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Literature Discussion -


Does Africa Really Need Financial AID from the International Financial Servicing Houses?


By Ndim Bernard Ngouche (Cameroon)


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Part i

I happen to have been born ten years after the Independence of most of the African Countries and all were buoyant.All took off with glee and there was a sunshine of hope with men and women pregnant with dreams so tall. Yes there was a massive jubilation that Independence that we badly wanted had finally kissed our faces.

That may have been then when the euphoria was so wild and the expectations running high like temperature from high fever. It has been some fifty long years and above since the exchange of flags and singing of National Anthems was blasted out on the air waves. Yet many are agape asking questions that seem to elude answers.

"Where is the even distribution of wealth of the nation that were glaringly featured on speeches on that Independence day"?
" Where is that fair play and justice that was promised to all law abiding citizens"?
"Where are the social amenities like colleges, Universities, Hospitals, water, electricity, good roads etc that were promised to be given free of charge to citizens of these beloved African Countries"?

All these questions have evaporated alongside their answers since gun throttling Gendarmes and happy trigger Police officers who have been licensed to kill the very citizens they were trained to protect.

as a continent has the richest sub soils in the universe and paradoxically has the poorest people on the surface of the earth. I have always wanted to do an analysis of this phenomenon and it has always eluded me . Perhaps I have always failed to fathom any reasons or justifications to advance for such a mishap to be happening to such a blessed people. People packed full of talent and natural skill. People tall and endowed with raw power that can work under any situation. A people that were enslaved and latter colonized and today suffering from Neo -colonialism.

I have asked this question that begs for answers"

When shall African Communities fully become independent so as to design their own economic policies and implement decisions that can usher in changes in the lives of a peaceful people reduced to look like paupers in the face of helplessness and despair?

When shall African products attract prices that are determined by these African exporters in a world market that is heavily polarized by Western exporters who only see Africa as a farm and never a competitor?

I has now dawned on me how and why our African economies are at an all time low since Independence. As Africans we badly need a new brand of visionaries that shall design new goals and see their implementation so that African countries shall finally be able to join that fast train of development or be left behind for eternity.

It shall not be tomorrow but now for now is the time for real and meaningful action or action plans to be drawn on board or on canvas so that a new dawn can be assured for a better Africa in the making.When I do a comparative analysis of African petroleum exporting countries and their Asian counterparts, only blood seem to be oozing from my eyes for blood has run dry like taps in the heart of a draught. Today Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya , Tunisia, Algeria, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) of Dubai have all turned their countries into rich heavens all with resources from the sales of black gold. Ours have gone into private pockets. I learned a flimsy excuse once offered in one of the African Countries explaining that it was too complex for the common man except the head of state and the director of the National Hydrocarbon Company (S.N.H). He went ahead and said that only he and the head of state could fathom the complex calculations. Meaning that all other Cameroonians were stalk illiterates as far as petrol dollars were concerned.

What an insult to the mentality of a people? Yet he and his master went Scot free and today we are arresting mean thieves as thieves. That was a shameful declaration and it went on record and the records are still there but the guy passed unto his ancestors. If all the money gotten from our sale of petrol went to our economy, wow it would have been a solidly based economy and Cameroonians won't have been leaving in droves to Europe and the United States of America in search for better living conditions. Our banks would have had money to grant as loans even without collateral to Business Entrepreneurs willing and able to take risk and manage risk.

Africa would have had enough resources to fight adequately the advancing desert by transforming it into a greenery for the planting of grapes, apples and water melons which would have been bringing in revenues from exports. Even without exporting them, we could begin transforming them into juices and reducing the intake of foreign products which we could substitute. We would not have relied so heavily on loans so as to carry out giant projects in our respective countries. Africa would have been that giant it really is and should one day become.

