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African Lead­ers Must Help Con­ti­nent, Not Sell It Off

From Global Research News

The strug­gle for Africa’s inde­pen­dence from its colo­nial rulers has always been cen­tred on land and the nat­ural resources beneath.

For decades its resources were looted by these impe­ri­al­ist mas­ters. Gold, oil and dia­monds are some of the resources still extracted from Africa by multi­na­tional com­pa­nies with­out its peo­ple ben­e­fit­ing from them.

African coun­tries remain poor as if they are not major pro­duc­ers of these jewels.

Today, water and land are valu­able resources that are being sold and leased to multi­na­tional com­pa­nies by African gov­ern­ments and this leaves our peo­ple with­out land to farm and less water avail­able for their agri­cul­tural projects.

The dis­turb­ing trend is that African gov­ern­ments do too lit­tle to empower African farm­ers. The ongo­ing scram­ble, that of par­ti­tion­ing African land into com­modi­ties for for­eign com­pa­nies is a new form of colonialism.

The modus operandi of these com­pa­nies is to lease huge stretches of agri­cul­tural land not only to farm but to con­trol water resources.

The chal­lenge with this approach is that Africans are not in charge of their own food pro­duc­tion. This in turn defeats our endeav­our to feed our­selves and take charge of our economy.

It must not sit well with us as heads of states give away our agri­cul­tural land sim­ply because African farm­ers are behind with technology.

It should be our col­lec­tive respon­si­bil­ity to empower African farm­ers. Why are African gov­ern­ments remov­ing their peo­ple from their land and leas­ing it to for­eign owned com­pa­nies? Why are we not stand­ing up against our own gov­ern­ments, who even take water rights away from small African farm­ers to give them to for­eign multin\tionals.

Mali is the recent exam­ple which has leased 470ha of land to UK and Saudi Ara­bian fcom­pa­nies which are export­ing their har­vests to their own countries.

Even the Nile has not been spared from the prob­lem of leas­ing land and giv­ing away water rights, now threat­en­ing to suck it dry. Ethopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt have leased out 8 640000ha of agri­cul­tural land.

This means that those mil­lions of hectares in Africa belong to for­eign com­pa­nies. Kenya and Mozam­bique are other African gov­ern­ments that gave away water rights and land to for­eign com­pa­nies while lit­er­ally destroy­ing their local agri­cul­tural schemes run by small farm­ers, includ­ing rural women engaged in sub­sis­tence farming.

Africa is being auc­tioned to the high­est bid­der. The irony is that sooner or later the con­ti­nent will be eco­nom­i­cally con­trolled by for­eign­ers, leav­ing only polit­i­cal con­trol to indige­nous populations.

This will undo the blood and sweat of the found­ing fathers who fought for lib­er­a­tion from colo­nial rule.

As a way to reverse the imbal­ance cre­ated by this unsus­tain­able sit­u­a­tion, African gov­ern­ments must revoke lease agree­ments with these for­eign com­pa­nies and empower their cit­i­zens by fund­ing locally con­trolled projects that will employ locals and exploit the resources for their benefit.

KEY POINTS

» The strug­gle for Africa’s inde­pen­dence from its colo­nial mas­ters has always been cen­tred on land and the nat­ural resources beneath

» For decades African resources were looted by colo­nial and impe­ri­al­ist masters

» Gold, oil and dia­monds are some of the resources extracted from Africa with­out the peo­ple ben­e­fit­ing from them.

» African coun­tries remain poor as if they are not major pro­duc­ers of these commodities

» Today water and land are valu­able resources that are being sold and leased to multi­na­tional companies


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