How long will the African continent depend on the mercy of European tax payers money (financial aid) for survival?

Africa has to stop relying on Europe for handouts: Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo tells French President Emmanuel Macron during Macrons visit to Ghana. 

I for one find this speech very inspiring. I very much hope African leaders follow the path that Nana Akufo-Addo is taking.

 

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Africa chews while France swallows!

Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bissau,  Kongo, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon.

What do these 14 Countries have in common apart from that they are all African countries, colonised by France, gained (independence) from France between the late 1950s and the early 1960s, and have French as their official language?

These countries all pay an annual tax to France known as the colonial tax, an agreement they made before France agreed to grant them their independence.

A sum of 450 to 500 billion Euro is paid annually to France by the above mentioned countries for introducing them to civilisation  and for infrastructure built by France during the colonial period.

Thanks to the introduction of the Euro currency, this brutal practice came to light. Even the former French president Jacques Chirac stated in an interview that a big part of the money in the French banks comes precisely from Africa. He further explained that without Africa, France will slide down in the rank of a third World power.

The real exploitation of the African continent actually started after the above mentioned countries gained their so called independence from France. These countries have no right to their natural resources, most of their economy is controlled from France. France has the right to be the first foreign country to come in and buy any natural resources found in the land of its ex-colonies. Only when France is not interested are these countries allowed to seek other partners.

Africa never really gained independence.

When they decided to sign the Cooperation Accords with France, little did they know what a disaster this will be to the development of the continent.

According to this (Cooperation Accords):

  • French language must be used as the national language
  • These countries have to refrain from entering into a military alliance with any country without the authorisation of France
  • They have to practise the French educational system
  • They are obligated to ally with France in case of war or a global crisis
  • They have to stay bound to french colonial currency the FCFA

To mention just a few…

France has been holding the national monetary reserves of these fourteen African countries since 1961, all being operated by the french treasury. Sadly enough, these African countries have no access to the money. They are given just 15% of the deposited amount annually and if they need more, they will have to borrow at commercial rates. Despite the African banks with headquarters within Africa, they have no monetary policies of their own. With such exploitation, an independent state, an independent currency, is almost impossible without a revolution since France will never willingly back off. Many African leaders have lost their lives trying to terminate this colonial pact signed with France.

Taking a look at African history, one will realise that in the last 50 years a total of 67 coups d’état have happened in 26 countries. Sixteen of these countries are former french colonies, meaning 61% of the coups happened in francophone Africa. This is of course no coincidence.

Have we ever asked ourselves why a majority of African countries with rich natural resources are always at war?

Why African leaders with good ideas that will benefit the country never survive?

Why many African dictators stay in power for as long as it takes, with France always ready to give them military support in case of  foreign intervention or civil unrest?

The exploitation of the African continent is done systematically. Opportunity is never given to those who have good intention to serve the country and its citizens.

Haiti being a former French colony will know exactly what these 14 African countries are going through. From 1804 till 1947, Haiti was forced by France to pay for the loss sustained by French traders in the process of the abolition of slavery and for the liberation of Haitian slaves.

One can only hope that these 14 ex-colonies of France will soon be free from this brutal and dictatorial practice exercised by France..

Food for thought:

The grass is not green on the other side. The grass is green where it is being watered.

 

 

The slow but steady extinction of elephants

The gestation period of an elephant is nearly two years (22 months). After the baby is born, they drink milk from the mother`s breast for a period of between 5 and 10 years. With 17 years, they reach sexual maturity. The life span of an elephant is somewhere between 60 and 70 years, that is if everything goes well for them.

In 1930 there were between 5 to 10 million wild African elephants, in 1980 the African elephant population was estimated to be around 1.3 million and today the number is less than 500.000.

Why this huge decline in such a short period of time?

Illegal Ivory Trade:

The high demand for ivory in the nineteenth and twentieth century has led to illegal poaching and thus the endangerment of this beautiful mammal. During the colonisation of Africa, ivory was removed and used for piano keys and billiard balls. Glad to say the piano industry abandoned ivory as a  key covering material in the 1970s. Today, Ivory is mostly used to produce jewellery, arts and crafts. For many it is a way to portray their wealth.

Poaching of African elephants for ivory has reached a dramatic stage. In 2012, The New York Times  reported on a large upsurge in ivory poaching with about 70% illegally imported into China.

China, Japan, Vietnam, and The Philippines are among the highest importers of African Ivory. Poverty and high unemployment rate in many African countries has not helped the situation either. Many unemployed citizens are ready to kill an elephant illegally, remove its tusk and sell it to anyone ready to buy for the sum of about 200 dollars.

In 2013 a single seizure  in Guangzhou in China brought to light 1,913 tusks, the result of about 1,000 dead elephants and rhinos.