Another area of waste is the procurement of military ware and salaries which would have been scaled down so as to put the money on developmental projects and health. Warfare is no longer fashionable in a world that is gradually drifting toward peaceful coexistence. Like the Haitian Army that got dissolved, I humbly suggest that those of Africa be dissolved so as to reduce blind expenditure and graft. This will greatly reduce budget heads and therefore government spending.

If our governments spend less, our health fare can be greatly improved and made better than it is at moment if at all we have any. Our economies are heavily indebted to donor countries and the international servicing banks like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This has made children yet unborn to be indebted and they shall be paying loans which they never borrowed and this is devastating.

What legacy are we leaving behind for these kids and what future are we making for them? We have sown seeds of discord and they shall reap fruits of frustration and misery. Yesterday Africans were chained and taken to Europe as slaves; today they are leaving to Europe freely as slaves. This paradox can explain why Africans die daily in the high seas in order to escape from this looming hell since all the money generated from Africa has become money meant for a clique of thieves and morons.

Yes we may liken them to be leaders but the questions looming overhead are who are they representing? What have they offered their people as services? Is there truly peace and stability in their respective countries? Are they loved as leaders and why are they hanging to power at all cost?

These vexing questions are brewing resentments and revolutions are in the making if these so called leaders do not try to defuse it and time.

I have often pondered aloud whether African leaders were cursed or bewitched the day they came into  office. I have not understood why they have refused to learn from the honey bee that goes in search of its nectar and comes back to its hive to store honey. Our leaders have slashed money that could have carried out developmental projects in personal bank accounts in Europe, America, Asia and some Latin American Countries. Others have mortgaged their petrol to multinational corporations almost for free.

This is the case of Cameroon that buys petrol from Nigeria before refining it for home consumption. Who is fooling who? One great thinker once said "if i am fooled once, shame on you, and if i am fooled twice, shame on me, and but I can't be fooled thrice" The time have come for us to rise and begin asking pertinent questions that badly need answers.We as a continent have precious minerals like gold, diamond, cobalt, nickel, bauxite, iron ore, and plenty of raw materials like timber, cotton, coffee, cocoa etc that can bring in hard currency for the continent. Where have the proceeds of the sales of these minerals and other forest related products gone to? Obviously into private pockets leaving behind a very impoverished population left only at the mercy of God. 

If accountability is not put in place with serious mechanisms that assure checks and balances; then all of our efforts shall be in vain. What pains more is this" Why is it that Western banks do allow Africans to be banking very suspicious amounts of money in their accounts? Another nagging question immediately follows: "What happens to this money after the demise of its account holder provided there is nobody to claim it after him? " Does the world bank closely check the money loaned to African Countries from being repatriated by these hawks who pass around for leaders?

Africa shall continue to bleed if leadership shall not be in sound hands  and  persons with sound and independent minds. Persons prepared to take their respective countries ahead not only in rhetoric's but also in action. Persons who shall be able to design their economic plans and look for partners and not masters. Leaders who shall be able to fight corruption without blinking. Leaders who shall be able to stamp out all mal practices even if it means standing on the toes of close pals and family members.

This shall give some fresh air to all persons who have always had a longing to see such a day. It may not be pleasing to some persons but the over all population shall be overwhelmed. I do sincerely wish that  Africa should  struggle not to be remembered as a people who only have a flag independence and begin to prioritise their projects and effectively manage all their resources; then and only then shall Africa be moving ahead. Countries like China, Indonesia, Korea and many others by 1960  never had the same gross domestic product  index as Cameroon, but today we are not only lacking behind. They are now feeding and clothing us. It is so humiliating and disgusting. I have always asked where have kept our engineers, teachers, researchers and those who can map out strategies backed by a vision aimed at transforming African economies.Are we progressing or retrogressing ?

The answer is blowing in the wind and bringing sand unto our faces. Chad, Angola, Congo Brazzaville and Nigeria alone produce more than eight billion dollars just from Petrol and this money evaporates and leaves Africa dry, and to me this is banal.

