Most Foreign Awards Are Bribes To Drain Africans Economy


Farouk Martins Aresa


So every country manipulates their currencies either by easing and tightening interest rates or using stimulus to boast the market. Regulators have fined some of the financial institutions engineering bank and exchange rates. Both European and American regulators have come out to expose these deals because there were inside information that gives the well-connected an advance notice of which currency is going up and down.

Ngozi Iweala, was Finance Minister with zilch private sector experience. Preached advantage of Paris Club odious debt pay off (negotiated unwisely according to Prof. Soludo) during OBJ reign; turned around and sold advantages of borrowing more during Jonathan. She now laments that   foreign investors took $80 billion out of Nigeria because of Buhari body language. Otherwise, they could have borrowed at low rate of 2% at home to reap 15% interest in Nigeria. Where does Nigeria make the profit (difference) from, what justifies our high rate and who benefits?

Ahhu Madam. If Foreign Portfolio Investors had good intentions that money could have been invested in infrastructure, business, construction or real estate as in Dubai bubble. No madam, the money was in fly-by-night stock exchange where they could pull out in a jiffy! We were not told their creative profits, such as: "This massive flow of illicit money out of Africa is facilitated by a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade mis-pricing and money laundering techniques." Where else and which continent can be so drained yet remain viable?

These are extraordinary power play African countries have not been able to overcome. It is not surprising then that currencies of African countries have always been at free fall with no African benefit. Since most of African products in the world market are raw materials, weaker currency allows makers of finished products to buy cheaper and sell high. So African countries are urged by internal and external financial “experts” to devalue their currency for foreign investments.

The internal financial “experts” are rewarded for “sound” economic advice urging their country to follow the dictates of western economic theories that have always left Africa impoverished. Not a single one of them have been able to point to any of their theories or manipulation of the economy when put in strategic positions in Africa that has been able to lift the masses out of poverty and economic ruins. Yet, are not been seen for what they are: foreign mercenaries.   

It is not surprising that many of them that are rewarded with foreign appointment continue to lecture from foreign posts, giving theory why African countries remain poor. One would expect some of their students or colleagues to challenge and point to the progress they made while in position that made their country better than they met it. Better still, challenge them to point to a country they have worked their economic magic on, that attained economic independence.

As long as the goal of these financial “experts” is to use foreign countries as their base and only visit their African countries, they will continue to sell out because they have no personal stake in their home countries. The reasons African countries remain starved of infrastructure, hostile environment for business and lack ingenuity have to do with trying to turn their country into a carbon copy of the western world learned in school but in a different culture. 

It seems that African agribusiness will finally take off if we continue to produce our own rice, cassava and palm oil to feed our population and export. While this is just part of our problem, it epitomizes the reason we degrade and ignore our home products for foreign made and grown. This is a rejection of ours but acceptance of foreign culture and toys. We have no control over the prices of foreign products and we barter the control of our own products by devaluation.

Devaluation is not just for African currencies, it manifests itself in devaluation of our products and culture. This has paralyzed most of our institutions including our colleges and universities where the new generations are trained. A case in point is how a small island like Cuba has been able to trained world class physicians and teachers without waiting for world best equipment?

China, Japan and the Russia have been able to produce world scientists recognized by even western Nobel Prize, without speaking or learning in English or French. We train natural and social scientists suitable for the western world and when they abscond, we lament that we did not provide enabling environment. What we do is enable them for a different environment and culture while we devalue our own, for which they are not trained; except local cases for lawyers

In other words, we are not producing for African countries. This is why they look for acceptance outside of the country where they were born or trained. Their goal is to leave for greener or greater pasture where the culture in which they are brought up, look up to in admiration. Even if they remain at home, their culture and the language they pass on to their children is foreign and of little benefit in spurring indigenous invention and acceptance.  

Aren’t you sick and tired of all the awards African politicians get from international bodies after sinking their countries’ economy into abysmal failure? The worse the economy gets; the more awards our administrators get. We would have thought awards are for excellence as improving the daily lives of people in each African country. Economy is in the tanks, politics of stomach infrastructure for the poor but good social lives for the families of the lucky few that are rich.   

There are so many brilliant African economists that have never been recognized for their work solely because they do not sing to the masters’ voice. They are not rewarded even in their own countries since the conventional thinking have to be in line with world economy that make sure Africa remains raw material producing countries buying finished products from the rich country clubs. European, American and now Asian markets pursue raw materials and land from Africa.

It has to be fertile land for agribusiness put in the hands of international corporations after locals have been displaced. They dictate what to grow in Africa and where to sell outside the countries. There are also some prime areas reserve for real estates and hotel resorts. In most cases, they are beyond the reach of the local working and middleclass. Only those that are filthy rich through concessions to foreigners are able to afford these places in their own countries.