‘’History is not without examples of entire nation or civilisation having perished, because they know not and seized not the critical moment for the solution of the great problem of securing their moral economic and political independence’’
—Friedrich List (The Great German-American Economist (1789- 1846)
A time comes in the life of a civilisation: One Day- You either Decide, Re-invent to live and thrive or You ignore the rots and then you perish. If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If Africa does not modernise it shall die and it’s land others will inherit, and that will not be the first or only civilisation to disappear from the face of the earth, should that happen. Nothing is forever, not even all the laws of nature: change happens.
Once, Japan and China were the world, with Korea, their first cousin, as an onlooker, with no voice.
The West conquered them with superior technology. Both Japan and China went into a long season of servitude. And when China and Japan re-invented themselves, they, too, came back as world champions. Their cousin, South Korea, is also a world champion, now, with a voice, a vote.
In my relentless quest for truth and knowledge as to why Africa remains underdeveloped, I discovered that Africa is deliberately put on the wrong path, first by the Anglo-Saxon Tendency and then now by China. The farther it goes, the farther Africa is away from modernisation. She is on wrong medication since independence: a late-industrialising continent like Africa is made to throw its gate completely wide open under the guise of globalisation and free market economy!
Then see what happened.
Let us seek truth from the facts. World Bank says: of the 28 poorest countries in the world, 27 of them are in Africa with a poverty rate of about 41%. 30% of African children are suffering from growth disorder due to lack of balanced diet. 25 million people in Africa are HIV positive according to SOS Village. Wait for this: Africans living in acute poverty ($1.00 daily people) grew from *278 million people in 1999 to 415 million people in 2015*.
By comparison, China has lifted 850 million Chinese out of poverty as at 2015 which brings to 39%*, its citizens in the middle class*. Within the same period, poverty level has dropped from 10.2% to 1.7%, and the Chinese government has vowed to eradicate poverty in China by 2020. (Source: National Bureau of Statics (NBS) and World Bank)
As 850 million Chinese became wealthy, 415 million Africans joined the poverty league table !
Do we need to search further as to who stole Africa’s feeding bottle? Do we need to search further who took our breakfast and lunch, and about to eat our dinner in Africa? For every two Chinese who became wealthy, one African is impoverished. Why? Unbridled Globalisation.
Germany, after its destruction in WW2, refused the Anglo-Saxon brand of globalisation and free market economy in favour of what it called RHINE CAPITALISM, a capitalist economic system that integrates social policies that regulate competition, taxation, Customs, credit, investment and social programs as well as other measures to favour the welfare of the Germany citizens.
The Japanese also deliberately set out on its journey to modernisation after WW2 by building a capitalist society that will, as they put: ‘’ ENRICH JAPAN & Japanese’’.
Japanese call it MANAGED CAPITALISM: ‘organised capitalism’, not the Anglo-Saxon brand. According to Fukuzawa Yukichi ‘’ a predetermined harmony could not emerge automatically in international trade relations where there existed a discrepancy between the strong and the weak nations or more precisely, the advanced and the delayed nations. The Japanese *PROTECTIVE POLICY*in international trade of certain sector is deliberate to secure the independence of the nation . Our present civilisation is the means to attain it. (Fukuzawa 1958- 64 vol.4 page 209). Without civilisation we cannot maintain our national independence, It is therefore the quest for independence of the nation *that could encourage the Japanese to avoid servility and to demand equality in the transaction with the west’’.
In the same vein, CHINA modernisation was rooted in CHINESE SOCIALISM based on Chinese cultures and histories, which made it easy for people to see it as ‘’theirs’’. Even though, its modernisation had started as far back as the1950s – it was not until 1978 that China opened its gate for the world, having been self-isolated for decades crossing all its ‘’t’s’ and dotting all its ‘’I’s’. Yet, China still ensure that foreigners are not allowed into certain sector of the economy except they make Chinese Senior partners and majority shareholders and open the Intellectual Property Books for Chinese to learn from and’’ Xerox’’ at the appropriate time! It was in 2001, it came out with a well-articulated strategy of ‘’ Going Global’’, which was a strategy to woo commodity-producing African nations in its attempt to sustain its ‘’ made-in-China’’ policy making China the world’s manufacturing factory.(Martin Jacques, When China Rules The World P182) For China, it is China first for the past 4000 years!
However, in a simile inexplicable, Africa is configured to ENRICH OTHER CIVILISATIONS AND IMPROVERISH ITSELF.
Modernisation is about enriching the STATE, and building viable middle class through a deliberate government policy.
5 QUESTIONS FOR AFRICAN LEADERS:
1 Why are you lacking in strategic –will- power to come up with African modernisation package that is indigenous to Africa?
2 If China is allowed to over-exploit African mineral resources, at the speed they are going, where will Africa get mineral resources to modernise when the time comes- or has Africa abandoned its modernisation dream?
