A few months ago we published “Culture and Development in Africa”. The intent of this publication is to analyze the causes of underdevelopment in Africa and how Africa could catch up by becoming a prosperous continent and not at the mercy of all predators. The topics that were discussed are:
Culture encompassing social development;
Culture, economic development resources;
Culture, Democracy and Religion;
Africa can become a continent of the future, prosperous and children need no longer take the risk of crossing the Mediterranean to be the sole bread-winner for many families in the continent. This phenomenon is all the more distressing that one third perished at sea, and another one third are treated inhumanely in camps and the final third of the survivors are undocumented citizens and therefore faces an uncertain future!
We are here to discuss these problems, reflect and try to find acceptable, humane solutions to alleviate the misery which destroys the lives of many in the continent.
The colonial period was a difficult time for the African people. It is time to count the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the construction of railways, which we should not forget were built to transport interior natural resources to ports and shipping them to Europe. Forced labors were in place and sick people were slaughtered. The colonists did not hesitate to mutilate resistance as an example. It was a deadly terror that people suffered.
During World War II, African saved Europe fighting with others on European soil. We cannot accurately determine the number of African mobilized in this war but is entitled to conclude that more than one million Africans have fallen on the European front. The West, still today, is ashamed to document these actual and minimizes the African contribution to perfection. The African contribution not only comprised of human capital but also in large amounts of natural resources and food crops.
Moreover, the West did not fulfill the promises made to Africa during this troubled period. Decolonization declared in Brazzaville was an illusion because Africans had believed that pulling political independence; they also ripped economic independence that has never been granted, at least in respect to Francophone Africa.
Economic independence comes with monetary sovereignty which is the flamethrower and people, with the hope of a better life based on the country’s productive forces. The Francophone Africa has never had this economic independence, monetary. The monetary system in FCFA (Franc of the French colonies in Africa) set up is the property of France, which has to prove a patent on the CFA. These African States have no power of decision on that currency. In economic jargon, African Francophone States have only a lease to use this currency. They therefore have no decision-making power to manipulate the CFA in their favor.
The creation of the CFA is based on the economic model of the Nazi Hitler Germany. Indeed, when Germany had invaded and annexed France during World War II, Nazi Germany created this monetary model used under Nazi domination. France copied the Nazi monetary system used in France under the Nazi occupation and applied this model in Africa. This was in contradiction with the French republican value. France does not want to hear about Nazism, which has been a nightmare for the country. She is doing also everything to turn this dark page of its history. Successive French governments enthusiastically practiced this vicious Nazi-era monetary policy on Francophone countries of Africa, which is in total contradiction with the values that the French governments defend.
The CFA is a political opponent to the economic development of the countries that use it. It is used to finance the economy and French policy, transferring resources from so called poor countries to France. What serve the African countries operational accounts open to the French Treasury? In economic jargon, is to ensure economic parity and the convertibility of the Franc French colonies of Africa (CFA) with other currencies. This is only a utopia because in the real sense of it is economic slavery.
The countries of the CFA zone, who deposited several trillion CFA francs in French Treasury for more than half a century does not know exactly which are the actual amount in these accounts and even less interest accrued? None of economy and Finance Ministers cannot answer that except an approximate answer based on the information published by the French Treasury two years in advance. This means that the French-speaking countries ask questions without the rebel minister losing his job. One wonders that is governing or presiding the destiny of these countries? Those in power serve national interests or external interests?
Currency is a national sovereignty, and must not compromise the economic and social development of a country, but rather contributes to economic prosperity. In the context of Francophone Africa is downright the opposite observed.
The French Treasury has asked these countries to allocate 65% of their foreign exchange reserves in operational accounts domiciled in the French Treasury, in addition to this, another 20% to cover financial liabilities. In short, countries are forced to deposit a total of 85% of their foreign exchange reserves!
Although the central banks of the Central Africa and West Africa have an African-sounding, they have no decision-making power, legal or control over the management of funds of the member countries and the foreign exchange reserves are domiciled in French Treasury and not on the accounts of central banks of the West Africa or Central Africa. They are at the French Treasury, which invests these earnings exchange reserves on the stock markets. The French Treasury benefits from these investments and interests but not speaking countries nor the two African central banks.
