By Simbowo Antony – From East Africa
Much to the chagrin of Western countries, many poor African and third world countries would rather go to the World Bank, IMF and other Western funding institutions so as to off set their self-created ‘budgetary deficits’..
The fact noted by the Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Bo Goransson (Sunday Nation Kenya April 25th 2004), that “we can start by removing the rucksacks (developing countries debts), taking away the hurdles (our trade barriers) and disallowing false starts (our subsidies)” has never been aptly expressed at a better time.
The truth that the agricultural policies of the developed nations are an obstacle to growth, poverty reduction and development in the third world/less developed world has always been harboured by benign selfish interests and greed under the aegis of protectionism by the rich countries. Many are the developing countries whose loans (erroneously tagged ‘aid’) have gone beyond their ability to pay such that generations of their citizens are enslaved into avoidable taxation to repay said loans. These mirrored against a backdrop of desire for growth and development is but a yoke and a death sentence to the guillotines of economic stagnation and absolute poverty.
The loans in as much as they are ignorantly drooled for by the developing world are the real causes of stagnated economic growth in these countries. This is because many times they pegged on various “reform” programs not relevant to the growth of the third world. For example, the structural adjustment program much implemented by many poor countries has never been in their development interests considering that the unemployment levels are usually extremely high with each working person having many extended dependants for basics such as food and education.
Privatisation though sheepishly cloaked as good idea, is an economic wolf not suited for all third world state corporations for strategic purposes and these unfortunately, have been continuously and fatally harped on and supported by the so-called lenders. The secret to the development of the poor countries lies in good economic management and adoption of policies, which suit them and their development aspirations. Noting that the costs of “gross inequalities” “have the potential for fuelling frustration and conflicts” by marginalizing “the poor and are a breeding ground for social unrest and violence”, which affect economic growth, Mr. Goransson gave an insight into points more often than not given cold shoulders by the poor countries due to crass ignorance.
Poor countries need to clamp down on gender inequalities, the poor-rich disparity, ethnic/tribal animosities and unproductive public political debates at the expense of productivity if they expect to increase their Gross Domestic Product and feed the many hungry lots who have hardly a single proper meal a day.
The reality however, is that much of the third world media and public debate are rife with politics, rumour mongering and gossip which contribute very little if any to national growth and development and are luxuries which should only be afforded by the developed world. The illusion seems to be that when the developing world media adopt foreign programmes and concepts, then that is a sign of growth, which is a pathological lie. This is an affront to development since these unproductive media debates happen as the obscene disparity between the rich and the poor increases at an increasing rate. Therefore, African countries and other developing nations should strive to adopt policies that are unique to their specific problems as well as unite to learn from each other on the ways of tackling the problems because a majority of them faced concordantly alike situations.
The collapse of the Cancun talks charted the way forward for poor countries to resist repressive economic policies from the developed world, which have incessantly served to retard growth and increase over dependence on loans from the World Bank, European Economic Commission and other world lending institutions. The third world should realize that rich countries are intent on maintaining their status quo and only adamant refusal to budge from their stance would help unyoke them from years of economic slavery more or so in the Sub Saharan Africa.
What the African countries and the rest of the developing world need to inspire growth is a fair economic playground and not burdensome loans falsely labelled ‘aid’. This fair playground should be free of ubiquitous agricultural subsidies, trade barriers, and other forms of economic malpractices giving the rich developed world an undue advantage over the poor developing world in the world trade arena. Should these be implemented, then the falsity that African states and the developing world at that are economically athirst without loans shall be disproved.
Let the developed world stop sponsoring rebels and guerrillas in Africa and the rest of the third world, let them write off loans to the developing nations, let them remove trade barriers and agricultural subsidies. Let us start afresh for the betterment of the worlds poorest. As for the poor countries, more or so Africans, it is time you stopped this vicious cycle shameless begging and focused on better policies and politics for your nations. It is time you stopped being used as trade paraphernalia by international lenders. It is time you spent wisely the little resources you have and curtailed the economic slavery and yoking of generations of African off springs, which you have abetted heartlessly for years.