Many European countries have constructed their economies on the base of resources looted from Africa as a result of many years of unbalanced trade and colonial conquests. Some former colonisers have strong economies because they continue to benefit from Africa’s natural and intellectual resources.
These countries have these resources in their reserves which are far greater than you would find in the countries where exploration takes place. This situation coupled with a continued illicit flow of millions of dollars from the continent into some secret banks and offshore accounts by both money launderers and corrupt businesses who have co-opted some continental political elites, unfairly tips the scales in the favour of former colonial masters.
Today countries such as China also play a rather controversial investment role in the continent through the import of cheap textile products which have seen the local industries collapsing and retrenching many people from their much-needed jobs. China also participate in banking and infrastructure projects such as in South Sudan where they benefit from crude oil. They do this with little regard for political dynamics and the welfare of the masses on the ground.
United States of America through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has also constrained many African countries with regulation that allows them to export some of their goods in exchange for importing goods from the continent. This arrangement has destroyed local industries such as poultry which unfortunately had to close shop in South Africa.
In Nigeria’s Delta region, multinational oil companies have not only destabilised the local communities and destroyed the environment but have excluded locals from benefiting from their natural resources. This they do in collaboration with some local leaders who are participating in these corrupt transactions.
Africa has natural resource deposits which are more than enough to improve the social profile and status of its people qualitatively, but unfortunately entrenched corruption and unacceptable failures at the levels of political and business leadership, coupled with passive citizenry has created an environment of despondency and systematic poverty amongst the continent’s poor masses.
With increasing levels of poverty and both state and business corruption, Africans are increasingly getting agitated and impatient with the status quo. This social anomaly, if not rectified, will trigger social unrests where the masses will rise into a spontaneous bloody revolution.
It is therefore incumbent for our leaders to urgently utilize the resources wisely for the benefit of the African masses before the ticking time bomb of civil unrests explodes with dire consequences.
It is immoral to expect the African masses to enjoy freedom through social services such as grants and low cost housing whilst their leaders and former colonisers enjoy the spoils unrestricted.