Sunday, August 11, 2013

Notes on Africa

I've read some newspaper stories on Africa which put that continent in a new light.

Take the example of Angola. There is still considerable poverty in that country. Even so, the economy is growing rapidly (thanks to its oil reserves) to the point that Portugal, the old colonial power, recently asked Angola for economic help. It is now wealthy Angolans who are buying up prime real estate in economically depressed Portugal.

A car dealership in Luanda, Angola

The daughter of the Angolan president has become Africa's first female billionaire.

And it is China which is now the overseas power most active in Angola. China has been described as the new colonial power in Africa, with an estimated 1,000,000 Chinese moving there:
There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.

In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans.

As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.

In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of 'African' souvenirs.

A Chinese overseer in Zambia
The Western countries do still give aid to African nations, but there has been controversy about such aid programmes when African nations are spending billions to develop space programmes:
The row over aid spending intensified yesterday when it emerged Britain is pumping more than a billion pounds into oil-rich Nigeria which has plans to put a man in space.

But taxpayers are also funding aid programmes in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya – all of which have their own space agencies. Many are in their early stages, but include ambitious and expensive plans for satellites and even rockets.

Over the five years of this Government, the four nations will receive more than £1.5billion from British taxpayers.

I think it's worth being aware of these trends. There are some who have wanted to make Europeans believe that they are responsible for poverty in Africa. But there is now a very wealthy black elite in these nations: they are the ones who hold the power and the wealth. And if there is a colonial power it is now very clearly the Chinese rather than any Western country.

11 comments:

  1. There has always been a wealthy elite in Africa. Usually their wealth is a product of corruption and rent-seeking on Western enterprise rather than a product of their own work. This has not changed for all that the local parasites are fastening on a Chinese host rather than a European or American one.

    I doubt their is much in the way of a middle class in these "wealthy" African countries.

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  2. Remember the Beverly hillbillies? Anyone can become new rich from oil.
    Just look at the Arabs.
    The question is with our resource boom why is Australia not benefiting from it the way these thirdworld people are.
    Labor deliberately squandered it.

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  3. Fascinating. An article on OZConservartive about where my father comes from. Angola is in Central Africa.

    The daughter of the Angolan president has become Africa's first female billionaire.

    Yep. She's also biracial and not really African (google "Isabel dos Santos" and see her picture). Her mother (the President's first wife, apparently they are now divorced) was from a former Soviet Union state in Azerbaijan (near Armenia and Turkey). Her elite President father is quite African thought.

    José Eduardo dos Santos married three times and has six children from his wives, and one born out of wedlock. He and his family have amassed a significant personal fortune.

    I found it interesting how Isabel dos Santos, married Sindika Dokolo a son of a DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) millionaire from Kinshasa and his Danish wife. He's biracial, medium to fair skinned (depending on the heat of the sun) and he owns the most important collection of contemporary African art which includes more than 3.000 pieces. The problem is that she married quite late. She met him during college in London, UK.

    That would puzzle most African-Americans, who often as a group seem to be under some impression that biracial (half-black/half other) women should be having children with and marrying black dudes (who are mostly dark-skinned and poor, don't lie).

    But there is now a very wealthy black elite in these nations: they are the ones who hold the power and the wealth. And if there is a colonial power it is now very clearly the Chinese rather than any Western country.

    There is great inequality in Angola. All of this thing about Angola being a rich country is founded on three things: the old influence of the Portuguese, the natural oil reserves and the hand of the Chinese in building and doing stuff.

    Most (average) Angolans aren't like that. And I don't know how this type of elite will be in the future because one all knows about "regression to the mean". A couple may be an exception for example, but their children may reverse towards the mean and be quite average. That's what I sometimes see with the black elite. That's why I don't see a bright future for Angola and left it while I still could.

    There has always been a wealthy elite in Africa. Usually their wealth is a product of corruption and rent-seeking on Western enterprise rather than a product of their own work. This has not changed for all that the local parasites are fastening on a Chinese host rather than a European or American one.

    I doubt their is much in the way of a middle class in these "wealthy" African countries.


    That's what SBPDL (Stuff Black People Don't Like) author and blogger Paul Kersey, who is African-American, says about the black community in the USA.

    He says that the black US middle-class is artificial (through NGOs, corporate help, government help, etc.), and will collapse in the future as the economy declines. He also talked a lot about DWL (Disingenuous White Liberals) and their hand in this grand scheme.

    I thought he was exaggerating at first all those years ago, but it seems that time has proven him right.

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  4. Paul Kersey is the name of Charles Bronson's character in Death Wish.

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  5. The SPDL blogger is African-American? Hard to believe.

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  6. Elizabeth (or Alcestis), I thought you still lived in Angola. Where are you now?

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  7. Really, African countries have space programs? I looked online and all I can see that have done is stick a "satellite" under a weather balloon and send it up 500 feet.

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  8. "African countries have space programs?"

    Yes but thus far they have been unable to form a human pyramid high enough to reach orbit. =)

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  9. Elizabeth (or Alcestis), I thought you still lived in Angola. Where are you now?

    Hello.

    I once commented here as Elizabeth Smith, but I changed it to Alcestis Eshtemoa (which is a common and familiar name I have for myself at other blogs and websites).

    Getting Brazilian nationality (renouncing the Angolan one) and travelling in both Portugal and Brazil (not to mention, going to
    Russia in the near future too).

    I'm 20 years old right now btw.

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  10. Soon they are going to have to change the words in Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey on the Moon"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtBy_ppG4hY

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  11. Carter Van Carter of Across Difficult Country has written on African Space Programs before: http://acrossdifficultcountry.blogspot.com.au/search/label/afronauts


    Also Peter Hitchen's has written on Chinese colonization of Africa before at http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/africas-last-worst-hope/

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