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
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
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
France's unchallenged political, economic, and military domination of its former sub-Saharan African colonies is rooted in a currency, the CFA franc. Created in 1948 to help France control the destiny of its colonies, fourteen countries--Benin, Burkina-Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Bissau … [Read more...] about How the French Plunder Africa
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 ?
NEPAD, the last plan to kick-start Africa's economic development adopted by the OAU in Lusaka (Zambia) on July, 11, 2001, is articulated around investment in the key sectors of infrastructure, agriculture, health and education. The plan is to be financed by the international community and through private capital flows, mainly from the multinationals. In choosing this way of … [Read more...] about NEPAD : the wrong plan ?
The former sub-Saharan French colonies did not have to fight for their independence. De Gaulle, then President of France, granted it to them. These countries undertook immediately to dismantle the federal structure in which they were operating and erected trade barriers between them. Paradoxically, they kept the CFA as their common currency. They surrendered the management … [Read more...] about CFA Franc: a Colonial relic
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
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