Tony Blair creates Africa Commission in attempt to resolve crisis

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Tony Blair (r) sits with Gordon Brown (l) as they meet with the Africa Commission, British imperialism’s most recent attempt to cover its exploitation of Africa and her people.

Gordon Brown, the British chancellor since the Labour Party came to power in 1997, traveled to Africa in January of this year to pave the way and win support for his and Blair’s new project known as the Africa Commission. The white media went into a frenzy of jubilance characterizing Brown’s visit as the ultimate example of a white man fighting against poverty — poverty from which Africans cannot be saved unless the white man intervenes to rescue us from our own inherent inability to end our miserable existence under capitalism in Africa.

The neo-colonialist African governments, hoping to get crumbs in return for loyal services, organized a well orchestrated circus where impoverished Africans cheered the British chancellor. All these despicable knee-bending exercises boosted the imperialist arrogance of Brown, who declared that “the days of Britain having to apologize for its colonial past are over.” Later on, he added that it was “time to talk about enduring British values of liberty and tolerance.”

Brown said, “Missionaries had come to Africa because of their sense of duty.” He added, “The history of internationalism and enterprise had given Britain a greater global reach than any other country.” Here is a white man, one of the top leaders of the imperialist British government and a member of the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who is supposedly going to fight poverty in Africa! How much more offensive and provocative could they get to Africans?

Scars on Africa are inflicted by imperialist looting and violence that goes with it

Tony Blair said a few years ago, “Africa is a scar in world conscience.” The reality is that whenever and wherever you look at Africa, you see nothing but scars all over it; scars caused by the brutal rapes, looting, starvation, bombing, vandalism and other unimaginable acts of horror and barbarism British and other white imperialists have inflicted on Africa and her children at home and scattered around the world.

The Africa Commission that Blair and company have created is only a tool to further deepen these scars. It is important to illustrate a few concrete examples to our readers so that they can see the lies of the Africa Commission. This quote from Okoth Osewe of the Kenya Socialist Democratic Alliance (KSDA) shows how imperialism loots Africa for its luxurious existence year after year:

“In the last five years, imperialist countries posing as ‘major donors’ have looted Ksh [Kenyan shillings] 500 billion from Kenya. Between 1998 and 2002, when money was being looted from our country by multinational companies, Kenya’s direct imports from industrialized countries amounted to a whooping Ksh 1.2 trillion. Both President Jomo Kenyatta and dictator Daniel Arap Moi failed to develop Kenya with IMF and World Bank loans whose repayment is currently consuming 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Another major oil company is the British-owned Shell/BP alliance which has a 30 percent share of the market. The company has 160 distribution stations across the country…

“In the banking industry, there are approximately 43 banks in Kenya out of which the Kenyan government has an interest in only six banks. The rest are under foreign control.

“In the banking industry, there are approximately 43 banks in Kenya out of which the Kenyan government has an interest in only six banks. The rest are under foreign control.

“How do foreign owned banks contribute to the repatriation of wealth from Kenya? Out of an approximately 43 banks in the country, five foreign owned banks, led by Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank control 70 percent of the market… Barclays Bank (a British company) raked in Ksh 5 billion in fees and commissions (34 percent of total income) while Standard Chartered Bank (also a British company) raked in Ksh 7.4 billion in profits out of which Ksh 4 billion (28 percent of total income) was realized through fees and commissions.

“Out of the 53 companies listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange, 95 percent are foreign-owned. In other words, at the center of the Kenyan economy is a powerful foreign dominion far beyond the reach or control of the government.”

As reported by www.allafrica.com, “Barclays Kenya is currently the largest business unit in the Barclays Africa family in terms of contribution to profit and size of operations. In Kenya, it boasts of a balance sheet worth U.S. $1 billion which is equivalent to 10 percent of the country’s GDP.”

According to a February 10, 2005 article on www.finance24.com, “The bank’s pre-tax profit rose to £4.60 billion last year, on total revenues of £13.9 billion, an increase of 20 percent compared with £3.84 billion in 2003 — at the higher end of analysts’ expectations.

“Commenting on the results, Group CEO John Varley said, ‘Barclays had a record year, with strong profit growth across the portfolio. Our African businesses had good results, demonstrating their strong and leading market position.’ In the period under review, Barclays launched a 20 billion rand (about £1.7 billion) takeover bid for Absa, South Africa’s biggest retail bank. This would make it Barclays’ biggest.”

On February 21, Kenyan newspaper, the East African, reported, “Kenya is now a leading power house in flowers exports in the world, supplying over 25 percent of the world flower market. Kenya supplies Holland with 60 percent of its flowers. Kenya also supplies wrapped bunches of flowers to British supermarket giants such as Tesco and Mark and Spencer.”

In February 2004, the Independent quoted Angolan Finance Ministry spokesman Bastos de Almeida saying that the debt relief plan “would help us redress the balance of our spending in favour of key social sectors such as health and education and economic regeneration.”

