With two years to go, the G8 leaders’ failure to meet their $25 billion additional aid for Africa promised in Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005 should be a wake up call for Africa to look inward and avoid dependency on external largesse.
From the northernmost point of Morocco to the tip of South Africa, the continent is only realising a fraction of the economic potential tied up in its forests, waters, mines, coastlines and human resource. Capital flight has deprived the continent of $607 billion (US) has been shifted out of Africa over the last three decades. The aggressive tax avoidance policies of multinationals are amongst the darker sides of revenue loss. Over half of world trade is channeled through tax havens, despite the fact that these account for only 3% of the global GDP.
The continent still suffers the dispossession of wealth via the South-North resource flows, and adverse internal class formation. In the former case, the central processes are associated with exploitative debt and finance, phantom aid, capital flight, unfree trade and ecological exploitation. In the latter case, instead of accumulation and class formation via an organic middle class and productive capitalist class, Africa has seen an excessively powerful ‘comprador’ oriented ruling elite whose income is based upon financial-parasitical accumulation and political-bureaucratic patronage power.
Africa must therefore quantify and measure its intellectual and physical wealth, determine its value in the global market and trade intelligently.
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