For quite some time, outsiders have been trying to save Africa from itself — to “uplift” Africans to higher levels of achievement than they had been capable of on their own.
Most recently, the Chinese have been inundating Africa with mining, industrial, commercial, and infrastructural developments, in a bid to spread Chinese influence and to enrich Chinese coffers. But lately, China’s economic steamroller has been running out of steam. This has thrown a spanner in the most recent attempts to “uplift” Africa to a higher level.
… Not long ago Africa was growing very strongly. Indeed, many good judges saw it as due to repeat the sort of economic take-off accomplished by several countries in east Asia a few decades previously.
… There is a suspicion in the minds of many investors that Africa’s recent growth surge was really just the outcome of the commodity boom. Accordingly, if we are in for a long period of commodity prices at about this level, then African growth prospects are pretty poor.
__ The Telegraph
Odd that it is taking investors so long to discover what Al Fin has been saying for years about Africa. When looking at the likely financial trajectory of a nation or region, one must consider all the important fundamentals. Outside financial investment is one thing. But what the governments and people in the economies do with the investment — and the income from the investments — will determine how long the boom can last.
…China is … important to Africa as an example of what can be achieved. It is widely believed that China’s phenomenal growth rate represented some sort of miracle. In fact, it was more like the norm for East Asian countries starting at a low level of development. China repeated the pattern set earlier by Japan, Korea and Taiwan. When a country is very poor and underdeveloped, it has the scope to grow fast simply by catching up with the leaders. __ Source
But something is different about Africa, and the way things are done there.
… Most African countries ran substantial fiscal deficits when their economies were growing strongly and the revenues from high commodity prices were pouring in. If that was the case then, you can imagine the problems that they are in with commodity prices now much lower. Borrowing levels have soared, notably in Nigeria, Angola and Zambia. As a result, in several countries, especially in Nigeria, the government is embarking upon a programme of substantial fiscal tightening, which is going to restrict the growth of demand.
Another complicating factor is the growth of population. In most African countries the population has been growing very rapidly. Moreover, it is set to continue to do so in the decades ahead. The UN forecasts that whereas the African working age population is currently about 500 million people, by 2050, it will reach about 1.3 billion, comfortably in excess of India and China.
Whatever else happens, the golden constellation of factors which sustained African economies over the last few years – rapid Chinese growth, high commodity prices, and very low international interest rates – will not be repeated. __ Roger Bootle in The Telegraph
When China was the recipient of enormous amounts of outside investment in the 1980s and 1990s, much of the money was reinvested in infrastructure — which helped to buoy the economy when economic troubles hit the region in the 1990s and the globe in 2007-2009.
When Russia received huge amounts of foreign investment, it diverted large amounts of it into crony Swiss and Maltese bank accounts, and into military and nuclear upgrades. Lesser amounts were spent on upgrading oil production and glitzy facades in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Hence Russia’s current economic troubles, due to government mismanagement.
In Africa, we see Russian corruption and incompetence in spades. Africa cannot maintain outside levels of financial and industrial achievement on its own, without copious outside help.
Africa Needs to Find its Own Level of Development
One does not have the chance to see what a people are capable of achieving, unless one allows the people to do the work for themselves.
One perennial problem that Africans have with technology: They have no word for “maintenance”. This is one reason why most of black Africa has no reliable electricity supply.
The principle reason for this is simply lack of maintenance on the generating equipment. Maintenance is future-oriented, and the Zulu entry in the dictionary for it is ondla, which means: “1. Nourish, rear; bring up; 2. Keep an eye on; watch (your crop).” In short, there is no such thing as maintenance in Zulu thought, and it would be hard to argue that this is wholly unrelated to the fact that when people throughout Africa say “nothing works,” it is only [a slight] exaggeration.
__ How Black Africans Differ from Other Peoples
Africans seem unable to grasp many basic concepts that are crucial to the understanding of how to build and maintain a technological infrastructure.
“As soon as we have problems, we ask someone else to take care of them for us,” Isaac continued. “We ask the Europeans. We ask the Americans. We ask the Chinese. We will run this train into the ground, and then we will tell the Chinese we need another one. This is not development.” I thought of the wreckage by the tracks. In China, there is no such thing as metallic waste. Armies of migrant workers scour the countryside with hammers and chisels, collecting and selling every scrap to the insatiable smelters that feed the country’s industries. Here, by contrast, was a land without industry. __ Atlantic
Why is Africa perpetually backward?
There are reasons why Africa is such a backward place: why it is the beggar continent that perpetually lives off handouts called ‘foreign aid’ even as it sits on an abundance of natural resources; why most of its countries are lands of broken down infrastructure, stratospheric jobless rates, ramshackle government institutions “education systems” that are a sad joke, and so on ad infinitum. _African Backwardness
As anyone who has helped raise a child knows, young ones must learn to do a thing themselves, if they are to be able to uplift themselves into a responsible adulthood. The same is true for peoples who are “perpetually young” in mental outlook.
… if anything is to ever change, Africans better get off their backsides, end their usual chaotic ways [, and start] working extremely hard, smart and purposefully. The sadly outnumbered [non]-whiners know we can only ever make something positive of our societies by aspiring to be punctual in whatever we do, be time conscious and avoid this usual, dangerous nonsense called “African time;” they know effort, intelligence and innovation should be rewarded, instead of rewarding tribe or kinsman; they know we should look at the long-term picture instead of corruptly plundering whatever little resources at your country’s disposal. __ African Mentalities, African Backwardness
Many decades of foreign aide have resulted only in keeping Africans young and helpless, perpetually dependent upon outsiders for cash, medical help, and technical expertise. In addition, foreign aide and assistance has allowed black African populations to grow far beyond the levels that would be sustainable based upon the people’s own efforts.
By 2050, many African states will likely more than double in population. Kenya will rise from 44 million to 97 million people, and Nigeria from 174 million to 440 million.
Some nations will nearly triple their growth, the reports finds. Somalia will have 27 million people in 2050, up from an estimated 10 million today; the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 71 million population is predicted to rise to 182 million.
The total number of people on the continent is predicted to rise from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion. ___ Fertility in darkest Africa
The seeds of future African war, famine, pestilence, and poverty are being sown by NGOs, outside government and UN aide, and religious aide to the dark continent. In addition, they are sowing the seeds of dysgenic emigration from Africa into the cities of Europe, where poverty, violence, and ethnic/religious conflict are certain to take root with a vengeance.
All the journalists, think tanks, and bureaucratic / academic functionaries who have been celebrating “the rise of Africa,” will need to take a thoughtful step back — if they are capable of doing so.
… the continent’s economic growth and resilience during the 2008-2009 global financial crises were largely due to “new mineral discoveries, rising commodity prices and the recovery of domestic demand.” This growth trajectory is not sustainable because commodities are mostly exhaustible, and Africa has little control over disruptions in world demand and prices. _Africa Today
It is not politically correct to point out intrinsic differences in population groups that developed in the course of evolutionary history. But one cannot see the human world clearly without taking biological time and divergence into account.
That is why political correctness must necessarily be ejected from intelligent conversation on academic campuses, in governmental policy sessions, in journalism, and in all cultural institutions including foundations, think tanks, NGOs, inter-governmental agencies, and even at private dinners and cocktail parties.
Europe’s immigration crisis would not be nearly so catastrophic, if not for Europe’s two centuries of well-intended efforts to “uplift” Africans from their primitive native state.
But interference with other cultures and peoples does not always end up well. In general it is best for people, peoples, and cultures to find their own levels themselves — with only just the right amount of outside assistance and guidance.
It is how animals raise their young and how wise humans raise theirs.