China is emerging into the global markets like a monsoon wind and change is truly in the air. With a growing economy and a population growing in wealth China is literally scouring the world to find the resources necessary to feed its need. It should be no surprise that China is finding many of these crucial resources on the Dark Continent.
For years Africa was simultaneously raped and neglected by European countries looking to compete on the world stage with expanding empires. These countries swooped down on Africa like vultures and carved the continent up into colonies at the expense of the people who lived there. Raw minerals, precious metals, rare animals, exotic woods, and even the African people themselves were snatched up with very little in the form of compensation. Since Africa had no use for European money when compensation was given it was usually in the form of weapons so the African tribes could war among themselves helping to foster long standing hatred of each other.
Before the interference of the western cultures there was no such thing as an entire tribe of Africans being eradicated. When one tribe defeated another the defeated eventually became members of the conquered after a period of indoctrination. Territories were merged and the two became one. But with the appetite for slave labor in the west, especially in America, tribes were given an incentive to have the defeated taken away. The people from the west would give the African more weapons so that they could conquer more land and conquer more people. And all the people in the west wanted was the opportunity to take the conquered people away. It would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. That is, everyone except the people from the tribe that found itself on the loosing end of these conflicts.
To this day these cultivations of hatred by western cultures catch global attention with atrocities like the genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. People in the west sit back and point to the African conflicts and say these people are too savage to be considered human. All the while people in the west never acknowledge their contribution to these conflicts. All the west knows is that Africa is a backward continent full of chaos, discord, and disaster. We see the starving children on television and might be moved to give a dollar of charity. We send missionaries to open schools and teach the ways of our religions. It is true that oil companies have built massive pipelines and refineries that employ many and dump toxic waste in the air and drinking water. And mining companies employ many Africans but leave the land useless in their wake. But giving Africa the tools necessary to build industries and infrastructure that the public could use would never cross our minds.
In steps China. This juggernaut of Asia is actually investing billions of dollars into the development of industries all over Africa. While people here in the west will see a commercial about poor, scantly clothed children in Somalia or some other famished area of Africa and our hearts sadden at the sight of suffering a business man in China would see an opportunity to meet a need to sell clothing or food or to put people to work who would be willing to labor for pennies on whatever passes as the local currency.
This is not to say that China is coming to the aid of Africa out of some altruistic form of benevolence from the Chinese people. It is quite the totally contrary. It’s not hard to imagine people in China at this very moment salivating at the thought of an entire continent of people to exploit. And while that depiction may sound harsh the whole foundation of capitalism is built around the exploitation of others. Communist China is simply exercising its own version of capitalism on a global scale. The difference between capitalist China and capitalist western cultures is that China isn’t operating off of entrenched stereotypes that do much to dispel much thought about developing real business ventures.
Soon China will displace the World Bank as the biggest lender in Africa. In just a handful of years of becoming an economic power China is venturing where no other country has had the balls to tread. All the years of sending missionaries and teachers and such to Africa to educate the populace resulted in a good chunk of that educated population leaving to find jobs elsewhere and leaving many to fend for themselves. Yes people in the west have built schools and hospitals and have made other contributions out of charity. But what happens when the charitable organization cuts back on its charity or turns its attention elsewhere for some reason or another?
In the movie Hotel Rwanda even the local catholic church pulled up steaks and headed down to the Hilton just like everyone else in the area. Where did everybody go? They went to the hotel that some conglomerate back in France owned because they had the resources to protect their investment. Had the French company not had its investment to protect the story would have a very different outcome.
Business people have a vested interest in protecting their personal investments. Charities are cool but charities don’t keep an economy going. Schools are great for preparing people for work but without work there’s nothing to prepare for. China will exploit Africa. It seems to be the way of the capitalistic driven world these days. And the more China exploits Africa the more material wealth the people there will garner. Eventually, when the infrastructure reaches a level of development that will sustain more businesses, more businesses will take root and grow. It’s about time somebody made the investment.