Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 124 - VOL 2
October 14, 2011 - January 14, 2012

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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History Repeats Itself: From 1844-1845's Berlin Conference to the 2011's Invasion of Libya

By Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

Westerners boots on ground in African soilThe image at the left of this paragraph (courtesy of Wikipedia) tells all. Western nations, one hundred and sixty six years after the unfamous 1844-1845's Berlin Conference, are back on African soil - under Nato's flag.

Indeed, for seven months running, since March 21, 2011, at the date of current delivery, Libya's territory had been submitted to daily heavy bombardments, carried out by NATO's war planes to assist the rebels from Cyrenaica/Benghazi region fulfill their quest for Democracy against the alleged "dictatorship" rule of Colonel Gaddafi.

The delivery available at this link demonstrates the humanitarian reasons put forward by Nato's nations are just a veil for regime change in Tripoli.

All sort of means had been used by Nato's nations to demise Gaddafi's regime- from telecommunication jamming, flooding of cell phones with sms, to brodcasting false information; bombings of state owned television buildings, destruction of water and energy systems, deployment of British, French, American and Italian Special Forces on ground [a, b] - acting as special advisers to the rebels but taking also part in the operation, spearheads to seize towns; bombings of rallies favorable to the Gaddafi regime. Etc.

The diffusion of false news (the announcement of the capture of Saif-Al-Islam the son of Gadaffi by the NTC on August 21, 2011 , who appeared 24 hours latter to denounce the manipulation). The repetitive death announcement of another son of Gaddafi, head of Libyan special forces. Etc.

And foremost, the formidable propaganda machine of western media, of all walks of the political scenery from the right wing to the farmost left wing, delivering Nato's communications and press conferences without any critical analysis. You read one of these newspapers and magazines, you do not need to read the others!

Watch the two following videos. The one exposed at the left shows rally of Gaddafi supporters at the Green Place. The other one, at the right side, shows alleged Libyans celebrating the downfall of Gaddafi at the Martyrs's Square (the new name of the Green Place).

Watch carefully. Compare the video at the left, shot at Tripoli, at the "true" Green place, with the one supposedely shot at Tripoli exposed at the right side. What do you see? Do you remark the height of the palm threes in the background of the video at the left? Yes you do.

Do you see any construction crane hanging in the air in the background of the video at the left? Palm trees of the same size as on the video on the left side in the video at the right side? No. You didn't. Because the video at the right had been shot on a decorum landscape setup by the invaders in a Arabian Gulf state, to make believe that the scene was shot at Tripoli. In the hastiness to deceive and broadcast false information, the deceivers who cook the video at the right side left some clues evidence for a sober observer to spot the deception.

Listen to Dr. Webster Tarpley's video below outlined at the left side, who has more on the matter. Look carefully at the image at the right side, supposedely shot at the Green Place at Tripoli. Look at the bottom lower right side. See the yellow colored wall that has no fresques as exposed by Dr. Tarpley. Have you noticed also the cranes in the background of the image?

Above videos, image, and discussion are proofs that the Gaddafi's regime's sudden collapse was astutely masterminded by Nato's and western countries political strategists and media propaganda specialists, in addition to the heavy bombings. The rebels are just faire-valoir, who do not represent 10 percent of Libyan population.

- What For?

At first glance, oil is the answer. Nato's nations want to control Libya's oil fields, oil production and distribution - at pricing that suits them. However, as exposed in other deliveries available at these outlined links [1, 2], there is more to it than capturing oil fields:

"Simply put, Nato's member nations are trying to steer back Libya Central Bank into the mainstream financial structure, under the watching eyes of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to provide (reconstruction) funds to Libya with hefty interests payments - and transform a country which was free of debts (for four decades running) into a heavily indebted country - as done everywhere else in sub-Saharan African countries."

Which bring us back to 1844-1845's Berlin Conference.

- 1844-1845's Berlin Conference and the Scramble for African Natural Resources and Territories

Since March 2011, we are witnessing a repeat of history. The countries that colonized Africa to plunder it and impede its economic emergence are the same Nato's member states which are supporting the National Transition Council (NTC) of Libya. In the nineteen century, they used their monopoly in firearm to conquest Africa and now they are using their advance in Information Technology to do the same. Nothing new under the sun!

