This article (Guardian 7/12/2007) says it all about the present state of things. While Europe remains the biggest trading partner, China is coming up on the rails at an extremely rapid rate unburdened by a history of colonialism (though the way it’s going about things looks to Africans like a good imitation).
This report is a change from the interminable headlines which have led up to the summit (China has hosted several of these since the last European effort). The fact that Mugabe is there and Brown isn’t show what a distraction those headers were to the underlying state of things.
The prize for all is the huge wealth leading to a renewed “scramble for Africa”. How the indigenous population will get major benefits rather than crumbs is difficult to see. Land ownership is far from resolved even under independence. The fact is dependence has been built in. The one state to try to resolve this, Zimbabwe has come to grief in the process.
In Kenya, close by, a European landowner is in court accused of shooting Africans. This has brought to our attention that even after resistance movements “terrorism” and all European involvement was still tolerated with a wealthy African elite emerging. No answer for the people.
Problem is our mindset is in the past. An EU spokesperson in Brussels:
“We in the EU tend to be pessimistic about Africa. We think of famine and war. It seems to be a hopeless case. But Africa has changed,” said the senior Brussels official. “We need to move from charity to partnership. Europe is caught up in a donor-recipient straitjacket. The begging-bowl approach is no longer acceptable.” Source: Guardian 7/12/2007