The French “intervention” in Mali to assist a national army that has been receiving counter-terrorism training from the USA since 2007 makes one wonder how competent their instructors are. Or is it that Malian soldiers are only adept at being foot soldiers and not commanders capable of eliminating 3,000 terrorists? A legacy of colonialism?
A more plausible explanation for the “timely” deployment of French troops is to ensure that Mali’s natural resources, including uranium which ensures the generation of nuclear energy needed to supply 75 per cent of France’s electricity, are not left to open market competition. Hence, the need to ensure that the vital natural resources of Mali are reserved for French corporate interests.
French officials now say that their troops will remain in Mali until a government that ensures the interest of French corporations is elected and the security to exploit Mali’s human and natural resources is guaranteed.
Neocolonialism has proved to be incapable of protecting French corporate interests and forced France to deploy its troops to its former colony where they will stay as long as is necessary. Isn’t that recolonisation?
The Southern African Development Community, a partner in the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DR Congo and the region, in 2008 agreed to establish a Grand Free Trade area with the East African Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa in order to bring about increased inter-African trade and enable Africa to become more self-reliant.
It will apparently allow small economies to have access to larger regional markets. However, who will own the means of production? Will it be the inhabitants of these small economies, who cannot generate capital needed to enhance their ability to be more productive and competitive, or will it be the foreign investors who have a history of seeking the maximum exploitation of the human and natural resources of the countries they invest in?
The initial stages of the Grand Free Trade Area will be to increase road, rail and communications infrastructure to facilitate intra-continental trade and apparently allow for an increased sharing of ideas and skills. It is more likely to be an increased exploitation of African social and physical wealth for the benefit of local and foreign elites.
The North-South corridor, a project within the Grand Free Trade Area, plans to link Cape Town to Cairo with tarred roads and increased infrastructure. Is this a revival of the late 19th century dream of grand imperialist Cecil Rhodes and many other members of the British Empire?
Rhodes worked hard to secure southern African states for the British Empire. He and other imperialists felt that the best way to “unify the imperial possessions, facilitate governance, enable the military to move quickly to hotspots or conduct war, help the settlement of Europeans in Africa, and foster trade”, would be to build the Cape to Cairo railway.
It is much more profitable for oil companies and automobile manufacturers to build a highway instead. The British imperial enterprise to connect Cape Town to Cairo had to contend with French imperialists who had a strategy in the late 1890s to link France’s colonies from West to East across the continent. Is the French “intervention” in Mali a revival of that strategy?
Rhodes wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the British, “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just imagine those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimen of human beings.
What an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, and the extra employment a new country added to our dominion gives.”
And with the recent downgrading of British government bonds, high unemployment, and no prospect for economic growth in Britain, the rest of Europe and North America well beyond 2015, it appears another scramble for Africa is underway.
The only obstacle to Africa’s recolonisation could be revolutionary African leaders who are committed to ensuring that poverty is eradicated and peace and prosperity prevails.