The France only allows African countries to borrow 15% of their funds deposited in the French Treasury in case the country would need a little more than 15%, it has to borrow from the 65% of foreign exchange reserves to the French Treasury at commercial lending interest rates.
There is also an equivalent percentage quota of up to 20% of government revenues that are imposed on member countries. The 20% rate is fixed and if the country borrows more than 20% for infrastructure development, France used its right of veto to oppose the “Independent” sovereign country and the French Treasury is the beneficiary of the interest derived from these investments. In short it is the French Treasury, which controls and decides everything, not ministers or presidents of those countries that behave much like French Governors of the country. Sometimes these countries prefer to borrow money from other sources and, with very high interest because they are considered high-risk countries.
Why Francophone African countries although they have trillions deposited in French Public Treasury cannot withdraw part of their own funds to finance infrastructure projects in their countries? This will allow them to save money on interest; the economy will avoid to be strangled economically. It will prevent the socio-economic problems that some countries are presently facing. Socio-economic problems, we mean the problems related to the health sector, education, the public service, the cost of living. Governments say they don’t have no more money and ask the people to wait or to sacrifice. The question is for how long? These social demands are not new. Meanwhile, hospitals have become death row where you go for a simple headache you will leave by dying. This is not the headache that killed you but the conditions of your care in the hospital who have completed you!!
In reality, the funds deposited in the French Treasury do not serve the interests of countries. This became an economic slavery system where poor countries continue to bear rich countries. These poor countries mired in a daily misery cling to European aid. Indeed some European countries have good intentions to alleviate the poverty of underdeveloped countries. In contrast, coming from the old masters, the so-called development funds are nothing other than the interests of foreign exchange reserves. There were more than 500 billion dollars that were transferred / deposited in the French Treasury funds, and Africa is becoming poorer.
When the French Treasury monopolizes foreign exchange reserves of French African speaking countries, much to the advantage the French government and borrow from the financial markets at very low interest rates and thus benefit from a good economic assessment.
The IMF, World Bank and other international organizations will return to dance in order to help the underdeveloped countries with austerity and reform programs. The only problem is that the authors of these programs know that it will not help. Additionally, he must not only pay the IMF, World Bank and other international organizations but other Western middlemen as well. This is a vicious circle in which the underdeveloped countries will never emerge from this death row.
What is dishonest is that the governments of developing countries are based on the satisfaction reports of these international organizations are compelled to tell their people that the situation is improving, which is at odds with what the people saw (difficulty for a family to eat one meal a day, some families live on less than $1 per day). Did the Representatives of these organizations conduct a survey or visit families to know the harmful consequences of their recommendations on the population?
The governments of these underdeveloped countries are the real problem behind these reports whose sole purpose is control of natural resources (“Since you are so poor that you cannot develop your natural resources, we will give you money and recommend a company that has the experience. If you agree (and governments rush to say yes) just sign the contract! “). The contracts are signed, natural resources are assigned to the new company recommended by these organizations indirectly control the company that has signed the contract and start with these natural resources to be exploited. The governments of these countries have no idea what that is operated, produced and exported except what the company marked as a product and manufacturing. In addition to this, contract conditions are preposterous. The investor controls 90% and 10% are attributed to countries to develop.
Financial institutions in countries of Francophone Africa are often called the commercial banks which are really only deposit banks. They collect the amounts deposited and make them available to European banks in exchange for 5, 7 to 8% annually, these European banks lend deposits from African banks at very lucrative interest rates on the international financial market and this at a benefit of 1 to 2% sometimes 24 hours to 48 hours, depending on the structure of the transaction. As examples, consider the case of South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore who were in much poorer in the years sixty than some Francophone countries that had already promising economies. Malaysia sent people studied agriculture in West Africa especially the palm. Today Malaysian commercial banks have assets of around 100 to 600 Billion. The largest South Korean bank has over $ 500 billion. The largest bank in Singapore has just over Trillion Dollars. Compared to banks Francophone Africa, barely there EcoBank with assets of around 20 billion dollars. The rest of the banks, after almost 40 years of existence, their assets are between 20 million and 100 million, sometimes a little more.