Indeed, as brilliantly demonstrated by Walter Rodney, Africa had been, and still is economically exploited to remain a subsidiary client to the economic powers of the day. Everything is done, through astutely implemented economic, political and financial policies, to keep the continent as a consumer of imported expensive goods, and remaining provider of cheap soft commodities and mineral raw materials. Resorting to military might if necessary - as one can see with the Libyan crisis.

To make the story brief and summing up, let us say that, starting from the fifteenth century, Europe used maritime experience combined with firearm supremacy to carry out the systematic economic conquest of sub-Saharan African region.

Following the arrival of Portuguese ships on West African shores in 1444, the Europeans set up a triangular trading system - Europe, Africa, Americas. They took control of the export of enslaved human beings to the Americas, the exploitation of tropical wood species and the “purchase” of ivory and gold, shipped to Europe and Americas. All exchanged for overpriced bottles of alcohol, Asian small glass beads, and European-made trinkets and baubles given to African rulers.

When the immorality of the human trading/ slavery become obvious, starting from the beginning of the nineteen century, the European elites, who always plan in advance, seeing the forthcoming abolition of human trading, started brainstorming for an alternative to cheap labor and or cheap natural resources. That is the main reason to convene 1844-5 Berlin Conference that planned for the partition of Africa amongst the European powers of the day: Portugal, France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Indeed, Berlin's Conference was followed by a systematic conquest of African territories symbolized by the "astounding" picture at the begining of this delivery. European nations established a complete political and economic domination of Europe over Africa, further altering Africans’ socio-cultural value systems and fabrics; and diverting the development process from its initial endogenous path to an “externally driven process,” manipulated and managed by the Europeans.

After some forty years of colonial rule, around 1925, the five-centuries-old inter-African trade established by generations of Africans was completely annihilated, and replaced by another trading system, North-South oriented. That international trading flux was established and reinforced between each colony and its European master, with underpriced bulk raw materials (minerals and cash crops) shipped to the North and overpriced manufactured products to the South.

The unequal trade imposed from the mid-fifteenth century on Africa contributed greatly to the progressive accumulation of capital in Europe, and assisted Europe in the mid-seventeenth century carrying out and financing the industrial revolution, which put Europe’s global economy on a sustained growth path that accelerated the development process. Thus, Europeans moved increasingly toward more development and better living conditions.

By contrast, during the pre-colonial period, from the mid-fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century, Africa was “cornered” into selling human beings (shipped as slaves to European cotton and sugarcane plantations and estates in the Americas) in exchange for worthless goods, as earlier stated.

Further, during the colonial period, from the last years of nineteenth century up to the 1960s, Africa was the supplier to Europe of underpriced raw materials (mineral and agricultural commodities) and buyer of overpriced manufactured products.

For one to apprehend the consequences of the unequal trade established by Europe with Africa, it is essential to quote Walter Rodney:

“Colonial Africa fell within that part of the international capitalist economy from which surplus was drawn to feed the metropolitan sector. As seen earlier, exploitation of land and labour is essential for human social advance, but only on the assumption that the product is made available within the area where the exploitation takes place. Colonialism was not merely a system of exploitation, but one whose essential purpose was to repatriate the profits to the so-called mother country. From an African viewpoint, that amounted to consistent expatriation of surplus produced by African labour out of African resources. It meant the development of Europe as part of the same dialectical process in which Africa was underdeveloped.” [p.149]

In other words, the domination of Europe over Africa, from the mid-fifteenth century onwards, hindered sub-Saharan African countries, for five centuries, from accumulating capital in spite of shipping huge quantities of commodities to Europe. In the meantime, for five centuries, Europe made good use of the encounter with Africa. She accumulated capital gained from her overseas colonised territories (with a huge contribution from Africa), shrewdly invested the surplus in productive economy, industrialized the economy, steadfastly moving toward more development; increasing national wealth and riches for all.

