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EU to Africa | Guardian Nigeria News

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Every year, hundreds of people from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia lose their lives crossing dangerous waters into Europe on the promise of a better life while escaping climate change, poverty and conflict, some driven by European funding and conflict caused. In some cases, sanctions. As some Eritreans are discovering, even the EU’s decision to do nothing and remain apathetic brings would-be migrants recognition that they can stand up to the odds.

When they dare, EU coastal border forces and well-armed border militias stop migrants crossing international waters into Greece, Malta or Italy, and repatriate those lucky enough to survive Libya. Those who are lucky enough not to have their organs harvested, or whole people into forced labor and sex trafficking on the slave market, are rescued by the EU-funded IOM Assisted Voluntary Return Program or redeemed by their families .

We cannot escape the fact that the EU’s response to Africa’s economic boom is to keep semi-skilled or impoverished people who cannot afford or afford the skills from coming to its shores, which is, in essence, the gist of Africa’s economic boom. EU policy towards Africa. This was loudly announced by the visit of EU President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian and Dutch Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, and Mark Rutte’s visit to Tunisian President Keith Saeed, who Saeed stayed longer than the constitutional welcome period. Not only has he been visited, but he has also received a $1 billion pledge to stay away from sub-Saharan Africans whom he accuses of downplaying their country’s Arab heritage and turning it into “another African country” away from the EU. .

Europe needs African talent and resources to keep its hospitals running. In return, Africa receives aid to help its sometimes unconstitutional governments thwart attempts by semi-skilled governments. This was the apparent intention of former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to West Africa in 2018.

Once upon a time, when the world was not yet aligned under the auspices of central banks and annual conferences in the Swiss Alps and New York, European territories carved up African lands for themselves to exploit. Back then, they weren’t popular, but they didn’t care. They want resources, not skills, and they think we are inferior. It was unimaginable at the time for a dark-skinned person like me to speak in such a forum.

Africans sailed the rough waters of the Mediterranean in crowded fishing boats just to work, while Europeans did it to encroach on their lands and often murder warriors and civilians alike. In Namibia, Germany conservatively estimated that 60,000 Herero and Nama people were killed over three years, poisoning their water sources and sending the rest to concentration camps. German settlers still live on some of these lands today.

European colonists used brutal force to reform the lives of Africans, grudgingly granting them “independence” on the grounds that they developed Western-like institutions such as parliaments and rotating presidencies. Africa’s economic system collapsed. Clans were cobbled together into nations and forced to trade in currencies whose value was pegged to the West.

Europe has set the economic playbook and they have partnered with unscrupulous African elites to drive African economies into employment and income shortfalls. Africans came here in droves looking for more work to survive.

The London Debt Agreement was convened in 1953 when Western countries decided that barriers were needed to stop the spread of Communism. At that meeting, half of Germany’s 30 billion Deutschmark external debt, or just 25 percent of its national income, was forgiven.

Following this fruitful engagement – the basis of Germany’s continued progress today – six African countries lined up to cancel German debt. They are Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Only Egypt was independent at that time.

The London Agreement proposed some creative mechanisms to make West Germany an economic powerhouse. A key element of the agreement is that Berlin can only use revenue to service its debts.

Therefore, when Germany runs a trade deficit, no debtor country can claim a penny. Another key principle is to encourage Germany to run a trade surplus. Countries allowed their currencies to appreciate against the Deutschmark, making goods produced in Germany cheaper. This also allowed these countries to consume imports from Germany, thereby rebuilding Berlin’s industrial capacity. China has used this strategy to good effect.

Despite two wars, Western powers found Germany useful and gave it a big boost, making it the second-largest donor of international humanitarian aid. So, if the EU is really concerned about the chaff of African labor coming to its shores, why can’t the same technology used in 1953 be adapted to countries with sufficiently strong institutions?

African institutions are still adapting to concepts such as democracy, securities, stocks and speculative markets. The West has mastered the game to great effect and in some cases created regulations to curb it. The EU needs to develop more honest partnerships to weed out corrupt politicians and dealmakers on the continent by helping to build judicial and prosecutorial institutions that are independent and strong in gathering evidence and respecting the rule of law.

