By my reckoning, the rebranding of Central African Franc (CFA), which was the relic of the colonial French rule in Western African states. During the last few 48 hours, there is news of a new currency, which has implications, but also imperfections.
The ones praising this move is naive. The reason is simple, Emmanuel Macron or the French is still not giving way to power nor influence. They are still having their hand in the cookie jar. They are still involved with the inner-works of the financial sphere of the former colonies. They are maybe stopping the control directly from the National Bank of the French.
This move is to ease the pain of the past, but still the French and the European Union will have their stakes in it. As the pegged currency will be accordingly traded towards the Euro. A Euro, which the French has influence over in the EU. Therefore, the former colonies and the ones accepting this “ECO” Currency are accepting control from Paris and Brussels still.
They are maybe done with the regulations of CFA and the banking system as known today. But the ECO will be measured after the Euro. This is all a condition, that still benefits the former colonizer. If it wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have accepted it. Not like the French wants to loose influence nor the ability to easy trade with former colonizes. Why do you think most of the cars in Tunisia is French and not a random Skoda?
With that in mind, the ECOWAS was not launching this, but Macron was. Therefore, the whole thing seems like ploy to leave one relic behind, hoping people would be so happy that they don’t look into the mechanisms of the new currency. Not like the French would ever drop influence nor their strong hand over Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal & Togo. All of these will still be semi-controlled by Paris.
I have a hard time believing the intent of the French is to give way. No, this is just a shift to extend their power and find new measures to secure it. By remaking the former currency and the monetary union these nations have. Not like they are suddenly creating their own or having 8 separate ones. If they did that, then it might been significant. Where the own national banks, together with Ministry of Finance would make and ensure the safety of own national currency accordingly and necessary for their own Republic.
To remake and rename, only questions the motives behind the move. Other, than trying to clean the dirt of your hands and call it good days work. After years of questioning the currency and the stranglehold of these Republics. By having appointed men in their National Banks and having their gold in Paris.
I lack faith, but I am also very cynical about it. I’m not easily buying into it. I am hopefully wrong. Until the measures, until the mechanisms are all out and the proof of a vital change. It just seems like a small ploy to trigger hope for a difference, when its really just a new name and the same landlord over it. Its still the same farm and the same output, but the master just renamed the land differently. Peace.
Arikana Chihombori Quao, the African Union Ambassador to the United States, which was terminated on the 7th October 2019 after her open criticism of the Western Powers hold of the African Nation.
She’s been vocal and righteously so against the French hold of the former African colonies it has agreements with, military, monetary and direct trade enriching itself on the spoils of the African continent. Which is all true, that is why all the big-men from the previous colonies are favourable and steady visiting Paris and meeting the heads of state there. That is why, the interests of Paris comes before the needs of the citizens of the respective Republics. They are all Francafrique doing.
That is why Emmanuel Macron has no issues boosting dictators, standing by autocrats who secure the monetary gains of the Central African Francs (CFA). This is boosting the Reserves of France, they are earning on the printing and monetizing the currencies of these Republics. They are all in the hands of the French, controlling and monitoring the monetary policies and the economic policies made in the respective republics. This is how to keep the governments, either by the hook or by the crook.
Secondly, they are also kept by a military pact and a resource sharing agreements, which means the extraction industry of the French gets first deals, if it is Total or anything else. Will get a first rights to extract or be able to trade commodities. That is why you see in former North African Republic, which was colonizes you see Renaults, Citroen’s and so-on. You are not seeing so many American or British cars there, but French produced cars in abundant. That is because, the French still has a foothold and advantages, which the Republic have to abide too.
Therefore, what the axed and sacked AU Ambassador to US said about the French is true. It maybe hurt the pride of the French. But you don’t need to say anything substantial to hurt their pride. You can just dismiss their champagne and they will cry havoc. In addition, the French know they need Francafrique and they would miss out important market, funds and resources, which it cannot live without. The banks, the industries and military would suffer a hit. The French will not say this, but the reason for axing shows this.
