Friday, August 12, 2005

Leeches In Suits Sucking Africa Dry

Leeches In Suits Sucking Africa Dry


“From Senegal to Zambia, from Mali to Tanzania, from Cote d'Ivoire to Uganda, entire sectors of the domestic industry have been wiped out, with devastating consequences. Not only has the industrial sector contribution to domestic product continued to fall, but also the industrial workforce has continued to shrink dramatically. In Senegal, more than one third of industrial workers lost their jobs in the 1980s. The trend was accentuated in the 1990s, following sweeping trade liberalization policies and privatization imposed by the IMF and the World Bank, especially after the 50% devaluation of the CFA Franc, in 1994. In Ghana, the industrial workforce declined from 78,700 in 1987 to 28,000 in 1993. In Zambia, in the textile sector alone, more than 75% of workers lost their jobs in less than a decade, as a result of the complete dismantling of that sector by the Chiluba presidency. In other countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Zambia, Tanzania, etc. similar trends can be observed.”- Demba Moussa Dembele, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND WORLD BANK IN AFRICA: A 'DISASTROUS' RECORD http://www.pambazuka.org/

When we look at Africa through the eyes of the Western mass media we see famine, starvation, poverty, war, devastation and instability and we are told these condition are the result of African leader’s ineptitude corruption, moral deficiencies and lack of ability. The truth of the matter is the woeful condition in Africa are a direct result and legacy of European colonialism, NeoColonial political and Neoliberal economic policies. The IMF World Bank US-AID have replaced the monopoly trading companies and the G8 and Multinational CEOs who do the bidding of their Bilderberger and TriLateralist New World Order puppeteers have replaced European monarchs as the prime charter granters, divider uppers and sphere of influence peddlers; nevertheless the results remain the same, systemic predatory exploitation, trade imbalances and inequities and divide and rule tactics designed to keep Africa in political shackles and economic bondage for centuries. The prime instruments the blood sucking imperialists use are: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and similar agencies like US-AID in the guise of aid, loans and assistance. They assist all right, assist the West in sucking the resources out and imposing harsh and stultifying conditions on the leadership forcing them into the Hobson’s choice of onerous debt, high interest rates and debt service, the privatization of their natural resources or covert destabilization tactics such as assassination and overt economic sanctions. This is really what is keeping Sub-Saharan Africa poor and impotent. Their goal is to prevent each African nation and the continent from being politically self-sustaining, free of burdensome debt and able to affect policies that improve the overall conditions of the masses. In an eye opening article entitled The International Monetary Fund and World Bank In Africa: A Disastrous Record by Demba Moussa Debele which appeared online at www.pambazuka.org we read, “In a report released in September 2001, UNCTAD indicated that the average income per capita in SSA was 10% lower in 2000 than its 1980 level. In monetary terms, average income per capita fell from $522 in 1981 to $323 in 1997, a loss of nearly $200. The same report said that rural areas experienced an even greater decline in income. These statistics were confirmed by the World Bank, which says that income per capita in Sub Saharan Africa contracted by a cumulative 13% between 1981 and 2001.
The 2004 edition of the World Development Indicators says that SSA is the only region in the world where poverty has continued to rise since the early 1980s, that is at the onset of IFIs' intervention. According to that document, in 1981, an estimated 160 million people lived on less than $1 a day. In 2001, the number had risen to 314 million, almost double its 1981 level. This means that approximately 50% of Africa's population lives in poverty. When the threshold is $2 a day, the numbers rise from 288 million to 518 million, during the same period.” The article is extremely critical of the IMF and World Bank’s role in all of this. “ One of the main objectives of financial liberalization is to make African countries ‘attractive’ to foreign direct investments. But as the experience of development shows, foreign direct investments follow development, not the other way around. In addition, despite all ‘the right financial policies’, foreign investments continue to elude Africa, with less than 2% of flows to developing countries, despite having among the highest rates of return on investments in the world. And these flows are concentrated in a few oil-producing and mineral-rich countries, according to UNCTAD and the World Bank.
In reality, financial liberalization has yielded little gains. For most African countries, it has been associated with huge costs. First, it entails higher levels of foreign exchange reserves to protect domestic currencies against attacks resulting from speculative short-term capital outflows. Second, financial liberalization has increased the likelihood of capital flight, in part as a result of a greater volatility of domestic currencies. The high costs of trade and financial liberalization further weakened African economies and opened the way to the privatization of the continent. Privatization, like financial liberalization, is seen by the IMF and World Bank as an instrument to promote private sector development, which has been elevated to the status of ‘engine of growth’. The privatization of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), including water and power utilities, has been one of the core conditionalities imposed by the two institutions, even in the context