Yoked Francophone Africa must be pitied

my turnBut it will be useful to look at just how chained francophone Western African countries are to their former colonial masters who dominate everything from their languages right down to their pockets.

There is a small piece of news that opponents of President Mugabe, especially at home, are celebrating.

The President recently let slip something to the effect that Ivory Coast had refused to welcome him.

“The French are saying that Mugabe is a dangerous man and don’t work with him,” he said.

He also revealed that Britain was trying to influence African countries to do the same.

President Mugabe is the chairman of the African Union and that brief entails him travelling the length and breadth of the continent and to interact with its leaders.

For obvious reasons, former colonial powers are unhappy and edgy that the man who is Zimbabwe’s liberator and has embarked on historic initiatives such as the land reform and indigenisation programmes should hobnob with other leaders.

President Mugabe, a charismatic and fearless man, would, they fear, impart his revolutionary ideals and ideas on these leaders.

As such, former colonial masters like France, which have maintained a yoke on their old spheres of influence, would do well to discourage such interactions.

That is why the West did not want a Mugabe chairmanship at the AU.

Not even the executive commission leadership of another Southern African state, Nkosazana Dhlamini- Zuma.

Read against this background, it is surprising that some Zimbabweans are too shallow and too petty to celebrate the cold shoulder President Mugabe may have received from puppet African regimes.

To small, idiotic minds, when President Mugabe is “snubbed” by spineless African leaders who have remained under the yoke of colonialism, it is something to be celebrated.

What a shame!

And do we not see that President Mugabe is the bigger man, is the bigger idea and the bigger symbol that imperialists are afraid of?

Just like the US and British officials walking out on him or shying away from hearing President Mugabe speak at international forums such as the United Nations.

It is not personal disdain, no.

It is fear of those skeletons in the cupboard.

Chained

But it will be useful to look at just how chained francophone Western African countries are to their former colonial masters who dominate everything from their languages right down to their pockets.

There is a whole body of literature on just how France milks Western Africa — and how it seeks to continue that way.

“Most people in the West probably think of Africa as being dependent on Western largess, not the other way around,” begins one piece on Al Jazeera.

“After all, the Western countries are prosperous enough to take care of their own and even lend a hand to developing nations, while African countries struggle with widespread poverty.”

That is a misconception.

The article in question goes on to debunk that myth in several ways.

It quotes consecutive French leaders who have openly confessed how dependent they are on West Africa.

In 1957 former Prime Minister François Mitterrand said: “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century”.

In 2008 President Jacques Chirac said: “. . . without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third (world) power” while a former French minister, Jacques Godfrain, in 2011 admitted that, “. . . a little country (France), with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because (of our) relations with 15 or 20 African countries. . . ”

But two years later another minister Pierre Moscovici was even more candid, admitting:“We have to speak the language of truth: African growth pulls us along, its dynamism supports us and its vitality is stimulating for us. . . We need Africa.”

It is a miracle that West African leaders have not been able to assert themselves but are willing vassals of the French metropolis.

That may as well go down to colonisation, in which France employed a method called assimilation which historians note was so overwhelming and consummate in shackling a people by giving them a new language, culture, identity and politics.

And this is what you get: “The African states help sustain France’s image as a major, influential world power, as alluded to in the statements of French leaders. Francophone African regimes have been a source of votes in support of French objectives at the UN, and key allies in international negotiations and joint intelligence and military operations.”

How self-defeating!

The Colonial Pact

But there is a serious and material reason for the persistence of the master-servant relationship between France and its former colonies.

This resides in what is called the “colonial pact” which put stringent conditions on African nations in return for “independence”.

This pact ensured that the “independent” African countries would remain subjects of France and pay taxes and to consult France on all fiscal and monetary issues.

The pact also gives France the first preference to undertake all projects in ex-colonies, which they undertake at a huge cost and implement at a snail’s pace, all to the detriment of Africans.

One blog explains: “The Colonial Pact requires each of the fourteen member states to keep 65 percent of their foreign currency reserves in the French Treasury, plus another 20 percent for financial liabilities. This means 85 percent of the money is in the French Treasury, leaving the African nations with access to only 15 percent of their own foreign currency reserves. If they need access to more than the 15 percent, which they almost always do, they must request a loan from France.

“These nations not only have to borrow their own reserves from France. They also must pay commercial interest rates on the loans. France profits both from the investment of other nation’s reserves, and the interest they charge for lending a portion of the reserve to the countries that funded it in the first place.”

What is worse is that France has engineered coups and regime change on the continent many times.

It is stated that French troops intervened militarily in Africa 19 times between 1962 and 1995, and 35 times in the last 15 years, including recent invasions of Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali and most recently, the Central African Republic.

Explains one source: “Intervention is almost always sold to the public on the grounds of ‘humanitarian intervention.’ Evidence suggests the real purpose has almost always been to prop up pro-Western regimes or to install new petite bourgeoisie governments subservient to French interests.”

FOREVER YOKED. . . France deposed former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbabgo (pictured) because he had wanted his way, and was warming up to the Chinese, where his country would get value for projects money

FOREVER YOKED. . . France deposed former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbabgo (pictured) because he had wanted his way, and was warming up to the Chinese, where his country would get value for projects money

Outtara and Gbagbo

On March 12, 2011, one Patrice Douh wrote: “The fall of Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast will always be remembered as the day the French army forces stormed the residence of the Ivorian president and put him in the hands of the rebels. The weight of France in this change of government was reflected when the new president, Alassane Ouattara, had on Monday a long telephone conversation with Nicolas Sarkozy.”

France deposed Gbabgo because he had wanted his way and was warming up to the Chinese, where his country would get value for money for projects.

He was becoming too independent, and too dangerous.

That is why he fell.

Such mega deals are a preserve of France which, by the way, also has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in African countries, even if the latter can get better prices elsewhere.

Outtara is the current French vassal, who is also charged to collect taxes for France.

The French would not allow him anywhere near Mugabe. No!

The reason is simple.

As such it is Outarra and his ilk that we must pity for remaining under the yoke of France.

Nkosi s’kelela iAfrika!

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  • http://mafaro.co.uk/ GENERAL MBEZO

    Just google the French connection on youtube and surely this whole article comes into making sense!

  • petrosmagomazi

    Why do you say he was a dictator?