Written by Boaventura Mandlate
Translated by Francisco Chuquela
The raw material produced in Africa continues to feed the so-called “first world” without paying a fair price and often is paid absolutely nothing.
Among us we can illustrate this sad reality with the illegal exports of wood that promise to last a lifetime, for the benefit of the minority, to the misery of an entire society.
The misfortune of an entire society that is also consubstantiated in illegal fishing in African waters, in particular Mozambican waters, which goes on for centuries, fattening the pockets of some of our fellow citizens, without mercy of the majorities, the so-called corruption.
There has always been and will continue a sad confessed reality, incompetence in controlling more than two thousand kilometers of the extensive and rich coast, which is a crucial addition to the old problem that the price of our raw material is determined by the buyer and not by the producer
Unhappiness means, for example, the plundering of our raw nuts, the price of which is still fixed by the buyer, for the benefit of the merchant. In fact, not even the bad price paid for the African product benefits production, but commerce, speculation and the intermediary, not creating value locally.
It is very difficult to blame the buyer. The producer, using innovative, credible and little more sophisticated ideas, can find ways to impose his own price.
We Africans are so conservative that we don’t get rid of the myth in our heads that we have to follow the price, the ideas and the external instructions. Unfortunately Africa is living in situations of total injustice with the international rules of the World Trade Organization not to help our most fragile and poor countries (most of us are Africans).
This reveals a context of clear discrimination against African products, especially manufactured products, with European countries being seen as impeding the continued export and good price of African products. In many contexts, we remain conditioned on what (Western) buyers say.
The episode that Mozambican aviation has gone through in the not too distant past represents a small snapshot of how a country or region can impose conditions and constraints on another sovereign country, even recognizing the pertinence of technical requirements to operate beyond the frontier. But the discriminatory way things are done and announced creates trade losses for the poorer countries themselves, like our Mozambique.
We need to move on to a third new economic world order, because the current one is no good anymore.
We Africans need to get out of this economic slavery for the development of the West, which goes through all kinds of blockages when we try to resist.
It is true that getting out of slavery is no easy task, because clearly the so-called “first world” depends on our revenues so as not to sink into economic insignificance.
Many will be reminded that in the 1950s and 1960s, some colonizing world powers decided to accept the independence of their colonies on our continent, but in return some African countries were forced to sign a so-called “pact for the continuation of colonization.”
Consequently, African countries exist that are still obliged to store about 85 percent of their exchange reserves in banks of the old (?) Colonizing powers, being under the direct control of the Treasury of the old powers.
The countries in question don’t have access to this part of their reserves and in view of the insufficiency of their reserves to fully cover their needs, they are obliged to borrow additional loans from the Treasury of the old (?) colonizing powers at market prices.
We are in sake!