Descolonização Afro-Asiática

A20 - Descolonização Afro-Asiática
(HG 197) KEYLOR, William. The Twentieth-Century World. Cap. 14

In 1945 only 4 Abrican states belonged to the newly established United Nations: Ecypt, South Africa, Liberia and Ethiopia. By the end of 1960, 25 new nations on the continent of Africa had joined the world organization, representing a quarter of its membership.

In 1963, representatives of the new African countries assembled in Addis Ababa, Ehiopia, to found the Organization of African Union, inspired by the ideology of Pan-Africanism, popularized by Kwame Nkrumah, charismatic leader of Ghana.
1. To prevent territorial conflicts between rival African nations, as well as civil strife between antagonistic groups within each nation. Absolute inviolability of the political frontiers that had been inherited from the colonial era.
2. Political unifications
3. Neutrality in the Cold War
4. Continentwide program of economic development on a massive scale

In light of Africa´s desperate need for foreign investments, loans, aid trade, technology and technical expertise, ruling elites of the newly independent African states opted for membership in, rather than withdrawal from, the international economic order that alone could satisfy those requirements. Consequently, postcolonial Africa promptly established strong links with the international monetary and trading system represented by such organizations as GATT, the IMF and the World Bank.

NEOIMPERIALISM = the retention by the former imperial powers of indirect control over their erstwhile colonies through the exercise of economic, political and military influence.

At the time of the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957, France had insisted on the inclusion in the Treaty of Rome of provisions preserving preferential trade terms for, and special financial relationships with, the overseas dependencies of member states. With Great Britain outside the EEC at the time, this meant that, with the advent of decolonization in the early 60´s the majority of benefited were erstwhile French colonies.

The FIRST YAOUNDÉ CONVENTION of 1963 (which remained in force from 1964 to 1969) set up a European Development Fund of $800, subsequently increased to $1 billion in the SECOND YAOUNDÉ ACCORD of 1969 (which operated during the period 1970-75). The vast bulk of EDF funds were earmarked for the purchase of manufactured products from Europe while the Africans had to import grain from EEC countries at prices well above the going rate on world markets.

To complement this intimate trading relationship, a strong financial connection between France and her former African possessions was forged in the form of the FRANC ZONE, a monetary association that tied the currencies of most sub-Saharan francophone African states (collectively designated as the African Financial Community franc) to the French franc. The franc zone in effect established a common monetary system through the mechanism of free convertibility at fixed parity. This arrangement created an open channel through which French capital could flow in and aout of the African countries without encountering the risks of exchange-rate instability or prohibitions against the repatriation of profits; this open invitation to French investors (at the expense of foreign competitors) yielded impressive results in French client states such as Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

Great Britain demanded similar protection as it belatedly gained admission in EEC in 1972. A lengthy negotiation resulted in the FIRST LOMÉ CONVENTION of 1975, which established the concept of preferential trade between the community and a newly established bloc of former European colonies designated as the Association of African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). All ACP manufactured products and 96% of ACP commodity exports were admitted duty-free in EEC. The most advantageous feature of LOMÉ I from a African perspective was the creation of a commodity stabilization fund (STABEX).

The SECOND LOMÉ CONVENTION of 1980 encountered widespread opposition in Africa. By promoting the export of African commodities in exchange for European manufactures as the basis of Africa´s foreign trade, the EURAFRICAN NEXUS discouraged the process of product and market diversification that had paved the way for the economic success of the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of East Asia.

Deep recession in the 70´s devastated the economies of all African nations but those with petroleum reserves (such as Algeria, Nigeria, Libya, Gabon, Congo and Cameron) or diversified economies (such as Senegal and South Africa). Africa´s foreign debt soared from $14 billion in 1973 to $42 billion in 1976. The consequence was negative economic growth for most of the non-oil-exporting states.

The Soviet Union´s intervention in Africa, either directly or through its Cuban ally, confirmed in the minds of American strategic thinkers that country´s transformation from a Eurasian land power to a global power with worldwide air and naval capabilities. But the Soviet-American competition in Africa that had emerged so unexpectedly during the second half of the seventies proved to be short-lived because of Moscow´s inability to supplement its military aid with much in the way of economic support (such as trade, loans, and investments). Thus the Western bloc, due to its dominant position in the international economic system from which Africa could not, or would not, shake free, continued to exercise the dominant external influence on the continent throughout the 1980´s.

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