France/Afrique : 14 African Countries Forced by France to Pay Colonial Tax For the Benefits of Slavery and Colonization....Did you know many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today!...Looting Africa(PID:48538574727) Source
posted by Hughes Songe alias bernawy hugues kossi huo on Tuesday 10th of September 2019 07:37:08 PM
Did you know many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today! When Sékou Touré of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so furious, and in a historic act of fury the french administration in Guinea destroyed everything in the country which represented what they called the benefits from french colonization. Three thousand French left the country, taking all their property and destroying anything that which could not be moved: schools, nurseries, public administration buildings were crumbled; cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged; horses, cows in the farms were killed, and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned. The purpose of this outrageous act was to send a clear message to all other colonies that the consequences for rejecting France would be very high. Slowly fear spread trough the african elite, and none after the Guinea events ever found the courage to follow the example of Sékou Touré, whose slogan was “We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.” Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, a tiny country in west Africa, found a middle ground solution with the French.He didn’t want his country to continue to be a french dominion, therefore he refused to sign the colonisation continuation pact De Gaule proposed, but agree to pay an annual debt to France for the so called benefits Togo got from french colonization.It was the only conditions for the French not to destroy the country before leaving. However, the amount estimated by France was so big that the reimbursement of the so called “colonial debt” was close to 40% of the country budget in 1963. The financial situation of the newly independent Togo was very unstable, so in order to get out the situation, Olympio decided to get out the french colonial money FCFA (the franc for french african colonies), and issue the county own currency. On January 13, 1963, three days after he started printing his country own currency, a squad of illiterate soldiers backed by France killed the first elected president of newly independent Africa. Olympio was killed by an ex French Foreign Legionnaire army sergeant called Etienne Gnassingbe who supposedly received a bounty of $612 from the local French embassy for the hit man job. Olympio’s dream was to build an independent and self-sufficient and self-reliant country. But the French didn’t like the idea. On June 30, 1962, Modiba Keita , the first president of the Republic of Mali, decided to withdraw from the french colonial currency FCFA which was imposed on 12 newly independent African countries. For the Malian president, who was leaning more to a socialist economy, it was clear that colonisation continuation pact with France was a trap, a burden for the country development. On November 19, 1968, like, Olympio, Keita will be the victim of a coup carried out by another ex French Foreign legionnaire, the Lieutenant Moussa Traoré. In fact during that turbulent period of African fighting to liberate themselves from European colonization, France would repeatedly use many ex Foreign legionnaires to carry out coups against elected presidents: - On January 1st, 1966, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, an ex french foreign legionnaire, carried a coup against David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic. - On January 3, 1966, Maurice Yaméogo, the first President of the Republic of Upper Volta, now called Burkina Faso, was victim of a coup carried by Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana, an ex French legionnaire who fought with french troops in Indonesia and Algeria against these countries independence. - on 26 October 1972, Mathieu Kérékou who was a security guard to President Hubert Maga, the first President of the Republic of Benin, carried a coup against the president, after he attended French military schools from 1968 to 1970. In fact, during the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups happened in 26 countries in Africa, 16 of those countries are french ex-colonies, which means 61% of the coups happened in Francophone Africa. Number of Coups in Africa by country Ex French colonies Other African countries Country Number of coup Country number of coup Togo 1 Egypte 1 Tunisia 1 Libye 1 Cote d’Ivoire 1 Equatorial Guinea 1 Madagascar 1 Guinea Bissau 2 Rwanda 1 Liberia 2 Algeria 2 Nigeria 3 Congo – RDC 2 Ethiopia 3 Mali 2 Ouganda 4 Guinea Conakry 2 Soudan 5 SUB-TOTAL 1 13 Congo 3 Tchad 3 Burundi 4 Central Africa 4 Niger 4 Mauritania 4 Burkina Faso 5 Comores 5 SUB-TOTAL 2 32 TOTAL (1 + 2) 45 TOTAL 22 As these numbers demonstrate, France is quite desperate but active to keep a strong hold on his colonies what ever the cost, no matter what. In March 2008, former French President Jacques Chirac said: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power” Chirac’s predecessor François Mitterand already prophesied in 1957 that: ”Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century” At this very moment I’m writing this article, 14 african countries are obliged by France, trough a colonial pact, to put 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under French minister of Finance control. Until now, 2014, Togo and about 13 other african countries still have to pay colonial debt to France. African leaders who refuse are killed or victim of coup. Those who obey are supported and rewarded by France with lavish