BUSINESS

THE WORLD’S WEALTHIEST POOR CONTINENT

The western, capitalist narrative that Agriculture will save Africa is false and misleading. No nation has ever become developed by focusing on subsistence farming or Agriculture. The surest way to wealth creation is MANUFACTURING. Africa is the only continent that exports over 80% of its raw materials, either willingly or by force.

Therefore, Africa is the world’s largest producer of wealth for everyone on earth-except its own people.

I hear a lot of people say that the new source of wealth in Africa is digital wealth, information communication technology, internet, and mobile banking technology. Do not be deceived by such a false premise. The foundation of the so-called information technology of today is manufacturing. For every dollar that Africa makes from Mobile phone technology and the internet, she generates at least ten thousand dollars for the rest of the world. For the ‘developed’ countries of the world to sustain their growth, they need unhindered access to Africa’s raw materials.

As we speak, hundreds of thousands of Congolese children work themselves to death in Congolese mines where they mine cobalt, earning one dollar a day. Cobalt is used in making the lithium batteries that power your mobile phones and cameras.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s largest producer of Coltan. Coltan is essential in the production of mobile phones and tantalum capacitors that are used in almost every kind of electronic device. Approximately 80% of the world’s supply of Coltan is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the world to keep enjoying mobile phone technology, it must have unhindered access to tantalum from Congo. For your information, Congo is among the world’s poorest countries.

Niger Republic and Namibia are among the world’s top producers of uranium. They are also among the world’s poorest. Niger alone supplies France with the uranium required to power up their nuclear programme and power stations – generating almost 80% of France’s electricity via an estimated 59 nuclear plants. One out of every three light bulbs that are lit in France is thanks to the uranium from Niger republic. However, in Niger, nearly 90% of the population has no access to electricity. For France to keep growing, it must have unhindered access to uranium from Niger republic.

Over 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, which is exported. The world’s chocolate business is valued at over 120 billion dollars annually and is expected to grow up to 170 billion dollars by 2024. Yes, it is the cocoa from Africa that powers the worlds profitable chocolate business. For the world to keep enjoying chocolate and make money from it, it must have unhindered access to Africa’s cocoa. For every 100 dollars that Africa makes from the sales of cocoa, she generates at least 50,000 dollars, not for her people, but for the rest of the world.

Ghana and Ivory Coast account for almost 70% of global cocoa bean exports. In 2019 alone Ghana exported around 900,000 tons! Cocoa farmers in Ghana receive 480 cedis (86 euro) per bag, which amounts to an annual income of 500 euros for one hectare. Ghana earns some 2 billion dollars annually from exportation of cocoa, while the chocolate industry, which depends on Ghana’s cocoa beans, earns over 120 billion dollars annually. The average life expectancy for farmers in Ghana is said to be 53 years.
Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, a former colony until ‘Independence’ in 1960, has wrestled with civil unrest and increasing poverty rates for years. In 2015, poverty in the Ivory Coast was as high as 46.3 percent. Ivory coast is also among the world’s top exporter of raw cashew nuts. In 2018, Ivory Coast was ranked 165 out of 189 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. The Ivory Coast continues to be the world’s largest producer of cocoa, with an estimated 2.12 million metric tons for 2020’s harvest.

Illegal mining

The top four countries responsible for the manufacturing of chocolate are the United States, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium. They are also among the richest countries in the world, with an average life expectancy of 80 years. The more cocoa Ivory coast produces and exports, the more the economy of the rich countries grow. Good news, life expectancy in Ivory increased from 56 years in 2017 to 57 in 2019!

Cameroon’s East region, with the North and far North, is the richest in forest and mining resources. Ironically, it is also the poorest. Nicknamed ‘the mini Africa’ because of its rich cultural and biodiversity, Cameroon has one of the highest literary rates in Africa. However, its economic progress has been hampered by corruption and decades of authoritarian rule.
The bitter war in Cameroon is a battle for sovereignty between the Francophone region, which was formally a French colony, and the Anglophone region, which was formally ruled by the British, and forcefully merged together as one country led and dominated by French-speaking Cameroonians. They have ruled the country in an authoritarian way since the unification of the two former United Nations trusteeship territories – French Cameroun and British Southern Cameroons – in 1961.
Cameroons current president, Paul Biya, has been in power since 1982, making him the second-longest-ruling president in Africa (after Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea), the longest-ruling non-royal leader in the world, and the oldest head-of-state in Africa, at 87 years of age. His regime is supported by France, which supplies it with weapons and trains its forces. France is Cameroons’ leading foreign investor, followed by the United States. More than one hundred French companies are located in all key economic sectors of Cameroon (oil, timber, mobile telephony, transport, banking, insurance, mining etc.), with focus on exportation, not manufacturing.

The story is the same all over Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Senegal, and others. The best way out of this bondage is to have a United people of Africa, who can see through the man-made political, economic and epistemic chains that hinder their progress, and together as one people, confront them. After all, the greatest enemy of freedom is a happy slave.

About the author

Anselm Adodo

Anselm Adodo

Fr. Anselm Adodo is a catholic priest and director of one of Africa’s largest
phytomedicine company, called paxherbals, and Director of Pax Centre for
Integral Research and Development. His most recent books include ‘The
Idea of the Communiversity’ (Beacon academic, 2019), and ‘Healing Plants
of Nigeria’ (Routledge, 2020). Anselm is a visiting lecturer at Nigeria’s
premier University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a Fellow of the Nigeria society of
Botanists and an adjunct research fellow of Nigeria Institute of medical
Research.

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8 Comments

  • I’ve seen thousands of articles like this over my 33 years. It has reached the point of pointlessness (that’s a new word). My question is: what is the point of yet another article such as this when Africans have no interest in honest and sincere collaboration to move forward? What’s the point when Africans are not willing to fight for what is theirs? What’s the point when the same Africans that call themselves kings and queens, look down their nose at their own people, then turn around and be subservient to those that we think inferior…those that rob us? I attempted to start an industrial revolution…still waiting, two weeks later, for a reply from the person who was so excited at first about moving the idea forward. Africans are freaking lazy when it comes to their own emancipation. Our ancestors would be disappointed, and it doesn’t look to be any end in sight.

    • Hello John. We deeply appreciate your feedback, and it is spot on. One of our questions at this magazine is why, with all the information like this that is out there, has nothing been done about it?
      We continue to shout it from the rooftops in the hope that someone will latch on and be moved to action.
      We will send you our whatsapp number shortly so we can pick up on this conversation. It is very needed right now.

  • This is mind blowing and an eye openiner. Africa can be great only if they recognise the potentials within and tap it. Thanks father.

  • We have all that it takes to be the most desired continent but our problem is we don’t want to take responsibility of making Africa work. Even those leaders who dare to try to salvage us from the clutches of these blood sucking imperialist nations were still betrayed by fellow Africans. Who bewitched Africa? How can she be the richest and at the same time the poorest Continent?

    • Afrika is, first and foremost, a people… before it is a physical location. It is you and it is me. Without factoring in the people and their fears, desires, ambitions, greed etc. and without overcoming their selfish interests, we cannot build together. We cannot approach matters with common interest and understanding.
      We have to fix the I and the We to begin to form a clear path towards our common goals. We have to solve the reason a brother will betray an entire nation of people for money. Why someone will allow their nation to sink into civil war in order to become leader of the ones who remain after the violence they allowed in has settled down. And why they think this is okay.
      We have to realize that it starts with you and me making choices that affect one another. It is those individual choices that are working towards either the destruction or the restoration of Afrika.