I will deliberately avoid statistics here today. This is mainly about how
we Africans could broadly understand Africa's economic and development
interests within global geo-politics.
BRICS a new global entity aimed at countering US hegemony, is currently
having a summit in Goa, India.
The presidents of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are in
attendance at this 8th BRICS Summit (15-16 October 2016).
The group also invited several countries from regional economic entities
It is quite alarming that Africa, which has put its development hopes on
BRICS, and which is ably represented by South Africa, isn't reporting about
what is taking place at the summit.
What is in it for Africa at this point in time?
We for example need to be knowledgeable about the stage at which The New
Development Bank (NDB) has reached in its operationalization.
This is the BRICS bank. The much hyped alternative to the World Bank. It is
supposed to fund infrastructure development in the Third World.
We have a problem in that the global western media seems to have
deliberately slapped a media black-out on the build up to this summit,
possibly because BRICS and its NDB bank are competing with their
national/common interests: Their World Bank and IMF.
Yet African media which knows that our continent has clear direct interests
in BRICS, could unknowingly be following that western media black-out on
Meanwhile, Western countries have ignored Africa when it comes to global
affairs. It increasingly seems as if we are insignificant except when they
need to show that they are generous and human righteous. This gives them
political leverage globally. It is therefore Africa that maintains the
pseudo global authority of western countries.
Someone once perfectly nailed it when he said we are now seeing western
human rights imperialism. It must have been Mr. Andrew Mwenda in an
interesting article two years ago in the Independent Magazine. May I add
the word 'terrorism imperialism' as their latest tool to maintain hegemony.
For more than a decade and ahalf the war on terror has been the mantra of
US foreign policy and international cooperation.
Meanwhile however, there might come a time when minimizing Africa will turn
out to have a cost far more onerous than anyone ever expected. China is
busy making sure that day will come.
They are the only country that have seen the strategic position that Africa
can hold as a partner in future global economic growth and geo-strategic
influence. And they are helping Africa to build that strategic platform. It
us mutually beneficial.
Already we all know that the most committed country to Africa, particularly
in general trade and infrastructure development, is China.
Imagine what happens when they start transferring technology and tech
industries to Africa. I imagine 'Made in Africa' smartphones based on
Chinese manufacturing technology. Modern electrical appliances, vehicles.
Surely one day Africa will manufacture aircraft. I have no doubt that China
could be the most likely nation involved in such a development.
I once stated that if US and the EU had transferred their redundant
industries to Africa when China rose as an economic challenger and knocked
them out of business, they would have maintained their previous economic
global edge even with new rising economies joining the competition from the
Far East and South Asia.
When it comes to cooperation with Africa, besides greatly worded speeches
that give hope and maybe a smile on our own faces, in reality we see
western countries almost ridicule Africa's industrial potential by not
living up to their colourful words about our prospects. In stark contrast,
China doesn't say much. They aren't patting our backs in seminars and peer
review white papers that are being discussed at economic conferences and
prestigious universities. Instead they bow humbly as required by their
respectful greeting tradition. But make no mistake. They are the ones
actually in full throttle here. Today China is strong enough to lend money
to the US.
America owes them about a trillion Dollars in foreign debt. They literally
saved Wall Street after the last global financial crisis (2009).
In Africa, China is weaning the continent off western political influence
and meddling, and ensuring that Africa will always be their partner at the
table of global decisions.
Surely we do have problems with cheap substandard products from China. But
that is a completely different and comparably benign issue altogether. One
that could simply be discussed and agreed on bilaterally. But do we
Africans fully grasp the bigger picture and what is at stake?
By Hussein Lumumba Amin
Background info on the 8th BRICS Summit 2016 ending today:
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