WILL THE US-AFRICA SUMMIT HELP AFRICA AND AFRICANS OR ITS FOR COUNTERING CHINA AND RUSSIA’S INFLUENCE?

Will the US-Africa Summit Help  Africa and Africans or It’s for Countering China and Russia’s Influence?
By Godwin Agaba
The Biden Administration plans to invest at least $55 billion in Africa over the next three years.
At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, President Biden pledged $55 billion over 3 yrs to Africa, and $15 billion in two-trade agreements were signed. Also, the  US is committed to supporting African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA )and permanent membership for the AU in the G20.
Will these advance key priorities including sustainable energy, health systems, and infrastructure in Africa? My answer is No.
Sub-Saharan Africa is poor despite its geologic endowment for a number of reasons.
The declining revenue from cash crops  has seen the livelihoods and incomes of many farmers damaged as the different sectors took a hit from the effects of unstable world markets and illegal) mining/ fishing etc. These often illegal operations have resulted in contaminated water, deforestation and damaged farmlands.
On top of this, there is the role of the Chinese who, apart from exploiting Africans, are responsible for largely unregulated operations. The Chinese are accused of exploiting workers in their enterprises who work for slave wages, with no social security or safety provisions. The exploitation of African workers suffer is reminiscent of what their ancestors experienced under the colonial powers.
Moreover, there is an influx of Chinese into every sector, including the retail business which disadvantages locals.
Corruption has greatly contributed to Sub-Saharan Africa’s poverty levels. Large sums of public funds are stolen by corrupt officials who sometimes repatriate the proceeds of their greed, thereby leaving their home economies bare.
This is on top of general governance issues marked by poor policy formulation and implementation, inefficiency and bureaucratic lethargy. Another form of corruption is a conflict of interest (technical know-how) whereby workers are chosen on the basis of patronage and not competence or integrity. This works against effective service to the public and economic transformation when vital sectors are mismanaged.
Sub-Saharan Africa also suffers from low technological absorption capacity which limits productivity and competitiveness in a global economy that relies more on advanced industrial production and economies of scale from mechanization and automation. Africa’s population equally falls short of skills, made worse by a lack of ready and affordable capital to invest in production. The saving culture is also poor in comparison to the Western world.
If the above contributing factors could be addressed, Sub-Saharan Africa’s poverty levels could be alleviated there will be no need for 50 leaders from an entire continent to go all the way to the US for a grant of $55 billion for 54 states over 3 years period. It’s a joke!
Merry Xmas everyone.

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