These deposit-taking banking systems collect the funds and make them available to European banks impoverishing the domestic economic market. This market does not benefit from the necessary investments to support local industries and access to credit becomes an obstacle route because banks have very narrow margins. The idea of entrepreneurship is very difficult to implement if it is not recommended by an “important” person.
To open an account in the foreign currency, we must explain why. The Ministry of Finance should approach the African Central Bank for its approval. If you are a national of a country in Francophone Africa, the answer will almost negative because it is the French Treasury, which lays down the law and take advantage of this system that contributes to underdevelopment. It’s just a grip on the economy.
Colonization and the Deputy Development!
The “House Negros” by Malcolm X is the people who boast of the advantages and benefits of colonization. He opposes the “Field Negros” which is the opponents of colonization.
We will take three examples: Togo, Ivory Coast and Haiti. The latter country was chosen to whether colonization and underdevelopment have impacted only on the Francophone countries of Africa.
This country has an area of 90 500 km2. It was colonized by the Germans but during the Second World War, the British and the French have agreed and declared the war on the Germans in Togo. After the defeat of Germany at the end of the War II, Togo was placed under the French administration by the SDN (League of Nations) and was divided. A portion was attached to Benin and another part attached to Ghana was called the Gold Coast before.
The Togolese population was very brave. They worked hard and, above all Togolese women are very active in the economic growth of the young nation.
During decolonization, former President democratically elected in Togo, Honorable Sylvanus Olympio not wanting his country remains under the yoke of French colonialism preferred to a state of Togo Independent despite the proposal of General De Gaulle. Honorable Sylvanus Olympio refused to sign with the General De Gaulle colonization continuation pact as the new president of Togo did not want his country to be trashed like Guinea Honorable Sekou Toure. General De Gaulle called on Togo to repay the debt colonial; General De Gaulle was assessed as 40% of the budget of the new Independent Togo in 1963.
However, Togo was not colonized by France but by Germany. Togo has not requested or chooses to be under the French administration. So why ask the Togo to pay colonial debt? In the days of the French colonial administration, these countries paid taxes. The colonial administration arrested and thrown into Togolese prisons; there was forced labor. The national administration did not pay indigenous; coffee and cocoa are exported free to France by the colonial administration in addition to other natural resources! How can France impose on a young nation to pay 40% of its budget in 1963 because of “colonial debt”?
Though 40% of the budget of the young state was imposed because of colonial debt and has led uprisings which were not due to incompetence of His Excellency Sylvanus Olympio to manage the new Togolese nation. So we can say that the execution of His Excellency Sylvanus Olympio was already programmed especially with his decision to get rid of the CFA and create its own currency. On 13 January 1963, therefore, the newly elected President of Togo who dreamed of developing the country and makes it a model in Africa was murdered.
The Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast was the economic powerhouse of Francophone West Africa. It constitutes 40% of West Africa Economic Monetary Union. The Ivory Coast is a country rich in natural resources. It is also the soul of France Africa. Over the years, Ivory Coast used the income from its resources to develop the country with beautiful infrastructure. Falling price of coffee and cocoa in the 80 and 90 were attempted coup of destabilization programmed in advance. Many of Economic Advisers of the Ivory Coast, which were the old masters, have not been able to prevent or limit the effects of this crisis. The country was simply sold off.
The Ivory Coast has oil in its ground. But only 15% of oil revenue are returned to the Ivory Coast, 5% goes to the selective corruption and the rest goes to companies that operate oil platform. In addition, Côte d’Ivoire has no means to control the production and export. Like the other countries in Francophone Africa, it will base its report on the production of the operating company.
