Legacy of Colonialism – the re-colonisation of Africa

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One legacy – the re-colonisation of Africa

 

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, signed into law by President Clinton on May 18th 2000, brought the full power of the U.S. government behind expanding corporate domination in Africa. The biggest companies, including Texaco, Mobil, Amoco, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron, General Electric, Enron and Caterpillar spent some $200 million lobbying for this legislation.Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Susan Rice described Africa as “a huge market insufficiently exploited of 700 million people” in calling for passage of the act. The vision being pushed by both Democrats and Republicans is that only U.S. intervention can bring development and prosperity to Africa.

But politically conscious Africans are calling it the “Recolonisation of Africa” act, and warn that it will only increase the plunder of this rich continent by corporate pirates.

While 500 companies control 1/3rd of world trade, this power-base allows Multinationals to trade-off labour and environmental standards with the need for more profitability.  They have the flexibility to move anywhere in the world, holding countries to ransom whose neoliberal economic-policy prescription relies upon foreign investment, as dictated by the imperialism of the IMF who in turn execute their will through conditionality of loan payments and the subsequent debt. The World Trade Organisation and regional trade blocks such as the EU are also central to this process, since it is clear that trade agreements (geared in the interests of corporations by lobbying through groups such as the ‘European Roundtable of Industrialists’) are facilitating the supremacy of multinational capital over national sovereignty and the encroachment of financial capital in national economies of the South.

The burning question for the developing world as it seeks freedom from this very modern enslavement of a one-way traffic of shareholder return and human resources to the developed North is, how can they sustain independence from the historical source of their woes – namely western financial capital attached to dubious conditionality? THE LAND IS OURS believes that part of the solution is Debt cancellation and compensation for land redistribution & local self-determination in the south, so that these communities will not have to exclusively rely on foreign investment in the future. This new Forum – the “Legacy of Colonialism”, calls on the families, businesses and high-street banks who profited from slavery to APOLOGISE to the nations they helped enslave. Secondly, TLIO believes the former colonies of imperialism and slavery should be unconditionally COMPENSATED, so that the genuine landless  and rurally impoverished in the South can enjoy access to redistributed resources and sustainable institutions working in their own interests.

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