African ‘independence’ is a misleading, dangerous and destructive myth that must be debunked to understand the falsehood created and perpetuated by promoting that myth. Africa is not an ‘independent’ continent. No African country is ‘independent’. Even the so-called political independence most boast about, is a misleading, false and dangerous boast.
The African economy, is not African. It’s, foremost, foreign in its structure and (as a consequence) largely foreign by ownership, especially the major economic sectors. The financial services industry in Africa is predominantly foreign influenced and owned. The banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa is predominantly foreign owned, through various ownership structures; and global (foreign) banking groups make up the largest share of assets in the sector. The extractive industry in Africa is almost exclusively foreign owned and controlled, either directly or indirectly. It’s also heavily dependent on foreign markets (pricing) for its value. This was made evident and amplified by weakened economic growth in the wake of the commodity prices decline in 2014.
African governments are controlled by foreign interests. African heads of government (state) are merely agents – fronts – to foreign interests. The African economy, therefore, primarily serves foreign economies (economic interests) and serves African economic interests largely as a consequence. African economic interests are dependent on the African economy primarily serving foreign economic interests. An economic boom in any African economic sector will benefit foreign economies more than it benefits local African economies. Consider, for instance, the construction boom that has been going on across Sub-Saharan Africa since early 2000s; it has benefited the Chinese economy a lot more than it has benefited the African economy. Chinese labour and expertise has equally benefited from this construction boom in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Chinese economy has been the largest source (supplier) of construction materials to Africa for largely non economically productive but expensively constructed sprawling edifices. The “Return on Cost (RoC)” of construction of such edifices in Africa has largely been dismally disappointing. But they satisfy the ego and serve to give the impression of ‘development‘ as desired by African rulers and their governments at an astronomical aggregate economic cost.
Infrastructure development in Africa is a huge economic opportunity for foreign economies more than it’s for African local economies. Consider, for example, the airline service industry in Africa. While it is a necessary service; it’s a costly service on the African economies. The airline service industry in Africa benefits the airline manufacturing industry and its auxiliary supply chain – which is exclusively foreign (owned) and hardly any of it is either in/from Africa or African owned – more than it benefits African economies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, among other things, exposed and further amplied the (known) fact that Africa is far from independent, especially, economic independence; it’s heavily dependent on external/foreign forces and influence. While, on the one hand, African governments spend large sums on PR and other events to attract foreign investment in their countries; their officials on the other hand, steal money out of their economies to buy expensive properties and invest the rest in other investment areas (products) in foreign economies.
African start-ups are starved of funds, they have to beg, and subject themselves to all manner of indignities from potential foreign venture capital providers. While many Africans with money prefer to invest and spend it in foreign economies. This demonstrates a profound lack of confidence in African economies from Africans themselves but, surprisingly, they expect foreigners to have confidence in their economies.
It behooves to ask: why should foreigners have confidence in your own house while you clearly do not?