Obama is Killing the African Dream
By: Shawn Alli
Posted: July 11, 2013
The development or lack of development in developing nations is one of the most talked about issues in everyday media, public conversation and in official policy recommendations.
But the question underlying the complex situation is simple.
What is the African Dream?
James Shikwati says it clearly in the 2007 documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle:
The challenge we have when we meet Western environmentalists who say we must engage in use of solar panels and wind energy is how we can have Africa industrialized. Because I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry. How a solar panel you know...is going to power maybe some railway...train...truck. It might work maybe to power a small transistor right now.
One clear thing that emerges from the whole environmental debate is the point that there's somebody keen to kill the African dream. And the African dream is to develop.
This "somebody" can be many individuals and organizations, but one organization in particular is the US government under the Obama Administration. And while the problem isn't new, the truth from the Obama Administration comes out only in June 2013 with the final question posed to US President Barack Obama's speech in South Africa.
Ultimately if you think about all the youth that everyone's mentioned here in Africa. If everybody's raising living standards to the point where everybody's got a car, and everybody's got air conditioning, and everybody's got a big house...ah well, the planet will boil over. Unless we find new ways of producing energy.
(In a side note, the world should thank the youth member who posed the final question to Obama).
But the meaning of Obama's answer is quite clear.
Africa doesn't get to have a true industrial revolution.
Yes, there are many examples of the industrial revolution in Africa such as cars, TV's, electricity and city living; but the full potential of the industrial revolution (infrastructure and manufacturing through coal, oil and natural gas) doesn't exist in Africa...and without it there is no real Inter-African infrastructure. President Obama points this out as a problem as well in his speech, but doesn't make the connection that his administration is causing it.
I don't want to put the blame solely on the US, scapegoating is quite easy to do. Governments in African countries are responsible for their share of the blame in regards to widespread corruption. This also applies to African warlords who violate the inalienable rights of the people through widespread theft, abuse, intimidation, rape and murder.
But the US is not an African country, nor is it "just" a country. It's a super power. Presidents and other prime ministers of developed nations visit other developing ones and give speeches as well, but the role of the office of the US presidency sets the bar. Yes, China is a close second, but you don't see the Chinese President giving a speech to youth in Africa do you?
In his speech President Obama makes a good point about the lack of infrastructure in Africa and the fact that it doesn't have to be a supplier of raw goods destined for overseas shipment to developed countries. But a disconnect exists in how to accomplish this task. At their current level, solar and wind technology are not able to provide this empowering ideological transition. And that level may change in the future. But the change will only come from developed nations pushing alternative technology to greater potentials. It should never be applied to developing Africa as the new alternative model that developed nations should adopt. The Obama Administration has it backwards.
This is why I include a chapter in my 2012 book, Oil, The 4th Renewable Resource. There are clear connections between oil corporations, the climate change industry and political foreign policy.
In retrospect, the US government (under the current and previous administrations going back for decades), fear an empowered Africa. They fear the massive amount of people in Africa and the massive land they occupy. And anything the US government fears becomes a threat to its interests. Empowered Africa is a real threat to US interests. The resulting actions are not military strikes or economic sanctions, but rather a system of debt, foreign environmental policy, and infiltration of American corporations to carve up Africa's natural and human resources.
Personally, I don't think President Obama is intentionally vindictive toward Africa. I would argue it's unintentional, and something he has to go along with in order to maintain the status quo of American interests.