Has China‘s push for raw materials become a “new form of neo-colonialist adventure” with African raw materials exchanged for low quality manufactured imports and little attention paid with truly developing an impoverished continent?
Quote from Africa/China Relations Article on The Independent
China deals with just about any rogue and unsavory regime in Africa. It supplies jet fighters, military vehicles and guns to Zimbabwe, Sudan, Ethiopia and other repressive governments. At the UN, China has used its veto power to block sanctions against tyrannical regimes in Sudan and Zimbabwe.
The nature of China’s contracts is most objectionable. They are secured through outright bribery by building presidential palaces (Namibia, Sudan and Zimbabwe) and sports stadiums (Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea). Namibian prosecutors are investigating allegations of bribery and kickbacks on government contracts with China to supply Namibia with scanners at security checkpoints. Nuctech, the Beijing-based manufacturer and headed until 2008 by the son of Hu Jintao, China’s president, is accused of paying $4.2 million in kickbacks to a Namibian front company (New York Times, July 31st 2009, p. A4). Another investigation involves a Chinese contract to build a key railroad link.
Most alarming, the deals are opaque and on barter terms dictated by China. For example, in exchange for oil exploration slots, China will rebuild Nigeria’s dilapidated railway system. But China will supply nearly all the equipment and technical personnel at prices determined by itself. There is no protection against overcharging or cost overruns. As with other projects in Africa, China will supply most of the workers. The potential for exploitation and plunder of Africa’s resources is enormous in such contracts, leading irate African commentators to denounce what they see as “chopsticks mercantilism”. With chopsticks dexterity, China can pick off mineral dumplings with relish in Africa, all to its advantage.
Further, China’s engagement has devastated local industries in Lesotho, Nigeria and Zambia. In Nigeria, the influx of Chinese products has destroyed Kano’s manufacturing sector. In 1982, 500 factories churned out textile products in Kano, but fewer than 100 remain operational today, most at far less than full capacity. In South Africa, the textile union says some 100,000 jobs have been lost as Chinese synthetic fabrics replace cotton prints in street markets across Africa.
Angry Africans are sounding off. In 2007, South Africa’s unions threatened to boycott anyone selling Chinese products. In April 2007, nine Chinese workers were killed in an attack by armed men on an oil field in eastern Ethiopia. In Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has vowed to expel all Chinese workers in the area.
TAKE OUR POLL: Is Burundi’s President Out Of Line For Giving Unwed Couples An Ultimatum To Get Married By End Of This Year?
Unmarried couples have until the end of this year to legalize their relationships, the Burundi government said, as part of an effort to reform morals in the country.
The order follows the launch of a campaign in May by President Pierre Nkurunziza “to moralize society” in Burundi. Interior ministry spokesperson Terence Ntahiraja told AFP the country was facing a population explosion which he blamed on “illegal marriages”, polygamy, bigamy and “hundreds of schoolgirls getting pregnant”.
He said church and state-sanctioned weddings were the solution and were a patriotic duty. Nkurunziza said Burundians should show their love for each other – and their country – by getting married. The government has since been pressuring unwed couples across the country to tie the knot.
Pierre, a 27-year-old farmer living with his partner in Ngozi, in the north, said local officials had threatened him with a 50 000 Burundian franc ($25) fine and said any child born out of wedlock would not be eligible for free education and medical costs.
Pierre said he had not married because he could not afford the bride price demanded by his girlfriend’s family.
“She told me she was pregnant. As I am poor, we decided to come together to raise our child,” he said. “We thought we would legalize our union as soon as we could afford it.”
That was five years ago and the couple is now onto their third child.
To enact the president’s orders, officials have begun organizing mass weddings, something one civil society activist opposed as “a violation of human rights because the state has no right to attack two adults who have decided to live together without being married.”
Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo Welcomes Biometric Identity Management Into Ghana
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, received his National Identification Card, dubbed the new “Ghana Card”, at a ceremony held at the premises of the National Identification Authority, on Friday, September 15, 2017.
President Akufo-Addo, described the new identification card signals the dawn of a new day in biometric identity management in Ghana, and the virtues of a public-private partnership arrangement in meeting the country’s development needs.
The President indicated that the launch of the card “constitutes a practical demonstration of the fulfilment of yet another promise of my party, the New Patriotic Party, made during the 2016 campaign.”
The campaign promise, he recounted, was that “we would modernize and formalize the Ghanaian economy through the establishment of a credible national database, and using the National Identification System (NIS) as the primary identifier, as prescribed by law.”
Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Indefinitely Bars Most Travel From Three African Countries
President Trump on Sunday issued a new order indefinitely banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.
Starting next month, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be banned from entering the United States, Mr. Trump said in a proclamation released Sunday night. Citizens of Iraq and some groups of people in Venezuela who seek to visit the United States will face restrictions or heightened scrutiny.
People seeking access to the United States as refugees are not covered by the proclamation, officials said. Entry of refugees is currently limited by the president’s original travel ban, and officials said the administration was preparing new rules for refugees that should be announced within days.
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