AFRICA FOR SALE

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There is an auction for territories and the land of Africa is up for grabs. But who will be the highest bidder? Will it be the United States of America? Will it be China? Or will the Europeans try a second time.

The world is changing. Students of Earth Sciences know this. Meteorologists know this. Even the animals on land and the creatures in the seas and oceans can sense the change that has been taking place for centuries.

Astrophysicists will tell you that the Universe is expanding. That is true. For millions of years too, the world has been expanding and geological processes like mountain building, sedimentation, sea floor spreading, and volcanism are adding to land masses and shrinking water ways in places. Erosion, earthquakes, landsides, and flooding are shrinking land masses here and there on the other hand. But when taken together, the continents are expanding.

But certain other changes within the continents are causing towns and cities to expand and shrink as the cases may be. Coastal cities and coastlines are shrinking and being redrawn by tsunamis from earthquakes, rise in sea level from melting polar ice and mountain glaciers. Even human activities exacerbate these phenomena one way or the other. Dredging of water ways, shorelines, river courses and reclamation of swamps and brackish water environments for new town developments contribute to both reduction and building up of land masses.

These changes bring about variations in economic fortunes of nations. Some nations may have enough and choose to remain insular to manage their resources the best way they can. Others with huge populations fear that in decades to come, they may be in dire needs of land masses to accommodate all forms of developments from resource exploitation, infrastructural developments, human habitation, industrialisation, agriculture, and zones of security.

One major cause for the transformations in our micro-environments is global warming. This phenomenon fuelled by increases in green gases released into the atmosphere is responsible for drought in more arid environments, landslides in semi-arid ones, and flooding in wetlands and rainy regions. These manifestations are the direct results of forest fires, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, flash floods, and erosions. All of which are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity. The huge cost of dealing with these ‘natural disasters’ is sending many countries even the most developed ones, into massive debts. The economic toll on the populace is even more severe on the populace and all these become more devastating within poorer countries. In other words, the citizens suffer, become impoverished and homeless more often. As a consequence of these devastations the natural instinct of the survivors is to seek better climes, hence climate change migration, to distinguish this type of refugees from those created by wars and conflicts of different hues.

I am more concerned today with the national and regional responses to the changing world order as a consequence of the dire economic needs of nations. The world financial centres in London, Frankfurt, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore will become world economic headquarters and the rest of the global community will be answerable to them. The wealth generated within these enclaves is driving extra-terrestrial explorations into space and Mars, as well as a new scramble for the scarce resources the world needs. A spatial examination of these new scramble for territories to colonize will reveal the following interest blocks.

The Europeans

This economic block has never hidden their interests and goals. They want to remain prosperous in themselves, maintain world economic order that they have built up through centuries of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism in the era of African political independence. They plundered our human and natural resources then, and now they continue to do so through price manipulations and dubious granting of development loans to corrupt governments that they maintain in continuous power retention structures.

The Europeans are very much familiar with the grounds in Africa as the architects and beneficiaries of the partitioning of the continent.

The biggest desert in the world, the Sahara was the place where the Europeans, particularly France, tested their atomic and hydrogen bombs. For most of us, the Sahara has become inhabitable in the last 50 years. It has continued to be the only desert in the world that is still active, obviously because of the fallout from the nuclear tests that were carried out in the 50s and 60s. The Europeans gave us their languages, thought us their history and looted ours. They also gave us their religion and most of us were exported to various European countries to become members of their political system, brainwashing us in their brand of democracy. They also trained our soldiers in such a way that makes it easy for them to change our governments if we did not vote or go along with their desires.

The Europeans built up their great wealth from Africa. They hide under the military might and protection of America and quietly pursue excellence in quantum computing, technologies of many kinds, sustainable energy, and climate change derived green economy. All these will be developed into markets targeted at the African continent, the Americas, and Asia.

The United States of America

This is a country that was founded on the back of a slavery driven economy that began in earnest in 1619. Though the official history of the USA states that the nation had its independence in 1776 following the revolutionary war of freedom from the English taxation system imposed on the American colonies by England, the 1619 project had established in 2019 that some of the colonists who fought the revolutionary wars that led to independence in 1776 were actually fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. What is not in dispute are that the plantation driven agrarian economy in the Americas could not have been possible without the slaves from Africa, and that a civil war was fought from 1861 – 1865 in order to end slavery in America.

Since the end of slavery in the USA, America has been trying very hard to rid itself of the consequences and responsibilities of their actions. First, they tried to ship out all the Africans from their territories, leading to the dumping of the freed slaves in the Caribbean and in Africa. However, a good majority remained in the USA to this day as free men.

In the main, America stayed away from colonialism, being ex-colonists themselves. Ironically, they prefer to be called land grabbers in view of what they did to the native American Indians, a majority of whom the English invaders shipped out as slaves to the Caribbean and Europe.

However, through enterprise and democracy, the new ‘world’ of USA developed into the richest country on earth, the strongest militarily, and a nation where the rule of law reigns supreme.

After saving the world from two World Wars, they have continued to play a major role in maintaining peace on Earth. As a consequence of the Cold War with the Eastern Bloc, they have continued to view the rest of the world via

the prism of us and them whilst proclaiming American Exceptionalism.

Next week, we shall conclude the series with discussion on the uncertainties in America and the role of the Chinese in Africa with the hope of determining who will pay the most to buy Africa.

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