Why Africa is the Hunting Ground for the Super Powers

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By Ella Katiba and Emmanuel Magoba, Nairobi

Are we witnessing a new scramble for Africa? Recently, the world’s super powers have been seen to be once again competing to have influence over African states and their resources.

In our own terms, we describe this as ‘the Modern day scramble and Partition for Africa’, in which states like the US, China, Russia and some European States are currently active in Africa.

To this day, Africa still lacks a unified strategy or the institutional capacity to effectively counteract this phenomenon. Various attempts to consolidate Africa have grossly failed.

African states often don’t speak in one voice; when an African country is under crisis, most of the others barely take keen interest on the crisis as we imagine that ‘it is none of our business’, neither does it affect us in any way.

A great example in this scenario is Muammar Gaddafi’s idea of ‘United States of Africa’ which ended up going down the drain with him.

Ellah Katiba

It was alleged that he was assassinated for attempting to establish an independent African currency which, together with the idea of the ‘United African States, were major jackpots for the African continent as they were going to slice down our dependency on advanced states.

But we chickened out. An article on ‘Dream of Unity: From the United States of Africa to the Federation of African States’ published by BRILL analyzes the reasons for the failure of the pan-Africanists leaders’ dream of unity, namely: fear of tampering with the colonially-inherited borders; reluctance of newly-independent African leaders to abandon their newly-won sovereignty in favor of a broader political entity and more.

It is this lack of consensus among African states that creates a lucrative hunting ground. African states often don’t speak in one voice; when an African country is under crisis, most of the others barely take keen interest on the crisis as we imagine that ‘it is none of our business’, neither does it affect us in any way.

Emmanuel Magoba

Additionally, we have imposed stringent measures and tax regulations across our borders on imports and exports that make it hard to even have smooth trade transactions amongst ourselves.

Some African leaders willingly sign these treaties because of the personal gains promised to them, after which they surrender whatever is desired of them; hence creating a leeway to exploiting Africa at the expense of their self-interests.

On a different limb, we have been made to enter into bilateral agreements and treaties that have been more pernicious and detrimental to us than to the advanced states.

Some African leaders willingly sign these treaties because of the personal gains promised to them, after which they surrender whatever is desired of them; hence creating a leeway to exploiting Africa at the expense of their self-interests.

 Besides, some leaders are forcefully made to sign the treaties even if they are not willing to. They are threatened by sanctions and some even threatened to be punished because of high debt burden. It is from these agreements that the colonial Masters then find an enabling environment to fully Hunt on Africa through exploitation of mineral resources.

Today, Africa produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce because the agreements allows European states to get the raw materials, manufacture them and bring them to Africa as finished products.

France for instance made her former colonies sign a document and called it The Pact for the Continuation of Colonization that was first established on April 9, 1944. From the treaty, all the French colonized countries had to deposit 85 per cent of their bank reserves with French central bank under the control of French minister of finance.

 French government would take all the money and collectively invest in French stock market under French without the Knowledge of the African states.

In order for African states to resist any detrimental foreign interference and preserve their sovereignty, we have to work towards ending this financial dependency on the European nations.

 Should Africans want access to any of their money (the 15 per cent), they have to submit their country’s financial report and if approved they get to access up to 20 per cent of their deposit from previous year as a loan at commercial interest rate. France indicated that all the minerals discovered or yet to be discovered, French companies have a defense right of refusal.

In the dos and don’ts of the pact, African states have given up their financial resources, given up control of their natural resources, they have given up their military and therefore remained powerless, only offering resources to be hunted upon by the colonizers.

Into the bargain, through Establishment of multinational corporations, most African states have ended up losing their economic independence to European states that are more industrially and technologically developed.

Most raw materials are produced in Africa, packed and shipped to Europe for manufacturing. This only leaves Africa to only but produce the raw materials and sell them cheaply to these super powers that then bring them back at a higher price.

In order for Africa to end these atrocities that are hurting our mother continent and keeping us into a continued undeveloped state, we have to unite and speak with one voice. African Union should be empowered to develop a coherent and comprehensive strategy to deal with the European countries that are in the business of exploiting Africa.

It should implement robust institutional reforms and start acting as the decisive power on the continent.

In order for African states to resist any detrimental foreign interference and preserve their sovereignty, we have to work towards ending this financial dependency on the European nations.

In an effort to maintain peace and any form of aggression within the continent, Africa should develop her independent military that is free from outside/colonial influence. The AU should be a unifying factor and bring together all the African in order to achieve our continental dignity in the world.

Ms Katiba ia a Law student at the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Mr Magoba is a Political Science student at at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Great work ! The political development that has been experienced in Africa since the late 1990s could also be an issue attracting the European states into Africa. They know if at all Africa gets united , they’ll loose , this is mostly on the economic perspective where they fear loosing their market. It could be hard for Africa to be united since we’re not fully independent. African states got their independence but not fully . Not untill we realize ourselves that’s when we’ll fight for our own

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