Countries of Africa have political independence but they still suffer from neo-colonialism. The countries of Africa receive foreign aid and foreign investments from Western Europe and United States (US) and from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Political independence of African countries was achieved last century through political struggles of the masses of people who were led by nationalist political parties or nationalist movements.
These were struggles against European colonial rule and they achieved political independence in countries of Africa.
Political independence in countries of Africa is undermined by neo-colonial exploitation in Africa. Neo-colonialism in Africa in real sense makes the political independence less meaningful as long as the countries of Africa remain economic appendages of the advanced capitalist countries and as long as they depend for survival on investments, loans and grants which they receive from foreign capitalist countries and their institutions.
The continent of Africa suffers from neo-colonialism and its capitalist globalisation. This situation is detrimental to and inhibitive to existence of genuine independence and real sovereignty in countries of Africa. So countries of Africa have to struggle against neo-colonialism for their genuine independence and real sovereignty.
Neo-colonial underdevelopment in Africa
Neo-colonial exploitation is negatively correlated to development in countries of Africa. Capitalist countries of Western Europe and US are economically rich. These capitalist countries promote ‘development’ and modernization’ in countries of Africa under neo-colonial conditions.
The World Bank and IMF are very powerful in the sphere of capital and they strongly influence specific economic policies and directions in Africa. IMF and World Bank promote ‘Economic reconstruction’ and ‘Economic rehabilitation’ under neo-colonial social, economic and political conditions.
IMF and World Bank use foreign aid to impose conditionality for the African countries to comply with in order to qualify to be given foreign aid and foreign investments by donor countries, IMF and the World Bank. The conditionality includes accepting multi-party democracy, liberalised free market economy; privatize commanding heights of economy etc.
Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) are imposed by IMF and World Bank on countries of Africa.
Neo-colonial exploitation is done under the pretense of ‘development’ and ‘modernization’ through IMF and World Bank activities on ‘Economic reconstruction’ and ‘Economic rehabilitation’ in order to achieve economic growth and reduce poverty in Africa. But neo-colonial exploitation deepens poverty and underdevelopment in countries of Africa.
Development has failed in Africa despite of more than fifty years of post-independence and Africa receiving foreign aid from capitalist donor countries and IMF and World Bank. Neo-colonial exploitation in Africa has to be brought to an end otherwise people of Africa will continue to suffer in poverty.
Impact of capitalist foreign aid on development in Africa
Countries of Africa are victims of foreign aid and foreign investments. Despite of receiving foreign aid and foreign investments from capitalist donor countries and IMF and World Bank, countries of Africa have poverty and the continent of Africa has become wretched. This is because capitalist foreign aid is a neo-colonial tactic and strategy to under develop the African countries which are recipients of foreign aid.
Foreign aid and foreign investments in Africa enrich the capitalist donor countries and their financial institutions. Foreign capitalist initiated development leads to dependency, social and economic underdevelopment, loss of national pride, loss of human dignity, reduce self respect and confidence and increase poverty in Africa. This situation continues to make Africa marginalized in world economy.
Capitalist globalization is a strategy pursued by capitalist nations to facilitate their ambition of economic supremacy. It is also an ideology which promotes worldwide organizations and the vision of a borderless world. Globalization is a process of compressing the world through market expansion. The impact of globalization is to overlook or even ignore boundaries of nation states which have political independence and turn the states into care takers to look after and protect the interest of foreign Multi-National and Trans-National Corporations.
Under this situation the functions of the African states are reduced to keeping law and order, administering justice, policing, building and maintaining infrastructure etc. Worse still these functions are paid for by taxes which are paid by people in countries of Africa. African countries generate income for capitalist countries and the Multi-National and Trans National Corporations and they exploit countries of Africa in the global market.
Reliance on foreign aid and foreign investments has not developed countries of Africa. This is because the conditions attached to foreign aid and foreign investments are intended to serve the interests of the foreign donors and foreign investors. Foreign aid is used by capitalist countries of Western Europe and US and IMF and World Bank to influence the economic, political and social policies of countries of Africa in specific directions.
Foreign aid under neo-colonialism has not brought about development in Africa. Foreign aid has increased debt burden and consequently poverty in countries of Africa. The 1980s were known as Africa’s lost decade because it was Africa which paid donors more through debt repayments, than the foreign aid which Africa received.
Some governments of Africa rely on foreign aid from donor countries of Western Europe and US and IMF and World Bank to balance their national budgets. African leaders who have neo-colonial mentality praise the IMF and World Bank and donor countries for foreign aid given to their countries. Such African leaders hope that their national economies will grow and eventually national development will be achieved. African leaders who think like this go to the extent of presenting statistical data of growth of their national economies by falsifying and fabricating or manipulating data to show ‘success’ in economic performance of their countries to seek approval of IMF, World Bank and donor countries.
It is wrong for some leaders of Africa to accept and implement without considering critically the implications of implementing the conditionality and policies which are imposed on their countries by IMF, World Bank and the capitalist donor countries. It is also wrong to think that all government leaders in Africa are aware of the danger to African development involved in the capitalist globalization.
As capitalist globalization is largely an economic phenomenon, it essentially has negative correlation with the development of economies of countries of Africa in the context of neo-colonial exploitation. Capitalist economic globalization can not achieve economic growth or economic development in countries of Africa.
This is because in the world market, Africa is a price taker of its supplies of raw materials, minerals and natural resources and Africa as a buyer of industrial products from the developed countries is also a price taker. The status and position of African countries in the world market is that of ‘price takers’ of the prices determined and dictated by western capitalist buyers and sellers of products and services in the global market.