Written by Andy Kas
Africa is any far the wealthiest continent on Earth with abundant natural resources. So why is Africa poor? In order to understand this statement and question one needs to look back at the history, financial relationship, trade agreements, and policies that have existed for a long time now between Africa and the west.
Africa has never really been financially free, actually, Africa is still under what I would call “economic and financial enslavement system” a control system which was created by the west in order to benefit their governments and corporations from Africa’s natural resources.
In an article by Nick Dearden, “Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth”. He points out that there’s $203 billion that leaves the continent through illicit financial flows which amount to around 6.1 percent of the continent’s entire gross domestic product (GDP) or three times what Africa receives in aid.
In the documentary Stealing Africa by a Danish filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen, reveals how African countries are making less profits than the western multinational corporations involved in extracting of resources. He argues that “the popular perception that the Africa receives so much money in aid and it just wastes the money, and that western countries are very generous in providing any aid in the first place, the amount of money flowing out of Africa is ten times the amount of the continent receives”.
One classic example and case in point is Glencore a Swiss company which operators KCM mining in Zambia has made billions of dollars in profits while the country of Zambia remains one of the poorest countries in Africa.
Dearden adds “there’s $30 billion that these corporations repatriate profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth”. Reports estimate that $29 billion a year is being stolen from Africa in illegal logging, fishing, and trade in wildlife.
Going forward African countries must take control of their politics, education system and strength their institutions, trade policies, tax, and corporate laws. African governments educate their citizens, empower and prepare them to take control of their natural resources.
Andy Kas studied business Law at Edith Cowan University