At the same time, Africa, heavily depopulated by the slaves’ trade that shipped its youth to America; deprived (by Europe) of political and economic decision-making power, and lacking sustained investment funds, trod the reverse path, sinking deeper and deeper into non-development and poverty.

Walter Rodney’s book features hundreds of documented examples that expose the many aspects of the deception put in place to transfer to Europe economic surplus generated by Africa’s labour and resources.

The political independence Europe “granted” to overseas territories in sub-Saharan Africa during the 1960s changed nothing about the above trend. On the contrary, Europe’s economic domination over sub-Saharan Africa deepened. And now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the situation is worsening and may become a complete disaster in the near future of 20 years ahead if African policymakers do not react quickly to defend the continent against predatory trading practices exercised by the developed countries.

- Gaddafi Assisted Libya to Escape the Clutches of Neo-Liberalism and Globalization

Indeed, a new global domination structure is in place since mid-1980s, labelled with the vague and misleading term “globalization,” which is perpetuating Africa’s economic dependence and further impoverishing at high-speed African nations, forced under Structural Adjustment Programs to sell state-run companies (mines, utilities and energy production) to developed countries’ big corporations.

One country escaped the fate of sub-Saharan African countries: Libya, under the leadership of Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi set up an independent Central Bank, and managed to get 90 percent of oil revenues for Libya state - leaving the exploiting companies (mostly from western Europe) with 10 percent. With the construction of the Great Man Made River he shows how to use an independent Central Bank to finance national development. He, therefore, become an example to eradicate. (Click here for more reading, Tribute to Gaddafi in Spite of Everything Else.)

Yes, there is a state of urgency, since the beginning of the new millennium, as investors from the developed world now buy arable land in African countries to establish agribusiness for the export market and particularly for bio-fuels’ production. That is a great danger for the future of African nations, which, in order to reversing the decline of the economy, need to develop food-crops agriculture for food security purpose, process these into value added produce and develop trading among African nations.

- Could the Offensive of the European Elites to Reconquer Africa Succeed?

The battle for Tripoli does not concern Libya only. It is a battle for the Black continent economic (and political) future. The (African) newspapers and magazines which consider the fall of Gaddafi as the liberation of Africa are either underestimating the onslaught of Nato's nations or are simply blind, and let say it - accomplices.

How can one consider that the fall of Gaddafi liberates Africa? So, Africa was under the supervision of Gaddafi? He, Gaddafi, had never have it easy - over years - in debates and discussions during the African Union's meetings to impose his political views and vision for the black continent. In spite of all his readily available financial means, he was constantly challenged by a score of African head of states.

He, Gaddafi, had never been a dominating figure amongst the circle of African Union's head of states. So, what liberation these magazines and newspapers are talking about? [And oddly enough, the same African head of states who firmly challenged him over years, are now the ones who are helping him overcome Nato's onslaught. They know that the economic (and political) future of the continent is at stake.]

Thus, one can here declare that the fall of Gaddafi is a blow to the economic development of the continent. It is, simply put, another step taken by the powers of the day, first to erase an independent economic development process, and second, tighten the economic (starvation) belt around sub-Saharan African countries.

Had anyone of said Nato's countries, the same who met one hundred and sixty six years ago in Berlin (to divide and conquer Africa) done anything to develop the continent as Gaddafi did as here exposed, to strenghen the economic development and financial independence of the Black Continent? None of them. As described brillantly by Walter Rodney in the above quotation from his must have book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, they come and plunder, destroy and destructure.

Anyway, whatever is written here and there about the temporary defeat of Libya nationalists, does not matter. The future would tell if that defeat is final. It all depends on the fight put on by the majority of the Libyan people, and, based on the fierce resistance the nationalists are showing on the ground, one can say they lost one battle but the hope for victory is on their side. They have the privilege to wage an asymetric war against the invaders. That is mainly to impede by all means and manners the resumption of oil exploitation.

From a transitory council, the rebels are now speaking of provisory government (October 7, 2011), to save face, and try to hide the embarrassment of infighting. Truly, the infight between the several wings of the rebels, to reaching a final representative government is so fierce that one can say, doubtless, that it is mission impossible. It will not work!

