Monday, July 13, 2009

Africa: Over Exploited, Not Underdeveloped
By Gary L. Flowers
Executive Director & CEO
Black Leadership Forum, Inc.

This week, the worldwide media reported that President Barack Obama visited “Africa” for the first time. Wrong. Egypt was, is, and all ways will be in Africa. Correctly stated, President Obama is the first African American president of the United States of America to visit the first post-colonial independent nation on the African continent—Ghana. The lasting message from President Obama’s visit: Over exploitation of the Continent by neo-colonial countries must be met with the willingness to once again develop democratic institutions in African nations.

Today, many African nations are often portrayed as “under developed.” The opposite is true. In most cases, countries with inferior infrastructure, commerce, and production capability are the victims of “over exploitation.”
As the world community learned of southern Arica’s epidemic rise is HIV AIDS nearly 10 years ago I remember learning from pharmaceutical companies of the infrastructure barriers in delivering medical supplies due to the lack of adequate roads and bridges. As a result, jumbo-jet loads of medicines sat on tarmacs, unable to be delivered to most needy of people.

Likewise, I remember learning from rice farmers in Ghana of the inability to sell their crops because the price of imported Chinese rice was cheaper. By undermining the rice market in Ghana, farmer’s production capability was stunted, negatively impacting the Ghanaian economy.
Global technology advances are in large measure moved by minerals found in African soil. For example, columbite-tantalite (or tantalum) found in the African Congo is a key component of I Pods, cell phones, computer circuit boards, and television VCR’s. Forces in African nations that advocate for African companies, rather than American or European ones, controlling mining operations are often labeled as “rebels.”
Africa remains the Cradle of Civilization. As such, rather than exploitation, the global community should court African countries with respect as elder members of the world family. For example, if ancient African nations such as Mali (Nigeria), Nubia (Sudan), and Kemet (Egypt) once were world leaders in commerce, math, and science, why are their descendants excluded from economic meetings of global leaders (i.e. G-9 and G-20)?
In part, I agree with President Obama’s assertion that “Africa’s future is up to Africans”, and that former colonizing nations are not responsible for all of Africa’s woes, but much of what plagues the Mother Continent now is too much debt and not enough development. The result of which is a virtual “sharecropping” arrangement between African nations and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, wherein Black nations in Africa cannot develop due to derived debt, not of their own making, entirely.

President Obama should be careful not to “blame the victim” by suggesting African nations’ biggest problem is corruption. As an allegory to Reverend Al Sharpton’s message to Michael Jackson’s children, African countries are not corrupt as much as the corruption in the powerful nations that control them. Sons and daughters of Africa must be aware of such.

If African nations were to produce and market natural minerals to the world (as it once did) their economic viability would be strengthened. Over exploitation of Africa must be addressed by the United States Government. Not to due so is to turn away from justice

1 comment:

  1. Dear, Supporters
    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and look into what is cooking. First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Gilbert Wainwright; I am a person dedicated to self-improvement and self-realizations. I believe that every young person out there has a good side that potentially can be cared for enough to create a very positive life out of a negative one and that young people have the potential to change their destinies. I did it myself. The battle that youth are in every day is not just the lack of opportunities and basic needs, though those are serious challenges. The battles that the youth are in which can transform the ground that the fight takes place on is self realization knowing who they are and the potential they can direct the outcome of anything in their own life. I have always maintained that the situation changes when the direction changes. Over many years of my life I have experienced the lows of ghetto life and survival, and the struggle of near death experience. Ever challenge in my life turned out to be a lesson. This idea that young people need guidance is no new idea. The idea that the people who made it out of the ghettos should turn around and give back is not a new idea either. I don’t think that our definition of a ghetto is the same as others around the world, I have seen young men in our ghettos walk around with a couple of thousand dollars in the pocket. Or a gold and diamond watch, the meaning of a ghetto is not the issue anyway, what the issue is for me is community improvement practices, resource development that self generates prosperity. The amazing piece in this letter today is that when genius is present and ideas are overlooked and values are preconditioned so that young people are missing their own potentials then we all limit what is possible to repeating the same old repeat of feeding the failures of yesterday while we hope to build success for tomorrow, it is insane. Self-righteous people are holding new ideas prisoners and goal tending against encouraging self-development. I am amazed whenever I look back at my success because for me to live this long and get to where I am of mind and in life amazes me. I decided to go back to talk to youth because I can see that I am one of those people who have an amazing intellect and strength of courage that is capable of reaching youth that need to be help up above where they are in mind in spirit and in reality. We can not help kids without giving them the tools they need, but we also need to give them the materials to build with and a blue print of what we want the to create. Our leadership has done well over the years and they deserve great respect and credit for all of their hard work in civil rights and education advances and every other human advancement including the blood transfusion,back before we knew that could be done, or the benefits of it , but the days of repeating past successes are wearing thin for 2009 and beating a dead horse is akin to pointing to the same old logic to encourage a new direction for our youth. I think that we need to unleash the newness that some of the ideas possess initiated from my visions of what our youth can achieve, in this time of our country suffering labor pains of change there is about to be a manifestation of a new greatness in America, and it will be new and beautiful. I truly pray that at some point in my begging and pleading with these words that someone with the capabilities to join me will get the ability to act and join me in a conversation to help our youth reach beyond this challenge of today. On every level in every way. Sincerely: Gilbert Wainwright Founder C.E.O United Coast-To-Coast One Love Movement 2009. Thank You. May you see yourself in the next person you see success.