Friday, February 23, 2024

Russia-Africa Summit: Why India should pay heed!

The recent 2nd Russia-Africa Summit should interest Indians.

But for slaves from Africa which gave them the control across Atlantic (plantations and the new world of America) and its riches, the colonialists wouldn’t have ventured around Cape of Good Hope, smelling India and using its opium to bring China and the Qing Dynasty to heels in due course. 

Africa gave colonialists the world, the basis of its industrialisation, its technological breakthroughs—but for its uranium, Hiroshima and Nagasaki would’ve escaped atom bombs — yet in return got the title of the “Dark Continent” and a “coup” every 55 days in 90% of African states since acquiring “independence” in the 1960s. 

The president of the Central African Republic (look for it in the map), Faustin Archange Touadera says the instability by militant groups is largely financed by western countries; the IMF and the World Bank, at the behest of “western powers” suspend financial aid; and such has been the loot of his country’s vast reserves of gold, diamonds, cobalt, oil and uranium that after more than 60 years of independence, it remains one of the poorest nation of the world. “The Central African people have been taken hostage,” he laments. 

In all Africa has had 79 coups, one in Niger just now as I write it, once every year on an average. There have been 40 French military interventions in the guise of humanitarian help in last 60 years. The loot is managed through kleptocrats the West puts in power, a continent-wide corruption pact. Dead? Millions and millions and counting. 

The Rape of Africa, between 1445-1870, was carried out by eight European powers: Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy and Holland; the so-called democratic Europe which in essence promoted only thuggery in Africa. Those worthy calls of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” surely didn’t extend to the Black Africans enslaved in the Caribbean and elsewhere. 

In the modern times its the United States which has too many instruments, such as the financial and global bodies, terrorists, muscles and deep pockets and local kleptocrats who do their bidding for their own cut. 

The next logical question: What all this has got to do with the Russia-Africa Summit and the Indians?

Well, 49 out of the 54 African countries were in St. Petersburg for the Summit (July 27-28). It’s practically the entire continent which as per our propagandist media is being denied “grain deal” by the “inhumane” Russians. 

If Russia is so bad, how come almost the entire continent turned up? You’d have your answer in this piece of mine, if somehow it has escaped your notice that Russia is finding a way to supply food and fertilizers directly to the Africans, avoiding the Black Sea ports where it was servicing largely the well-fed Europeans and not the poor of Africa under the grain deal. 

Not to say the $20 billion debt Russia has now written off of its African debtors!

The gutter media has also been telling us that the Wagner Group had caused most of the instability in Africa, notably in Central African Republic, Libya, Mali and Sudan but you, I guess, now know better. 

The above vision-correction for the Indian readers is not just to convey who is villain here: That it’s not the Russian but the West, historically as well in real-time today, which has caused most of the mischief. 

It’s also to alert the coming of age of Africa so that we don’t sleep over it. (It’s not to say the Modi government is not alert on Africa—indeed, we are behind only West and China in being proactive across the Indian Ocean.)

Africa is home to 54% of the world’s reserves of platinum, 78% of diamonds, 40% of chromium and 28% of manganese. Nineteen countries of sub-Saharan Africa have significant reserves of hydrocarbons: Its world’s leading exporter of gold, platinum, diamonds, bauxite and manganese; the second for copper and crude oil. It’s also the world’s leading producer of cocoa, tea, tobacco, the second for sisal and cotton. 

So young is Africa that by 2050, it would have 2 billion people, one in four being less than 25 years of age. It’s tremendous work-force for the future of our world. 

All the above is not intended to salivate at the business prospects with this Continent. Africa always has suffered at the hands of the exploiters: It’s time to partner them to help them realize their true potential. 

Russia in recent times has committed itself to alleviating Africa’s energy and food problems: Indeed, 43% of the Africa still doesn’t have energy. 

India, on its part, is active on a variety of fronts, including technical know-how, infra, Line of Credit etc, etc. Our historical bond go back centuries, indeed much before the Europeans came into the picture. There is a general warmth between the people of Africa and India. 

Today’s Africa would be central to the oncoming multipolar world. Its enormous base of minerals, once its traded on a new currency, would liberate itself from the suffocating Dollar. 

The West offers democracy—but that comes with a price of loot and compromised rulers. Russia, on the other hand, offers Africa sovereignty, a liberation from terrorism and mutiny and supplies it more arms than anybody else. 

India, too, needs to keep building up its base in Africa; neither the West nor I suspect China would be a much help in its quest which is understandable. All those fetes and festoons on visiting White House shouldn’t fool Modi; we are no better than use-and-throw entity in the eyes of the rapacious West. 

Russia, on the other hand, is a power India could trust; a power which alone could stabilize Africa from the murderous machinations of the West and stop its war games. 

Russia could prepare a stable Africa for India to go on an overdrive, and not suffer an Afghanistan where its decades of investment vanished overnight once the Americans left in a huff. 

Africa is looking for genuine friends which India is. Africa would be critical in the emerging multipolar world and India could have no better friend than Russia on a common quest. 

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