At the beginning of this document, reference was made to the visit of the EU delegation to Tunisia, a few weeks after President Keith Saeed made xenophobic remarks that put African migrants at risk. Doing deals with these people fuels the narrative that the West is playing a zero-sum game in which talk of democracy and the rule of law are tools.The EU, and Europe as a whole, have a history of this: in 2021, Britain scoffed at Paul Kagame’s Rwanda’s poor human rights record and struck a deal with Kigali for an immigration detention facility; two decades ago, the EU was born up european fortress Confront the brutal regime of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and prevent migrants from reaching the Mediterranean. The money has cemented the status of the Janjaweed, whose reputation has grown beyond ethnic cleansing in Darfur to a behemoth known as the Rapid Support Forces, which are now battling Sudan’s military for sovereign control. The EU must take a hard look at its history of partnerships with African autocracies and illiberal democracies. It begins by identifying how illiberal democracies are hijacking the EU’s established values ​​by spreading immigration fears. The West continues to strike a security deal with Nigeria’s Buhari government, weeks after the Nigerian army brutally cracked down on youth-led anti-police brutality protests. This is possible because European capitals fear a surge in immigration from people fleeing terrorism and violence in the Sahel.

This fear also undermines the development of democracy. Following the death of Chadian strongman Idriss Déby in May 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to N’Djamena to assure military general Déby Jr. of his support for taking over his father’s government. Macron’s actions betrayed democracy, as France forfeited its chance to strongly support a democratic Chad, which would be succeeded by Déby’s deputy, according to the country’s constitutional order of succession. French interests include maintaining its colonial influence in Chad, protecting its uranium supplies in Niger and Chad, and partnering with the government in counterterrorism operations in the Sahel. Such motivations do little to help the continent’s development, especially when relentless realpolitik and strategic interests take precedence over the continent’s development.

An African deal that goes beyond aid to protect the EU’s borders is built on equality. The EU must make a conscious effort to recognize Africans as equals, but still deal with centuries of meddling and the transition to foreign institutions that manipulate them.

Whether they have trade deficits or not, African countries must, unlike Germany, pay their debts in currencies that are more than double their size most of the time. However, credit rating agencies are waiting to reduce the cost of repaying these borrowings. For it to work in African countries, debt has to be viewed in a true development perspective.

hostile sahara It used to be a trade route supporting the gold, kola and slave trades. The line deteriorates not only in temperament, but in human cruelty, throwing back to a slavery past.

Since deserts are not going away anytime soon and are still passable, there needs to be an economic incentive to strongly demand governance of large tracts of land used as bandit havens. During the heyday of the gold trade between the empires of Ghana and Mali and the North African countries and Mediterranean communities, salt was the main commodity exchanged for gold, although these kingdoms also produced this product. These two commodities sustained trade for at least seven centuries, facilitating cultural and religious exchanges.

Freight and passenger rail lines and the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline could replicate the same results. The rail line will feature stations and spurs, legalizing the movement of people and services across vast hostile territory.

The project’s cash could be in trouble as it is tied to mining earnings.

As the EU looks to diversify resources beyond oil for the energy transition, the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline will provide the desert with an economic incentive for effective regulation.

The projects will facilitate the creation of train stations, full-fledged work camps and other economic activities that will require the presence of security personnel to check visas and passports. That way, whoever crosses the Sahara and boards a ship will be carrying official papers. More importantly, it will provide new employment opportunities for the region’s restless nomadic tribes.

If the EU is really interested in a genuine African deal, it needs to forge genuine partnerships that will enable technology transfer, standardized semi-skilled labor flows with the AU, and genuine backward integration to open up African economies.

Africa needs to convert more raw materials into complex products that the EU is willing to buy in order to strike a fair deal and provide the jobs its citizens crave in Europe.

The EU is in a strategic competition with China, Russia and Turkey for influence and resources in Africa. The trio often offer tangible partner benefits ranging from loans to drones. The current mood in the region, especially the Sahel and below, is heavily tilted against them against the West. Some time ago, a Kenyan analyst said, “When the Chinese come, they come with bridges and ports. When you Europeans come, you come with lectures on human rights.” To support this view, the average Nigerian would ask “Are we cutting down on human rights?” This is what many governments exploit – the polarization of the international order. So the EU finds itself divided between human rights and investment in people, and thus opts for a different kind of human experience — security and immigration diplomacy. The EU’s advantage over revisionist states lies in the cultural ties built over centuries in trade and colonialism. It must do more, however; this balancing act provides an opportunity to match words with deeds.

En Wanze,partner Shibang Intelligencepublished This presentation to United Europe at ESMT Berlin July 3, 2023.



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