I used to honestly think that the West was the savior of Africa. That they gave us aid and we were dependent on them. It really sounds true from face value. But when you grow a bit older, and wiser (hopefully), you realize that the reverse is true.
What the West takes from Africa is more than what they give to Africa. Africa is actually a net donor to the world. The Aid story is the cover up for what they take from us. That is why they will consistently keep giving the aid. This is regardless of whether governments are democratic or not. The Aid is actually a bribe to maintain this parasitic relationship where Africa keeps giving to the rest of the world.
Let’s take an example. European Union gives Uganda a loan to construct a road. They dictate that the loan will be given through a European bank. They dictate that the company that gets the tender should be European. On top of that, they dictate that Uganda government hires a European Consultancy firm for this road. You know the consultancy fees? Upto 15% of the cost of the road. Before Uganda even gets to use the money, over 50% of the money has already gone back to Europe. Then you have exhorbitant interest rates on the loan. Lending is actually big business for the West.
But let’s assume you play clever and avoid the costs in that scenario. You have a multinational perhaps an Ian or Ortega. If you are a Ortega and wanted to take your money out of Uganda, how would you do it? You can get Ortega France to sell some big equipment to Ortega Uganda. Ortega France can decide the price. This price can be inflated by over 200%. Ortega Uganda doesn’t need to have use for that equipment. The equipment may not even have to exist in the first place anyway. But through this transaction, you get to take out money. And that is the big game of Transfer Pricing.
People often wonder; why would Western governments keep funding security institutions in Uganda. It is simple, because that money is still coming back. They will give funding to SFC and then ask SFC to buy some guns, some special equipment and then also sell to them some prestigious training courses.
Money and natural resources are actually flowing to Europe. But we’ve been convincing that the West is the messiah, that we are at its mercy, they are sacrificing and giving us aid. And we have no right to complain when they ask us to do one thing or the other.
It is a scenario of: I give you a loan, then I dictate that you buy everything from my shop. Then I dictate that going forward, my children will have their meals in your home, and you will pay their school fees. Those are the loan terms. But I still expect you to pay back with interest. And to be thankful for my good heart.
Same thing almost happened for oil. When you read the mining agreements that governments are forced to sign, you realize we are giving out to the world. We are sustaining the world. But we’ve been veiled to believe that the world is sustaining us and we should be humble.
The sad story is we are locked in this relationship. We can’t opt out. Africa and African countries are businesses for Europe. This is a play field. We are pawns in this game. That is why African scenarios are replicated from country to country, whether democratic or not, same problems, same complaints.
You read the complaints in Zambia, same complaints by Ugandans, same by Malawians, same by Kenyans. Why are these patterns replicated?
Of late when I meet my Western friends, I take a moment to remind them that we are their sponsors. And they should allow us to dictate some things to them.
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