The French is weak, the French isn’t as great or has the power to flex without its state under passive control through the measures of the CFA and other Post-Colonial agreements made with Big-Men in the Francafrique. That is just the way it is and because someone with a title said it. It had to be silenced.
However, if the French didn’t want it undressed or questioned their role on the continent. They should have maybe answered it with words or numbers. Instead, they are verifying her words by axing her and pushing the Chairman of AU to get rid of her. Peace.
“African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol
As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.
Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.
This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.
“China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).
“From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).
They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.
They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.
There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.
On reforming democracy, the international economist argued that citizens should have to take a test in order to vote.
DOHA, QATAR, August 3, 2018 – The bestselling author goes Head to Head with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union:
In a far-reaching interview with Al Jazeera (AlJazeera.com) English’s Head to Head, Dambisa Moyo argued that there are major problems with Western democracy today.
“The notion that democracy is not a problem is mad, it’s crazy,” Moyo said.
Discussing why she believed liberal democracy was “under siege,” Moyo asserted that today’s populism “has its roots in economics”, describing how “real wages have come down…over the past 30 years, social mobility has declined” and “income inequality has widened.”
She blamed short-termist Western policies, such as farm subsidies in the US and Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, for locking “out the goods that are produced in places like Africa and South America” which has led to “more impoverished people” and “fed into issues of political instability.”
A former Goldman Sachs banker, Moyo was asked whether the company had a particular role for the 2008 financial crisis, she said that it had “no special responsibility” for what took place and that “we all have to take responsibility”.
Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $5.1bn in fines in January 2016, following an investigation by the US Department of Justice for its role in the crisis.
On reforming democracy, the international economist argued that citizens should have to take a test in order to vote and that people must have a “good knowledge of what exactly we’re voting on” before being allowed to vote.
When she remarked how voter participation was at all-time low, presenter Mehdi Hasan responded by asking “so the idea is then you make it harder for them to vote by putting a test in front of them?”
In her new book; Edge of Chaos, Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – and how to fix it, Dr Moyo proposes a system of weighted voting where some individuals have more voting power than others.
When defending her proposal, which presenter Mehdi Hasan suggested was elitist and would actually “help populism”, Moyo asserted that her idea was “based on participation, not on education” and that a degree of weighted voting already existed around the world.
Speaking about China and its economic model, Moyo commented how “over 300 million people have been moved out of poverty in 30 years” and that the West should be careful not to “point fingers” when commenting on the country’s democratic record which was on its own particular “path”.
Addressing a question on the benefits of China’s economic model, Moyo noted how Chinese politicians “don’t need to seduce today’s voter in order to remain in political office” in comparison to the US, where there is a “mismatch between long-term economic challenges and short-termism in the political system.”
Economist Dambisa Moyo first made waves with her book Dead Aid, which argued that rather than alleviating poverty in Africa, aid was actually preserving it. Asked whether she believed aid had had any beneficial effects, the economist described its “corrosive nature” on “democracy on the African continent.”
“We do want to be able to hold our governments accountable but we can’t do that if actually Oxfam is going to solve the health care problem, somebody else is going to solve education, how are we able to hold our governments accountable from a public policy stance if they are not the ones who are delivering these outcomes?”
The best-selling author argued that whilst she accepted that there have been “significant wins” across Africa, “the notion that those are because of aid…is wrong.”
Moyo pointed out that China has played a hugely significant role on the continent: “We’ve had China come in, there’s been significant investment…we’re able to trade with the Chinese, for better or for worse.”
Mehdi Hasan was joined in the discussion by a panel of experts: Ann Pettifor, economist and Author of The Production of Money; Jason Hickel, anthropologist at the University of London and author of The Divide: A brief Guide to global inequality and its solutions; and Jamie Whyte, research director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
The interview is part of a brand new series of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan’s hard-hitting discussion show on Al Jazeera English. Other guests were former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, former Trump campaign National Security Director J.D. Gordon, and feminist Germaine Greer.
Is it time to rethink Democracy? with Dambisa Moyo will be broadcast on Friday August 3rd at 20:00 GMT, and will be repeated on August 4th at 12.00 GMT, August 5th at 01.00 GMT and August 6th at 06.00 GMT.