The decades when the continent couldn’t raise major funds on ordinary commercial markets are over, but there are still worries about over-indebtedness. by Sanou Mbaye The nations of sub-Saharan Africa, in the post-independence euphoria of the 1960s, wanted to end the international division of labour under which they exported raw materials and imported manufactured goods. … [Read more...] about Africa borrows on the open market
In recent years, China and Africa have formed one of the modern era’s most successful economic and trade partnerships. China benefits from Africa’s oil, minerals, and markets, while Africa benefits from increased trade and investment in infrastructure, health, education, small-scale businesses, and low and medium technologies. Some Western observers – and some Africans – … [Read more...] about Africa’s French Roadblock
DAKAR – France is wrestling with a burden of debts and public deficits that led Standard & Poor’s recently to downgrade its credit rating. Even as the risk of recession looms, the country has been forced to implement a drastic austerity program. But France’s woes are also being felt far beyond its borders, sparking rumors of a possible devaluation of the CFA … [Read more...] about Decolonizing the Franc Zone
DAKAR – Senegal’s people are deeply disenchanted. In 2000, they enthusiastically went to the polls to elect Abdoulaye Wade as their president. Wade had campaigned as an agent of change, but change never came to Senegal throughout his decade in power. Now the only change he wants to make is to the constitution, so that he can retain his hold on … [Read more...] about Can Senegal Succeed ?
DAKAR – China’s sacred text is not a holy book like the Torah, the Bible, or the Koran. Instead, it is The Art of War by Sun-Tzu. Sun’s core belief is that the “ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” So it is no surprise that cunning and deception form an essential part of Chinese diplomatic and corporate … [Read more...] about China’s African Front
DAKAR – There is something dismally familiar about the tide of news reports concerning Africa’s increased suffering – more poverty, malnutrition, civil strife, and death – in the face of the recent global financial crisis. Almost everywhere, the media translates academic conclusions into graphic illustrations of brutality and despair in places such as Guinea and the Democratic … [Read more...] about Africa’s Diaspora to the Rescue
The success that US President George W. Bush and his special envoy, former Secretary of State James Baker, had in getting Iraq's foreign debts canceled or rescheduled shows what can be done when a policy is backed by political will. The contrast with Africa's debts could hardly be starker. Just three years ago, Jubilee 2000 made news when civil society groups, rock stars, and a … [Read more...] about Africa’s Debt Dilemma
The African Union, which replaced the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 2002, is trying to reproduce the European Union's institutions and ways of acting. But copying the EU blueprint means that nothing has been learned from the past and that nothing is being done to avoid the pitfalls Europe has endured. The biggest flaw in the EU model has been its reliance on a … [Read more...] about Should Africa Follow the EU Model ?
Marxist economics made the withering away of the state its ultimate goal. However, it is the unabated liberalisation of the world economy, which is translating the old socialist dream into a disquieting reality. It needed the combination of three ingredients to make this twist of history possible. First, there was Nixon's decision in 1972-73 to end the dollar-gold link, which … [Read more...] about CAPITALISM IN CRISIS
Sanou MBaye suggests that the price of maintaining links with France is too high FOURTEEN OF THE former West African French colonies use the CFA franc, whose exchange rate is pegged to the French franc, as a common currency. The CFA franc was created, in its initial form, in the 19th century to help France shape and control the economies of her colonies. The scheme was quite … [Read more...] about Why the CFA franc must go
FOURTEEN OF THE former West African French colonies use the CFA franc, whose exchange rate is pegged to the French franc, as a common currency. The CFA franc was created, in its initial form, in the 19th century to help France shape and control the economies of her colonies. The scheme was quite useful to France, which it helped to resist the tremors of the economic crises of … [Read more...] about Sanou MBaye suggests that the price of maintaining links with France is too high
FROM THE LATE seventies to the present, Senegal has been going through a major political and economic change designed to generate economic growth and development. An appraisal of the results generated by these changes would show a picture of contrasting achievements. On the political front, the agreement between the government and two opposition parties to form a coalition … [Read more...] about Senegal: Contrasting achievements in political and economic changes