There can be little doubt that public support for African debt relief is extremely strong. There have been 11 Live8 concerts recently in 8 different
countries with an estimated audience of over a billion people worldwide. Public sentiment and support is also boosted by the support given to their
cause by the British PM and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
It truly warms your heart when the two most powerful men of British politics are championing the plight of the World's poorest countries. But what
really is this debt relief? Is the roadmap for debt relief agreed upon by the G8 countries the same as what charities and civil societies are asking
for? Has the plight of Africa's poor allowed us to inadvertently and publicly push for the modern enslavement of the African continent? This Op/Ed
seeks to address, and temper, the euphoria being generated by the feel good event of the summer - African Debt Relief
The purpose of these concerts is not to raise money, but to raise awareness. Raising awareness of Africa's slow death. A slow death which is the
result of un-repayable debt. A debt that the Western World allowed the African nation to get stuck in and now reaps the benefit of. The concerts are
designed to be a show of solidarity, and indication of, public support for G8 countries to wipe out 100% of African debt.
The Group of 8 (G8) includes the World's 7 richest countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US, Canada) and Russia. The G8 will take part in a
summit at Gleneagles, Scotland during 6 - 8th July 2005. At the top of the agenda is African debt relief, as set by the new G8 President - Tony Blair.
A G8 consensus for African debt relief has already been achieved but the details of which will be determined at the Gleneagles summit.
But what are the conditions for the debt relief? To answer this question you have to understand how national debt has been used to further the
individual financial interests of the few.
A very brief history of the use of national debt as a financial lever
I won’t attempt to explain all the complex and lengthy history of how national debt has been used by international bankers to further their aims
here. I will outline a general overview of the subject matter and encourage you to read further material on the matter. (Research for yourself the
origins of usury, Federal Reserve, Bank of England, money changers and the Rothschilds)
The destiny of all major western countries has been heavily influenced by a very small group of people for centuries. This group of people are called
the international bankers. The histories of England, Europe and the United States are all heavily connected to international bankers. The American War
of Independence, Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, Russian Revolution and both World Wars were all precipitated by international bankers. American
presidents Lincoln and Garfield were both assassinated for their opposing views on private banks controlling monetary policy (central banks).
The fact that the central banks of England (Bank of England) and the United States (Federal Reserve), and many other nations, work outside the control
of their respective governments is not widely known outside economic circles. Also the fact that these private banks have so much control that they
can directly govern the amount of money in our economies, hence can cripple them at will, is also not widely known. The political power that stems
from such financial clout is absolute. Money DOES make the World go round.
International bankers have long practiced the use of manipulation of national economies to get what they want. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913
after a major economic downturn instigated by international bankers. The Federal Reserve continues to exist outside the influence of the American
government. The money borrowed by the United States government from the Federal Reserve is charged at interest. The interest from these loans is paid
for by direct taxation of the American people.
When international bankers want to expand their economic stranglehold on a nation they use their economic influence to economically cripple the nation
first. Then they find the government more receptive to the conditions they impose as they have no choice. The American government has declared
bankruptcy twice and both times the international bankers have been there with their solutions.
The international bankers created and control the World Bank and the IMF. They are the international bankers foray into World government and the
eventual enslavement of every country on the planet.
The fact that international bankers used their existing financial clout to financially cripple a nation then extend their economic control of it is
well documented. To do the topic more justice please read the following article:
Aside from the public relations boon surrounding the cancellation of African debt relief, the financial benefits to international bankers are amazing.
How does cancelling debt make money for the lenders?
Not all the African countries who are indebted to the G8 nations can afford to repay their loans. African countries that default on their loans do not
make money for their lenders.
Her Majesty's Treasury Official Website
The weak growth experienced by many low-income countries, particularly in Africa, meant that the series of increasingly concessional
reschedulings – combined with borrowing on increasingly concessional terms – was too little, too late, and proved unable to deliver long-term debt
Her Majesty's Treasury Official Website
The amount of unrecovered claims and interest on ECGD’s pre-1991 business stands at £9 billion (excluding the multi-billion pound payments
to support exporters via ECGD’s Fixed Rate Export Finance product). Data is not readily available on other ECA losses but it seems unlikely that
others avoided similarly heavy losses during the debt crisis.
