Italy’s $5bn pledge compensation package for Libya as remorse for Italy’s atrocities committed against Libya during the colonial era is a final recognition of a colonizing regime that it did wrong. The British, Germans, Portuguese, French and Boers among others should emulate Italy’s move.
Although the deal will see Italy send $200m a year over the next 25 years to Libya in the form of investments in infrastructure projects and student grants, Tripoli should be cautious against falling prey to recolonisation. Why, for instance will priority be given to Italian companies to oversee development projects in Libya while there are other companies? Is Italy really interested in the welfare of Libyans? Didn’t Italy pledge US $ 500 Million worth of electronic surveillance devices to curtail North African immigrants from looking for greener pastures in the European countries via Italy?
Africans ought to learn that other nations are fronting their economic and political agenda as they engage with the continent. It is thus imperative that Africa interrogates ‘generosity’ and fronts her agenda while negotiating with developed nations. Big money without well laid structures - as the 5 decades of foreign aid to Africa has demonstrated -will not enrich Africa. We should also avoid the victim mentality of blaming others for our woes but become proactive in utilizing the resources available to spur prosperity in the continent.
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