My opponent casually admits that many African countries exist in a deplorable state. Specifically it is written that "[h]owever, faced with the
daunting task of building a modern country from the ground up, with no economic base and no cash reserves, they had no choice…"
I've mentioned above, debt forgiveness destroys Africa's credit history.
A debt lender gives out loans only when she expects the loan to be repaid. I fail to see how Africa gains from debt abolition when it loses credit
standing in the process. Even if debt were forgiven, Africa would still require foreign aid and loans. And therein lies the crux of the problem. Debt
forgiveness is a short term solution to a long term problem.
This fact is echoed in the writings of Commission for Africa
insistence that other areas must improve before foreign aid or debt forgiveness is administered. This means that the impact of debt forgiveness, all
in all, would be minimal because of Africa's fatal reliance upon aid transfusions. In considering the present, you must consider the future if
you're to have a future at all.
And Nigeria is a perfect example of this. The Paris Club of Creditors, from which Nigeria owes roughly $22 billion dollars, realizes this
foresight. They have chosen to reschedule Nigerian debt over an 18-20 year period. It was Nigeria that pleaded for debt reduction and forgiveness,
yet Nigeria chose to accept the debt rescheduling. This only highlights just how important future access to capital is for an emerging African
country. The fairness
in this situation is holding respect for future obligations and thereby being allowed future capital access. That's
fair. Nigeria chose all this under president Olusegun Obasanjo. His understanding of the foreign debt and aid dynamic was repudiated by Nigerians when
he was re-elected with 61.8% of the vote in 2003. . Mr. Obasanjo's choices, as repudiated by the Nigerian people, speak with greater power than I
or Raideur could devise upon the humanitarian side of this issue.
And speaking of foresight, Raideur's second quote shows a marvelous lack of it. She or he points out that countries subject to debt relief are
required to sign a new loan. This is merely commonsense. If I decide to charge you less, wouldn't you and I want to draw up a new contract stating
this? I would expect so and fail to see any evil in this.
I will now sound the drum of mourning:
1. My opponent has failed to explain how countries that "… have virtually no income, no economy, no industrial base, and in many cases, cannot
even feed their own population,"
can survive by severely damaging their access to future capital. Mr. Obasanjo exists as a counterargument to
any kind of idealistic bootstrapping argument which may be forthcoming.
2. My opponent fails to describe how these nations "…stand a good chance of bringing their nation up to the point in which they can function
with the rest of the world."
without any hint of social or governmental reform. This is the same kind of reform that includes responsibility and
that same responsibility, as a maturing nation, must extend to debts. Mr. Obasanjo found a way acceptable to his people and so can others.
3. My opponent strangely asks us to believe that "true, freestanding nations of pride" are more prideful when debt is forgiven from Western hands
than from their own.
4. We are asked to throw aside all forms of Earthly micro-economics and believe that the same nations living in deserts and huts can suddenly take
part in Western markets via the miracle of debt forgiveness.
In taking all these facts and arguments together, one realizes that Africa truly needs a solution that resolves each aspect of its crisis. Not a
solution that resolves one aspect while throwing the rest out the window. The pillars of nation building reside in stability and economic growth.
These facets are shaped from the hard sweat of demonstrated responsibility and maturity at various levels.
All of this is brought about by a respect to those that assist and a respect towards a nation's constituents. This includes servicing debt, not
ignoring it. For Africa to even buy a pair of bootstraps many changes are required, as Commission for Africa
points out. I have outlined
positive solutions in this regard and, ultimately, have shown that debt forgiveness is a mirage that will leave future Africans in a greater state of
despair than they are now. I can only hope, one day, that Africa's gains obtained through mature reform and debt management will cause the judges,
Raideur and I to tremble in awe.