Pan-Africanism and its Macronic counterfeits (2)


Other offshoots from the Macronic counterfeits or revival of Western investment include boosting the profits of their military-industrial complex

Henry A. Onwubiko, Phd.

I am no debutant to the rhythmic spasm of the Afro-beat, but the recent moves by Monsieur Emmanuel Macron with the youthful representatives of the Nigerian bourgeoisie – the Adenugas, Elumelus among others – at the New Afrika Shrine opened the floor for Western Nations to demonstrate the infectious gyrations of their Rock-and-Roll under the stimulus of that blood-colored wine in recycled bottles brewed only by the French faction of Western Imperialism. Riding on his Algerian mule, and cheered by his indentured African footballers and World Cup champions, Macron, like other true French nationalists before him, are strongly bonded to their former black colonies, and too proud to accept that the Francophone African and Anglophone neighbors desire political and economic independence from their conquering negro-phobic nations.

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Macron’s visit to West Africa undoubtedly to be followed by other competing western explorers – Merkel of Germany, Theresa May of the United Kingdom, Salvini of Italy, Orban of Hungary, and Donald Trump of America uber alles – signifies the globalization compelled initiation of the second coming of Western Imperialism to Africa. This time, they have to compete with a globalization-favored, productive and innovative China, who freed itself from the shackles of Western imperialism and therefore committed to the liberation of Africa from the same yoke and chains together with a resurgent Pan-Africanism whose time has come. They have returned in order to restructure, reinvest, reinvent, and renovate their antediluvian economic pathways of exploitation in Africa as a means of overcoming their present deficit, biting and competitive challenges of their decline. African states have remained vertically looped with an invisible neocolonial yoke to the economies of Western nations with their commodity-driven economies in suspended animation due to fluctuations in commodity prices and their pyrrhic efforts to escape their futile cycle of underdevelopment to achieve stability with endless borrowing and debt to Western money lenders and their neoliberal prescriptions. With no added value to their cheap commodities due to the ironclad policies of Western nations that prevents technology transfer to achieve the necessary scientific infrastructure and industrialization for commodity processing for nearly a century of flag independence, African states have remained a pantomime of broken herds in motion without locomotion, linked to alien slaughterhouses, seaports and manufacturing centers at the remotest armpits of Europe and the United States.

Indeed, history does repeat itself as the caricature of past events. Was colonialism, the quest for plantation slaves and cheap labour, natural resources, markets, coastal spheres of influence and the partitioning of Africa by Western Imperialism in the past centuries not conjured and mimicked by the present feverish reawakening of economic nationalism and return of Western agents and capitalist to Africa for unequal trade and market of over one billion consumers in which Macron, May, Merkel and Trump serve as the restless ghosts of their conquering ancestors?

Western investments from colonial and neo-colonial times has long been made not in the interest of Pan-Africanism but its counterfeit. In recent times Donald Trump, parodying president Monroe and his doctrine of America’s Manifest Destiny, attacked small Rwanda whose courage in its recovery from a horrendous genocide inspires humanity, with his America First doctrine, by suspending Rwanda’s right to export clothing duty free to the U.S because Rwanda increased tariffs on America’s used clothing and Tokunbo shoes imported from the U.S to protect its newly sowed textile industry. The United States does not have a trade deficit with Rwanda, but a trade surplus as it has with other African states such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and others despite its highly advertised African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), its flagship legislation for Africa. Incidentally, as if not enough, president Trump refers to African states arrogantly as “shit holes”. Also their continued vertical robbery of commodities from Africa which included human cargo in the ancient time of plantation slavery from 1619 in the Southern cotton plantations of the United States has not abated. No significant investments were made by western capitalist to develop the infrastructure and productive forces, or to bequeath to Africa scientifically, educated and skilled labour force. For instance no investments were made to link the cocoa farms of Ivory Coast, Ghana and other West African States who account for nearly all the world’s Cocoa production and no significant effort was made to set up infrastructure for cocoa processing, add values and increase the wealth of Africans in these regions.

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In the gold mining and crude oil sectors Africa account for 40% of the world’s gold and 25% of its crude oil, not to mention its diamonds, uranium and other precious metals. Yet Western capitalist have continued to lift these commodities to their countries where they continually modernize their infrastructures and renew their advanced productive forces to process them into other valuable forms that they sell back to Africa at exorbitant prices which require borrowing money from their money lenders – the World Bank International Monetary Funds, the Paris Club with their neoliberal prescriptions that undermine scientific and technological education in our learning and In Nigeria and Angola Africans are quick to celebrate the rise of the price of crude oil in the world market at fifty dollars per barrel, despite the fact that both nations are responsible for 25% of the world’s crude oil. Yet crude oil is processed into kerosene and petrol and sold at nearly six hundred dollars per barrel by Western Multinational Corporations such as Shell, Texaco, Chevron, Agip and others and there are no uproar. There are also no noise made to their oil spill, or the destruction of the environment and farming life of the African people.

Other offshoots from the Macronic counterfeits or revival of Western investment include boosting the profits of their military-industrial complex through the unscrupulous supply of arms to both the money-minded Africans in government to maintain stability, and their proclaimed terrorists, ethnic and tribal counterforces, motivated to compete for the same money obtained from commodity sales through a process of primitive accumulation. While Donald Trump, Monsieur Macron, and Theresa May, have proudly supplied Nigeria with fighter planes, armored cars and heavy artilleries with the training of personnel, they have never displayed the profit accruing to their military industries nor do they display how the terrorist acquired weapons that can be traced to their manufacturing industries.

Another Macronic counterfeit from Western investments which require close scrutiny is the manipulation of the governments of African states and substructures for the defence of Western interests as a measure of appraising their so-called democratic credentials. In his Political Economy in Africa, Claude Ake has pointed out that most state governments in Africa have become competitive venues for primitive accumulation since their poor commodity driven economies without local infrastructure has not allowed the emergence of a genuine bourgeois class to accumulate money independently, apart from government finances. Hence in present day Nigeria with an accumulated foreign reserve of fifty billion dollars, more violent and bitter infighting among the social elites for this money who change parties without respect to any ideology but allegiance to their partners in crime, is to be expected for the coming 2019 elections. It is evident that while the West invest in its democratic ideal in African states, its centuries old sustenance of their commodity-driven economies, through strict horizontal trade with their former colonial and neo-colonial masters, and without assistance in technology transfer, construction of infrastructure or the encouragement of horizontal intra-African trade has diminished the potentials of African states to accumulate any surplus or develop an independent investing bourgeois class to develop its productive capacity and wealth, but made state power more attractive to looters and instability due to the struggle to primitive accumulation through the only major source: state power.

Last of all the Macronic counterfeits is the global refugee and migration crises compelling Western nations to recoil to economic nationalism and racism as their citizens compete with the new migrants in the jungles of their cities. The United Nations International Organization for Migration had reported 1514 deaths of Africans this year, among those who drowned in the forcible attempt to send them back to Libya in breach of International and even European law. In Libya as of the end of July, ten thousand people waiting to cross the Mediterranean sea for Western Europe were under detention. It is significant to note that the increased migration to Europe and America climaxed from the war in Libya when NATO struck to change the government of Muammar Gaddafi, then the chairman of the African Union into a government of their choice. Examples of other efforts by Western agents to invest in changing state power from one group of primitive accumulators to another in order to serve their interest abound; beyond other anti-popular changes of governments that brought tyrants like Mobutu, Botha Comparore, to mention just a few, each change leading to migrations of people to the Western world as a result of instability brought to their countries.

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Onwubiko is a Professor of Biochemistry and Senior Fellow ORISE, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

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