Horatius Egua: Africa’s predicaments compounded by western economic institutions

© Horatius Egua
© Horatius Egua

Horatius Egua is a senior journalist with BusinessDay Media in Nigeria and an alumnus of GIZ’s International Institute for Journalism. He presently covers the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and is widely travelled.

The predicaments of the third world, especially Africa, are compounded by the undue incursion of the so-called first world. The reasons for this position are not farfetched. Apart from the under-representation of Africa in the G-20, the United Nations and other international bodies, the continent participation in such international organizations are at best to give the world the false picture that Africa is part of the scheme of taking decision on behalf of the world, whereas this is not true.

Information obtained from G-20 France 2011 website, the G-20 was established in 1999, in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, to bring together major advanced and emerging economies to stabilize the global financial market.

The information stated further that “the concerted and decisive actions of the G-20, with its balanced membership of developed and developing countries helped the world deal effectively with the financial and economic crisis, and the G-20 has already delivered a number of significant and concrete outcomes”.

I have repeatedly written in my articles that apart from the under representation of Africa in the G-20, UN and other such influential international agencies, the interests of the continent are at best lip services. The sad thing though is that the G-20 members, as well as the G-8 Group of countries, have practically taken over the management of the world’s economy to the extent that what is not beneficial to them does not count in global economic reckoning. What however draw them close to the African continent is nothing more than the exploitation of oil, cocoa, diamond and such other natural resources that abound in the continent.

The US, UK, Russia, China, France, Germany and the other developed countries of the world, have virtually taken over the economies of the African continent, in the all sectors of the economy: energy, aviation, manufacturing, automobile, etc.

This was and is manifesting in Cote D’Iviore and Libya. In the civil war that was just averted in Cote D’Iviore, following the political crisis that engulfed the country, the French government though came out openly to condemn the intransigence of Laurent Gbagbo, the defeated former president, they however did not take practical steps to help end the violence at the fomenting stage because of the long standing ties they have with the corrupt leaderships of the country on account of cocoa and other natural resources.

The support the western societies, especially members of the G-20 and the G-8 Group are giving in the civil war in Libya between the rebels and the country’s leader Muammar Qaddafi is purely on account of the oil and natural resources in the country and not because they love the country.

Let’s take the case of the UN for example, after over 50 years of the establishment of the UN, no African country has been able to secure a place as a permanent member because the big six, United State, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Russia and now China have monopolized the position, enabling them to muscle the other countries of the world to submission on issues that run contrary to their interests.

© RP Online
© RP Online

The G-20 is principally an international economic bloc (a cartel) whose primary interest is to rule and run the world’s economy on behalf of the other less privileged countries of the world. I must say that the lack of a common strategy for benchmarking global economy, especially during crises time has helped to expose the selfish and narrowness of the economic policies of the developed countries, whose members are majorly the arrowheads of the G-20.

The global economic crisis that rocked the world a couple of years ago is a signal of the weakness of the global economies policies formulated by the US and the G-8 Group of countries. The lessons from the near collapse of the global economies then has clearly shown that no country is an island in managing global affairs, and therefore the African continent must be taken into consideration in managing the world economy. They must not be seen as outsiders because the crude oil that runs the global economy is principally from Africa and the Middle East that have repeatedly been treated as outsiders in global reckoning.

The continent must be helped in redirecting its economic policies and programmes to fit into laid down international standards, this way, the world will have well-structured economic programmes, that will on the long run be beneficial to all.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has repeatedly stressed the need for the continent to rise above beggarly position, to confront the challenges that had for ages hampered the social, economic and political progress of the African continent. He is strongly of the view that Africans and only Africans can develop the African continent. The Nigerian president is however not opposed to partnership with the developed countries of the world.

The conduct of a very successful election in Nigeria, in April, he emphasised, is a clear signal of a new social order in the continent. He believes that if Nigeria gets it right, the whole of the African continent will follow. The Vision 20-20-20 agenda of the Nigerian Government, (for Nigeria to be among the best 20 economies by the year 2020), is a departure from the complete reliance on only international support for the growth and development of the country. It is a localised growth programme, designed by a cross section of Nigeria with the support of some international experts to move Nigeria out of the present growth stage.

President Jonathan believes that with the vision programme, Nigeria will lead the way for the continent’s growth process and eventual disengagement from the shackles of western economic giants like the G-20, G-8 and other global enslaving institutions. (12.5.2011)

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Weitere Artikel zur Rolle der G-20

Journal Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit: Die G20, Nr. 01 2011, 52. Jahrgang, Januar 2011.

„Die G20 wirkte anfangs geschlossen. Die Spitzenpolitiker einigten sich auf Konjunkturprogramme, Rettungsschirme für Banken und den Verzicht auf Protektionismus. Doch die Harmonie war nicht von Dauer. […] Im Moment ist die G20 kein Entscheidungszentrum der Weltpolitik. Sie wirkt eher wie eine Bühne, die den Beteiligten dazu dient, der eigenen Bevölkerung ihre globale Bedeutung zu inszenieren. Seit die Angst vor einer weltweiten Wirtschaftsdepression vorbei ist, ist auch die Fähigkeit, gemeinsame Ziele und Programme zu definieren, geschwunden.

Welch ein Jammer. Koordination und Harmonisierung im G20-Kreis wären auf vielen Feldern nützlich. Zu den relevanten Stichworten gehören zum Bespiel Migration und Entwicklung, aber auch Steuern oder Rohstoffversorgung. In der G20 sind übrigens auch alle Hauptverursacher des Klimawandels versammelt. Sie könnten im Prinzip dieses gewaltige Menschheitsproblem in ihrem kleinen Kreis lösen. Es fehlt aber am politischen Willen“ (Dembrowski, 2011; Auszug aus dem Editorial).