lifestyle while their people endure extreme poverty, and desperation. It’s such an evil system even denounced by the European Union, but France is not ready to move from that colonial system which puts about 500 billions dollars from Africa to its treasury year in year out. We often accuse African leaders of corruption and serving western nations interests instead, but there is a clear explanation for that behavior. They behave so because they are afraid the be killed or victim of a coup. They want a powerful nation to back them in case of aggression or trouble. But, contrary to a friendly nation protection, the western protection is often offered in exchange of these leaders renouncing to serve their own people or nations’ interests. African leaders would work in the interest of their people if they were not constantly stalked and bullied by colonial countries. In 1958, scared about the consequence of choosing independence from France, Leopold Sédar Senghor declared: “The choice of the Senegalese people is independence; they want it to take place only in friendship with France, not in dispute.” From then on France accepted only an “independence on paper” for his colonies, but signed binding “Cooperation Accords”, detailing the nature of their relations with France, in particular ties to France colonial currency (the Franc), France educational system, military and commercial preferences. Below are the 11 main components of the Colonisation continuation pact since 1950s: #1. Colonial Debt for the benefits of France colonization The newly “independent” countries should pay for the infrastructure built by France in the country during colonization. I still have to find out the complete details about the amounts, the evaluation of the colonial benefits and the terms of payment imposed on the african countries, but we are working on that (help us with info). #2. Automatic confiscation of national reserves The African countries should deposit their national monetary reserves into France Central bank. France has been holding the national reserves of fourteen african countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. “The monetary policy governing such a diverse aggregation of countries is uncomplicated because it is, in fact, operated by the French Treasury, without reference to the central fiscal authorities of any of the WAEMU or the CEMAC. Under the terms of the agreement which set up these banks and the CFA the Central Bank of each African country is obliged to keep at least 65% of its foreign exchange reserves in an “operations account” held at the French Treasury, as well as another 20% to cover financial liabilities. The CFA central banks also impose a cap on credit extended to each member country equivalent to 20% of that country’s public revenue in the preceding year. Even though the BEAC and the BCEAO have an overdraft facility with the French Treasury, the drawdowns on those overdraft facilities are subject to the consent of the French Treasury. The final say is that of the French Treasury which has invested the foreign reserves of the African countries in its own name on the Paris Bourse. In short, more than 80% of the foreign reserves of these African countries are deposited in the “operations accounts” controlled by the French Treasury. The two CFA banks are African in name, but have no monetary policies of their own. The countries themselves do not know, nor are they told, how much of the pool of foreign reserves held by the French Treasury belongs to them as a group or individually. The earnings of the investment of these funds in the French Treasury pool are supposed to be added to the pool but no accounting is given to either the banks or the countries of the details of any such changes. The limited group of high officials in the French Treasury who have knowledge of the amounts in the “operations accounts”, where these funds are invested; whether there is a profit on these investments; are prohibited from disclosing any of this information to the CFA banks or the central banks of the African states .” Wrote Dr. Gary K. Busch It’s now estimated that France is holding close to 500 billions African countries money in its treasury, and would do anything to fight anyone who want to shed a light on this dark side of the old empire. The African countries don’t have access to that money. France allows them to access only 15% of the money in any given year. If they need more than that, they have to borrow the extra money from their own 65% from the French Treasury at commercial rates. To make things more tragic, France impose a cap on the amount of money the countries could borrow from the reserve. The cap is fixed at 20% of their public revenue in the preceding year. If the countries need to borrow more than 20% of their own money, France has a veto. #3. Right of first refusal on any raw or natural resource discovered in the country France has the first right to buy any natural resources found in the land of its ex-colonies. It’s only after France would say, “I’m not interested”, that the African countries are allowed to seek other partners. #4. Priority to French interests and companies in public procurement and public biding In the award of government contracts, French companies must be considered first, and only after that these countries could look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the african countries can obtain better value for money elsewhere. As consequence, in many of the french ex-colonies, all the majors economical assets of the countries are in the hand of french expatriates. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, french companies own and control all the major utilities – water, electricity, telephone, transport, ports and major banks. The same in commerce, construction, and agriculture. In the end, as I’ve written in a previous article, Africans now Live On A Continent Owned by Europeans! #5. Exclusive right to supply military equipment and Train the country military officers Through a sophisticated scheme of scholarships, grants, and “Defense Agreements” attached to the Colonial Pact, the africans should send their senior military officers for training in France or French ran-training facilities. The situation on the continent now is that France has trained hundreds, even thousands of traitors and nourish them. They are dormant when they are not needed, and activated when needed for a coup or any other purpose! #6. Right for France to pre-deploy troops and intervene military in the country to defend its interests Under something called “Defence Agreements” attached to the Colonial Pact, France had the legal right to intervene militarily in the African countries, and also to station troops permanently in bases and military facilities in those countries, run entirely by the French. French military bases in Africa French-military-bases-in-africa When President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire tried to end the French exploitation of the country, France organized a coup. During the long process to oust Gbagbo, France tanks, helicopter gunships and Special Forces intervened directly in the conflit, fired on civilians and killed many. To add insult to injury, France estimated that the French business community had lost several millions of dollars when in the rush to leave Abidjan in 2006 the French Army massacred 65 unarmed civilians and wounded 1,200 others. After France succeeded the coup, and transferred power to Alassane Outtara, France requested Ouattara government to pay compensation to French business community for the losses during the civil war. Indeed the Ouattara government paid them twice what they said they had lost in leaving. #7. Obligation to make French the official language of the country and the language for education Oui, Monsieur. Vous devez parlez français, la langue de Molière! A French language and culture dissemination organization has been created called “Francophonie” with several satellites and affiliates organizations supervised by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. #8. Obligation to use France colonial money FCFA That’s the real milk cow for France, but it’s such an evil system even denounced by the European Union, but France is not ready to move from that colonial system which puts about 500 billions dollars from Africa to its treasury. During the introduction of Euro currency in Europe, other european countries discovered the french exploitation scheme. Many, specially the nordic countries, were appalled and suggested France get rid of the system, but unsuccessfully. #9. Obligation to send France annual balance and reserve report. Without the report, no money. Anyway the secretary of the Central banks of the ex-colonies, and the secretary of the bi-annual meeting of the Ministers of Finance of the ex-colonies is carried out by France Central bank / Treasury. #10. Renonciation to enter into military alliance with any other country unless authorized by France African countries in general are the ones with will less regional military alliances. Most of the countries have only military alliances with their ex-colonisers! (funny, but you can’t do better!). In the case France ex-colonies, France forbid them to seek other military alliance except the one it offered them. #11. Obligation to ally with France in situation of war or global crisis Over one million africans soldiers fought for the defeat of nazism and fascism during the second world war. Their contribution is often ignored or minimized, but when you think that it took only 6 weeks for Germany to defeat France in 1940, France knows that Africans could be useful for fighting for la “Grandeur de la France” in the future. There is something almost psychopathic in the relation of France with Africa. First, France is severely addicted to looting and exploitation of Africa since the time of slavery. Then there is this complete lack of creativity and imagination of french elite to think beyond the past and tradition. Finally, France has 2 institutions which are completely frozen into the past, inhabited by paranoid and psychopath “haut fonctionnaires” who spread fear of apocalypse if France would change, and whose ideological reference still comes from the 19th century romanticism: they are the Minister of Finance and Budget of France and the Minister of Foreign affairs of France. These 2 institutions are not only a threat to Africa, but to the French themselves. It’s up to us as African to free ourselves, without asking for permission, because I still can’t Understand for example how 450 french soldiers in Côte d’Ivoire could control a population of 20 millions people? (Extrait de : panafricanvisions.com/2014/14-african-countries-forced-fr...) blogs.mediapart.fr/jecmaus/blog/300114/franceafrique-14-a... In its report ‘Links with Africa,’ Jersey Finance claims it can help ‘offer a safe business environment while helping Africa fulfil its economic potential.’ The reality might be somewhat different. This article explores how the activities of multinational corporations operating out of Jersey contribute to the modern looting of the continent. A history of exploitation Some of the earliest contacts between African kingdoms and European explorers were harmonious and based on mutual respect. In the seventeenth century Dutch traders marvelled at the riches of Benin and stood in awe of its cultural achievements. A century earlier, Portuguese missions established trading relationships with Nzinga Mbemba of the Kongo, whom they managed to convert to Christianity, naming him Afonso I. With the opening up of the Americas and the establishment of the plantation economy there, relationships rapidly turned sour. Mbemba wrote to the Portuguese monarch in 1526, complaining about the depopulation of his territories at the hand of the Portuguese: “And we cannot reckon how great the damage is, since the mentioned merchants are taking every day our natives, sons of the land and the sons of our noblemen and vassals and our relatives, because the thieves and men of bad conscience grab them wishing to have the things and wares of this Kingdom which they are ambitious of; they grab them and get them to be sold; and so great, Sir, is the corruption and licentiousness that our country is being completely depopulated, and Your Highness should not agree with this nor accept it as in your service.” Alas, the stage was set for one of the most heinous crimes in history; the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Over the course of the next few centuries, Europe grew astonishingly rich through enslaving, looting and exploiting the continent which arguably possesses the richest deposits of resources found anywhere. The incredible wealth of Africa ended up in Europe, contributing to the flourishing of cities like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Liverpool, Lisbon and others, which since then boast majestic architecture and breathe the atmosphere of cosmopolitanism. All of this was created and made possible by the blood and sweat of African slaves, while later, the proceeds of colonialism further added to the grandeur of European civilisation and the misery of many African communities. In fact, historically, Britain owes much of its wealth and power to the exploitation of the African continent. In the Channel 4 documentary The Empire Pays Back, Robert Beckford estimates Britain’s debt to Africans in the continent and diaspora to be in the trillions of pounds. Without Africa and its Caribbean plantation extensions, the modern world as we know it would not exist. Britain financed its Industrial Revolution through profits from slavery and it found markets for its commodities in its African colonies. Today, exploitation is still in full swing, albeit through more subtle mechanisms. Europe no longer loots Africa directly, by kidnapping its people or stealing its gold, but by enlisting the support of local elites and locking its people into vicious economic structures which robs the continent of billions every year. Jersey plays a pivotal role in this modern form of piracy. The UK, Africa and the Jersey connection When Britain was finally forced to give up its African empire in the wake of WW2 and the rise of local resistance movements, it attempted to maintain trading privileges with some of its former colonies, either through the Commonwealth or the so-called Bretton-Woods institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Britain’s primary objective was to get its hands on Africa’s riches. In 1968, the Foreign Office writes: ‘(…) we should bend our energies to help produce a world economic climate in which our external trade, our income from invisibles and our balance of payments can prosper.’ Two years later, a report entitled ‘Priorities in our Foreign Policy’ noted that Britain needed to promote ‘the protection of our interests in the rest of the world from which so many of our raw materials derive’. There are many more examples which highlight the priorities of Britain’s policies regarding Africa. While British leaders have been keen to point out Britain’s role as an aid-provider, assisting with the development of emerging African economies, the reality is somewhat different. In spite of official rhetoric, Britain’s policies have been directed at profit making, as well as creating the structures which ensure a steady flow of these profits. A New Scramble for Africa While the world speaks about an ‘African Renaissance’ and the G20 congratulates Africa on its economic growth, it fails to mention that most of the wealth generated on the continent does not actually remain there; it is owned by foreign companies registered in tax havens. Research by the NGO War on Want in 2016 revealed that 101 companies, most of them British control $305 billion worth of platinum, $276 billion worth of oil and $216 billion worth of coal at current market prices. They furthermore own ‘mines or mineral licences in 37 African countries and control vast swathes of Africa’s land: their concessions cover a staggering 1.03 million square kilometres on the continent. This is over four times the size of the UK and nearly one twentieth of sub-Saharan Africa’s total land area.’ Where Africa receives aid or foreign investment, this is usually conditional and tied to a strict regime of liberalising markets, deregulation and attractive taxation practices for foreign corporations. Consequently, Africa annually receives $134 billion in aid and foreign investment, but at the same time, $192 billion flows elsewhere, mostly in the form of profits for multinational corporations, tax evasion and structural adjustment. It is no coincidence that the profits from African ventures end up in the same countries which provide aid and investment to the continent. Africa is thus a ‘developing’ continent in the full and active sense of the world. Its wealth helps ‘develop’ the rich world, currently at $58 billion a year. Even where African countries do receive foreign direct investment (FDI), this only very rarely benefits the country itself as investment concentrates on mergers and takeovers of existing businesses, benefiting the larger players on the market and in effect pushing out local competitors. Multinational