Following last week’s article, in which I reported on a pan-African Conference which was held in Ghana in late June, I resolved to follow with another on the neglected possibilities for investment between Africa and the Caribbean as a way of highlighting some practical steps for concretising the idea of Global Africa.
My motivation arose from the fact that my visit to Ghana confirmed in a real way the extent to which the absence of very basic knowledge of the continent by the leading sections of Caribbean society has been standing in the way of real development and business opportunities on either side of the continent. I saw concretely the existence of an unnatural mental block among our business and political leaders when it comes to Africa.
No doubt this “blind spot” and historical narrow-mindedness is due to the fact that those who dominate the Caribbean’s economic life are natural intellectual offspring of the very historical forces responsible for the economic and political destruction of Africa, and for its present-day marginalisation. Every second I spent in Ghana was spent ruing the stiff-necked foolishness of the Caribbean ruling class for assuming that the Caribbean stands on a higher place of “civilisation” when compared to Africa.
Whatever the explanation, it is clear that when Caribbean business and political leaders ponder the questions of “business” or “development”, Africa does not feature anywhere in their thinking, despite the clear and incontrovertible evidence of a crisis of Western capitalism. Unsurprisingly, any progressive thinking on Africa have come from the marginalised Afr0-Caribean populations whose spiritual ties remain unbroken, but whose enslavement and post-slavery economic exclusion have denied them the material means of doing more.
Against this background of negative perception therefore, in attempting to write an article on Africa-Caribbean development opportunities, I was anticipating a hard road ahead. Quite fortuitously, in the midst of doubt I was greeted with a BBC World News television report on the launch of Ghana’s first satellite, designed by the engineers of All Nations University. Science and Technology aside, the story confirmed the message which I hoped to carry to Caribbean business and political leaders that Africa is waiting.
However, it is not waiting for the Caribbean.
Why has Barbados’s technological development in solar technology not found its way to the huge market of Africa? Could this not result in addressing Africa’s power needs as well as generate huge profits for Caribbean business? In this regard, all credit must go to banking executive Robert Le Hunte of Republic Bank, for taking the giant step of establishing a branch in West Africa.
Donald Trump himself has acknowledged that Western Civilisation is in crisis. China’s new silk road is a clear signal that China has read the future correctly. The Caribbean must shed itself of this exhausted northern orientation. Africa is waiting.
By Dr. Tennyson S.D. Joseph