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What Africa must learn from China in order to “wake up!” (Opinion)

13 October 2021, Yoro Dia, Seneplus
What Africa must learn from China in order to “wake up!” (Opinion)

While we are discussing the sex of angels with the Africa-France summit, Africa would benefit from learning the lessons of the Chinese example, which was able to thwart the traps that plague the takeoff of the continent: the memorial rent and industry resentment.

"When China awakens, the world will shake." It is the title of a book by Alain Peyrefitte which has had an immense success and which takes up a quotation which one lends to Napoleon Bonaparte. China has awakened and the world is shaking. It has awakened so much that it pays itself the luxury of organizing 17 + 1 summits, that is to say, a summit that brings together 17 European countries plus China. A summit that brings together a continent and a country, like the France-Africa or Africa-France summits. Commentary has gone from yellow peril to a 17 + 1 peak. How did we go from unequal treaties (the supreme humiliation, where by the policy of the gunboat, China loses its sovereignty and parts of its territory for the benefit of Western countries and Japan) to the new Silk Roads, which are nothing more than a Chinese hegemonic project camouflaged behind the cultural and historical symbolism of Marco Polo's travels?

While we are discussing the sex of angels with the Africa-France summit (unilateralism of France by ejecting heads of state, problem of legitimacy of civil society assessed with democratic legitimacy, neo-colonization ...), Africa would win to learn the lessons of the Chinese example, which was able to thwart the two traps which plague the awakening and the takeoff of the continent, namely the “memorial rent” and the industry of resentment. China was humiliated by the West with unequal treaties, and Japan during WWII. It relied on this "memorial rent" (foreign humiliations for a country that took itself for the middle empire, that is to say the center of the world), to strengthen national pride, mobilize people. collective energies and engage in the battle for development.

In Africa, the memorial rent is still transformed into an industry of resentment by the political and intellectual elites not to build to exonerate the failure of development more than 60 years after independence. Consequence: since independence, Africans are still facing the wailing wall.

Macron's remarks on Algeria are admittedly undiplomatic, but it is the reality. The Fln liberated Algeria (to its credit) to better privatize the state, making Algeria the only country where the army has its state. The same is valid for Mali, still in search of a subcontractor for its security after 60 years of independence. Qatar at 50, Equatorial Guinea at 54, both countries are oil producers. If Malabo does not have the same lifestyle as Doha, it is certainly not the fault of colonization, as both countries have been. The difference is simple: the Arab leader has been ambitious for his country while the Equatorial Guinean is only ambitious for himself and his family. If Israel has supported itself on the memorial rent to build a state and a prosperous economy, it is because they did not waste time in front of the wailing wall as we do in Africa with slavery and the colonization.

The United States were English colonies, but upon independence, they turned the page to build what has become of the American Empire. In Africa, we waste too much time on debates on colonization and borders when these are the two most “universal” phenomena in the history of the world. The example of China, which has gone from the yellow peril in the 1950s to the fact that the Paris metro speaks French, English and Chinese shows that racism has become a much more economical phenomenon than another chosen one.

China can summon 17 European countries, including Greece (the cradle of European civilization) because it has become a great economic power. Africa will wake up the day it understands that the fight is above all that of the economy and thus leave the wailing wall to transform humiliations and frustrations not into an industry of resentment, but into energy to embark on the economic battle as Dubai, passed from pearl fishing to the World Expo.

In the 1960s, Africa faced the wailing wall of Third Worldism along with China. Concomitantly with their lamentations over the unequal world order, the Chinese have transformed their humiliations into energy to whip their national pride, to move from the third world to the center of the world while Africa is limited to lamentations and lamentation. he industry of resentment, which consists in always looking for scapegoats to relieve ourselves of our current situation, where the endogenous causes largely prevail because soon the time of our independence will overtake that of colonization.
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