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Too Many African solutions

6.24.2005

Any of you who have been following the chatterati fallout from the G8 Debt relief proposals will no doubt be aware that there are literally hundereds of various voices supporting a variety of solution on Africa. Todays altest contribution comes from the esteemed pages of the Guardian and perhaps one of the more sensible proposals Ive seen recently. Literally this guy is proposing a boost to African based incentives and intitatives. This seems to be insanely practical and full of common sense Of ocurse it is likely to be ignored by government as they will never ever act against their own interests. These interests are best served by ensuring corporate dominance and access to mineral rights. Africas interests arent served by such a position. The dichootomy is thus clear to all that most of the furore surrounding the piece meal and unilateral initiatives coming from the G8 are mostly smog which can be used as a conscience appeasment exercise while affecting little in the general scheme of things.
For those of you who think you might have read his argument somewhere before, i.e. that nothing in Asia followed the neo-liberal prescriptions for growth and development but instead embraced intervention and protectionism in order to secure competitive growth before liberalising, if at all, then it is probably George Monbiot's book Age Of Consent. The major point in all of this is that much of the prescriptions circulating in wetern circle of comment come from western sources. Many government are acting unilaterally in most cases in the bilateral debt programmes etc. There is no consensus on where to go and nor is there any solace to be taken from the belief in the primacy and sanctity of free markets in lifting all boats as the tide comes in.
The local African solution is that which is best for all of us who desire a strong and serious solution to Africa. The local solution allows states to evolve their own strong states, strong democracy but not of the one size fits all variety. It most of all goves asense of possession and ownership too those who reside there. This will mean the retaking of reosources and the west will never let that happen.
Its a crazy mire of mess and fudge. one which creates little confidence of solution being reached and one which certainly obscures the tough solutions and clear dialogue necessary. By getting in first and framing hte debate around CAP, Markets, Debt and Aid, we are not cultivating local solutions but again embarking on the utopian projects of free marketing and debt peddling.
RR

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