3 The re-industrialisation of China coincides with the de-industrialisation of Africa, Nigeria became the Poverty Global capital with over 30 million unemployed youths and home to the 3 of the 4 most dangerous Terrorist organisations in the world the same year (2019) Chinese celebrated its biggest wealth growth as number one nation with the largest foreign reserves of $3.399.9 Trillion. Strange coincidence?
4 Shouldn’t we be interested in knowing how many thousands of hectares of land Chinese have grabbed in Africa and for what purpose? You think you will always own Africa? Think Again!
5 How prepare is Africa to host thousands of Chinese soldiers in future? – coming to protect their commercial interest, especially when Africa starts defaulting in loans repayment, Zambia as a case study.
Nothing happens unless something is moved. African leaders and citizens need a new mentality, one that acknowledges that these are extraordinary time that require extraordinary ACTIONS.
There are seven variables to consider on the road to modernisation in Africa: Military, Economy, Technology, Education, Agriculture, The Nationality Question and Entertainment. In this piece we shall deal with only two- Military and Economy.
1 LEAPFROG TO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE MILITARY (Ai Military) to save money.
It was the Great Mandela who said: ‘’ It always seems impossible until it’s done”
How beautiful will it be if all the 53 Africa countries ( or coming together in Groups of 3 or 4 countries to collaborate) can pull their resources together and invest $3billion yearly in Ai Research for both Military and commercial purposes, converting the existing Military Academy to Ai Laboratories? In another 10 years, Africa would have modernised its economy and Military using cutting edge technology. Ai-Military is the future. Flesh and blood will give you zero competitive advantage in future asymmetric warfare. (See the invisible enemy called COVID-19 and how powerless the conventional Military can be in a biotech- warfare). Why, then, don’t we leapfrog today by reducing human soldiers by 50%, in the first instance and invest the savings in Education, Economy and 4th Industrial Revolution Technologies.
Let us modernise the Police Force: train and equip them with modern policing tools and implement COMMUNITY POLICING across Africa.
Within two years, as you productively engaged ALL THE YOUTHS, wars will end. Terror camps will collapse.
Africa GDP will grow geometrically up to by 20 % per annum, because of laws of Focus and Resources.
Re-train the Military men to make them useful in other aspects of the economy like food production and ICT.
Japan and Germany rapid development after WW2 was partly attributed to their prohibition from rearmament by America. Both countries channelled all their resources towards economic development, and they made a huge success of it.
Cut off the taproots of poverty and inequality in Africa, you reduce the possibility of violence by 80%.
Listen to General Robert Cone, US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command in 2013:’’ Machines like Drones and Robots could replace up to 25% of troops in combat by 2030 in an effort to become a smaller, more lethal deployable and agile force’’
Africa can be a leader in Ai Military, if we start today.
Do you know there are 23 countries in the world without STANDING ARMY today?
On December 1st 1948, Cost Rica abolished its Military after the end of their civil war. In 2018, Cost Rica celebrated 70th anniversary of economic and technical transformation in a peaceful nation without a standing Army. And without single threat to its national security and territorial integrity in 74 years.
Hmm… Sounds crazy
Yes, Africa is already in a crazy situation, therefore, the type of ailment afflicting Africa can only be cured by a mixture of crazy medications.
Modernisation requires thinking outside of the box. We can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome.
2 AFRICANISATION CAPITALISM: an African Capitalism designed to ENRICH AFRICA & AFRICANS using the know-how of the Blacks in the Diasporas to re-industrialise Africa.
The 2018 Aljazeera report confirms that Africa has 30% of the remaining mineral resources in the world. According to McKinsey report: 50% of the world’s manganese, a key component of Steel production is in Africa. DRC possess 50% of Planet’s COBALT. Africa has over 30% of world’s known COLTAN deposit, which is used in electronics production, 50% of the world’s known supply of CARBONATITES, a rock formation that is the primary sources of RARE EARTHS is in Africa.
Rare Earths are key component of Clean Energy, Electronics, hybrid cars, and computer memory chips, rechargeable batteries, Cell Phones, Catalytic Converters, Magnets and Fluorescent lighting among others. Africa has 50% of that!!!
But when you look at the 2018 report from the US Geological Survey, no Africa country is on the list of Top Ten countries that mined the most Rare Earths: China- 120KMT, Australia- 20KMT, and USA -15KMT, Myanmar- 5KMT, Russia 2.6KMT, India- 1,8KMT, Brazil- 1kmt, and Thailand 1kmt.
This is the trend with other minerals. The womb is Africa, the child is Chinese!
The AU should come up with ‘’ AFRICA MINERAL RESOURCES ACT (AMR) and categorise rare earths, Cobalt, uranium, manganese as ‘’CRITICAL MINERALS’ reserved for AFRICA MODERNISATION
Africa needs to float 20 Private Mega Conglomerates in different sectors (e.g. African Steel Corporation- to power the re-industrialisation of Africa on a large scale. Japan has KEIRETSU (TOYOTA &co) while South Korea has CHAEBOL (Samsung &co)
Money? For a start, AU to midwife the floating of $500 billion AFRICANISATION BOND (private driven) and mobilise Blacks in the diaspora and put them at the driver’s seat of modernising Africa.
