Africa has long sustained the world. The Greeks and the Romans came for Egypt’s grain and to gain the knowledge to develop their science and technology. Later Europeans came pouring in to obtain the labor to exploit the Americas. Napoleon’s arrival ignited the Enlightenment Era. Then came the great Scramble for Africa that resulted in the Berlin Conference which divided up Africa amongst the Europeans. But soon they were squabbling again over the Motherland. These arguments ultimately blossomed into the two World Wars. . .
Today there is a new Scramble for Africa, and Brazil and China, the two largest up and coming powers on the world stage today, are in the thick of the fray. Brazil has cultural connections. Portuguese, the language of Brazil, is also spoken in the huge, resource rich Southern African nations of Angola and Mozambique as well as West Africa’s Guinea-Bissau.
Brazil is but 2,000 miles from the Motherland. It was the chief destination for African captives, and there are large communities in Brazil that still speak African tongues. The largest country in South America has a multi-racial population, and its government is mandating a number of serious Affirmative Action programs. It’s leaders have distanced themselves from American control and are, for now, setting their own course. With the largest, most dynamic economy in South America Brazil is reaching out to establish deep, enduring linkages with the African continent. . .
China, with 1.4 billion people, 20% of the world’s population, and a huge, dynamic, fast-growing economy has also set its sights on Africa. It has established hundreds of economic projects in the Motherland and sent many, many thousands of its citizens to Africa’s shores. China has a vast oversupply of men. The government’s official “one child policy” has led to the aborting of untold female fetuses. Parents feel that male children, since they tend to make more money than females, are a safer bet to help them in old age. What to do with all these excess males? The government is shipping them all around the world with Africa the primary destination.
In the future will China and Brazil treat Africa the way Europe did in the past? In large part that is up to African leaders. Will they cut deals to benefit themselves and bankrupt their nations’ futures. Ultimately it is up to the African peoples to take control of their own fate setting a course that will benefit them and their children on this, the richest continent on the face of the earth. . .
( by Dr. Arthur Lewin, author of Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent, www.AfricaUnlimited.com )