Conservationist working to save elephants tend to concentrate on reducing or eliminating poaching while nothing or very little is said about trophy hunting of elephants. Though many will argue that trophy hunters bring in money that is then used to fight against the extinction of these animals..

Countries like Kenya and Tanzania are working hard to fight against elephant poaching while other countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana reckon trade in Ivory should be regulated not prohibited arguing that countries that are managing their elephants well should be allowed to sell ivory in order to pay for conservation measures.

Some countries even set examples and burned down all illegal ivory that was confiscated from poachers.

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Huge pile of elephant tusks confiscated by the government of Kenya from locals and foreigners alike and burned at Nairobi National Park.

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Thanks to some educational programs, the interest in Ivory in china is slowly declining. The Chinese government even announced on banning all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017. Wildlife researchers estimates that more than 100.000 elephants have been wiped out in Africa over the past 10 years in the ruthless hunt for ivory driven by the high demand of ivory in china. If this ban materialises, it will help to drastically reduce the mass slaughter of elephants.

 

 

Gender gap, Gender inequality and discrimination.

 

In recent years, we have been experiencing a huge shift in gender roles. There are societies where a stay home woman is not an option. This could be because of financial constraint or pressure from the society where one is afraid of being judged. Though in most cases women want and love to work. Many of whom are very successful and make more money than men, and the tendency is growing.

Looking at the situation in some cultures today, the biblical definition of a man and a woman is not relevant again. The dynamic where the man is the breadwinner in the family  is shifting rapidly. This is mirrored in education, job opportunities, marriage patterns and a lot more.

More and more men are taking the role of a stay home dad, while the woman works for the money. Many of us still have to get used to this.

 

Equal rights for women and men are a fundamental principle of the United Nations charter adopted by world leaders in 1945.

What is the christian picture of a man and his role in the family and society? What is that of a woman? How is the society influenced by this? Or is it a natural instinct that just functions?

Ask every child at kindergarten and they will tell you that boys are supposed to play football and play with cars, and girls are supposed to play with dolls. Prejudices start at a very young age. Should I say the discrimination starts there.

The moment to-be-parents find out the gender of their unborn child and start shopping for the child or start decorating the child`s room, blue is chosen for the boy child in most cases and pink for a girl. There are just a handful of situations where a boy owns a doll in his toy collection. Does society force us into these roles?

Many forms of gender inequality and discrimination are practised due to factors such as age, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic status and social structure of communities.

When a woman goes shopping alone, it is perceived as normal. But if she visits a club alone, most of us find it unusual and quickly draw conclusions like: ‘Oh, she is probably looking for a man.’ As if it were forbidden…

Several days ago, I read in one of our newspapers that the ruling party in Turkey is planning to come up with a law that forbids women to laugh openly in public, arguing that it is not very ladylike…

If a man marries a woman thirty years his  junior, only a few consider it as odd, but if it were the other way round it becomes the talk in town.

 

In average, men earn 23% more than their female colleagues .

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Men in executive positions earn 16% more than women in the same position, with the same responsibility.

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In many European countries, women were allowed to vote only from the early 20th century.

1918 Austria

1919 Germany

1920 USA

1928 United Kingdom

1944 France

1945 Italy

one of the last countries in western Europe to grant women the right to vote was Switzerland in 1971.

In 1990, canton Appenzell Innerrhoden was the last canton in Switzerland to grant women the right to vote.

There is hope. A study done by the World Economic Forum Ninth Gender Gap Report estimates that gender gap will only be eliminated by the year 2095. Our grand and great grand children might be lucky to experience this.

Yearning to live in Paradise

For ages, humans have dreamt of paradise.

They dreamt of how beautiful it would be to live in paradise.

So they had the idea to turn their village into a paradise.

A Tax Free Paradise. This must be it, they all agreed.

Together, they decided to reduce taxes for the rich and woo them with presents.

By the way, the rich love to receive presents.

This is how they succeeded in attracting the rich.

The rich came in their numbers. They bought the most beautiful and best positioned properties and built the biggest houses.

‘Beautiful!’, agreed the locals. ‘Our village will now be a paradise, after all. When the rich come, they bring money with them.’

The rich do not only bring money, they attract more rich people!

After the rich had settled in, everything became expensive. Buying a property was almost impossible due to high prices.

Rents became unaffordable.

The first local who was unable to pay his rent was the owner of the village grocery shop.

A new luxury jewellery shop for the rich will be opened where he had his grocery shop.

There is a gourmet temple where the local restaurant used to be.

The locals who yearned to live in paradise had to fight for their existence.

Living in the village became very expensive.

Locals became strangers in their own home. While walking down the street, all they saw were fences built by the rich to protect their villas, and shops stocked with goods they could not afford.

One by one, they moved to the neighbouring villages where living was affordable.

Only then did they realise how heavenly it was before the rich came.

Original text in German by Daniel Meier (©2008 Burgdorfer Tagblatt)