The 33rd G8 summit in 2007 is held by Germany (Angela Merkel, Chancellor)
Between June 6-8 the G8 – group of industrial nations will be holding their annual meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany.
The G8 comprises of The United Kingdom, The United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Russia.
Ghana’s President John Agyekum Kufuor in his capacity as AU chairman will be invited to attend the summit to discuss the African situation with the leaders of the aforementioned countries.
The G8 meets to discuss world events and how to shape policy in light of those events. This year the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has made the environment her main priority.
In 2005 at the G8 summit held in the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair made Africa his central theme. This article seeks to examine that a year on have those promises to Africa materialized or was Tony Blair’s plea to help Africa a lost cause.
At that G8 summit there was all the fanfare in the British media about helping Africa with the headline – Make Poverty History. People were encouraged to participate in a plethora of events leading to the summit itself with the Live 8 concert at Hyde Park being the showpiece of these events.
The Make Poverty History campaign was centered on three areas; namely debt cancellation, aid and poverty.
However, what the Make Poverty History campaign failed to highlight was the causes of Africa’s impoverishment and that through the world economic order, Africa was forced to embark on financial programmes that were to its detriment.
At the 2005 G8 communiqué, the leaders promised to double aid to Africa and cancel some of Africa’s debt. There was no word on trade justice for Africa which is imperative if Africa is to develop and prosper.
Two years on from these promises Africa continues to be saddled with enormous debt and aid to Africa in real terms has actually decreased and the aid that is given often has strings attached to it.
So the reality is far from helping Africa the 2005 G8 summit failed to deliver on the promises made and as a result the African continent is even more exploited whilst the vast majority of its citizens live in inordinate poverty.
The causes of Africa’s impoverishment are many but the fundamental essence of it is that Africa is seen as the final frontier by the major powers of the West and Asia to control the world’s resources hence Africa and its wealth are seen as key to achieving this.
According to statistics revealed in the Washington Post, the United States anticipates that African oil exports to the US will rise to 50 per cent of total oil supply by 2015.
South Africa alone has the world’s largest reserves of gold (35%) platinum group metals (55%) manganese ore (80%), chrome ore (68%) and titanium (21%). The Democratic Republic of Congo is responsible for the entire world’s colthan (used to make computers, lap-tops, pen drives, MP 3 players and mobile phones) and Zambia is responsible for most of the world’s copper.
In addition Africa at present is producing 12% of the world’s total oil. Guinea alone produces half of the world’s bauxite – nearly 20 million metric tonnes annually. In Ghana Anglo Gold takes 90% of the profits from Ghana’s gold mines and gives the government a miserly 10%.
So taking into consideration the above FACTS it is highly inaccurate and sheer folly to describe Africa as a poor continent when she is responsible for so much of the world’s wealth and is responsible for so much of the industrial and technological advancement that we see around us.
As a result of this gross exploitation of Africa’s mineral wealth, its Gross National product (GNP) per capita is roughly $400 whilst that of the Western European nations including Japan is $25,000.
At the same time Africa exports 90% of its raw materials and mineral resources to the same foreign powers at an annual rate of $200 billion. Africa also imports 90% of its machinery and industrial equipment from the same European countries at a rate of $500 billion annually.
Consequently, what is happening is that Africa’s resources and labour are being exploited at an increasing and disturbingly high level, with a trade imbalance currently at $300 billion being maintained with the West meaning that development is almost impossible.
What this means in reality is the small salaries made by African workers in contrast to workers in the US, Europe and Japan makes purchasing from these countries impractical.
This puts a strain on the economy in Africa and places a tremendous burden on African families which creates a spiraling downward effect towards never ending impoverishment.
So next time the lights go off in an Afrikan country or there are food shortages in Malawi etc or there is an increase in the price of fuel in an African country please take the above analysis into consideration as there are external (White Euro-Amercan) forces at work that are hindering Africa’s development - Just like they did to stop African leaders like Nkrumah, Lummumba, Selassie etc who were developing thier countries which outraged White European so-called interests in Africa
Dr Kwame Osei