HomeBEYOND TURKEYAfrica has not yet written its own story

Africa has not yet written its own story

prof. Dr. Süleyman Kızıltoprak / Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University
22.10.2021
Turkey has 43 embassies serving in Africa. In addition, many institutions such as THY, TIKA, Maarif Foundation, YEE, AA and Red Crescent carry out African relations. One of the many indicators of Turkey’s success in relations with Africa is in the field of culture and education. With the scholarships provided by Turkey, tens of thousands of African young people have the opportunity to study in Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to Africa also gave a new impetus to relations.
Africa is the source of raw materials and exports for China and the arms market for Russia. Russia intends to maintain and increase the friendships gained during the Cold War. In this context, while strengthening its relations with countries such as Algeria, Chad and Mali, it tries to have a say in political issues in Africa, as in Libya. For France, it is a continent of painful memories caused by colonial politics that led to their being exploited and hated.

Until lions make their own history, hunting stories will always glorify hunters.

                                                 African proverb

 

There are no problematic relations between Turkey and Africa. In Turkey, as in Europe and America, the racist approach against Africa is not in question either in history or today. Hundreds of negative words against Africa and African peoples in the dictionary of any Western country are not included in Turkish dictionaries.

The narrative of the masters

World history, written in Europe, generally describes the establishment and spread of Western countries with a line of progress. Stories of military victories by emperors, kings, tsars and queens embellish history. The stories of the Europeans are well known, while the stories of the Africans have not yet been written by them. The story of Africa was written by Westerners, who often transported their occupiers out of the continent as slaves. It’s time to listen to and listen to Africa. An estimated 1.3 billion people live on the continent, which has an area of ​​30.8 million km2. What has been written under the influence of Western powers, who have had the right to speak on behalf of Africa for 500 years, does not reflect the truth. Africa is labeled as unable and unable to solve its problems such as hunger, famine, epidemic disease, civil war and education.According to them, backwardness is the destiny of Africa. Africa, which is defined as a continent that cannot write its own story of prosperity and peace, does not know its history and does not expect a happy future, does not deserve this at all.

Free voice: Algeria

Human resources and raw material resources have enormous potential in Africa. Some of the countries in Africa are making serious efforts to end poverty and create a more prosperous society and democratic political order. Today we are faced with an Africa that defies the myths that have long stood against it on the path to international cooperation, peace, development and democratic development. The stand of Algeria and Mali against France is the awakening of the sleeping giant. It is an indication that they are not willing to take a role other than being the subject in their own stories by starting to hold the plunderers, invaders and colonialists to account.

Colonial Africa, which became official with the areas of sovereignty drawn at the 1884-5 Berlin Congress, was established to feed the metropolitan sector of the international capitalist economy.

The exploitation of natural resources, land and labor has hampered the social progress of African people. Colonialism was not only a system of exploitation, but a system whose main purpose was to make profits and to send this profit to the “mother country”. As Africa was depleted in resources and labor, the profits were transferred to Europe. Europe was developing while Africa was lagging behind.

As Walter Rodney said: “When colonial governments took over African land, they accomplished two things at once. They satisfied their own citizens (who wanted mining concessions or farmland) and that they had to work for landless Africans not only to pay taxes but also to survive. Colonel Grogan, one of the white settlers in Kenya, openly stated their theft: “We stole their land. Now we have to steal his limbs. Forced labor (i.e. labor exploitation) is the natural consequence of our occupation of the country.”

system of impoverishment

The colonial state, by commissioning its private companies, linked the economic exploitation and impoverishment of Africa to a system. The colonial state gave priority to protecting its national interests against the competition of other capitalists by establishing a closed economic structure in the lands it occupied in Africa. By arbiting conflicts between his own capitalists, he prevented the creation of a free and competitive market. With its laws and regulations, it provided optimum conditions for private companies to exploit Africans. The colonial powers, which are adept at making the leaders of the countries that gained their independence dependent on them, continue to protect their interests through bilateral trade agreements. For example, France, which has the privilege of buying salt from the south of Tunisia, pays for the salt it buys.But since the Tunisian government pays the transportation cost to the port, the income from salt does not even cover the transportation costs. Tunisia’s finances are still carrying this burden. The Tunisian press cannot even raise this issue because the majority of it is funded by Paris. Therefore, the intensification of exploitation in Africa developed Europe and America. This point is clearly emphasized in “Neo-Colonialism – The Last Stage of Imperialism” by Dr Kwame Nkrumah. When it was published in 1965, it angered America and Europe so much that they withdrew economic aid to Ghana. Nkrumah netti: “Africa could not industrialize because Africa’s natural resources were not used for that purpose.As the resources of the continent were used for the development of the Western world, the continent became impoverished and backward.

Henry Morton Stanley, one of the most ruthless tyrant colonists of all time, urged King of Belgium II to seize the Congo. Commissioned by Leopold. In 1874, Stanley plundered the route to Boma and the mouth of the Congo River to reach the Atlantic coast, on his expedition from Zanzibar, his country on the African continent on the Indian Ocean. He even admitted that he “attacked and destroyed 28 large towns and three or four villages.” Thanks to this brutality, Stanley colonized the Congo for Belgium. Leopold’s men killed as many as 10 million Congolese to establish their authority. Africa meets a significant part of the mineral needs of America, Europe and a large part of the world. Without African mineral resources, the wheels of the world economy will stall.Guyanese historian Dr Walter Rodney’s book “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” ​​successfully defends this view.

