October 2005: Loans to die.

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October 2005: Loans to die.

On the actual world there are 38 countries that are part of the new “jet set club” known by the name of “the extremely endebted countries”. On the head of the list we have the honour of having as the more developed country in terms of hunger, the republic of Niger, delimited on the north by Argelia and Libia, on the south by Nigeria and Benin and at the east by Mali. This appearantly litlle country, with 12.000.000 people, has an external debt with “developed countries” of 1.800.000.000$ (one thousand eight hundred million dollars). Over all these 38 countries more than$ (one hundred & fourteen thousand millions of dollars) have been loaned by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the WB (World Bank), the “loans to die”, with 0% of interest payable in reduced monthly instalments with no money, just with your life, your day by day, hour per hour, minute per minute of suffering,

Together with this loans, there is a second main reason that causes such an illness in Africa. For example during the 32 year dictatorship of Joseph Mobutu (during the despotic regimes on the Cold War years), president in that time of Congo he accumulated an uncomparable personal treasure of US$ 4 billion. In the meantime while he was becoming richer than ever, his government falled on a foreign debt of US$12 billian. At the same time on many other parts of Africa, the same problem occurred, in an investigation made during the years 1970-1196 about 30 different sub-Saharan African countries, it was estimated that the total capital flight for the mentioned period amounted to US$187 billion. If we add to this situation imputed interest earnings, the stock of Africa's capital flight stood at US$274 billion – quantity equivalent to 145 % of the debts owed by those countries.
As we can perfectly deduce from the previous statements sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world because its external assets exceed in great terms its external debts. And the importance of such a phrase is to note that the difference among this terms is that the assets are private and the debts public.

On the other hand it is important also to note that over the past 3 decades African governments have already repaid more than they have borrowed. Africa pays more each year to wealthy creditor institutions than it can spend on healthcare or education for its own people. Therefore as a result of this unfair situation the payments of debts subordinates the interests of African people to those of rich creditors.
As a result, for Africa to escape the nightmare and pain in which it has been plunged by centuries of slavery, colonialism and imperialist exploitation requires a new, fair and equal system of international economic relations. It requires the non-negotiable and immediate cancellation of the external debt, the abolition of all IMF and World Bank conditionalities, the stablishment of trade agreements that allow them to choose if, when and how to open their markets, and to implement any measures they feel necessary to protect and develop their home industries. But most of all Africa needs that its leaders and policy makers abandon neoliberal policies so this way they can reclaim its sovereign right to decide on its priorities and its own path to development.

:: Cindy@radiochango ::



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