The Travails of Mother Africa

By Hama Tuma:  It is not the first time that French presidents take to the stage to belittle and insult Africa. Former president Chirac admitted that Africa was crucial for the existence of France, though he did complain of our “noise and odors”. His successor, Sarkozy, the man who is beleaguered by a court case alleging he took millions from Libya’s Kaddafi for his election bid years ago, said of Africa: it has not passed the door of civilization. Forget Songhai, Timbuktu, Axum, Zimbabwe, Ghana etc… Sarkozy’s successor, the bankers’ boy Macron, said the serious problems of Africa are due to our mothers who give birth to so many children. There we were wondering if our underdevelopment had anything to do with French and Western imperialism, anything to do with the billions that France itself takes from our continent.

On top of it all, came the trumped up …hole of a story. It is actually not very surprising that African dictators (is there really another type we know?) are welcoming and also hailing the very white presidents that are calling our continent names. When the dangerous and racist clown who calls himself the president of the USA called quite a few African countries shitholes the silence from these quarters was also, expectedly, deafening. It takes one to know one as it has been said. To put it bluntly, I am not wounded by the insult. It is very true that shithole presidents backed by shithole Trump, and his predecessors, have turned our countries into centers of despair, poverty, corruption and decay. The dictators we have are god sons of American and other imperialisms–with China added as of recently. Nationalist leaders like Lumumba, Machel, Nkrumah, Cabral, Um Nyobe, Pierre Mulele, Ernest Ouandie, Sankara and more were all killed or ousted by imperialists. The Belgian colonialists killed close 15 million Congolese, the Germans massacred the Herero, Italy slaughtered more than a million Ethiopians, the crimes of the British and French were very grotesque and well known. A whole continent was raped, pillaged and devastated by American and Western imperialism. This is just for background, for the plunder of Africa by imperialism is still in progress in almost all the countries that have been turned into shitholes by imperialism itself. And let us point out again that super power America is being ruled now by an ignoramus who has no moral high ground to judge Africa, the helpless victim of the West since the slave trade and brutal colonialism.

Many times we Africans have been told we are lazy and determined to stay poor and ignorant. If the continent was peopled by Japanese and Israelis it would have been prosperous said one of the self appointed expert on our species. Bill Gates and others want to impose harsh birth control on us so that we do not pose immigration problems on Europe. All this assumes that Africans are doomed to stay underdeveloped and the reason for this has nothing to do with the conditions imposed upon us by imperialism of all sorts. Even if we give them the benefit and accuse only our dictators, who brought and backed these dictators? When Belgium and the CIA plotted and caused the murder of Patrice Lumumba it was their puppet Mobutu who took power and totally sold the rich Congo to the West and caused the problems that still plague the country. The ongoing carnage in the East of the country is caused by greedy multinational companies going after gold, diamond, coltan, etc. France’s role in Chad, Niger, and so called Francophone countries is well known as is that of the oil hungry US in Equatorial Guinea. Who brought to power and sustained the dictatorial Tigrean group in Ethiopia? Inept, Washington creates monsters like Al Qaeda itself that turn against it in due course of time. Without the backing of western imperialism, Africa’s dictator would not have brutalized our countries and sold us repeatedly to the highest bidder. Our mothers are not our problems, Mr. Macron and Bill Gates. You all are. You do not have to read Walter Rodney on How Europe Underdeveloped Africa–you know it too well. Africans are hard working and the people are its strength.

That said, if Trump insults our countries we should not be surprised or hurt at all. The truth does hurt often. The buffoon is a professional bumbler and has made outrage his middle name. In Ethiopia, we call people like him, rude to their core and racist, shit mouths. But we do not utter this word as it is also considered rude. Unlike Trump, we are too polite to shoot from the mouth all the s…t that just pops up. Africa has continued to be the playground of robbers and plunderers. A new scramble is going on with China as the rival of the imperialist devils we used to know. Africa is trampled upon like grass by the thieving elephants so to say. If the robbers leave us alone Africa would fare fine and take its rightful place in the world. Consider the following article:

The New Colonialism examines the operations of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with mining or energy interests in Africa. 101 LSE-listed companies have such operations in sub-Saharan Africa – covering 37 countries in total. Most of the 101 companies are British: 59 are incorporated in the UK, and 12 others are incorporated in Guernsey and Jersey – British tax havens. Others operate from London despite being incorporated elsewhere, with 25 incorporated in tax havens. These companies play a dominant role in the plunder of major minerals and energy resources from Africa. They control resources worth more than $1 trillion:

• 6.6 billion barrels of oil
• 79.5 million ounces of gold
• 699.3 million carats of diamonds
• 3.6 billion tonnes of coal
• 287 million ounces of platinum,
• huge reserves of gas, copper, silver, cobalt, bauxite and other minerals.

Tax havens, high interest on loans, tax dodging, utilizing the IMF to cripple the African economy, degradation of the climate, taking billions out of Africa, spreading corruption — every year Africa loses close to $ 50 billion to the West. Racism and paternalism (like Gates warning Nigeria to shape up or…) have also taken their tolls. The role of France in West and Central Africa is similar until today–merciless plunder, military aggression racist arrogance. Such is the problem of Africa–not our mothers, not our laziness or color. The pillar of Fortress Europe is none other than France. Take the dictator in Djibouti where both America and France (amongst many others including China) have military and drone bases. Africa and specially the Horn of Africa have been turned into war centers. What developmental aid? Debt for sure. Carnage certainly. The war on Libya has destabilized Northern and Western Africa. War mongering imperialism is Africa’s main problem. Who ruined Haiti? There was a time when most military coups in Africa were organized by Britain and France. If we let go this can be a very long litany the inventory of blood is too long.