Legacy of Colonialism – the re-colonisation of Africa


 

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 80% of world trade takes place in ‘value chains’ linked to transnationals, 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.


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