Japan is ranked, by GDP size, the 3rd largest top 20 economies in the World with an estimated nominal GDP of $5.413 trillion, 2020. But, and interestingly, Japan is not known as one among countries endowed with natural wealth (resources) such as gold, diamonds, et cetera. The kind of natural wealth (resources) that many African countries are said to be naturally endowed and rich with. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan “three-fourths of the country’s [Japan’s] terrain is covered with mountains”
Save for the fact that Japan with a land area, approximately 145,937 square miles, has a forest cover of 68%; a geographical advantage, as an island country, that has thus contributed to the growth of its fishing industry, Japan has no other substantial natural wealth. Fishing is a major economic activity in Japan.
Japan is among the top industrialised countries in the world, with its industrial sector contributing approximately 27% of its GDP.
But what makes and puts Japan one among the top 20 largest economies in the world? What makes Japan, with a disadvantage of being inadequately naturally endowed with valuable wealth both under and above soils, as many African countries are endowed with, one of the world’s developed and rich countries? What explains Japan’s wealth and its standing as one of the world’s top economic dogs?
Japan is a good case study, it should be to many African countries, to understand that having an abundance of natural wealth (resources) alone, is not enough and does not translate into economic wealth and the much coveted “development“, that is, western lifestyle and standards, by African countries.
What is quite clear is that Japan’s abundance of natural wealth (resources) is its people; the minds and, above all, the consciousness its people project to the rest of the world. We learn from Japan, that you can, after all, have an abundance of natural wealth (resources), as many African countries are said to; but if you do not have – without – the right frame of mind: the right consciousness towards wealth creation; they may end up to waste. Or indeed, a terrible curse, as history and experience demonstrates in Africa.
It might seem inconceivable to many – applying western economic metrics, of course, and as the capitalist western media with its imperialist agenda, constantly reminds the world – why Africa, with all its coveted natural wealth, remains one of the economically poorest continents. But while we can, rightly, put much of the blame on European colonialism and its capitalist machine – a system of economic value extraction and wealth creation by exploitation and plunder and its devastating social impact in Africa; we should not shy away from questioning whether, we Africans, particularly the African so-called “educated elite” with a colonial bourgeois attitude and because of their colonial so-called “education“, are in charge; have the right frame of mind. Whether they have the right consciousness to leverage on and use Africa’s natural wealth to create or translate it into economic wealth for all; and not collude with foreign fortune seekers with an exploitation and plunder attitude, for only their small but lucrative cuts that make them live in floating tiny islands of obscene opulence in a sea of stinking poverty.
On the outset, it might boggle the mind why, for instance, a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) endowed with vast natural wealth, should be one of and among the poorest countries in the World. But it demonstrates that without the right frame of mind, the right consciousness; natural wealth alone, is of little use.
It’s no secret, lie or exaggeration by any stretch of imagination to say that DRC’s vast natural wealth made Belgium what it is because, as evil and inexcusable as King Leopold’s actions in the Congo were; at least, he had the consciousness to use Congo’s vast natural wealth to build Belgium. The Belgian people cannot deny that their country is what it is today because it was built and developed on and by the plunder of Congo’s vast natural wealth. And that they are, therefore, historical beneficiaries of Congo’s plundered vast natural wealth by their former King Leopold II, a genocideur, without doubt, by any standards of measure of his actions who, it is estimated that in his plunder of the Congo, may have killed in the region of 10 million and above of the Congolese people.
Today, DRC’s vast natural wealth continues to benefit foreign interests than it does benefit DRC and its people. And this is due to a lack of the right consciousness from, mainly its colonially indoctrinated so-called “educated elite” who, largely due to their colonial indoctrination, are consequently advantaged to be in positions of power and charged with the running of government and national affairs. But they have, through their colonial indoctrination so-called “education“, subsequently been imbued with a colonial bourgeois attitude that makes them foolishly connive with foreign fortune seekers to loot their own country’s natural wealth for small cuts, so they can go on expensive shopping sprees in Europe and North America to buy overpriced valueless shiny trinkets; buy expensive apartments in European and North American cities and elsewhere in the world they hardly and will likely never live in; yet cannot build and equip with basics community dispensaries for their own poor communities. But, ironically, most of such colonially “educated” fools insist and demand to be addressed as “les excellences” et “les honorables”.
This impoverished mindset to natural and national wealth, however, runs rampant across all the African so-called “educated elite” in charge of government and national affairs.
Japan, strongly reinforces the idea that the wealth of any country is not in its soil, but in the minds of its people; the right consciousness. And that the right mind and consciousness of the people comes from and is shaped by national education. Japan educates its people.
While Japan and many wealthy and developed countries primarily and consciously educate their people; Africa, unfortunately, does not educate its people. African people – Africans – are educated by other people, non-Africans, that is, foreigners, through a colonial education system and into a foreign value-system, hence mindset and consciousness. No wonder that the so-called “educated” African “elite” has and projects a European colonial bourgeois attitude, which works in the service of colonial interests and to the great detriment of African interests and African people.
It’s largely this colonial bourgeois attitude that makes the so-called “educated” African “elite” in charge of running government and national affairs and economies, covet all things colonial – foreign – and hate things African. Consequently why they loot African economies only to invest and spend their loot in foreign economies; largely their colonial masters’ economies while impoverishing their own economies and societies.