23 April 2018 – Perhaps the thesis statement of this topical narrative was succinctly articulate by the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed – at the time 2018 ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Partnership Forum, an annual event promoting inclusive societies, including through innovative business models and mobilizing big data for public good – when she said “Business association usual approaches won’t work,”
Global Justice Now’s Director Nick Dearden, comes close to the point when – in commending the Labour Party in the UK on its new development policy change in its international policy that represents a long overdue recognition of, and thus seeks to discontinue, the damage that Western corporations, finance and foreign policy have caused in the world – he remarks that “… you can’t make the world better by carrying on with ‘market knows best’ economic policies while handing out a bit of charity to those who lose out as a result…. We welcome this new thinking from Labour and hope it will help galvanise political support behind radical policies like changing the way we trade with other countries, regulating and properly taxing international big business, reforming and controlling finance, and redistributing power via radically reformed international institutions …” In a nutshell, economic inequality and poverty at a lamentably extreme outlook in nations of Africa, of the Global South and the world over are significantly fuelled by Western neo-liberal economic policies and corporations.
At present, the narrative of the Global North’s hot pursuit of goal of imperialism that continues to make the nations of Africa largely primary products based economies does not appear to be one immediately ready to be tinkered with by its Oligarchs. So, in line with Nick Dearden’s position, we can only hope for a change – while advocacy and popular mobilisation to this end continue. As such, the African Development Bank’s goal to reverse Africa’s cocoa paradox may still remain a wild goose chase for quite a while. Though Africa is the largest producer of cocoa in the world – producing about 75 per cent of the world’s cocoa, it may well remain at the bottom of the cocoa value chain for a while; getting only 5 per cent of the US $100 billion annual chocolate market value until the needful is done to create a policy framework that veritably create the environment that will see a desired re-writing of the narrative.
Whatever the shape of such an effective socio-economic policy framework will holistically take, it will sure have to entail a social policy that will not make it business as usual – for no-liberal economic policies paradigms that have hitherto held sway. But do the nations of Africa as a united front have the capacity to put the desired policy framework in place? Looking at the tell tale observable signs on the wall at present, your guess is as good as mine. Yet, if there will be a change of story – of global economic inequality, global austerity, global poverty, etc. which leaves the nation’s of Africa as a major hit, then what is to be done has to be done.
As can be seen, global free trade may well not be the veritable path that leads to Africa’s industrialisation as well as agribusiness and economic prosperity at large for the nations of Africa; but fair trade.
-Business leaders at UN forum challenged to invest in a more future for all https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/04/1006531
-Campaigners Welcome Labour’s Overhaul of Its International Policy http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/news/2018/mar/26/campaigners-welcome-labours-overhaul-its-international-policy
-Trade Minister: There must be no end to our global trade ambitions https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-minister-there-must-be-no-end-to-our-global-trade-ambitions
-Reversing Africa’s cocoa paradox: Why Easter celebration signals a call to action https://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/reversing-africas-cocoa-paradox-why-easter-celebration-signals-a-call-to-action-17983/
–Speech for the Feed Nigeria Summit, delivered by Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank https://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/speech-for-the-feed-nigeria-summit-delivered-by-akinwumi-adesina-president-of-the-african-development-bank-16968/
–Bittersweet success for cocoa farmers http://africanbusinessmagazine.com/sectors/commodities/bittersweet-success-for-cocoa-farmers/
Olubankole Daniel Olulana
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AFRISCOPE is bi-weekly (once in every two weeks initiative that seeks to bring to bear in-depth research and systematic analysis of the policy and practice of issues that border on the sustainable welfare and development of all humanity and society in the African continent.
Olubankole Daniel Olulana is a governance, management and media professional who offers expert research and analysis of issues that revolve around policy and practice issues on governance and society. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org