corporations do not integrate themselves into African communities, but remain enclaves, relying on international suppliers and employment, while local employment is often highly exploitative. Additionally, they are often major polluters, destroying far more livelihoods than they create. One only has to look at the havoc Shell has wreaked in the Niger Delta. Now surely, the activities of multinational corporations could potentially benefit African nations in terms of employment, investment and trade. There are some isolated examples of this, for instance in Nigeria or South Africa. However, World Trade Organisation rules make it impossible for African governments to insist on employing locals or purchasing products locally, as this is considered to be a ‘distortion’ of market economics, in a fine example of how international structures and British profitability intertwine. One of the biggest factors in the modern looting of Africa has to do with taxation. It is in this field that Jersey plays an enormous role. Illicit Financial Flows and Jersey finance Enormous amounts of money leave Africa annually through what are called illicit financial flows (IFFS). While the true size of illicit flows are hard to pinpoint exactly, Global Financial Integrity estimates that Africa’s outflows were almost 50% higher than all other developing countries. These illicit flows are not necessarily illegal, albeit morally questionable and include practices of tax avoidance and commercial transactions aimed at exploiting fiscal loopholes. Considering that half of all world trade passes through tax havens or so-called ‘secrecy jurisdictions,’ we can see how Jersey plays its part. In fact, in 2011, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man were the largest providers of Foreign Direct Investment to the Global South. NGO Action Aid has demonstrated that one in every two dollars of corporate investment in Africa comes from an offshore jurisdiction. As mentioned before, these investments rarely benefit local communities and are instead aimed at generating profits, before re-funnelling them back into the structures of the corporation. The previously mentioned report by War on Want focuses on mineral companies, as they provide a huge source of potential revenues for African countries. The following companies are (partly) based in Jersey and, consequently, benefit from some of the expertise Jersey has to offer. The main way through which Jersey’s tax structures help these corporations funnel proceeds out of African countries is known as trade mispricing. Trade mispricing Multinational companies have become experts in manipulating the prices and costs of their products to reduce the tax on them. So a company mining in Ghana will sell its products to its parent company based in a tax haven at a vastly reduced price, virtually eliminating its tax liability in Africa. Its parent company will then sell those same products on the global market, charging market prices, whilst paying virtually no tax in the tax haven they are based. Two governments miss out on tax and the company profits. Another way in which companies will rout the system is when an African company will hire expert consultants who work for the same company, based in Jersey or another tax haven. The offshore company will charge disproportionate high prices for their ‘services’, causing their African subsidiary to register low profits and in some cases even losses, reducing their tax liability. Parent companies however, can add the payments for their ‘services’ to their profits, on which they are not taxed in the offshore jurisdiction in which they are based. ‘Services’ can include loans at exceptionally high interest rates. The whole system is clouded in high levels of secrecy, with companies often not obliged to disclose information about who runs them, making it hard to expose these practices, let alone to crack down on them. Companies operating from Jersey Examples of mineral companies operating out of Jersey include Glencore, whose practices in Zambia have come under scrutiny for environmental degradation, labour abuses and tax avoidance. The $233 billion annual profits in 2013, amounted to just under ten times Zambia’s GDP and calls into question the extraordinary power these multinational corporations hold over governments, reducing public accountability and redistributing global wealth upwards. Is it a coincidence that it is extractivist companies like Glencore and Bellzone Mining record ever-larger profits, while both global inequality and climate change are spinning out of control? Glencore Plc, its registered office in Jersey, also holds interests in Western Sahara, a territory illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. By doing so, the company violates international law as defined by the United Nations and it also stands in defiance of the Sarahawi people, who were driven from their land by the Moroccan invasion and have since then fought for self-determination. By doing business with the Moroccan government for mining activities in Western Sahara, Glencore can be held accountable for boosting the international legitimacy of Morocco’s illegal occupation, financing its military efforts in suppressing dissent, while undermining the UN peace process. Is this the type of ‘potential for prosperity’ Jersey Finance talks about in its report about increasing Jersey’s links to Africa? Are we hosting some of the world economy’s largest pirates, whose operations span the entire globe, making a massive contribution to the escalation of inequality everywhere? Does our island play a major role in the modern looting of Africa? medium.com/nine-by-five-media/looting-africa-299932cc22f1
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