Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Mark Lewis on
The argument here utilizes circular reasoning to support a political viewpoint that stretches credibility. On the one hand the implications of the global financial crisis are planted firmly on the US doorstep, making the point that what impacts the US economy ripples elsewhere. Fair enough...but if we're placing the current context forecasting increasing African poverty projections within that sphere, then it has to be understood that Obama and his administration are trying to fix the source problem first. You can't have it both ways. If a healthy US economy, which includes acceptable job market growth, is consistent with healing the current crisis (and it is), then it follows that in this non-zero sum game that what is done HERE is going to be focused on fixing the problems HERE first, and there will be some unintended consequences abroad. African nations have a long history of being screwed by the G-8 and their corporate fiduciaries, but this is not one of those instances. You make the point that S. African and other policy makers will lose confidence in the US trade partnerships and renounce liberalizing their own trade laws. This is highly unlikely. It requires believing that they're going to respond to the problem by intentionally adopting the very policies they deem counter-active to their own interests...for what? To spite the US? In advance of the dubious proposition that US and other western policy makers adopt considerable African trade reforms, the larger question you ought to be posing has to do with the bloated western economic aid packages propping up corrupt and economically irresponsible regimes. As long as the rest of the world views Africa as a massive welfare state where state-sponsored colonialistic opportunities abound that can suck out profits while returning little or no indigenous value back into local economies we're going to have this problem. One major reason is because so many African leaders are more concerned about maintaining economic aid than fostering accountability to their people through responsible action. Africa needs trade not aid...but expecting to get a break from the west in the current crisis is both unrealistic and it ignores the larger issue...and it's exemplified here. US economic policy is not made by the World Bank, and unlike the "loans" that African nations have been getting there which will never be repaid, this is business not philanthroppy. African leaders are unlikely to find similar altruism in US trade policy, which seems to be what you're suggesting is possible. Nor should they be looking for it. It's time for Africa to stand up and fight for their own economic progress, and while the US and the west absolutely should assist and support that, it's unreasonable to expect that initiative to ignore the issues at home while doing so.