The NTC's attempts to bribe Libyan tribes to subversion also failed. The tribes's elders know what is ahead if they fall into the trap.

Further, dissensions between the invaders are also mounting. The westerners pointing fingers to the Arabs who assist toppling Gaddafi, accusing them of meddling and interfering in Libyan affairs. Yes, you read well: Arabs are meddlers and interferers in Libya affairs, but the Nato's nations are just there for humanitarian reasons!

On October 6, 2011, after Nato's ministers of defence meetting in Brussels, Belgium, to evaluate the result of seven months's onslaught bombings on Libya, the U.S.A.'s representative, Panetta, declared, "I am convinced that we do not have to choose between fiscal security and national security [...] But achieving that goal will test the very future of leadership throughout Nato."

He, Panetta, is just making a faint allusion to the financial situation now prevailing in this october 2011 in Europe and America. Which is very bad to say the least. Let us listen to Dr. Shapiro, an IMF expert/ advisor to the political big guns of the world, spelling it out more specifically, and clearly in plain English:

People like Dr. Shapiro does not speak out like that in a "normal" world, that is when the financial power was clearly in the western elites's hands - during the past 300 years. If he speaks now, it is because he knows that the financial situation is really bad and cannot be hidden anymore from the masses. He knows that the financial power is shifting from the West to the East. (We do not have enough space in this delivery to develop and dwell on the matter.)

However, the consequence of the global financial shift occurring right now from the West to the East, is there for any sober observer to see and sense: Nato's nations do not have anymore the financial power to sustain a lenghty bombing campaign for humanitarian reasons, to supporting the NTC, wage war in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Irak. The bombings will stop in the very near future of three months - the latest. Not to forget that important elections are scheduled in France and Germany during the first six months of 2012.

Would extending the bombings's period be enough to impose the NTC on the Libyan population? That is the question. Based on the history of Libya which sacrificed 1,000,000 out of 2,500,000 during the 1943-45 period to kick out the Italian invaders, Africabiz Online firmly believes that it would not be enough. In the long term of one year time, the NTC cannot win, and sending more Nato's boots on ground (they are already there) would not help either.

- Lessons From the Libyan Crisis

Gaddafi himself made two big important political mistakes that shadowed the economic success implemented under his leadership.

First of all his bravado style of ruling does not help on the international political scenery. His dressing habits and "histrionics" were easy targets for people around the world to labeling him "the madman;" even if his political intelligence and the economics he applied to the country show the contrary.

One thing is sure, he Gaddafi, outplayed Nato's strategists. Nato PLAN A was to install chaos. They got more than expected. Now chaos is everywhere in Libya, but not the kind of chaos expected by Nato. There are for instance, on the streets of Tripoli, so many gunmen, that Nato war planes cannot distinguish between rebels and Qaddafi's supporters.

And the second political mistake, he Gaddafi has made, was not to let out a breathing political safety valve to the Libyan people to satisfy the minority.

That said, the first outlined mistake was the most damaging. Does he have a choice for the second? That is the question. No doubt about that, he has an intrinsic and vivid sensual knowledge of his country. He knows that the country sociological fabrics is based on tribal and clannish practices, and developed his political strategy to rule accordingly.

The rebels are now confronted with the same problem. Times will tell if they can force Libya's tribes and clans into the concept and mold of western country democracy style. That would be an interesting experience to watch.

That is for Gaddafi. Now for the other African nations. Our nations are fragile, under construction. And our rulers naive people, for all the respect due to head of states. They do not apprehend well the implacable and "ferocious" world they are living in. They do not know that everything is war. Mostly economic war for the most fitted. And that the enemy is not far away waiting for the slightest opportunity to charge on, to seize assets and natural resources, assisted by internal enemies ready to open the gates of the city to the invaders.

Having modern telecommunication infrastructure is not enough. These infrastructure must and should be secured to avoid jamming and flooding by adverse propaganda. Securing them should be part of a thoroughly devised and implemented National Security Strategy.

