Beyond diplomacy, Africa has done nearly nothing to help Zimbabwe withstand illegal sanctions imposed on the country for nearly 20 years.
Zimbabwe herself is currently engaging neighbours and continental bodies in the hope that her call for the removal of the economic sanctions by the West – which is angry that black Zimbabweans took back land taken away from them though bloodbath by European invaders – would help secure an African position on the matter.
But while those diplomatic efforts are ongoing, there has not been genuine help by Africans to help Zimbabwe
economically through tools such as direct trade.
The bulk of Zimbabwe’s exports in 2017 comprised of platinum group of metals (PGMs), gold, flue-cured tobacco, ferrochrome, nickel, chrome, and diamonds.
But because Africa is still an infant in industrialisation and technology, much of what Zimbabwe produces has no market on the continent.
This leaves the country with no choice but to trade with the outside world, some of which are the powers pulling sanction strings on Zimbabwe.
According to an African Union report released last year, intra-African trade stood at around 12 percent. Yet intra-regional trade by Europe was at 60 percent. Do the maths!
The problems facing Zimbabwe, which often lead to deaths of innocent civilians demanding a better life through civil disobedience, are structural.
Diplomacy, which has taken center-stage as a cog in the efforts to reverse the situation in Zimbabwe, has proven to be both unsustainable and music to the ears of the imposers of the sanctions.
When Africa is begging for mercy, the West sees this as a huge political, economic and even psychological victory.
After all, we do not expect those countries, whose descendants were smoked out of their leafy farms on Zimbabwean soil, to embrace the land revolution, or those who led it and the masses they lead.
Today, fellow African countries are scared to disrupt their land status quo, which heavily favours beneficiaries of colonialism, because they fear the Zimbabwean situation would rear its ugly head on their own shores.
This is triumph for the bully West, which thrives on intimidation.
As long as Africa relies on outsiders for her own survival, self-determination would remain a farce on the continent.
Ideally, we seek to live in an Africa whose countries rely on each other more than they do with the outside world.
If DRC is the world’s largest producer of coltan, which is used in the production of cellphones, there is no point bragging about it if all of it is exported to the West.
If France and its cronies decide today that Martin Fayulu, whom it supported in the recent DRC presidential election, should be installed as president or economic sanctions would be imposed on the country, the Congolese would panic.
But logically, it is those who desperately want Congolese coltan who must beg on their knees – and not the other way round. But because users of this important mineral know that Africa lacks economic solidarity and structural resilience to withstand sanctions, it is them who draw the first blood when it comes to making threats. Because, as things stand, they hold an upper hand.
In the final analysis, it is clear that the diplomatic route to solving Zimbabwe’s sanctions has yielded no success since 2000.
In those 19 years, a lifetime in the context of industrialisation, a lot could have been achieved in terms of the continent’s economic structure so that Zimbabwe can thrive while starring sanctions in the eye, by relying more on Africa for business.
New Era Reporter
2019-02-15 10:51:29 2 months ago