The Ivory Coast has borrowed and built a refinery with several billion CFA francs to refine its oil. This is a noble idea since it would sell oil products at a lower cost to the population. But the oil produced is not refined in Ivory Coast and this is a loss to the government that borrowed billions to build the refinery.
The distribution of this wealth is uneven. Products such as coffee and cocoa that were the pride Ivorian economy have become a nightmare for farmers. The government sets prices without considering the high cost of living, fertilizer and planters living conditions.
The economic problems of the Ivory Coast were such that even to pay civil servants, in the years 1988, 1989 and 1990 Ivory Coast has recourse to foreign governments. Germany helped a lot but there were no German economic or technical advisors in the field. France, which was “the former colonizer” of Ivory Coast, had refused to assist the Ivory Coast but French citizen, technical and economic advisors participated in this mounting catastrophic financial, although earning very well their lives. Ironically, they even received additional benefit for the sun as a bonus on their salaries. However, the cause of this collapse cannot be solely attributed to the expert advisors from France but also Ivoirians managers who have not been able to anticipate the problem. Before extending any aid and assistance, France requested the Ivorian President, His Excellency Felix Houphouet Boigny to appoint a Prime Minister. The old President His Excellency Houphouët had no other choice but to appoint a new Prime Minister on behalf of Honorable Alassane Ouattara.
Honorable Ouattara, once the prime minister, water, electricity and etc., were privatized for symbolic francs. What are very surprising since it were profitable sectors. What was even more difficult to understand for a country like Ivory Coast who had enormous financial difficulties? One can only wonder how hospitals, health centers, the education system would work?
Former Ivory Coast President, His Excellency Laurent Gbagbo tried in vain to solve this problem. France declared an Economic and Military War to Ivory Coast leading to the arrest of former Ivorian President, Honorable Laurent Gbagbo!
Why the former President is the ICC? Presumably two opinions:
1- He lost the elections and he will not leave power
2- He won the elections.
The problem is not Ivorian election. When a child grows to become an adult, he expects to earn the respect of his father and be treated equally. The child no longer lives with his father, and his own house and family. France has never accepted this behavior of the former Ivorian President.
Former Ivorian President went further by choosing a member of the opposition to be President of the Independent Electoral Commission “IEC” (Youssouf Bakayoko). The IEC has not announced the results on the date agreed by the Ivorian law and the Constitutional Court. When the Constitutional Court announced the results, there was no uprising in opposition. That’s when former French President, Mr. Sarkozy’s trip to India was aware of the election results, he began shaken “moon and earth” (phone at the UN, the European Union, the Heads of African States , the French Ambassadors) to change the course of things. That’s when the challenger Honorable Alassane Ouattara has returned to dance. Why France and the party of Honorable Ouattara did not accept a recount? Even in the US the votes have been recounted, what prevented the recount in Ivory Coast???
What is very disappointing is that even the oppositions in Francophone countries are afraid and do not want to take power with only the blessing of the French government. The current President serves France; the opposition wants to come to power to serve France. Who is going to serve the people???
It was France and ONUCI have declared war on Ivory Coast accompanied by some military Francophone countries in the sub-region such as Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and the large Anglophone countries Nigeria, who lauded on the air in 2011, he was ready to arrest former President Gbagbo. Who bombed the presidential palace and Abidjan? France and ONUCI. Who returned to the Presidential palace and arrested President and his wife and had given the rebels? France.
During the crisis, basic hospitals medicines and health centers needed and had been ordered before the crisis have been blocked. Several people are dead for lack of emergency care.
As for the International Criminal Court (ICC), when there is a war, both sides are judged. But regarding Ivory Coast, the ICC has invested all his time on pro-Gbagbo. In 2013, the ICC has still given more time to the prosecutor so that he could gather additional evidence. Normally, judges must release the former President of Côte d’Ivoire but as he is a political prisoner and the funds that support the ICC come from governments, it is impossible that the folder is empty.
