Right there is a video showing Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, describing Europe as a garden, and most of the rest of the world as a jungle, in his opening remark at the European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges, Belgium, in October 2022.
All of Africa and most of Latin America, have been described severally in demeaning phrases by Europeans both high, mighty and low. They call us poor continents but the Europeans keep running to these poor continents to make profits to run their economies. WHY?
How do you continue to call Africa poor yet since 1413, ships from Europe have continued to sail the coasts of this same ‘poor’ continent to steal our resources for the sustenance of Europe?
From natural resources to slave trade to colonialism to neo-colonialism to imperialism to globalisation, the goal has not changed beyond using semantics to continue to hoodwink and steal from Africa, a continent Europe repeatedly calls, poor.
Till date, EU imports from Africa are mainly composed of fossil fuels (40.7%). Primary commodities like, ores, precious metals and minerals, accounting for (14.2%). And food items (15.7%). These imports are highly concentrated on low value-added products which reflect Africa’s poor industrial base.
Companies in Europe are facing high operational costs due to the cost of labour. In order to ensure cost optimisation and remain competitive, many of the companies have delocalised some of their lower value-added activities to Africa so they can tap into the huge pool of young and less expensive labour here.
Major EU companies like British Petroleum, Anglo-Dutch Shell, French Total, Norwegian Statoil, Italian Eni and Spanish Repsol, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Mercuria, Trafigura and Vitol, Italian energy giant, Enel, German Siemens, Schneider Electric, Stelia Aerospace, Dassault Aviation, Daher Aerospace, Nexans, Safran, Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Volkswagen, Unilever, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, Société Générale etc, are a few amongst the hundreds of EU companies scattered all over Africa and raking billions of Euro profits back home, yet they call Africa poor.
Africa’s population is nearly 1.7 times larger than that of Europe. By 2050 and 2100, the UN says, African population will increase massively to reach 2.53 and 4.47 billion, respectively, and eventually represent 40% of the world population.
Africa is still very young with about 60 percent of its population under the age of 25, while in Europe, only 27 percent of their population is under age 25. One in four Europeans are above 60 years, while one in 20 Africans, are above 60 years. So the young African population provides an opportunity for Europe to boost its aging population through migration, which several of them a now vigorously targeting.
This helps to boost the declining European workforce and also expand their overall economy through higher consumer spending from the young migrants in the long run. There is a multitude more to adumbrate with regards to how this exploitation is executed. But I will hold my breath here!
So, methinks it is tolerable to agree that Africa is a badly governed continent and not a poor jungle. Even the bad governance in Africa is still largely owed to flagrant foreign interference and machinations. To call Africa poor is to lie that Europe is rich. To call Africa a jungle is to lie that Europe is a garden. After all, the whole of God’s green planet, Earth is a massively beautiful garden that some privileged and entitled persons like Borrel, have demarcated for their comfort and continue to restrict others with boundaries.
But the world has witnessed the obliteration of innumerable boundaries and Borrell’s boundaries won’t be any different with time.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.