Did you know many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today!
When Sékou Touré of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so furious, and in a historic act of fury the french administration in Guinea destroyed everything in the country which represented what they called the benefits from french colonization.
Three thousand French left the country, taking all their property and destroying anything that which could not be moved: schools, nurseries, public administration buildings were crumbled; cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged; horses, cows in the farms were killed, and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned.
The world does not aid Africa - Africa aids the world! Foreign developed nations often wax lyrical about their generous donations of aid to Africa. But a coalition of UK and African researchers has released research findings that illustrate how the continent actually loses over six times the amount it receives in aid.
As we often watch wealthy countries heap on themselves and each other generous portions of praise for helping ‘needy’ countries and using their donations to accelerate development in impoverished regions so as to end poverty, another scenario is playing itself out. This scenario is rarely reported.
Africa, the receiver of $30 billion in annual monetary handouts, is not only making nothing from the aid it receives but it actually loses $192 billion to the rest of the world within the same time frame.
How, you ask?
Research published recently indicates that current practices within the continent tend to favour wealthy countries. These practices include tax dodging, the repatriation of multinational companies’ profits with their unjust trade policies, the costs incurred from climate change and the exodus of skilled workers.
In the current national push for making black lives matter, economic support for black-owned businesses doesn't get its fair share of dialogue.
True, social justice and political activism can help solve many of the continuous problems facing our community, but what about economic growth and stability to help heal our struggling neighborhoods? There is only so much we can expect at the federal level before we start doing our own part outside protest.
This is Cape Coast, a town on Ghana’s southern coast that attracts throngs of visitors every year. It’s a Saturday, and hot; the sun is high in the sky. Down below, the waves push up against the shore. The structure’s white walls gleam in the midday sunshine, a stunning, white-washed camouflage to the still dank, still dark and still seemingly haunted chambers below. The group of tourists circle round the tour guide as he recounts history.
And it has a heavy history, this slave castle. For many who visit the castle, its memories and rememories are still fresh. A holding place for slaves just before their shipment across the Atlantic to the New World (and the first seat of government for the British colonial government), this is perhaps one of the more recognizable and faithfully preserved edifices of Ghana’s (and black people’s) economic exploitation. But the castle is also an important part of Cape Coast’s history, an opportunity for experiential tourism to explore the past, and a resource that could — and should — be leveraged to support the city’s economic future.
A Disconnect Between Tourism and Local Economic Development
From its beginnings, the castle had served as a node for capital gains that were strategically isolated from its urban surroundings. It is said that this castle, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was originally purposed by the Swedish for the storage of timber, gold, and other goods to be shipped to Europe; after changing hands, Cape Coast grew as a major trading nervepoint for the British along the West African route. With the popularity of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, it became a waiting depot for human goods (slaves), captured locally and shipped to the Americas.
According to Kwabena Kumi, tour guide at the castle, its dungeons could hold, on average, some 1300 slaves — 1000 males and 300 females — at one time. “But you can imagine during the peak periods,” he said, “it might even surpass that.”
At the time, little of the wealth generated from the trade trickled down to the city of Cape Coast or the locals. Today, the castle is generating a new form of capital (tourism), through the thousands of visitors streaming through the castle’s entrance gates each year who explore this aspect of Ghana’s history.
Kwabena has been leading groups of visitors around the castle for three years now, leading as many as three to four tours a day. He and the other castle staff seem unsure of how many visitors come per day, month or year. According the Museum and Monuments Board, 80,000 visited the castle in 2009, the same year U.S. President Barack Obama visited. The next year, in 2010, that number swelled to just over 89,000. But in 2011, the Museum and Monuments Board officer reported just 78,691 visitors to the castle.
“It must bring a lot of revenue,” Kwabena says, estimating it’s somewhere in the millions of Ghana cedis.
It seems a vicious cycle, where again, few outside of the direct revenue stream see any benefit, with little positive impact for the surrounding urban area of Cape Coast. But one of the challenges is that the revenue doesn’t flow back into the city. It’s a problematic aspect of the tourism sector, not just for Cape Coast, but more widely for Ghana’s “booming” economy: ensuring that opportunities for big-buck revenues flow back into and support the wider, local economy.
Read more: http://africanurbanism.net/2013/01/18/cape-coast-tourism-economics/
Whatever one’s views regarding Moamar Gadaffi, the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito, “Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.” (Russia Today, August 25, 2011)
These developments are in sharp contrast to what most Third World countries were able to “achieve” under Western style “democracy” and “governance” in the context of a standard IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment program (SAP).
Public Health Care
Public Health Care in Libya prior to NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” was the best in Africa. “Health care is [was] available to all citizens free of charge by the public sector. The country boasts the highest literacy and educational enrolment rates in North Africa. The Government is [was] substantially increasing the development budget for health services…. (WHO Libya Country Brief )
Confirmed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), undernourishment was less than 5 %, with a daily per capita calorie intake of 3144 calories. (FAO caloric intake figures indicate availability rather than consumption).
The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya provided to its citizens what is denied to many Americans: Free public health care, free education, as confirmed by WHO and UNESCO data.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO): Life expectancy at birth was 72.3 years (2009), among the highest in the developing World.
Under 5 mortality rate per 1000 live births declined from 71 in 1991 to 14 in 2009
Source Facebook: Vince Norment
The eco car branded Kiira EV was test driven at the university premises as students gathered to witness the landmark occasion. The Kiira EV car is the first environmentally friendly car to be designed in Uganda and it's the brainchild of Professor Stevens Tikocdri who says the car can run for eighty kilometers on a full battery.
Images of starving children, epitomised in news coverage from Ethiopia in the 1980s, have given Africa a reputation for famine that does an injustice to the continent’s potential.
It’s true that a recent report by three U.N. agencies said nearly 239 million in Africa are hungry, a figure some 20 million higher than four years ago. And recent crises in the Horn of Africa and Sahel certainly highlight the desperate uncertainties of food supply for millions – malnutrition still cuts deep scars into progress on health and...Read More - (click on top image)