You can read more about this (and how some of them have vexed) at https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/8-african-nations-to-withdraw-cash-reserves-from-france. With situations such as these, it’s no wonder that countries are reaching out to other sovereign entities for help to develop their infrastructure. I wonder, however, if it is impossible for us to do so with a little bit of common sense.
Jain-na, the country referred to in the first paragraph, has said that they want to be a development partner, via their Belt and Road Initiative. Rather than offering aid like the UK and US, she wants to build trade, investment and political ties with the continent. She sees the continent as viable business partners rather than a charity case it simply gives money to thus stroking the egos of our leaders. This has clearly worked with the continent seeing increased investments over the years. The China Jai-na Global Investment tracker (https://www.aei.org/china-global-investment-tracker/) has this at $305.95bn, in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, between 2005 and 2019 and even President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa publicly refuted the idea of a new colonialism at a meeting of African leaders in 2018.
While there’s nothing wrong with this initiative, African leaders are (maybe) desperate and such piss poor negotiators that Jai-na gains more from this arrangement. The Jai-nese mostly employ their citizens in these companies thus creating jobs for their people, and not ours, have access to our natural resources for their huge population and expand their global influence. In exchange, we get roads, bridges and other basic infrastructure which will have little impact on our quality of life because they will be done/maintained poorly. At the end of the day, Jai-na has access to our resources and we are indebted to them. They are also aware of our reliance on them and treat African citizens with little to no respect whilst placating and patronising our ‘ogas at the top’. Whether it’s Jai-nese companies stealing land from citizens (with the help of local authorities), or the poor working conditions of their factories in Africa, or evicting Africans from their accommodation and accusing them of BRINGING COVID 19 TO JAI-NA!!! (yes, you read that correctly), they have showed us pepper.
Hopefully, our leaders wisen up soon (highly doubtful) or the continent will become made in Jai-na.