Who is thinking for Africa?

Who is rethinking African development?

Who is rethinking African development?

Thinking understood as the fact of analyzing complex situations and finding them appropriate solutions is not for everyone because it is a difficult exercise not always accessible to the majority of us. And the history of the human civilization is  by far dominated by the few who have had that privilege of intelligence. Understandably intelligence is multiform. Unfortunately, sometimes, such disposition has been used for the greed of a minority, either as individuals or nations.

In February 2008, Baffour Ankomah wrote in the NewAfrican an interesting story on how things get done in the West. The focus of his piece was on the role of secret societies, and the question he raised was to wonder if this was not the way forward if Africa was ever to emerge from and overcome its perpetual setbacks and backward contexts in a number of areas, though in some this assertion could be only relative.

Ankomah explains:

“Powerful secret societies in the West and elsewhere rule their countries and the world behind the scenes. They meet annually or thereabouts in secret locations. They discuss and take decisions on major policies affecting their countries and the world. Their memberships cut across politics, business, media, military, diplomacy, academia, etc. And they get things done as planned. Being part of the same world, doesn’t Africa also need its own secret societies [multiple of them, minus their sinister side] to defend its interests globally and speed up its interests.”

Many might not know how for example the United Nations came to be what we see as an international institution of apparent supra-national character and stamping in a certain way the world order. It is a concept which has been hatched up by the Council on Foreign Relations known as CFR, which is considered by those who know the workings and influence of secret societies as “the secretive group that may well really run the world.”

The foundations of CFR are traced to Elihu Root, the US secretary of state under President Theodore Roosevelt, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1912. Despite the inadequacies of the United Nations, for example either in Libya of the late Muammar Kaddafi or the Democratic Republic of Congo of Joseph Kabila, the institution has been with us for many decades.

Secret groupings with selective membership exist in the West particularly to devise strategies to dominate the present and the future of the concerned countries but also the rest of the world which would be absent from such competition.

Foreign Affairs, Trilateral Commission,  The Inquiry, The Round Table, and The Bilderberg are among the famous ones for their far reaching impact in actions.

The Plan Marshall which helped Europe in its reconstruction after World War II was a product from such circles.

Noam Chomsky on his part points at how the United Stated emerged as the dominant power in the world. Its plans worked purposely toward that end especially with the increasing supremacy of US industries starting from the early 20th century.

“Long before World War II, the US was by far the greatest economic power in the world but not a leading actor in global management. The war changed that. Rival powers were either devastated or severally weakened, while the US gained enormously, industrial production almost quadrupled under the semi-command economy. By 1945 the US had not only overwhelming economic dominance but also a position of incomparable security; it controlled the hemisphere, the surrounding oceans, and most of the territory bordering them. US planners moved quickly to organize the global system, following plans that had already been developed to satisfy the “requirement [s] of the United States in a world in which it proposed to hold unquestioned power” while limiting the sovereignty of those who might pose a challenge.”

If one looks for example at that last aspect of limiting the sovereignty of other nations, the United States has been abruptly and systematically applying that strategy on the African continent, either directly or through proxy parties. In recent years, the role of AFRICOM has for example been paramount in that regard. Wherever there has been some emergence of effective and clearly stated claim to nationalism, this has been diverted in one way or another, sometimes through colluded coalition with past colonial powers.

US planners moved quickly to organize the global system, …in which it [the United States]  proposed to hold unquestioned power” while limiting the sovereignty of those who might pose a challenge.

Islands of African hope

On the entire African continent, it is somehow surprising to find that presently, with some thorough hindsight, Zimbabwe of President Robert Mugabe seems to be the only island where a certain nationalism and hope could be seen and emulated from for Africans.

It was encouraging to read in Reuters on October 3rd, 2013 that De Beers had among other things entered in a 50/50 joint venture with the government of Botswana to exploit that country’s diamonds mines run by Debtswana.

This shareholding structure is a significant shift from the norm found in many African countries. It is almost the same applied under the Zimbabwean indigenization programme with regards to foreign investments.

Until October 2011, Libya of President Muammar Kaddafi had been another African country through its declared and purposely pursuit of nationalistic interests, which had shown a real determination to support the continent in ending its dependence on the rest of the world and particularly its former exploiters and their multinationals.

However, on the other part, in certain circles, people today question seriously the role of the African Union in preserving the interests of the continent, given the fact of its strong financial dependence on external sources. This happens because of or without clearly formulated policies and programmes which could guarantee a certain independence of reflection and undertaking.

What prevails at the continental level is equally experienced at regional groupings however with slight nuances. In the five economic regions that constitute the continent, bureaucracies and preservation of regional prestige for posts’ holders have been the major hurdles prohibiting the right thinking which could make a real difference.

Africa seems to be without centres of excellence in digging and working on what could benefit the continent as a whole. Despite the existence of rare promising places like Botswana, Seychelles or Mauritius, this situation explains many aspects of the stagnant Africa or even the region’s decline that everyone with an assertive eye can observe across the majority of the 54 African countries.

Who is thinking for Africa remains a critical question that we Africans need to find answers to. It is not that there is a lack of people who could sit together and reflect methodically on issues. Though the first exercise would be the identification of such individuals deeply committed to the African cause, the missing link is the framework. There might be existing secret societies or other structures for analyzing information then trying to use it for the benefit of Africans in general. However the available evidence of what Africans experience in their daily lives brings some doubts in many people’s minds. There is an appalling apparent criminal ineffectiveness. New channels of thinking are crucially required.

Do you have the same question as I do in this note? Please give below your comment on the matter. If you feel there is a particular contribution you could provide to address the raised issue, you could send an email to Ambrose Nzeyimana at risingcontinent@gmail.com.

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