The story continues stating, “[Almeida] added that servicing Angola’s $10 billion debt devours almost 20 percent of the annual state budget of about $12 billion, while education receives seven percent and the health sector gets about five percent.”

“Each new initiative is a cover for the previous ones. We don’t want any more initiatives. The only thing we need from the British government is reparations to our people and the return of our stolen wealth.”

In another February article, the Independent reported, “In South Africa, the export price for apples has fallen 33 percent since 1994. In Florida, the real price paid for tomatoes, picked by women immigrant laborers, has dropped by a quarter since 1992 while the price paid in supermarkets by consumers in America has risen by 43 percent.”

John Pilger, an Australian investigative journalist who was banned for 30 years from South Africa for reports he made on the apartheid regime, recently returned to South Africa to make a documentary on the changes since apartheid. In this documentary called “Apartheid Did Not Die,” Pilger reports that it is estimated that the human cost of each ton of gold mined is one life and 12 serious injuries.

Since mining began, 69,000 men have been killed in accidents. About 2 million men have passed through the gold mines in the last 10 years. One-third of them have contracted deadly lung diseases, with little compensation.

These are just a few examples of the vicious imperialist pillaging of our motherland.

Blair’s Africa Commission is imperialist initiative to protect European interests

The Africa Commission is not the first of its kind. There have been many initiatives well publicized by the white media such as the Jubilee Debt Campaign, the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) just to name a few.

On top of these programs, there are countless United Nations programs that are imposed on Africa and brought in by U.S. and European imperialism to facilitate their monolithic agenda in Africa. We should all know by now that white rulers have only one agenda in Africa: the looting of Africa’s human and natural resources and the enforcement of despotic rules, disguised as humanitarian or development programs.

In fact, this initiative and the ones before it are designed to effect the public opinion in the world and in Africa. They are a part of a series of ongoing ideological lies orchestrated by white rulers to dissuade the African proletariat from turning our back to white power forever.

There is only one world economy, and it is run and dominated by white power. There is no African economy. All major economic institutions of Africa are dominated and exploited by European and North American imperialism.

Although it is not in the scope of this article to provide numerical data quantifying the extent of plunder of Africans worldwide by white rulers, the Africa Commission is just another round of hypocrisy and deceit, while preaching the concept of help to Africa. The reality is that African workers and peasants are strangled by the “dollarization” in most African countries — meaning the freefall of national currencies to the benefit of the dollar, which de facto becomes the unofficial principal currency of most of the African countries, helping to prop up and sustain the dollar.

The freefall of African currencies allows imperialism to reap enormous profits by continuously raising the cost of imperialist industrial products sold to Africans, while the value of colonial products exported from colonized countries to their imperialist masters have been falling since their supposed “independence” — with the exception of oil.

Despite the increase in volumes of exports to parasitic capitalist countries, the revenues in foreign exchanges mainly in U.S. dollars, and possibly euros and pound sterling in neo-colonial countries, have been falling year after year.

 

Each new initiative is a cover for the previous ones. We don’t want any more initiatives. The only thing we need from the British government is reparations to our people and the return of our stolen wealth.

The struggle against Blair’s Africa Commission is a struggle against the parasitic African petty bourgeoisie, which has abandoned its national obligations to serve the people, choosing instead to serve first and above all white imperialist power.

They have imposed the privatization programs of many of the existing companies in Africa. What used to be national assets owned by the State in agriculture, mining, energy and transportations have been sold to the imperialists. For instance, in Zambia, there was the buffoon, Frederick Chiluba, who used to brag when he was Zambia’s president that he was more “Thatcherite than Margaret Thatcher.” He privatized most of the mining companies in Zambia.

The Africa Commission is made of the same wolves that have already gotten fat off of African blood. None of the members of the so-called Africa Commission have any credibility. They are all known as loyal imperialist servants.

Here are some of the 16 members of Tony Blair’s Africa Commission: Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer; Hilary Benn, British Secretary of State for International Development; Michel Camdessus, former head of IMF; Bob Geldoff, a musician; Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister of South Africa; Ralph Gondale, Canadian Finance Minister; Nancy Kassembaun Baker, a U.S. Senator; Benjamin Mpaka, former Tanzanian President; and of course Tony Blair himself.

More skepticism arises from the timing of this commission. It is due to report early in 2005, when Britain will hold both the Presidency of the European Union and the G-8 (Group of Eight, a conference of industrialized imperialist nations), with a summit scheduled for the United Kingdom in June or July — just around the time expected for the next general election.

It is clear that imperialism has reached the end of the road, and they have got no way out. So they continue to dig deep into Africa in order to survive. What we have to do is build the African Socialist International, a worldwide revolutionary party of African workers and poor peasants, from Cairo to Cape Town, and from Toronto to Rio de Janeiro.

One Nation, One Africa!

Uhuru!

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