Who acts in our interest?

27 March 2019 | Opinion

While ordinary Namibians battle to put a plate of food on the table for themselves and their loved ones, world powers are in the midst of an ongoing scramble for ours and Africa's resources.

As far back as 2017, in paper titled 'Don't worry, Africa… we'll go away when we're finished' alarm bells were rung about the brutal battle unfolding between America and China for Africa's resources.

It outlined that the US is very concerned that China will gain a monopoly over the wealth of natural resources that Africa possesses.

“The essential problem for the US is that China has stolen a march on it in terms of cultivating investments and harnessing resources across Africa. Under Xi Jinping, China has investment projects worth an estimated US$60 billion in dozens of African countries. This is way beyond what the US or European powers have invested.

“China has, over the last decade, risen to become the single largest trade partner for many African countries. It has educated 15 000 Africans in China and in 2006 wrote off US$1 billion in debts. It has also become a major source of financial support for various development projects being undertaken on the continent,” the authors argued at the time.

Of course, other nations have every right to act in their own interests. But who is acting in ours?

It is absolute nonsense that 29 years after independence we are still making deals to simply have our raw resources extracted and sold for pennies. We should be earning massive revenue through value-addition. Our bizarre foreign policy, based on the 'friend to all and enemy to none' mantra is a farce. Namibia and Namibians must be put first in all our dealings with international players, particularly when they start singing about what they did pre-independence for us.

The rural poor and those flung into the urban ghettos should be top-of-mind when we negotiate deals. The inescapable conclusion is that individual palms are being greased to steal our family jewels.

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