Friday, October 19, 2018

More Self-Reliance Needed in Africa.

May 20, 2014 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The recent kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls has been all over the news which is a good thing. We need to take the emotion out of this issue and have a heart-to-heart talk with the leadership of Africa.

I am very aware that Africa is not a country, but a continent made up of 54 countries.  I am a big booster of the potential of all things Africa, but have been, and still am, a big critic of Africa.

Everyone touts the potential of Africa as a continent, not just in terms of its vast natural resources (gold, diamonds, oil, gas, bauxite, etc.); but also in terms of its human resources. Well more than  half of Africa’s population is under 18 years of age.  They have a “youth bulge” that can be a greatafricapolitmap-2014 asset or a great liability.

According to a report by the accounting firm of KPMG, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach $2.6 trillion by the year 2020.  Africa also has the fastest-expanding labor force in the world; there are more than 500 million people of working age (15 to 64) in Africa, and that number is expected to pass 1.1 billion by 2040 and larger than China and India.

For the most part, my criticism of Africa has to do with its leaders and government bureaucrats, not the people.  Many of the leaders are corrupt and selfish, interested only in the enrichment of themselves, their families and their cronies.

On the other hand, the people of Africa only want three things:  education, healthcare, and a job.  This seems to be very reasonable and pretty much a universal desire; and one that should be easily achievable on the continent of Africa. But it’s not.

Africa reminds me of the kid who always wants to be treated like a “big boy,” but then constantly cries for his big brother to rescue him when he gets in trouble.  Generally speaking, Africa wants U.S. investments yet can’t provide security for their own people. And if they fail to provide security at that level, there is no reason to believe African countries can provide security for foreign investments.

What I find amazing about the abduction of the girls in Nigeria was the immediate cry from Africans for U.S. involvement in finding the girls.  Why was there no cry for the involvement of the African Union (AU)?

The AU is composed of 53 African states and was created on July 9, 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU).  According to the AU’s website, its objectives are:  to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent; to promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples; to achieve peace and security in Africa; and to promote democratic institutions, good governance and human rights.

It’s almost as though whenever there is a crisis on the continent, Africans reflexively call on the U.S. or the United Nations (UN) for help, not the AU. The AU has been around for 12 years, so no more excuses about it being a young organization.  If African leaders want to be treated as an equal player on the world stage, then they must be willing to comport themselves in a manner consistent with that desire.

Africa continues to lack the understanding and sophistication for why they need to constantly engage with the American media. During the crisis of the kidnapped Nigerian girls, I have yet to see or hear of any engagement by the Nigerian Embassy or the AU with the American media.

Most of the so-called experts on Africa, as presented in U.S. media, have been White.  The media is partly to blame for this because of their continued insular approach and not looking for non-White experts on Africa.

And there are plenty of Blacks who are experts on Africa.

Gregory B. Simpkins is staff director for the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and one of the foremost experts on Africa in the U.S.  He has both a journalism and public policy background.  He also is Black.

But I put more blame on Africa for continuing to believe that any media outlet is going to do for them what they should be doing for themselves, i.e. telling their own story. If Africa continues to govern with a third world mentality in a 21st century world, they will continue to be ignored and marginalized.

Africa wants Americans to view their continent as a tourist destination and a developing haven for foreign direct investment, but yet they can’t or won’t protect young girls attending school.

Despite all this, I should be willing to take my family on a vacation to or invest my money on the continent?  Really?

Africa gets most of its media coverage from their failure, not their successes.  A simple Google of the word Africa brings up nothing but negative information.  So, until African leaders truly understand the value of proactive media engagement in the U.S., they will continue to be viewed as third world and not worthy of serious business consideration. 

Staff Writer; Raynard Jackson

Mr. Jackson is also founder of a political and industrial consultant firm which is based in Washington, DC; Raynard Jackson & Associates.



11 Responses to “More Self-Reliance Needed in Africa.”
  1. Dcarter910 says:


    Thanks for the engaging Conv. My closing statements are as follows:

    The U.S. goes to war to support it’s businesses and economic interests. China is no different. The investments in China by Africa are all rosy until any African leader attempts to threaten those Chinese businesses by insisting that much more of the Chinese businesses’ wealth remain in Africa. From a U.S., European and Russian position on this (historically speaking)…the growing influence of China in Africa is also a growing chance of Chinese troops one day being deployed in Africa to maintain China’s growing cash cow. Money, wealth and influence isn’t handed to no nation without the power strings of subjugation attached. Africa has whore(d) herself out before with devastating consequences…the whore has found a new pimp…a pimp with a stronger hand and who is much more calculating. Right now it’s business for China and aid for Africa…but in the end, in this twisted world…business always trumps the human desire for freedom and self reliance.


  2. ROBERT says:


    YOUR apology is accepted but in regard to AFRICA you are painting their relationship with CHINA with a very broad brush ; remember AFRICA is very big and very diverse; and that means there are good and bad examples to choose from for instance in ANGOLA the relationship was great CHINA practically rebuilt the whole country after their long civil war but in ZAMBIA a bad deal was negotiated with the copper mines and things went sour.

    BUT the most important thing is CHINA is approaching AFRICA with business deals they’re not shooting or arming anyone in AFRICA and for that reason alone that makes them a more desirable partner.

    BELOW is a article about how much money and where CHINA has it in AFRICA.

