This is the title of a very interesting review done by Keith Somerville for the book – Africa Emerges written by Robert Rotberg.
I haven’t read the book but I agree at some extent with the reviewer on a number of points that are raised on the issue of the so-called emerging Africa. However there is one particular view on which I totally disagree with him: it is where he characterises Zimbabwe as being cursed by the leadership of Mugabe.
President Robert Mugabe might not hold the best human rights’ records on the African continent, but Zimbabwe is the only African country where the wealth of the nation is controlled by indigenous people through a nationalist policy embodied by its president. Even the way that such ownership is managed could be criticized. Obviously, when a national economy is not dilapidated by the leaders of a country by giving it out to foreigners, there are unfortunately some drawbacks.
One of such possibilities is that there will be fewer prestigious investments to show off as developments that countries which have opted for nationalistic tendencies will not have on their balance sheet. The understandable reason is that they will prioritize investing in their overall people well being more than would countries only interested in the well being of the 1% of the population.
If Africa is effectively emerging from the legacy of the leaders like Felix Houphouet Boigny of Ivory Coast, Mobutu Sese Seko of ex-Zaire, Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda, Mouammar Kaddafi of Libya, or Ben Ali of Tunisia, despite the economical and even political differences between these countries under the mentioned regimes, there is a common factor of relative peace people had that is lacking today across many parts of the continent.
Today’s Africa is suffering from hunger as it was yesterday. But today, on top of that hunger, there is war and engineered state terrorism everywhere both fuelled by the same foreign interests of the past to extract the continent resources for almost nothing, this without paying their equivalent value to their legitimate owners. If Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is not allowing that and unfortunately is not able to bring in foreign investors ready to comply with Zimbabweans’ interests while doing their business, I don’t think this should be seen as curse. It is true he has been there too long.
Since the start of the millennium, western scholars are drumming up about the rise of the continent. There is no rise as such if one considers what that so called emergence is achieving for the normal rural and even urban African. They are only fooling Africa with false hope when the West and at some extent other global predators are only doing on the continent what the Americans did to the indigenous Indians: taking from them their land and what it contained, and sending them into reserves where they lost all their dignity of worthy human beings.
Africa is not emerging, but there is a rush to its worthy wealth. The trend might result in seeing Africans becoming the new Indians of the American Wide West who ended into reserves with the gold rush. And Zimbabwe should not be seen as cursed with Mugabe if the latter is among other things stopping Zimbabweans from becoming the next Indo-Americans of Africa. My conviction is that if the indenisation policy that Zimbabwe is spearheading could be applied across Africa, there would be less poverty. Contrary to the propaganda promoted by the West claiming that the policy had impoverished the country, what did contribute to the reduction of income for Zimbabweans, is the punitive sanctions taken by the West when the country’s leadership stopped it from continuing to take advantage of them as this is the case in many African countries.