By Bineta Gueye
Coming out from a developing country I experienced and lived the struggle that we had to face based on the western decision to cut the cake (the African continent). There is a famous phrase written at Gorée, in the slaves’ house in Senegal that says ”Africa forgives but never forgets”. It is important to acknowledge that slavery, as well as colonialism, has been a major factor in developing countries in Africa. Studying in a business school, we shall understand how these actions affect a country’s economy and its struggle towards prosperity. Let’s not forget that from 1450 to 1869 (I let you do the calculation), 11 million Africans, correcting myself I would say 11 million black Africans have been deported to America.
Looking deeper into the notion of colonialism and slavery, I distinguish them as being two different things. First of all, I associate slavery as being the action of taking someone’s physical forces without their permission by force and using it for your own economic interest. Second of all, I associate colonialism as being the action of taking someone’s mental resource by correlating it as a procedure to assist expansion for a better day. Having a knowledge of all these past stories we, as the black African’s children, should re-enhance the continent. We should start crossing the board of ”sadness” and constructing the continent. As a business student, I thought about different economic solutions:
Firstly, creating a new monetary system, AFRICAN MONEY (commonly used by all the African countries). One reason is the fact that some currencies used in African countries like mine (Senegal) is a derivative of the colonialism system. At our age, 60 years of ”independence”, we are the children of France, which represent us by being our guarantor in exchanging the CFA with Euro, with a fixed exchange rate that hasn’t really moved or benefited us. (This guarantor aspect allows us to exchange with other countries as the CFA is not recognized as a tradable/ save currency).
Secondly, the creation of an African Unity Union which has the same principles as the EU. The core objective of this union would be to help reinforcing better relationship with African people. In other words, a more inclusive and solidary environment. After rebuilding a good relationship, the Union would then help to create equal economic growth, productivity, security, and competitiveness. For instance, I believe that a union is a good strategy in order to become stable and have more power in negotiation making when it comes to production and distribution of goods and resources with the rest of the world. For example, having a common and fixed selling price for basic products. It will help to reduce competition between countries and create an equal growth in the short term. In the long term, countries can make a profit by selling things they have comparative advantages.
Thirdly, adopting political governance as previously started by the president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. The governance of Sankara was based on national production as well as national consumption. In addition, he focused on the integration of women in the economy and political system. Unfortunately, he has been assassinated. Two of my favourite quotes from him are the following:
“Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa. It is a reconquest that turns each one of us into a financial slave.”
“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”Thomas Sankara
One question that arises regarding his death is, hasn’t he been killed by Occident because of his openness? One thing about him is that he never hides his thoughts and feelings regarding the interference of Western Europe in African affairs. There are several articles that suggested his former colleague and confident Blaise Compaore as been the one ordering his assassination with the colonial master, France. I believe this hypothesis can be real, as he was creating frustration to different leaders. For example, he refused aid and packages from the IMF that, he said, came with a string attached. He proclaimed that “The ones who feed you usually imposes their will upon you”. Furthermore, during the summit of the Organization of African Unit in 1987, he called African countries to collectively refused to pay their financial debts to the colonialism formers as we weren’t responsible for it. These episodes and others make me conclude a potential murder ordered by Compaore and his colonial master.
Finally, as Europeans countries haven’t been beneficial to us, I would propose African countries start exchanging with other continents and countries such as Asia and Russia. However, as this implementation may be radical, we could start learning some strategies put in place by Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame. I believe that he is a master of entrepreneurship. He finds opportunities to dig with a world in constant evolution beyond the resources he controls.
I will conclude by saying that, We, black Africans from the African continent, can only be developed once we take each other’s hands, accept our past, and look forward to growth.