Africa Manifesto: I. Foreign Exploiters – Out of Africa!

 

Since the European colonial powers entered Africa centuries ago, they have plundered our continent and enslaved our peoples. In the past, they shipped millions of black Africans as slaves to North and South America. Today, the imperialist Great Powers and their monopolies repress and exploit our people under the guise of formal political independence of the African countries. This is why we characterize these formally independent capitalist states as "semi-colonies" or "neo-colonies."

 

As a result, the strategic sectors of Africa's economy, like mining, oil and finance, remain dominated by foreign capitalist monopolies. For example, as many as 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange have mineral operations in sub-Saharan Africa. These corporations control over US$1 trillion worth of Africa’s resources with just five commodities – oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. Furthermore, these foreign monopolies command vast swathes of Africa’s land area, their concessions covering a staggering 1.03 million square kilometres of the continent. More than 52% of all banks in sub-Saharan Africa are in foreign hands.

 

It is therefore not surprising that the imperialist monopolies succeed it reaping massive profits out of Africa every year. A recently published study gives the following figures: “While $134 billion flows into the continent each year, predominantly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid; $192 billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies, tax dodging and the costs of adapting to climate change. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58 billion a year.” (Health Poverty Action Briefing, July 2014)

 

We see, therefore, that for centuries Africa has been plundered because of its wealth in minerals and as a source of cheap labour. As a result, today it is the poorest and most backward continent. In other words, we can say that “Africa is poor because it is rich.

 

For these reasons, the RCIT supports the call for the old and new colonial powers to pay compensation for centuries of slavery, exploitation and oppression! We denounce the hypocrisy of the western Great Powers which deny African nations and Afro-Americans reparations and ask us to forget the past atrocities perpetuated against these peoples. What a contrast this is compared to the reparations which have been paid because of the horrible Nazi crimes against the Jewish people! Are African lives worth less?! After 1994, a sham Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created in the “new” South Africa as a healing mechanism. In fact white murderers were forgiven for their crimes.

 

Traditionally, our people had to suffer from the European imperialists and, since World War II, from North America as well. Today, new exploiters have arrived to grow rich from our blood, sweat and tears. This is the case with China, in particular, the new emerging imperialist Great Power and, to a lesser degree, with Japan and India. China has become the biggest trading partner of Africa and one of its three largest foreign investors on the continent. About 10,000 Chinese corporations operate in Africa. They control about 12% of its total industrial production.

 

Various greedy politicians, camouflaging their goals with some pseudo-socialist phraseology (like the ANC and the Stalinist SACP in South Africa or Mugabe's ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe), try to sell us China as a better, benign Great Power. As a matter of fact, the Chinese monopolies are no better than their European and American rivals: they all are sucking us dry!

 

The RCIT calls for a joint struggle of the workers and popular mass organizations to expropriate the imperialist monopolies and to scrap all imperialist deals which impose on the African countries another form of slavery – economic slavery!

 

As a result of our economic dependence on the Great Powers and their monopolies, in our political life we are dominated by them too. True, they don’t occupy our land directly as they did in the epoch of colonialism. Today, they control the African continent indirectly via the local ruling class. While occasional and temporary conflicts can occur between the imperialists and African capitalists, the latter are organically incapable of breaking with the imperialist system. This is because no national capitalist market can exist in isolation from the world market and the latter is dominated precisely by the imperialist monopolies. Capitalism in Africa exists, and can only exist, as an amalgamation of imperialist capital and indigenous African capital in which the latter is subordinate to the former.

 

In order to better control our continent, the Great Powers increasingly create military bases and intervene either directly or via local puppets: French and German troops have been stationed in Mali to put down the insurgency of the Tuareg people in Azawad; US and European troops repeatedly strike and kill in Somalia as well as Libya; France and the US operate military bases in several African countries as does China in Djibouti; and various Great Powers deploy warships offshore from both Somalia and Libya. Furthermore, the Great Powers increasingly deploy local African troops which formally operate as independent forces, but in reality are foot soldiers for imperialism (e.g., AMISOM in Somalia, the G5 Sahel Force). In fact, these examples are just a repetition of what took place during colonialism when France and Britain used African soldiers as cannon fodder to save their own skins.

 

The working class of the semi-colonies must resist the establishment of military bases under the US’s AFRICOM. This is an attack on the sovereignty of African nations and a cover to re-colonise African states and protect capitalist interests of the Great Powers. Let’s never forget that, at the height of Zimbabwe’s land reclamation in 2008, Tony Blair threatened to invade Zimbabwe using the US airbase at Botswana.

 

The RCIT supports the resistance of the people in Somalia, Azawad and other countries against occupation by imperialist troops and their local agents. Likewise, we call for lifting the sanctions against Zimbabwe which – under the pretext of being directed against the Mugabe regime – in reality are an attack on the people! These illegal economic sanctions are in fact punitive measures meant to stop other African peasants from following the Zimbabwean example of expropriating land from white settlers. The RCIT unconditionally supports land reform in Zimbabwe – but at the same time gives no political support to the Mugabe government. We also support the increasingly determined demand of the South Africans to take back their land from the white settlers without compensation.

 

Another legacy of old and new colonialism are the minorities of privileged settlers. Traditionally, various African countries experienced the transplantation of white settlers. More recently, Chinese settlers (and in some cases also settlers from India) have taken up residence on our continent. Usually, they become privileged minorities which assist the Great Powers in exploiting our people. We say openly: the settlers can only stay in our country if they accept the loss of all privileges and the nationalization of their wealth (which they accumulated by bleeding our labour and land), and live among us as equals.

 

While the imperialist powers are no longer able to ship slaves, they continue to exploit our people via migration. Given the misery on our continent, millions of Africans are forced to migrate to Europe and the US where they are exploited as cheap sources of labour (relative to the domestic workers) and are oppressed on a national basis (i.e., discriminated against in terms of citizenship rights; terrorized by the authorities and racists; religious discrimination of Muslims and other minorities, etc.). As result of this mass migration from Africa, the imperialists deprive our continent of their educated labourers. For example, more African scientists live in the US today than in Africa!

 

We know that the solution for Africa's misery is not migration but a socialist future, without capitalist exploitation and imperialist oppression. At the same time we deplore the imperialist Fortress Europe, which bears key responsibility for our misery, and deny it the right to limit our freedom of movement! We demand free access to Europe! Likewise, we reject being used as cheap labour and demand equal wages and full citizenship rights in the wealthy countries!

 

Both in Africa, as well as internationally, the RCIT demands to:

 

* Expel all the Great Powers (US, China, EU, etc.) from Africa!

 

* Expropriate all the imperialist banks and corporations without compensation! For the nationaliation and centralization of all banks and the creation of one state bank operating on the basis of socialist guidelines!

 

* Cancel all debts to African countries! Down with the economic terrorist regime of the IMF and World Bank! No to all "free trade" treaties with the imperialist powers!

 

* Drive the Great Powers from African soil and territorial waters! Shut down all imperialist military bases!

 

* Defeat the military intervention of the Great Powers and their local stooges! Support the resistance against the imperialist occupiers in Mali and Somalia!

 

* Force the old and new colonial powers to pay compensation for centuries of slavery, exploitation and oppression!

 

* Abolish all privileges for the settlers!

 

* No sanctions against Zimbabwe or any other African countries!

 

* Reject imperialist border controls! Open the borders! Raise the wages for migrants to the levels of domestic workers! Full equality of migrants! Stop the racial oppression of Black people in Europe, Latin America, US and other parts of the world! Stop the Islamophobic discrimination of Muslim migrants in Europe; No to all religious-based persecution of minorities!