AFRICA DOES NOT NEED ALMS, BUT JUSTICE

A REPLY OF THE LEFT FORCES OF BENIN TO THE REMARKS OF THE FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON : –  No Mr President, Africa does not need alms but justice.

The Posadists Today publish this document for its centrality to the debate in the Labour left in Britain, where the idea of the cancellation of the debt needs to be seen in terms of human justice and anti-imperialism – an idea still to be developed more fully in the British Labour Party and the Trade Unions. The document is from the: 

 

PATRIOTIC CONVENTION OF THE LEFT FORCES (CPFG) IN BENIN, AFRICA, PCB, CDP, PSD-Bélier, CSTB, FESYNTRA-Finances, UNSEB, UNAPEEB, ANADEC, ODHP, CCUMAB, CPCM, MFLPP

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability of many of the world’s most powerful states to cope with it, in the face of the inevitable economic devastation and chaos that is already looming, Emmanuel Macron, President of France said on Monday (April 13th): “Beyond a ‘European ‘refoundation’, we must also help our African neighbours to fight the virus more effectively by massively cancelling their debt. We will never win alone.”.

Very good Monsieur le President! Indeed, according to the British NGO JubileeDebtCampaign, without the erasure of the external public debt of African countries, an economic collapse of these countries is inevitable. Because the repayment of these debts swallows up on average 13% of the income of these states. And by the end of March, African finance ministers had asked the international community for $100 billion to fight COVID-19, including $44 billion earmarked for debt and interest repayment. (Le Monde Journal of April 14, 2020). In the wake of this, the IMF and the World Bank, as bailiffs for the recovery of the poor countries’ debts, said that they are “suspending the loan repayment of the poorest countries to international creditors.”

Now the French President, the “Good Samaritan” as always, calls to “help” Africa. So generously you come to save African countries in perdition, you come as a Donor of Alms to the poor in peril with their hands outstretched towards the givers of help. What hypocrisy! What a deliberate lie championed by the French policy of State through its many governments! A policy rather happily denounced by an Italian minister a little while back [1].

But Africa doesn’t need that. Africa does not need Alms. Africa simply needs justice. What bilateral public government debts of State we are we talking about – those of the Paris Club? [2]  Borrowings made on our own stolen money, and to cover private loans, plundering our various resources by the large groups and monopolies of the Great Powers, and which end up in the London Club.

But let’s focus on France. France keeps the monetary reserves of the countries of the ‘Franc zone’ under the receivership of the Banque de France via the French treasury, which places it in speculation on the international capital market. And when African countries need their money, it is passed on to them with interests to pay: The World’s Biggest Scam, this! And it is not even all. France by secret agreements (colonial pact) plunders our mineral wealth (uranium, bauxite, oil, gas, iron, manganese and others) impoverishing the African populations. Can we understand that a country like Gabon, twice as large as Benin, eight times larger than Belgium and half of France, with numerous mineral resources (uranium, manganese, oil, gas, iron, gold, copper, zinc, etc.), rare wood species, a maritime front of at least 700 km – can we understand that such a country with only 2 million inhabitants can be poor and indebted?

Such scandals can only be found under the heavens of the French post-colonies of Africa, i.e. the French “Colonial Enclosures” of Africa.

No thank you Mr President. Africa does not need Alms or Aid, Africa simply needs justice.

Give us back our goods and wealth, and we will grow. Anyway, the youth of Africa stands up to grab back their rights, whether you like it or not.

Africa does not need your poisonous and alienating aid.

Africa needs fair and equitable trade.

Cotonou, 18 April 2020.

[1] On 22.3.2020, the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Luigi di Maio called on the European Union to condemn France’s policies that, according to him, exploit Africa and encourage immigration towards Europe.

[2] The Paris Club, called Le Club de Paris, is an association of officials from creditor countries. The French treasury has put an office at their disposal in Paris. Their task is to arrange for debtors’ countries to repay their debts. There an equivalent office in London, the London Club.