Living in African nations is very different from living in other parts of the world. The reasons are poverty and hunger. Poverty continues to rise in Africa. An estimate from the World Bank suggests that the share of the African population in extreme poverty did decline—from 57 per cent in 1990 to 43 per cent in 2012. At the same time, however, Africa’s population continued to expand rapidly. As a result, the number of people living in extreme poverty still increased by
more than 100 million.
The consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war have made things worse as the continent is now edging into an acute food crisis. African countries believe they are victims of the war in Ukraine and Russia. The West squarely blames everything on Russia citing it as majorly responsible for African food shortages.
But, Africa is in no mood to accept this assertion. African nations continue to blame the West for the deploring conditions. Recently, Niger President has expressed discernment with Western nations over fossil fuel use. His statements expose how the Western world is reasonably keeping Africa poor and hungry.
Africa is being punished by the West
A few days ago, the G7 summit vowed to end direct public support for financing fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of the year to help combat global warming. The term “unabated” referred to projects that do not employ techniques to offset pollution.
The Nigerian president has given a sharp criticism over the G7’s decision. Niger President Mohamad Bazoum has stressed that G7’s decision will be detrimental to Africa. He stated, “Africa has been “punished” by decisions by western countries to end public financing for foreign fossil-fuel projects by the end of 2022.”
Niger President told a business forum in the Ivorian city of Abidjan that “We are going to continue to fight, we have fossil fuels that should be exploited. At one point, companies had plans to mine Niger’s coal. But with these measures, no banks are willing to commit – we are being punished.”
His comments were backed by the African Union Chief and Senegalese President, Macky Sall. The President stated, “Let the African continent be allowed to exploit its natural resources! It is frankly unbelievable that those who have been exploiting oil and its derivatives for more than a century prevent African countries from reaping the value of their resources.”
Delivering a sharp blow to West, Macky also raised concerns over payment systems and fertilizer deliveries. Sall stated that Western-led payment restrictions imposed on Russia for its war on Ukraine have also taken a hit on the African payment mechanism. Due to this, Africa is not able to buy adequate fertilizers and other agricultural commodities required for farming.
The drift widens
The continent has immense untapped natural wealth, human resources, and effective policy execution to create explosive wealth that by-passes Western-led globalization and creates national and continental technology hubs. But, the West is not letting this happen.
So, more and more African nations are developing a sense that they are being exploited by the West knowingly as they don’t want the continent to get developed. This is why the continent is drifting away from the West and heading to eventually align with Russia.
This sense of getting used might be another primary reason why African nations have been among Russia’s most loyal supporters since the conflict in Ukraine started.
Earlier, some African nations abstained from voting against Russia in the UN. It further insisted the West to reconsider its sanctions. But, now the bloc has openly created an anti-Western front. They have openly started criticizing the West. Indeed, the West is losing Africa.