US economy and slavery

From the 16th century onwards, people moved from the African continent to the Americas as slaves. The slave trade and slave labor played a significant role in the establishment of the American economy. The racist and enslaving attitude that led to the American Civil War was blocked at the legal level. However, recent events show that there are still problems in practice. Confronting its racist histories, Black America has fought and continues to struggle for freedom and equality. The struggle of leaders such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X against slavery and apartheid yielded results. Africans in the US have achieved a lot, although there have been some practical problems in the context of racism. With a population of more than 40 million African-Americans, the United States stands as the world’s sixth most populous black “nation”.

For China, Africa is the continent of governments that have been given credit and sunk into debt.

The African continent still supplies 50 percent of the world gold market, 70 percent of the manganese market, and 90 percent of the platinum and cobalt market. 35 percent of uranium deposits, which is a strategic raw material in terms of high technology, are located in the African continent.

In this regard, China attaches importance to Africa. It provides grants to symbolic areas by constructing prestigious buildings in almost all African capitals. Highways, railways, ports, dams, hospitals, sports stadiums and university buildings built on loans all over the continent are China’s ostensible investments. China, which has given approximately 150 billion dollars of loans to the continent in recent years, follows a policy of developing bilateral relations and protecting its interests in the long term through borrowing. The annual trade volume between China and Africa has exceeded 200 billion dollars. China Africa is the credit client, the natural resource sourcing area, the contracting services and consumer goods market. During the Cold War, the USA carried out its activities in the African continent with Britain and France, that is, with its two foremost allies.After the Cold War, especially during the Obama era, the continent was ignored. In the Trump era, no significant policy was followed, apart from the importance given to establishing bilateral relations with Israel by some African countries such as Morocco and Sudan. The space left by the USA has been tried to be filled by China to a large extent.

Africa is the raw material source and export market for China. For Russia, it is the arms market. Because Russia is the country that sells the most weapons to African countries. 35% of the African arms market is Russian and 17% is Chinese. Weapons originating from the USA and France follow. Russia intends to maintain and increase the friendships gained during the Cold War. In this context, while strengthening its relations with countries such as Algeria, Chad and Mali, it tries to have a say in political issues in Africa, as in Libya. For France, it is a continent of painful memories caused by colonial politics that led to their being exploited and hated. For England, the Nile Valley, where wealth flows to London, is fertile lands such as Egypt and Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.For Germany, Africa is the continent where regrets caused by late participation in the colonial race are experienced. Therefore, Germany is interested in important projects such as solar energy in the continent and is trying to penetrate the continent by cooperating with France.

The future is like a rainbow

Among the continents, Africa is far ahead in terms of young population. Half of the population on the continent is under the age of 19. In terms of population, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, with almost a fifth of the continent’s population living in Nigeria. Nigeria is a country with a hinterland from the west coast to the middle of Africa. It is a major economic and political power in the middle of the continent, like Egypt in the north of the continent and South Africa in the south. The United Nations’ forecast that more than 50 percent of the African population will be under the age of 25 by 2050 shows that Africa’s energetic nature will continue. It is the second fastest growing continent according to IMF data. Africa is not a static but a dynamic continent. As Kenyan author and scholar Ali Mazrui put it: “A mango tree grows from a rotting mango seed”.The whole world will witness how a new Africa grows in the near future.

Equal and respectable partnerships

Turkey’s goal is to contribute to the prosperity and stability of Africa. Africa needs partnership and cooperation in the context of development projects rather than grants and aid. The “African Initiative” initiated by Turkey in 2005 is the product of a policy of developing economic and political relations based on equality and friendship. While Turkey’s trade with the African continent was 4.3 billion dollars in 2002, it increased to 22 billion dollars in 2020. This indicates a very good development. However, when compared to China, it is seen that this country has reached a trade volume of ten percent. Therefore, the growth capacity of economic relations with the African continent is still very high. Turkey has 43 embassies serving in Africa. In addition, THY, TIKA, Maarif Foundation, YEE,Many institutions such as AA and Red Crescent carry out African relations. Each of these institutions makes great contributions to bilateral relations. One of the many indicators of Turkey’s success in African relations is in the field of culture and education. With the scholarships provided by Turkey, tens of thousands of African young people have the opportunity to study in Turkey. Almost half of Bartın University students are from Africa, especially from Chad. Turkey’s relations with Africa will continue to increase. The last visit of our President has given a new impetus to relations.Tens of thousands of African young people have the opportunity to study in Turkey with the scholarships provided by Almost half of Bartın University students are from Africa, especially from Chad. Turkey’s relations with Africa will continue to increase. The last visit of our President has given a new impetus to relations.Tens of thousands of African young people have the opportunity to study in Turkey with the scholarships provided by Almost half of Bartın University students are from Africa, especially from Chad. Turkey’s relations with Africa will increasingly continue. The last visit of our President has given a new impetus to relations.

@suleymankzltprk

https://www.star.com.tr/acik-gorus/afrika-henuz-kendi-hikayesini-yazmadi-haber-1661767/

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