of ‘poverty reduction’. Most of the foreign direct investments registered by African countries in the 1990s came as a response to privatization of SOEs. No sector was spared, even those considered as ‘strategic’ in the 1980s, such as telecommunications, energy, water and the extractive industries. In 1994, the World Bank published a report assessing the process of privatization in SSA. After complaining about the slow pace of privatization throughout the region, it issued a warning to African governments to accelerate the dismantling of their public sector, accused of being ‘at the heart of Africa's economic crisis’. The process of privatization peaked in the late 1990s and ever since has leveled off, despite more deregulation, liberalization and all kinds of incentives offered to would be investors. To date, it is estimated that more than 40,000 SOEs have been sold off in Africa. However, the ‘gains’ from privatization, projected by the World Bank and the IMF, have been elusive. In fact, many privatization schemes have failed and contributed to worsening economic and social conditions. Almost everywhere, privatization has been associated with massive job losses and higher prices of goods and services that put them out of reach of most citizens .”
If this were only happening in one or two African countries we could say, well this is just an isolated pattern, but the fact it is happening throughout Sub Saharan Africa and is being directly induced by policies of the IMF and Wold Bank shows it is part of a conspiracy of re-enslavement, dependency and impotence. So the recent G8 summit and Live 8 PR extravaganzas were just that, PR and propaganda ploys to cover the real reasons Africa is in debt in the first place and to reshuffle the deck so the situation remains unchanged. The article also points out how the IMF and World Bank collude to strangle Africa economically, “The second track in weakening the role of the State in development was to deprive it of financial resources. Trade and financial liberalization achieved in part that goal. As already indicated, trade liberalization not only led to a greater loss of fiscal revenues, following lower tariff barriers, but it also led to huge trade losses. This was compounded by financial liberalization which entailed further fiscal losses resulting from tax holidays and low income tax rates. To make up for these losses, the African State had to resort to more and more multilateral and bilateral loans and credits, which further alienated its sovereignty. As a result, many African States have been stripped of all but a handful of their economic and social functions. Cuts in spending mostly fell on social sectors. State retrenchment primarily aimed at eliminating subsidies for the poor, removing social protection, and abandoning its role in fighting for social justice through income redistribution and other social transfers to the most disadvantaged segments of society. This explains, among other things, the degradation of many basic social services and the explosion of poverty in Africa, since 1981, as the World Bank itself has acknowledged. While dismantling or weakening the economic and social roles of the State, the IMF and World Bank have sought to build or strengthen the functions most useful to the implementation of Neoliberal policies and the promotion of private sector development. This explains the insistence on ‘capacity building’ or on ‘institution building’, heard over the last few years. However, the institutions that the IMF and World Bank talk about are not for development, but for markets. In other words, they propose building institutions supportive of Neoliberal policies and in the service of the private sector, especially foreign investors. Thus, the ‘institution building’ agenda promoted by the IMF and the World Bank has nothing to do with promoting democracy and protecting human rights. In fact, the Neoliberal conception of governance undermines both since it deprives representative institutions of their role in formulating public policies following open and democratic debates. They are reduced to implementing what the IMF and World Bank and their G 8 masters decide for African countries and their people.” The insightful article concludes by saying, “The IMF and World Bank have utterly failed in ‘reducing poverty’ and ‘promoting development’. In fact, they are instruments of domination and control in the hands of powerful states whose long-standing objective is to perpetuate the plunder of the resources of the Global South, especially Africa. In other words, the fundamental role of the Bank and Fund in Africa and in the rest of the developing world is to promote and protect the interests of global capitalism. This is why they have never been interesting in "reducing" poverty, much less in fostering ‘development’. As institutions, their ultimate objective is to make themselves ‘indispensable’ in order to strengthen and expand their power and influence. They will never relinquish easily that power and influence. This explains why they have perfected the art of duplicity, deception and manipulation. In the face of accumulated failures and erosion of their credibility and legitimacy, they have often changed their rhetoric, but never their fundamental goals and policies. This is why they cannot be trusted to bring about ‘development’ in Africa. If the experience of the last quarter of a century has taught Africa one fundamental lesson it is that the road to genuine recovery and development begins with a total break with the failed and discredited policies imposed by the IMF and the World Bank.” As long as the leeches in suits can suck Africa dry using loan shark tactics backed by the CIA, MI6 and Western imperialist forces Africa will remain at risk until a strong Pan-Africanist movement breaks the shackles of Western induced dependency.

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