Part ii

Independence was longed and strongly desired by Africans and when it came it became more of a curse than a blessing. Thousands and millions  of Africans have either been butchered or missing in action because they stood to oppose "God sent leaders" who have God's mandate to rule for eternity.Elections in  Africa have become the most charade and masquerade that they have lost all value and meaning. Wars and conflicts awash Africa and a lot of funds that would have gone to contribute to the socio -economic development of Africa have gone into the purchasing of weapons. These war materials  like guns, grenades, bullets, military fatigues and all their salaries have drained Africa. Weapons "that do not shot as " like those quoted in "Sun set at dawn" a  Biafra war dairy by  Chinua Achebe have been bought from crooks and thieves for the African Continent to use.What a shame and what a scandal that scoundrels have defrauded our national purse through the pillage of our economies.I have longed to know why Africa talks about Unity when there is so much disunity. I need a passport to travel to  Equatorial Guinea,  Gabon,  South Africa, Lesotho,  Botswana and the rest where  as smaller groupings in Africa like the Economic Community of  West African states ECOWAShave a common tariff and free movement of persons and good. Either there is nothing like  African Union or Organisation for African Unity or there is an African union that operates like the union it is supposed to be. Africans from all the fifty three nations across the Continent are tired and over worked by stress caused by this stupid mentality of their so called leaders. Most often their meetings often fail to address burning issues affecting Africans like the nasty treatment given to Africans out of Africa and on the hardship faced by those who find themselves in the gutters of misery. It is their place to given Africa a new paint of honour by projecting the Continent as vibrant and strong. Ceasing all wars which i have always tagged senseless and naive for we cannot afford to be killing one another when other avenues for peace have not been used. I have failed to know why our leaders often spend so much time and money abroad when their people can't have food for breakfast due to the ever encroaching desert. The deserts in Africa which are the Sahara and the Kalahari can both be curtailed. If African Countries or the African Union budgets for the rehabilitation of these deserts; they shall be changes and lives shall be improved.There is enough water deep down the soil and it can be pumped out for the irrigation of the desert and humanity shall be on the shores of joy. If they can enchew greed and pull back all their foreign accounts for the development of Africa, poverty shall be halved or completely wiped out from Africa. Our infrastructure which was still sweet in the 60' and early 80's have gone too bad that urgency have never been a good word to describe what we need to do now. The state of roads are so bad but paradoxically, Hummer jeeps, Mercedes cars, Rolls Royce and other expensive cars are bought to cruise with on very bad roads and when many are complaining about the biting crisis gnawing the people. This happens when their leaders "so called" swim in affluence and dish out thick envelopes to their cronies and girl friends to have as their own share of the cake. Seat thightism have become their emblem of leadership as they desire remaining in power. This is the case with most of the French speaking nations whose allegiance to  France and her exploitative  foreign policies is so strong. Coup d'etats have been used by the French foreign legion fondly called " Region des Gendarmes D'utres mers" or as " The French Gendarme of the foreign legion" These blue berets oust leaders whose policies don't tie with that of mother France. This kind of politics have led to leaders looking like puppets in the hands of France thus leaving their people at naught. When a people's sovereignty is abused and stolen, they become helpless and confused. This has become our plight in the World as all we can do is seat down and complain. The time has come for us to stand up through popular uprising so as to seize what is ours from the dogs. I have often asked this questions" why is it that loans granted by the IMF and the  World Bank to developing countries are not supervised or scrutinised?" Why is there lack of accountability to the extend that most of the projects end up incomplete?" "What then happens to those from the World bank who supervised the failed projects?" if the rest of the world really have African Countries at heart, then it is time for Europeans and the United States of America to give us space to market and compete with their producers on the same floor so that prices can have the same floors and ceilings. That will then give some dollars to the the African farmer and it will then boast the economies and give new returns.


Ndim Bernard Ngouche
Poet and writer
Poet and writer
To be continued ...2008