International Africa Day

Monday, May 31, 2010

We have been in debt with Africa for centuries, but especially since the 1980s when the wealthy countries took the reins of global governance and forgot their promises of aid and international cooperation…. .

They replaced aid with loans granted with under draconian conditions.

They replaced cooperation with exploitation.

They replaced a multilateral system with a plutocracy (G7, G8…).

They replaced democratic principles with the laws of the market.

They replaced a global development project with an economy of speculation and war.

The corruptors then accused the corrupt who, logically, didn’t deserve subsidies!

The time for “We, the Peoples …” has arrived, in which civil society can no longer remain silent.

It is time for NGOs and the United Nations system, joining their hands and voices to close gaps and heal wounds.

It is time to listen to Africa: to do what Africa’s immense wisdom tells us it needs.

It is time to demand that Europe cease the activities of multinationals that are exhausting fishing stocks, unduly and without compensation exploiting coltan in the Kivu region of the Congo, bauxite in Guinea-Conakry… or gold, with mining procedures that seriously damage the environment.

It is time to demand that the large communications media enterprises generously distribute in Africa the colossal media profits they will reap from the World Cup, huge profits that will otherwise fall into so few hands.

Yes: today, International Africa Day is the time to reaffirm our love for that continent, which has given so much in exchange for so little. And to ask their forgiveness. And to thank them for their smiles, despite it all.

It is time to fulfill what I wrote on the Island of Goreé in July, 1992:

…The last


of his island,

of his homeland

of one

who now sails

the seas of disaffection

toward places unknown.


we do so cherish

that last

fading glance,

so brutally


of the countryside,

of his home,

of its shores.

They were sold

by weight.


must pay the price.