What’s the point of running a country into the ground? If a country cannot develop its economy enough to even repay the interest on long-term debt,
your opportunities to make money cease. If you allow a country to expand its economy enough to pay for the debt you ensure its ability of "long-term
debt sustainability". Much like a parasite gains nothing from killing its host prematurely. The death of the host comes when the parasite has nothing
to gain from its host: Africa still has much potential to create money for international bankers (more on that later).
UK's contingency plan
If an agreement on G8 African debt relief cannot be achieved at Gleneagles, the British taxpayer will start paying the debt owed to the World Bank by
African nations. The debt will, for all intents and purposes, be transferred to the British public. The bankers get their money, the British
government is seen to be altruistic and the British taxpayer foots the bill. The bankers do not lose out and African economic growth can increase.
Her Majesty's Treasury Official Website
In the absence of international agreement to provide 100% multilateral relief, the UK will pay our share of the debt service owed to the World
Bank and African Development Bank’s concessional financing arms on behalf of eligible countries. On the basis of our contributions to the last
replenishment round of the World Bank’s IDA, we estimate our share to be just over 10%. The relief will be offered to all post Completion Point
HIPCs and all other IDA-only countries with suitably robust public expenditure management systems to ensure the savings are directed towards poverty
reduction. We suggest a suitable proxy for the latter would be those that benefit from PRSCs from the Bank. We will guarantee this relief until 2015
except in the most extreme circumstances.
Make no mistake, the British contingency plan is to have African debt RELOCATED not removed. The British will end up paying more money to private
international banks to make up for their bad debt choices and finance their economic expansion of the continent.
The African debt relief plan that’s being pushed by Gordon Brown in the G8 summit at Gleneagles is not unconditional, it comes with lots of
conditions. The details of which are obviously not agreed up yet and as such as not being made publicly available. But what has been floated by the
Chancellor is that the African debt relief will be tied to economic, political and industrial changes. Economic changes involves trade liberalisation.
Political changes involves combating corruption and deregulation. And industrial changes involve privatisation of national firms.
On the surface these conditions make sense and without further scrutiny many will accept them as being needed. But what will the effect of these
conditions be on the future of Africa's development?
These conditions are nothing new. The same conditions have been placed on African nations in return for debt relief for years. They come in the form
of the IMF and World Bank's Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). The HIPC initiative has been long criticized by charities and
non-governmental organisations and has long been seen as a lever over African countries to further Western control of their economies.
As well as this failure to provide the resources for full debt cancellation, an equally serious problem with the HIPC initiative is that it is
being used by the IMF and World Bank as yet another lever with which to press for
free market policy reform in the poorest countries.
That debt relief should be used as a carrot to entice desperate countries into furthering their economic enslavement to the rich nations should be
abhorrent to us. But the debt relief that is receiving such public support today will only further the economic enslavement of these African
For over twenty years, the IMF and the World Bank – acting on behalf of their political masters in the industrialised world – have been
requiring poor countries to implement a wide range of economic and social policy reforms, such as trade liberalisation, investment deregulation and
privatisation, in return for low interest rate loans. For example, according to the IMF, “Trade liberalization has been a key element of Fund
supported programmes over the past twenty years.”
And with the advent of HIPC, the World Bank and IMF have yet another route through which to push structural adjustment. Not only are policies
such as privatisation, investment deregulation and trade liberalisation being attached to the provision of new loans, their implementation has also
now become a central feature of debt relief.
Are these conditions all that bad? After all, the removal of corruption is a precursor to democracy is it not? Can we expect debt relief from the G8
not to include such conditions? Don’t count on it.