  3. Dcarter910 says:

    @Mr. Robert,

    I can see how the whole class in session and class dismissed thing can come off as rude and condescending…my apologies that was not my intentions. Where people are out here taking out mortgages to pay for crappy education, I am happy to indulge in something thought provoking with someone capable of provoking thought. As such, thanks for dismissing me from your class room.

    On another note, my series of questions were rhetorical and not true interrogatives. I have done a heck of a lot more research beyond a simple google search because people who use google in that manner only find what they want to find to reinforce their own predisposed beliefs.

    China is not aiding the African countries as a whole, they are only building infrastructure to support the businesses that they own AND send millions of their own people over to operate…yes, no financial gains for the general populace. Also, the African governments look the other way as the Chinese companies build their factories in fenced in, guarded compounds which they used to house their people from China and keep out locals. Overall Africa is still loosing and with the billions that the west has given Africa it is insane that they could not have done all this themselves.

    P.S. Those wealth elites that abuse and pimp their people and land out to foreigners are in most cases U.S. Ivy League College educated. They have learned better and experience better living here in America and will even send their own children back here to be educated but they will never do anything to change their own circumstances.

    P.S. 2: Why didnt China send troops to help the kidnapped girls in Nigeria? China practically owns 1/3 of the Nigerian economy (and government) through the siphoning of their natural resources and China “literally” has 20 times more personnel in their armed forces than the U.S.

    (Again rhetorical questions)

    The main problem as I see it is that people hate to admit that for some reason blacks always choose a path of servitude vice self reliance. Remember Africans were not kidnapped by whites, we were sold into slavery by our own…still going on today.

    If you ever get a chance, watch an OUTSTANDING documentary by Dr. Henry Louis Gates called: African Americans, Many Rivers to Cross.

  4. ROBERT says:


    SINCE your response has been a series of questions it seems that you are now the student instead of the teacher as your previous comment would suggest.

    THE relationship between AFRICA and CHINA has been overall a good deal for both because CHINA has gotten the much needed resources and AFRICA has gotten the cash and the development like roads; electrical systems; and large dam and irrigation projects the very things that the west refused to do because they do not wish to see AFRICA developed.

    THE problem for AFRICA as it is for black AMERICA is their corrupt and criminal leadership that will sell their whole nation and people for a song.

    ALSO my brother it is people who think they’re more intelligent than they actually are because having a google search is meaningless unless you know what to search for!

    AND now my brother [class is dismissed]!

  5. dcarter910 says:

    Mr. Robert,

    Nice assessment. My only counter is that if America wants Africa there are no signs of that. Africans would litterally welcome american or european domination over them if the leaders are paid enough. where is the struggle for supremacy on Americas part? And were is the Africans self pride to not let a foreign race/nationally rule their resorces? They only need outside investment because they won’t invest in themselves.

  6. ROBERT says:


    I am aware of CHINA’s investments in AFRICA and part of the AMERICAN and the west plan is to deny CHINA access to AFRICA’s resources and to interrupt the investment and development that CHINA is bringing to AFRICA.

    IF you look at the countries that have been destroyed or broken apart; LIBYA and S. SUDAN you will find that CHINA was heavily invested in both ; in fact CHINA lost 35 billion in LIBYA alone.

    SINCE AMERICA and the west cannot compete fairly with CHINA in AFRICA they’re playing extremely dirty their plan is to simply destroy these countries with fake revolutions and terrorism ; and now it’s NIGERIA’S turn whom CHINA is also heavily invested.

  7. Dcarter910 says:


    (“Pulls out chalk board” class in session)

    I hate to burst your bubble of America’s plans to dominate Africa but some quick google searches will reveal to you:

    -China has purchased millions of acres of choice farmland throughout Africa
    -China owns and operates at least a 3rd of the oil fields and drills in Africa
    -China is funding the building of plants through out Africa
    -China pays off local and government officials to rape the land and gives nothing back to the local economy

    China cant be the source of cheap labor and products forever. Thy are preparing for the future where they become the Super power and will use Africans as the new source of cheap labor to fuel their empire and for cheap products for their middle class.

    (Class dismissed)

  8. yes says:

    Dcarter910 has a valid point.

  9. ROBERT says:

    AFRICA was and will be the grand prize that all world empires must control for obvious reasons it size and wealth has no comparison.

    AMERICA has had a plan to control AFRICA going back to at least the 70s.

    IN this context we must understand what we are witnessing AMERICAN actions in AFRICA; let’s see how they plan to break NIGERIA up by using terrorism and religious hatred as they did in other countries .

    PLEASE read the articles below and see what the plans are!

  10. Dcarter910 says:

    Thats because Africans dont hold their leaders responsible just like African Americans.

  11. ROBERT says:

    BLACK AMERICANS have lost all right to lecture the AFRICANS on good governess with the destruction of the wealthiest and best governed country on the continent by our first black president.

    QADDAFI provided free healthcare ; education and jobs; he turned LIBYA from the poorest on the continent to the wealthiest ; he did exactly what the author described the AFRICAN nations should do; name another government who provides free electricity to it’s citizens.

    IN the case of NIGERIA for those of us who pray it’s time to start praying for the people of NIGERIA because they are caught in between vicious imperialist and their armed and trained terrorist group [BOKO HAREM]and on the other end a corrupt; incompetent and totally infiltrated government.

    WE can expect NIGERIA to be blown to pieces as LIBYA was; let’s pay close attention what’s going on in NIGERIA because we black AMERICAN’S have found ourselves on the side of the very people who bought us to AMERICA chained to the bottom of boats

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