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Africa being colonised by black elites

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Nyambala, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

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    Jul 17, 2009
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    Colonised by the black elite

    By Moeletsi Mbeki

    Nationalism in Africa has always paraded itself as a movement of the people
    fighting for their liberation. The reality is rather different.


    African nationalism was a movement of the small, Westernised black elite that
    emerged under colonialism. Its fight was always for inclusion in the colonial system so that it, too, could benefit from the spoils of colonialism.


    The colonial system was not designed to develop the productive capacities of the colonies. The driving motive of colonisation was to extract the continent's mineral and agricultural raw materials to be shipped to the mother countries for processing into manufactured goods. With this as their only aim, all the colonisers required from the colonised was a steady supply of unskilled labour - all skilled labour was shipped in from the metropole.

    There was, however, a demand for local intermediaries such as court interpreters, teachers, medical orderlies and agricultural extension workers, who provided a line of communication between the colonisers and the colonised and transmitted some necessary skills, such as a knowledge of the European languages needed to follow the instructions of the colonialists.

    It was out of this group of educated intermediaries that the African nationalist movements emerged. Independence did not bring about economic transformation in Africa as it did in Asia; if anything, it entrenched the economic inequalities inherited from colonialism.

    The new black elites merely replaced the former white colonial elites, but the exploitation of the black masses continued, as did the exploitation of Africa's resources - the copper, gold, bauxite, iron ore, cobalt, coltan, oil, timber, cotton,
    coffee, cocoa beans - drawn from the continent and exported.

    It is this drive to retain control of the continent's resources that goes some way towards explaining the fear among nationalist-ruled southern African governments of new-age, people-created parties, such as Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change. They fear that these parties will destroy the neo-colonial system off which they live. It also explains the support by states in the Southern African Development Community for Robert Mugabe's regime, despite the havoc his actions are causing in neighbouring countries.

    Once seen as a progressive and dynamic movement that would deliver Africa
    from bondage to modernity and prosperity, African nationalism has turned out
    to be a massive disappointment. Half a century after its liberation from
    colonialism, Africa has dropped so far down the development scale that
    experts refer to Africans as mankind's Bottom Billion, who can only come out
    of the black hole they have dug for themselves through intervention by the
    rest of the world.

    There is no better illustration of the failure of African nationalism than Zimbabwe under the leadership of Zanu (PF) and Mugabe. In the space of 10 years, 1999-2009, Zimbabwe has shown how an African country can travel from relative prosperity to the status of basket case.

    So, what went wrong? What has gone wrong has been the massive mismanagement by Africa's ruling political elites, with the help of Western powers, of the economic surplus generated in Africa in the past 40 years. As heirs of the colonial state, political elites exploited their strong position in relation to the private sector - which, in Africa, comprises peasant and plantation agriculture, domestic and foreign-owned manufacturing industries and foreign-owned extractive industries - to: Bolster their standards of living to levels comparable with those of the middle and upper classes of the West; Undertake half-hearted, loss-making industrialisation projects that were not supported by the necessary technical and managerial educational development; and; Transfer vast amounts of economic surpluses generated by agriculture and extractive industries, such as oil, diamonds, metals and timber, to developed countries as capital flight, while simultaneously obtaining vast loans from developed countries.

    Zimbabwe provides a textbook example of the relationship between the falling standards of living in sub-Saharan Africa and the growing power of political elites. In their struggle against the white minority regime, Zimbabwe's African nationalists enlisted, in particular, the support of the peasants and agricultural workers who
    constitute the majority of the population. During the 1980s, in the first decade of Zimbabwe's independence, Zanu (PF) made strenuous efforts to uplift these constituencies. But it also set out to crush its former ally, PF Zapu, which it succeeded in doing after a great deal of bloodletting. What remained of PF Zapu was absorbed into Zanu (PF) in 1987. Once it had consolidated its hold on power, the Zanu (PF) political elite proceeded to enrich itself, to the great detriment of the national economy and of the welfare of the population at large.

    Such actions have ensured that most Africans in sub-Saharan Africa are poor
    and getting poorer. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, sub-Saharan Africa's fairy godparents, churn out statistics each year that tell the tale of this continuing drop in living standards. This growing impoverishment sparks conflict over shrinking resources. Hence sub-Saharan Africa's apparently never-ending cycle of violent conflict. In Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?, The World Bank observes: "Despite gains in the second half of the 1990s, sub-Saharan Africa enters the 21st century with many of the world's poorest countries. Average income per capita is lower than at the end of the 1960s. Incomes, assets and access to essential services are unequally distributed. And the region contains a growing share of the world's absolute poor, who have little power to influence the allocation of resources."

    These observations have been corroborated by other researchers. This was how the US National Bureau of Economic Research summarised the living conditions of Africans: "Thirty-six per cent of the region's population lives in economies that in 1995 had not regained the per capita income levels first achieved before 1960. Another six per cent are below levels first achieved by 1970, 41 percent below 1980 levels and 11 percent below 1990 levels. Only 35 million people reside in nations that had higher incomes in 1995 than they had ever reached before."

