Today, following many years engaged in casting off the shackles of colonialism, Africa stands poised to break free from the economic dependency that has been one of the most damaging legacies of colonial rule and its aftermath. In the past decade six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years Africa has grown faster than East Asia, and the World Bank reported that Africa could be on the brink of the same kind of economic take-off as that experienced by China and India in the past. At the same time the impoverished people of Africa are also demanding an end to all forms of neo-colonial oppression and the consequences of neo-liberal globalisation. It cannot be forgotten that the so-called Arab Spring actually began in Africa.
However, this situation has only intensified the rivalry between the big powers in Africa and their attempts to maintain their domination over the continent. The old imperialist powers have been joined by Brazil, Russia, India and particularly China, which are all contending for Africa’s mineral resources and growing markets as well as for strategic advantage. The new scramble for Africa is spearheaded by the big multinationals, by AFRICOM, the IMF and World Bank as well as by other means including economic sanctions and military intervention. As in the nineteenth the new scramble and imperialist intervention in Africa is justified by a variety of phrases ‘advancing security and stability,’ or ‘humanitarian intervention,’ or as in Libya by an alleged ‘responsibility to protect.’
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