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Africa’s Ridiculous ‘Rising’ And Overdue Uprising


Either:  

1) Africa owes its takeoff to a variety of accelerators, nearly all of them external and occurring in the past 10 years:

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     billions of dollars in aid, especially to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria;

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     tens of billions of dollars in foreign-debt cancellations;

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     a concurrent interest in Africa’s natural resources, led by China; and

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     the rapid spread of mobile phones, from a few million in 2000 to more than 750 million today.

Business increasingly dominates foreign interest in Africa. Investment first outpaced aid in 2006 and now doubles it. 

Or: 

2) Africa owes its economic decline (running at more than 6 percent of gross income per year once nonrenewable resource depletion is considered) to a variety of accelerators, nearly all of them external and occurring in the past centuries during which slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism locked in the continent’s underdevelopment, but several of which – along with climate change – were amplified in recent years:

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     stagnant overseas development aid – around 60 percent ‘phantom’, anyhow – to most African countries, except to 14 ‘fragile states’), with Washington leading further cuts in funding to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria;

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     tens of billions of dollars in foreign debt cancellation (of what was mainly unrepayable ‘Odious’ loans to dictators) in 2005 yet at the same time a squeeze on low-income African finance ministries that immediately afterwards caused a dramatic rise in debt repayments (from 5 to 8 percent of export earnings);

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     a concurrent looting of Africa’s natural resources, led by China and the West, resulting in dramatic recent falls in mineral and petroleum wealth (when calculated as ‘Adjusted Net Saving’ to incorporate resource-stripping); and

Symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:Symbol;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”>·                     the rapid spread of mobile phones, which because of high costs and low internet connectivity, has done very little to solve the digital divide.

Banking increasingly dominates foreign interest in Africa, as elite disinvestment into Western and Eastern financial markets continues to outpace aid and investment, amounting to an estimated $1.4 trillion in capital flight from the continent – both SubSaharan and North ends – from 1970-2010. 

From Time magazine’s December 3 cover story comes the first ‘graf (all that’s missing is hackneyed praise of Africa’s supposedly vast new ‘middle class’, which in reality is a tiny group). The biases of its author, Alex Perry, are out of control. In 2010, intoned Perry, “Independent Congo gave the world Mobutu Sese Seko, who for 32 years impoverished his people while traveling the world in a chartered Concorde.” Rebutted Julie Hollar of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, “If you’re going to charge Congo with being ‘what’s wrong with Africa,’ you’d better give credit where credit is due. Independent Congo didn’t give the world Mobutu; that gift belongs to the US and Belgium, who supported the overthrow and assassination of democratically-elected Patrice Lumumba and helped prop up the horror that was Mobutu for decades afterward.” Replied Perry, without irony, “The idea that the US created Mobutu and maintained him in power belittles Africans and is typical of the kind of racism that dogs analysis of Africa.” This was two years after Perry authored another DRC story for Time, “Come Back, Colonialism, All Is Forgiven.” (The spin-doctoring demonization of Lumumba just prior to his assassination by Time – working closely with the CIA – is lovingly recalled by Jonathan Schwarz.) 

International Institute of Finance 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"”> mso-ansi-language:EN-GB”> 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"”>Tax Us If You CanAfrica’s Odious DebtsBRICSMarikanaShanta DavarajanIntergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeWorld Bankpresident Jim Yong Kim expressed concern about a 4 degree rise, “which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes” (including his own institution’s world-leading financing of fossil fuels, which appears set to continue). 400 000185 millonPambazukaUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society in Durban. 

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