    This is an edited extract from Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism
    Needs Changing
    by Moeletsi Mbeki (Picador Africa).

    The Star (SA)
     
  2. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Hii ndio sababu Mbowe akasema - Afadhali ya MKOLONI!
    NDIVYO TULIVYO - wakatoka kapa..hawakuelewa wala hawataki kuelewa -Walopigwa mihuri..
     
  3. Masanja

    Masanja JF-Expert Member

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    Bob...tatizo la Waafrika na viongozi wetu bado tunaamini kuna shortcut katika kuyasaka maendeleo. Tunaamini kwamba tukipata stimulus package ya G8 tutasema bye bye kwa umaskini. Yote ni ubatili mtupu. Kwa swala la maendeleo mkuu..ni lazima tuyatafute kwa jasho. kuwalaumu akina Bush na Blair, IMF na WB..bila sisi wenyewe kubadilika..tukatambua kwamba maendeleo ni sacrifice, tukatambua kwamba ni lazima kizazi kimoja kiteseke kwa manufaa ya wajao, tukajua kwamba tukiweka sheria hatuna budi kuzifuata collectively..hakuna kitakachotuokoa Afrika.

    Kama alivyosema Obama-a fact which some us knew long ago...bila kuwa na utawala wa kisheria kwa wote..we can whine as much as we want..but it will make no difference

    Tutaendelea kuwa kicheko cha dunia..tunapata vischolarship tunakuja ulaya..tunatuma vidola huko nyumbani..tunajenga vijumba..kuaddress immediate challenges za poverty..ila ukweli tutabaki pale pale..maana hata hao hao..waliokaa majuu wakija ukawaamini kuwapa nafasi..wataiba hivyo hivo..kama waliowatangulia. Dawa..ni moja. We need strong institutions, za kutuwajibisha sote. How do we get them? we might differ on this, but I, Masanja..naamini ni kwa sisi wananchi kuamka na kuwa responsible na hatma ya nchi yetu. Kikwete na wenzake..wana shida kama sisi..kwa nini watufikirie?

    Bila institutions hatuwezi kufanya lolote. Na wazungu wanalijua hilo. Ndo maana..hawataki kutugusa mikono..maana wanakula na kipofu. Afrika we are in deep hole kwa sababu..tunaogopa uwajibikaji..na tunapopewa sehemu yetu ya cake..basi..tunashiba na kusinzia.

    Na my strong conviction ni kwamba Afrika imeangushwa na wasomi kama mimi na wewe! Tuliofuta ujinga. Its a shame..lakini katika historia nafasi yetu katika kulilididimiza bara letu ni kubwa mno. Angalia hata maprofesa waliosoma good governance na economics..mpaka huko ulaya..ukiwapa nafasi leo..wanakuwa wezi kuliko hata waliowakuta..mifano unayo mingi...


    May the be Peace of good Lord be upon us!
     
  4. Semilong

    Semilong JF-Expert Member

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    hawaamini hivyo, viongozi wanataka stimulus package kwa ajili ya matatizo yao
    wanchoamini ni kuwa wao wanaweza wakatajirika haraka na nchi isitajirike kabisa na ukijaribu kuitajirisha inchi, nchi itaendelea kuwa maskini na watoto wako watakuwa maskini kama wa nyerere na watu watakucheka, wao wanaogopa kuchekwa.. du
    kwa hiyo cha maana ni kuiba chako na cha watoto wako....
     
  5. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

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    Well said gents, you can imagine in our case people like Kingunge and the team yaani sijui wana vision gani na nchi yetu........ Mimi huwa naona hawa wazee wengi hawaaminni kama tunaweza kutake off hapa tulipo kuelekea kule tunakoona ni kwa kufikirika simply because the only reasoning they place kuhusu maendeleo ya Ulaya na Marekani ni kwamba hawa jamaa waliibia rasilimali Africa. Lakini to be frank hata leo tukisema tubadilishane nchi say wajapani waje hapa na sisi twende Japani. Na kila watu waache walichonacho bado in just about 20 yrs tutarudi kuomba misaada. Kwa kifupi wamekata tamaa na wanachosubiri ni kufa tu maana kustaafu hawataki.

    All in all kama Masanja alivyosema "Na my strong conviction ni kwamba Afrika imeangushwa na wasomi kama mimi na wewe! "
     
  6. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Mkuu wangu,
    Unajua kitendo cha kubaka wanawake/watoto ni UOVU unaotakiwa kulaaniwa bila kujali nani kafanya kitendo hicho. Uzito wa rape case hautofautiani kutokana na jina, relationship au rangi ya mtu isipokuwa uharamu unatokana na kitendo chenyewe. Mwanamke au mtoto akiwa raped na Mzungu au mtu wa nje haiwezi kuwa mbaya zaidi kuliko mtu aliyekuwa raped na mweusi, ndugu au mzazi wake.

