The EU talks a lot about morality and always tries to change something in African countries before we want to support them. The Chinese and now also the Russians just want to do business.
China is the largest partner when it comes to infrastructure projects in Africa. They don’t consider how good or morally correct a government is. They make things simple. They invest and make the African countries dependent on them.
The EU delivers morality. China delivers tractors, it is as simple as that.
It starts with the youth. There is no African country from which you can travel to Europe without a visa. So an African student who wants something out of life goes to China or the Middle East.
We send billions in support to Africa every year, but fail even to ensure African students have an easy route to Europe. I call this a double moral standard. In the EU, the moral outcome of our trade is much more important to us than the actual effect our support could have.
If you ask young people in Africa what they need, they don’t talk about morality or democracy. They want roads, education and a stable power grid. These things are what our development aid should build… but where is this money?
We support the corrupt elite because we are not „on the ground“ but try to support the system as if they are like ours. China does the opposite. They supply and farming tools and what the Africans really need.
There is no African country, which supports the sanctions against Russia.
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal (Chairmen of the African Union) visit the Russian president but has never been to Ukraine.
African countries care about a conflict in Ukraine the same way as the EU does when there is a conflict in Africa. African countries have problems like poverty, climate change, and lack of access to enough food, which is much more critical.
The EU has to rethink its strategy in Africa. We have to build sustainable partnerships and not just send money.
We must realise that our generation’s main problems will be solved in Africa. What do you think will happen when climate change kicks in or we can’t send enough food to Africa?
We have to understand what Africa really needs and what the young African population wants for their future.
We only can achieve that by having boots on the ground and starting within Africa and with African people. It is not enough to send billions via NGOs to slums. This money ends likely in big cars and nice apartments then it makes a real change for Africans.
We have to send people with expertise like engineers and send tools to build houses. The African youth need people with expertise in entrepreneurship to build their own businesses.
Africa doesn’t need anymore people, who fly down with a suitcase of money, take a picture with politicians and fly back home.
Africa needs people, who fly down with a suitcase of money and invest it in infrastructure and startups.
Only if we realize that we can’t pay Africa to raise, that we actually have to make an effort, we really can create sustainable growth in Africa and a healthy relationship with the African people.