During the war, businesses, industries, all businesses were closed. When France arrested former President Gbagbo and power was transferred to President Ouattara, the French government asked President Ouattara and his Government to compensate French businessmen settled in Ivory Coast. There were not only the French companies who lost in Ivory Coast, there Ivoirians and other foreign nationals who have lost everything because of the civil war. To pay for the French nationals, Côte d’Ivoire was forced to borrow money. The loan was facilitated by the French Government through the European Union. Why not compensate everyone? During the war, there are companies who served the government (executed their contracts) but have not been reimbursed, as is the case of Mrs. (Madjara Ouattara) who was very active in the party of President Ouattara set herself, because she had made all the necessary paperwork and even wrote to President Ouattara but had no response. Suppressed by its creditors, she ended up killing herself. Why Ivory Coast only paid the French companies operating in Ivory Coast? Why not the others? Perhaps to thank France?
During the election crisis in which the incumbent president has requested a recount, the Government of Mr. Sarkozy refused categorically. The Government ordered the BCEAO to block the assets of the Ivory Coast in order to force the economy to asphyxiate. Is France a country in West Africa? If France was able to respond this way is because the CFA is his property and that francophone countries pay rents for its use. The example Ivorian must motivate others to create their own money to have a real economic independence.
The republic of Haiti was successively occupied by the Spanish, the British, French and Americans. Although Haiti was invaded by other countries, historically France is the only country to have asked the Haitian State to pay for the period between 1804 and 1947, an amount of 21Billion Dollars for losses of French companies involved in the slave trade.
Economic Agreements, Techniques and State Defense French
These agreements must be removed. These people should choose and decide by REFERENDUM on the continuity of these agreements. There is No president, Assembly or Government cannot make such a decision. ONLY the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE MAY DECIDE HIS FATE. To date, no GOVERNMENT OPPOSITION or dared touch the causes of underdevelopment of their countries by making concrete proposals that can alleviate the suffering of the people. The reforms are very important and nonnegotiable.
Colonial debt to the benefits of French colonization
The automatic forfeiture of national reserves
Right of first refusal on any source or natural resource found in the country
Priority Interest and French companies in the public and utility markets
Exclusive right to provide military equipment and train military officers countries
Right to France pre-deploy troops and military intervention in the country to defend its interests
Duty to make French the official language and the language of basic education
8. Requirement to use the CFA
- Obligation to send to France the annual balance sheet and the reserve report.
Waiver enter into military alliance with any other country, unless approved in France
Obligation to ally with France in case of war situation or global crisis
ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CANNOT RESPECT THE ABOVEMENTIONED AGREEMENTS AND CHART TO ECONOMIC GROWTH UNLESS SPEARHEADED BY A MAGICIAN!
Africa must have friends, relations and agreements everywhere based on mutual respect. Africa must include clauses in their constitutions. Any decision that will affect national sovereignty must be submitted to PEOPLE REFERENDUM. It is the people who suffer not the Government. Countries have become cash cows to the Government and the Opposition. The population no longer recognizes the role played by (Members of Parliament) MPs except to save their monthly premiums. The constitution can only be changed by the people. We should not wait 5 years to get rid of a deputy unable to defend its citizens. For example, if the member was elected with 10,000 votes, if he is not close to its people, has no office in the city to listen to the needs of the people and work for their welfare, people just need to collect le1/4 of the signing of the votes that elected him to request another election. The people will no longer wait 5 years before throwing a congressman out, must restore THE REAL POWER TO THE PEOPLE and HE IS TIRED OF THE HIJACKERS.
If South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore etc. who were far behind some African countries is now very advanced, it is because their leaders have the vision and love their country. China in 1949 and today, there is a very big difference. Africa has become a continent that belongs to Europe and the African states pay rents to the owners (Europe).
Dr. Amouzou received His Master in Business, from the European Advanced Institute of Management, has Certificate in Finance and Investment in Paris, France. He completed His work Post Graduation in Political Strategy, International Relations and Defense Strategies and earned His PhD in International Finance.
Contribution to this article and the aforementioned series was Made by Raymond Bernhard West from West International Petroleum LLC; Fundacion Paraiso Sin Fronteras; Amouzou Nkrumah Production; Antoinette Bowie.