How FRANCE UNDERDEVELOPed AFRICA
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, recently criticized France’s policy in Africa in response to the migrant crisis in Europe. He is quoted as saying, “If we have people who are leaving Africa now it’s because some European countries, and France in particular, have never stopped colonizing Africa and its colonial-style policies in Africa are “impoverishing” Africans.”
It could be assumed that the economic standing of France bothers Italy, as France is on one of the world super economies. Nonetheless comments France under developing its former colonies have been repeated for sometime and therefore beg a keen and close examination.
In the 1950’s Africa began the struggle for independence from her colonial masters. The then Guinean president Sekou Toure, was adamant to have the French leave, his actions made Guinea the first and only French colony to say NO to the French.
He said, “It is better to be poor and free, than to live in opulence and be a slave.”
These actions angered the French who in turn destroyed the entire infrastructure such as schools and hospitals they also killed livestock leaving the country in a deplorable state.
The destruction carried out in Guinea scared the other colonies who were afraid of the French plundering them, therefore they agreed to sign a colonial pact which requires them to deposit 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under the French finance minister’s control.
France has been holding the national reserves of fourteen African countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. All these countries are obligated to use the CFA Franc as their legal tender. It’s one of the most prominent signs of France’s continued influence over its former colonies.
France allows them to access up to 15% of their money in any given year. If there is need for any more, they need to borrow the extra money from their own 65% from the French Treasury at commercial rates.
The estimated amount that France collects each year from her African colonies is 500 Billion USD.
In March 2008, former French President Jacques Chirac said, “without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power.”
In 1957, Francois Mitterand, a former French president similarly said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century.”
France cannot be blamed entirely, as the African countries have respected this agreement for over 50 years. Whether for promised political mileage, fear or comfort its not quite clear what keeps the countries bound. Until either the French or French colonies budge the situation will remain the subject of debates and essays and not action and agitation.
KENYA steadfast after AL-SHABAAB ATTACK
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi is reeling from the aftermath of what is now being termed as, Black Tuesday. On Tuesday January 15, 3 gunmen and a suicide bomber raided the Dusit complex, an upmarket business complex with a hotel, restaurant, offices and a hair salon. The attack resulted in at least 22 deaths of both Kenyan and foreign nationals.
The events unfolded immediately after the suicide bomber blew himself up with what is believed to have been a grenade. Following this three-armed gunmen stormed into the yard on foot and begun opening fire sporadically. After this they went into the buildings where they begun killing citizens floor after floor.
The attack lasted 9 hours during which time; licensed gun holders together with the General Service Unit and Kenya’s elite Reece Squad helped rescue at least 700 people.
The Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement. The attack was given the code name “Al-Qudsu Lan Tuhawwad” (“Jerusalem Will Never Be Judaized”) they alleged that the attack was a response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
However, Kenya is also part of the countries that have its armed forces in Somalia for peace keeping, and previous attacks by the Al-Shabab have been agitating for the removal of the Kenyan army from Somalia.
The President of Kenya, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta responded to the attack by saying, “Kenya will remain strong in fighting terror. All person involved in latest terror act will be brought to book,”
“We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations, and that embraces peaceful co-existence. We believe in these principles and values even in the face of adversity. We are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt its children. “
He also confirmed that the terrorists were all, neutralised. However the hunt for the financers and other masterminds is on.
Former Somalia President Sheikh Sharif also came out and strongly condemned the terror attack as he called on the international community not to neglect his war-ravaged nation.
Sharif, is quoted as saying that, all international resources should be channeled towards wiping out the Somalia-based terror group, Al Shabaab.
Unfortunately, not all the employers were sympathetic of the plight of their employees as some foreign employers asked their workers to continue working remotely in order to meet their targets. This has been widely criticized and employers have been asked to ensure that their staff seek counselling and therapy after going through trauma of this magnitude.