“In theory, the fund [IMF] supports democratic institutions in the nations it assists. In practice, it undermines the democratic process by
Joseph Stiglitz, Former World Bank Chief Economist14
So, while it is still important to press for complete cancellation of the unpayable debts of the poorest countries – which WDM continues to
do – it is also critical to de-link debt relief or debt cancellation from the harsh and inappropriate economic policies being pushed by the IMF and
Don’t be fooled. The conditions that will undoubtedly be attached to any G8 summit agreement on African debt relief will not be very different from
those imposed by the World Bank/IMF through the HIPC initiative. Why should they? Gordon Brown is chair of the IMF in the first place, the source of
HIPC. Also the HIPC initiatives conditions on debt relief are identical to their predecessor debt relief program, SAPS (Strucural Adjustment
Programmes). Compromise on their goals now? I don’t think so.
To make more money from African nations, than debt repayments alone, these international bankers need to control their vast natural resources. One of
the primary conditions on debt relief has been the privatisation of Africa's state firms including oil, diamond and uranium production.
Privatisation and debt relief in Zambia
Zambia has sold 257 out of 280 state firms in the past ten years. Now, in return for debt relief, Zambia is required to privatise its national
commercial bank (ZNCB), electricity (ZESCO) and telecommunications (ZAMTEL) companies.
The JCTR (part of the Jubilee Zambia Campaign) has criticised such policies stating, “Any honest evaluation of the past ten years of privatisation
will acknowledge that overall it has done great damage to the Zambian people’s livelihood: loss of jobs, closure of businesses, foreign dominance of
assets, increase in poverty levels etc.”
Although the JCTR recognises that the three state run companies slated for privatisation are badly managed and need to change, it calls for a “Clear
de-linking of this process from Zambia’s qualification for HIPC, so that the debt relief process is not held to ransom to foreign
According to BBC news, in February 2003, Zambia’s president Levy Mwanawasa seemed to agree with this argument, telling the IMF that he wanted to
rethink the country’s privatisation programme because “there has been no significant benefit to the country” and “privatisation of crucial
state enterprises had led to poverty, asset stripping and job losses.”
However, despite the concerns expressed by the public and the Government, the IMF representative in Zambia – Dr. Mark Ellyne – is reported to have
threatened withdrawal of the promised $1 billion in debt relief under HIPC if the Government did not privatise Zambia’s national bank (ZNCB).55 The
latest reports suggest that the Zambian Government is going to privatise ZNCB after all.
Privatise your largest firms or you will wallow in debt for eternity. I tried, and failed, to find evidence of just who is buying these state firms.
But it would not be unfounded speculation to assume international bankers now control them.
Ghana's national oil production has been forced to be privatised as a condition of its HIPC debt relief.
All Africa News
[The Ghanaian] Parliament has passed into law the petroleum authority bill. The bill seeks to speed up the process of deregulation to allow for
private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure and other services in the petroleum down stream sector.
Basically the international bankers want to own Africa's means of production and they intend to get it, not by wars, but by holding their economies
hostage. Once international bankers own the African corporations who control their countries natural resources, the real money can be made. Money that
is not based on publicly denounced debt interest payments but by the much touted "free trade" and trade liberalisation policies.
Tie their hands?
Not only will the financial sovereignty of African countries be sold in an attempt to get out of the artificially created debt black hole, but the
relinquishing of African countries right to go to War will be a major condition added to debt relief.
Her Majesty's Treasury Official Website
Once debt relief is agreed, conditions under which it could be interrupted would then be limited to involvement in military conflict through
the instigation of hostilities or significant violation of international obligations (e.g. on human rights or international peace and security), or
strong evidence of misappropriation of funds.
Don’t like the fact that even though you are out of debt you are still not wealthy? What are you going to do about it? You start a war to get back
what’s rightfully yours and the burden of debt is back on your shoulders. Not that you could stand up to a Western power any way.
Why would a country submit to such obviously oppressive conditions? Do they really have a choice?