AU can tap from the knowledge of some of the brightest and successful Africans and Blacks Patriots like Bayo Ogunlesi, MO Ibrahim, Oprah Winfrey and Arikana, Chihombori-Quao.
CONCLUSION: SYMPTOMS OF A DYING CIVILISATION
Does History repeat itself, why, if yes? : The great Scientist and Researcher, Jesse Greespan did a massive work in answering that question
Any civilisation that refuses to learn from History and re-invent itself will become history, and go into extinction.
First, where is the Pre-Columbian, MAYA civilisation? It collapsed after the Classic period 250 AD-900.
What of the INDUS, the civilisation that first settled in present-day India and Pakistan 8,000 years ago and which accounted for over 10% of the then world population? It was around 1900 BC the INDUS otherwise called HARAPPA went into extinction.
Reason: unending political and social crises. The populace rose against and killed their leaders and then they too fled the country and their civilisation ended abruptly.
Three, What of CAHOKIA, whose race was the first to make the modern day Illinois, USA home around 1250AD with a sizeable population of 20,000 ( big numbers those days), which was the size of the medieval London. By 1200, irreversible rot had set in, and Cahokia, too, became history.
Reason: over-exploitation of its mineral resources.
Four, the Greenland Vikings that existed and thrived around AD 985 with a population in excess of 5,000. In AD 1400, it got vanquished. By 1721 when the European missionaries visited Greenland for evangelism, they met a desolate city- its inhabitants completely dead. Reason: economic crisis occasioned by the collapse of the main export commodity – WALRUS IVORY coupled with their inability to fight diseases like The Black Plaque. The final straw: they were Physically extermination by the INUIT that migrated from Canada around AD 1200.
Five, ANASAZI or PUEBLOANS who occupied the present day USA in the 12th and 13th century and by A D 1300 the civilisation had collapsed partly due to massive deforestation.
The rots are obvious on African civilisation apparel. The situation is compounded by acute brain drain and possible post COVID-19 economic meltdownand.
But I see a seed of opportunity for Africa inside the womb of these crises.
I refuse to accept that Africa was created by Mother Nature to be the Permanent Head Boy in the Class of HEWERS of Wood and DRAWERS of water. If India that used to be the Head Boy at the ACUTE POVERTY COLLEGE (APC) can graduate after many years as the Head Boy, there is hope for Africa, too!
I refuse to believe that Africa is created sorely to nourish Europe, America and now China, but that Africa itself should remain manourished for ever.
I refuse to give up on Africa, either.
Africa modernisation is possible. As I study the rise and fall of about 50 civilisations in the last 8,000 years, the common critical success factor I discover is ‘’re-invention’’.
But re-invention using indigenous ’kidney’’. Foreign transplant is always almost guaranteed to be rejected by the body and fail.
If, after three foreign “Transplants”, first with the Anglo Saxon “kidneys”, second attempt with the American kidneys, and the on-going transplant with the Chinese “kidneys”, yet Africa remains at the bottom of the Class, 60 years after independence, then it’s obvious that foreign transplants isn’t working!Our blood group differs, unarguably.
Modernisation happens when people see it as “theirs” , it is then their inner strength comes out. China runs with the Chinese kidneys , Israel runs with the Jewish kidneys and Japan runs with the Japanese kidneys: who then told us Africa can bypass Mother Nature’s immutable law of modernisation?
As a matter of urgency, AU and African leaders have to curb foreign opportunistic take over of African companies grappling with the COVID19 meltdown challenges by reviewing the FDI extant policy to make it impossible for violent take over of their countries. Germany, Italy, Spain and India have all taking steps in the last two weeks to prevent hot money from China buying off their respective countries. Hope African leaders won’t sleep a sleep unto death at this point.
Secondly, we have to stop the reckless exploitation of our God-given mineral resources and land grabbing by foreigners. The womb that carries the minerals pregnancy is Africa, but foreigners harvest the beautiful minerals-children for their exclusive nourishment. The 30% mineral resources left in Africa soil should be reserved for Africa modernisation.
Africa destiny, in African hands. ’AFRICANISATION is it. Let Africa decide today to start bearing it’s father’s name.
Africa will always work with the West, the East and the Middle East BUT it has to be as EQUALS and on such favourable terms capable of getting Africa out of the bottom of the Class!
How do we get our Best Eleven into leadership positions in Africa to avoid servility and to demand equality in the transaction with the West and the East?
Africa is the last frontier of development. It’s either now——- or never….ever!
Who do we send? Africa needs a Leader, and it needs YOU, too.
By Tim Akano…
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