    Ndio maneno ya mzee wetu Kingunge ambaye pia ni mbakaji...alijaribu kuwambia wananchi kwa kejeli kama Mbowe anamjua Mkoloni na utawala wake!. Tofauti ya mzungu ni kwamba alitubaka kwa nguvu, katupiga makofi na kutulazimisha kufanya kitendo kichafu..Lakini hawa viongozi wetu kina Kingunge wao kwa kutumia maneno ya ulaghai wametuhadaa tukavua nguo zetu tukifikiria kweli wanatupa peremende, wakafanya walofanya (rape)..To a victim, rape is a rape, maumivu yake sii ya kimwili (physical demage) bali ni maradhi ya akili..Kule kuelewa kwamba mtu ulomwamini na kumwita Baba ndiye kakuingilia visivyo..inauma zaidi. Ni ktk mtazamo huu ndio Mbowe alitumia neno - Afadhali ya MKOLONI kwani mlobakwa hategemei kabisa baba yake kuwa mshenzi wa tabia kiasi hiki na huwezi kuepuka ukweli kwamba yupo nawe kila siku anayoamka na kwenda kulala..

    Nakubaliana sana na wewe unapozungumzia umuhimu wa kuunda kwa Institution..Lakini hii institution itaweza vipi kufanya kazi ikiwa wabakaji ni viongozi wenyewe tulowaweka madarakani. Hata rape case tunategemea vyoombo kama Polisi na mahakama kufuata sheria, lakini ikiwa Polisi na mahakama ndio hao elites wabakaji wenyewe tutaweza vipi kurudisha sheria?. Hiki chombo kitaweza vipi kufanyua kazi ikiwa society nzima inatazama swala la UFISADI sii kosa hadi pale kutakapo patikana Ushahidi.
    Meaning ni jukumu letu sisi kukusanya ushahidi wa kitendo cha ngfono na sii wa watoto waliokuwa raped kumtuhumu mtu yeyote. How can we gain such evidence ikiwa watoto hao wanatunzwa bado na wazazi hawa Ma rapiest wa uchumi wetu.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  7. Juma Contena

    Juma Contena JF-Expert Member

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    first thanks for the post which is very eye opening. however i do not know if we still have that many elites in Africa today especially in Tanzania though it depends on how we categorize them. Mine is purely based on privilege and guaranteed future greater life chances than most in society. through that line of thinking then i think we do not have that many elites in our societies, what we have is almost a dictator like system that puts a government in power and does what it wants without any pressure from any body(tume) nor being answerable to anyone (us watanzania). that is not fair it seems we elect people to come and ruin us yet most us dont give a damn (remember only a few people in our land today understand the role of the poeple they elect).

    this is where hawa wasomi wetu (think) based on the fact wengi si waelevu they can get away with almost any wrong doing and only a few will care, and be vocal upon it. however even those few can't do anything to pressurize as they're being protected by the president, and the thieving continues. the next future president as you've predicted will bring the same game, until we have to learn to make anybody accoutable for his actions including the president. or else the next (2015) one if he is on the other side of CCM will come in with new people wenye uchu mpya wa hizo peremende walizokua wanaziona tu kwenye mfuko wa plastic sasa mifuko yenyewe hiko mikononi mwao ni hatari. baada ya miaka kumi tena mwingine how does anybody going to stop that happening, realistically only the changes in what powers we should give to the government and what powers should be given to the law bodies or else its a joke even if we bring changes with revolution, theres nothing thats going to stop that president from stealing unless we reduce the amount of protection to the president who in my opinion should be accountable for almost all the losses.
     
  8. Bluray

    Bluray JF-Expert Member

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    Mimi ndiyo maana nilisema siku nyingi hapa haya mambo mengine ya nationalism na patriotism ni changa la macho tu.Tanzania itajengwa na wenye moyo na kuliwa na wenye meno.Wenye meno ndio hao, wanapigiwa mapande ya EPA, wana majumba ya mamilioni kama si mabilioni huko San Fransisco, wana mabilioni Jersey Island, halafu unataka kuniimbisha wimbo wa nationalism kirahisi rahisi?
     
  9. Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Oxlade-Chamberlain JF-Expert Member

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    ukitaka kujua mkoloni ni bora ni pale unasikia raisi wako akiwaambia wananchi "mnataka kula huku na huku"
     
  10. Bluray

    Bluray JF-Expert Member

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    Dhana ya kwamba mkoloni ni bora nayo ni potofu vile vile, uovu ni uovu tu.Anayekuua kwa kisu na yule anayekuua kwa risasi wote sawa tu, utakuwa mpumbavu kama ukifikiri anayekuua kwa risasi ni afadhali kwa sababu hutasikia maumivu sana, at the end of the day unakufa tu.

    Ukoloni was dehumanizing in its naked racist approach, huu ukoloni wa kiafrika unauma kisirisiri huku tunapigiana makofi tukiwaona hawa wakoloni wa leo ni "ndugu zetu", lakini wote ni exploiters tu.

    Kwa hiyo hii issue ya kusema mkoloni ni bora ni sawa na kusema ukini rape naomba uvae mpira, upuuzi tu.Rape ni rape tu na ukianza kufanya comparison ya rape ipi ni bora basi unapenda kuwa raped.
     
  11. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

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    Nimejikuta naikumbuka sana hii article ya Moeletsi Mbeki leo hii.
     
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