Another condition of African debt relief is the implementation of "good governance" by prospective governments. Also, on the face of it, it seems
like common sense and a good idea. But has "good governance" really been pushed by the World Bank/IMF/G8 any further than "good governance"
enabling the making of big money? Lets have a look at 3 indebted African nations. 2 have already been given debt relief through HIPC and one has
Qualified for, and receives, debt relief through HIPC. Was granted HIPC assistance due to its efforts at privatization, including its national
Ghana holds vast natural resources including:
CIA World Fact Book
gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Ghana is held as a benchmark for "good governance". Its government is stable and has made efforts to reduce corruption. That is should qualify for
debt relief is self evident.
Does not qualify, has not received, HIPC debt relief.
Has $3 billion (2001 est.) worth of debt and receives $60 million/year (1999 est.) economic aid.
Little natural resources
CIA World Fact Book
Somalia's economic fortunes are driven by its deep political divisions. The northwestern area has declared its independence as the "Republic
of Somaliland"; the northeastern region of Puntland is a semi-autonomous state; and the remaining southern portion is riddled with the struggles of
rival factions. Economic life continues, in part because much activity is local and relatively easily protected. Agriculture is the most important
sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings, but Saudi Arabia's recent ban on Somali livestock,
because of Rift Valley Fever concerns, has severely hampered the sector. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their
livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar,
sorghum, corn, qat, and machined goods are the principal imports.
Somalia would not qualify for G8 debt relief as its government is not conducive to the expansion of its economy. The superficial fact that its
unstable and undemocratic is neither here nor there as shown in the next example.
Qualified for, and received, HIPC debt relief.
Enjoys vast natural resources.
CIA World Fact Book
cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower,
The government of the Congo is acknowledged as a 'Dictatorship' by the CIA World Fact book. The following excerpt further explains the political
situation in Congo.
CIA World Fact Book
Since 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC; formerly called Zaire) has been rent by ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a
massive inflow in 1994 of refugees from the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi. The government of former president MOBUTU Sese Seko was toppled by a
rebellion led by Laurent KABILA in May 1997; his regime was subsequently challenged by a Rwanda- and Uganda-backed rebellion in August 1998. Troops
from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed on 10 July 1999 by the DROC,
Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, and Congolese armed rebel groups, but sporadic fighting continued. KABILA was assassinated on 16 January
2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state ten days later. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal
of occupying Rwandan forces from eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting
and set up a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; Joseph KABILA remains as president and is joined by four
vice presidents from the former government, former rebel camps, and the political opposition.
If "good governance" pertains to democratic and anti-corruption measures by governments then why does the Congo qualify for such debt relief? If
that is an example of "good governance" I want no part of it. Its governance that is probably advocated by our own political masters, and on its
The Debt relief advocated by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is nothing but a tool for the further enslavement of the African people. The international
bankers are not content to reap the interest payments that may, or may not, be forthcoming from indebted African nations. The international bankers
also know that their previous economic plans for Africa are not sustainable in today’s Western societies. We know the suffering Africa is going
through and we wont tolerate the debt payments they are forced to repay.
International bankers know that their debts are extremely unpopular and are not prepared to lose out on their piece of the pie. How do they plan on
continuing to make money off Africans? More money than they currently do in fact? They intend to let African nations expand their economies.
International bankers will make money out of setting up their economies (privatisation) and they will make money when they come online (central
They intend to blackmail African nations into selling them the right to profit from their natural resources in exchange for debt relief. They also
push for financial reform which includes setting up private central banks so as to lend African governments money. Money which will incur interest,
but this time, the governments can actually tax their newly-better-off-citizens and pay for it.
Any one who believes that G8 African debt relief is purely altruistic in nature is deluding themselves. The conditions attached to debt relief are
designed to permanently enslave the African continent and make more money for international bankers than they currently do through debt interest.
But do Africans really have a choice? Can they live with their current debt? No. But we can fight for these conditions to be dropped from debt relief.
Raising awareness for debt relief alone whilst allowing ignorance of the conditions tied to debt relief is only helping international bankers enslave
Africa - with our blessing!
Make the international bankers lose money for their bad investments, not us nor Africans.
[edit on 2/7/05 by subz]
[edit on 3-7-2005 by John bull 1]