Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Neocolonialism: Control behind the curtains.

For Nigeria, it was 1960. For Kenya, it was 1963. For Uganda, 1962. That time in every nation in the developing world when independence was granted from the colonial powers. The time in a nation’s history when the country thought it was now time to achieve to face the future and take a seat in the comity of nations. That point when the nation breathed a sigh of relief that it could now run its own affairs on its own. A premature sigh it turned out to be..

Independence is supposed to be independent. Sounds tautological but I’m just trying to show the seeming obviousness of what independence is meant to be. This however is far from the case. Things are simply not what they’re supposed to be.

It is no secret that the developed world sends aid to Africa. They do so almost religiously. Even at a time of turbulent economic outlook, they still do. The question is why? Are they that nice? Does anyone really mean to tell me, the reason they pump in so much money into African and Latin American coffers is because they love the continent? Could be, but if they loved the continent so much that they give so much aid, why not just cancel the overriding debt of these countries? If they care so much, why don’t they import health experts and give free healthcare services? Simple truth is, they give the said ‘aid’ to control the people.

Kwame Nkrumah, who coined the term ’neocolonialism’ put it this way:

“…The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increases rather than decreases the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world…”

Kwame Nkrumah: Coined the word 'Neocolonialism'

Foreign aid as it is being disseminated these days inevitably finds its way into the hands of economic powers who in turn reinvest it into the originating country in the first place. It’s a cycle people. It’s a cycle. And since the money has been given to these less disadvantaged countries in the first place, there exists a form of unwritten IOU between the giving and receiving countries. It’s like burning a candle at both ends for the receiving countries of these bond fees called aid.

Then there is the UN. The UN is a lameduck organization created to serve as a platform for international cooperation being controlled by the governments of the most powerful countries on earth. The security council of the United Nations has five permanent members. How can it then be said that all countries are uniquely independent. Five countries have permanent membership of the most powerful council on earth and the remaining countries share ten seats among themselves on a rota basis. You be the judge and tell me the will of the powerful nations will not be imposed on the less powerful ones.

 Only a fool will not admit there are internal problems in Africa. Leadership problems. But let me ask a simple question; is there any African leader scarier than Saddam Hussein? And didn’t ‘they’ get him out? And of course part of the excuses was that they were doing it for the good of the Iraqi’s. Muammar Kaddafi ditto. Here is my opinion, which could obviously be wrong; the leaders of the developing world do the bidding of the leaders of the developed countries. And the developed counties’ leaders in turn do the bidding of powerful economic and social forces behind the curtains. Like I said, I might be wrong; it’s just what I think. 

Africa might be free from the nomenclature of being called colonies of powerful countries, but are we really totally free from their control? And are our resources really ours to enjoy independently?

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