Saturday, March 24, 2007

‘Africa is still a forgotten continent’

‘Africa is still a forgotten continent’
By Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Saturday March 24, 2007 [02:00]

AFRICA is still a forgotten continent, Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs director for Africa's Sub-Saharan region Ambassador Ivan Mora Godoy has said. In an interview at the ministry, Ambassador Mora said the big powers and the current international economic system placed Africa in deep level that made any developmental efforts an enormous burden.

"Africa still is a forgotten continent by the superpowers and the current concept of development or world economic order cannot help Africa progress and overcome those challenges affecting the majority of the continents population, such as disease, hunger and underdevelopment," Ambassador Mora said.

"The US and Europe must include Africa to benefits of globalisation and all systems of trade and development."
He said it was sad that Europe and the United States were not extending the benefits of international trade and technology transfer to Africa.

"This is why Africa and Cuba are today fighting together to reverse the current world order," Ambassador Mora said.
"There is no long list of challenges for our countries, for us it is economic development first because we cannot continue to be exploited in the manner it has been for centuries."

He said in case of Africa with all its abundant natural resources, that wealth went to develop the West.
Ambassador Mora said it was thus sad that the benefits of trade were still disadvantaging Africa.

"We have to reverse to that. We want real free access to markets in Europe and the United States. Eliminate the protectionist tendencies in international economic relations," Ambassador Mora said.

He said the concept of intellectual property, unresolved World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round issues and problems of access to technology transfers under the so-called globalisation was a way by the US and Europe to continue exploiting the developing world.

"They want our economies to continue to be open without opening theirs to our products. All they want are facilities to invade our markets without any sense of need for reciprocity," Ambassador Mora said.
"It is a matter of survival for us and for them it is all about satisfying their big appetite. They are fundamentalists."

He said Cuba was convinced that all those countries that scrambled and finally colonised Africa should compensate the continent for what it suffered.

"Facing the consequences of neo-liberal colonialism, today's economic and political system that is completely unfair to poor countries - the only way to overcome that all those countries that had benefits of the exploitation of resources of Africa, countries that colonised African countries and put very deep levels to possibility of development, those countries still responsible for the inability of the region to participate in world trade, and those countries who were responsible for political conflicts and enforcing arbitrary frontiers during colonisation among African countries have the responsibility to help African countries today to overcome underdevelopment," Ambassador Mora said.

"Of course all governments of the continent are responsible for their individual country's development. We are very convinced most African governments have been trying many, many years to overcome these challenges but it's been impossible. The burden is enormous, that big war is extending and keeps on growing."
He said Cuba would not compromise on African issues and assist Africa because the basis of the Cuban state was very much linked with African roots.

"We cannot talk about the Cuban nation without talking about our African roots and the Spaniard roots," said Ambassador Mora.
"That family that came from Africa as a slave, exploited in a very brutal manner, together we participated in the whole process of Cuban independence. This is why from the very beginning, the Cuban Revolution has been indebted to Africa."

Ambassador Mora said Cuba's President Fidel Castro in recognising the links between the island and Africa, from the beginning of the revolution was ready to help African people in their independence cause and national sovereignty.

"Cuba sent troops to help the process of independence of Africa. We were neither participating for political nor economic benefits," said Ambassador Mora.

"We can mention without looking for any glory about how Cubans were very much involved in Angola to face the aggression of apartheid by supporting SWAPO and Che Guevarra fighting in the Congo. From Africa we only took out bodies, the remnants of our compatriots who died in combat. Africa is grateful about this and we feel the fullness of brotherhood."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home