Investing huge amount of national money abroad, without setting legal guarantee against mismanagement, bamboozling and embezzlement of funds, is also a huge mistake. These assets are swindled, in a sleight of hands, under cooked United Nations's resolutions, and disappear God only knows where, as soon as the opportunity arises. At least now our rulers know.

As an African popular saying goes, “He who knows his people’s history, knows where he comes from and is mentally and spiritually equipped to understand present-day problems, to prepare for a better future.

For that reason, Walter Rodney book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, is a must-read book for African policymakers. A breviary that would assist African delegates attending international economic forums, political arenas such as the United Nations assemblies and others, or negotiating with developed countries’ partners.

It would make them aware of past (political and economic) traps and sharp practices used on their ancestors. They will further understand and apprehend the present challenge faced by African countries with regard to the deceptive superstructure of domination that is unbridled globalization, in order to defend Black people’s rights and interests for the best as the race is “under perpetual siege and fighting an almost invisible war for survival […]” – to quote Chancellor James Williams.

To follow live the evolution of the Resistance fight in Libya, click here

About the author: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum is the principal/ managing director of Dr. Quenum & Associates, IBC; an experienced Investment & Business Planner with 30 years consulting practice in African countries; author of Africans, Stop Being Poor! and the editor in chief of Africabiz Online

1- Libya: From Colony to Independence
by Ronald Bruce St. John
2- Libya Since Independence
Oil and State Building
by Dirk J. Vandewalle
3- Seeking Gaddafi
by Daniel Kawczyinsky
4- Libya's Qaddafi:
The Politics of Contradiction
by Mansour El-Kikhia
5- Libya
The Political Economy of Oil
by Judith Gurney

6- Libya: Continuity and Change
by Ronald Bruce St. John (April 2011)
7- 2011 Complete Guide to Libya
Government, Politics, Military, Human Rights
by the US government & the CIA
8- Libya: The Lost Cities of Roman Empire
by Antonio Divita, Ginette Divita-Evrard, Lidiano Bacchielli and Robert Polidori (Feb 1999)
9- The Making of Modern Libya
by Ali Abdullatif Ahmida (Aug 1, 2000)
10- Democracy at Gun Point?
by Dr. B.M Quenum, Article, April 2011
11- So, It Was All About Regime Change
by Dr. B.M. Quenum, October 2011

"CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDELINES" are available here. We invite you to contribute to AFRICABIZ ONLINE MONTHLY ISSUE - with articles related to "How Africa Could Bridge The Developing Gap".

Your feedback / objection / contribution is welcome. Visit WorldWide BizCenter, and choose General Information (as topic) to create a thread for discussion. On the top of the WorldWide BizCenter page, there is a HELP link to assist you making an efficient use of the discussion board. This link also is useful

Many thanks for subscribing to Africabiz. See you here on January 15, 2012

  Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Business Opportunities


A previous delivery started this series about starch industry, and the YouTube video at this link highlights the importance of starch industry.

Delivery exposed at this link describes the economics of a small scale unity to producing liquid glucose from cassava starch.

Liquid glucose can be used as raw material in several opportunities above listed, particularly in the ones concerning fruits [34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46
] and cereals [30, 31, 32, 33] transformations.

Click here to read more about the matter

More on the matter

Control Your Desktop


As you may know, surfing the Net, strange things may happen such as Malware and other insidious piece of codes, and tracking cookies penetrating your system through unguarded ports of your browser. And suddenly, you would be noticing that your Homepage had changed, and the browser slowing down or behaving strangely.

Yes, when one visits some webpages, these quietly inject malicious code into your system, to divert your chosen homepage towards another one, and even towards a fake one of the original one. Worse, the injected pieces of codes would be lying down silently until you connect to your banking account or enter purchasing process to pay online. Then your credit card credentials and your banks account login criteria will be stealthily grabbed.

For more on the matter visit this link

More on the matter

Freebie Of The Month


Microsoft flagship software, Office Productivity Suite is a must have. Can you live without Word, Exell, PowerPoint and Outlook mail clients? Certainly not.

However, it is not free. Further, an update can disrupt the suite and all the components may start behaving weirdly. Outlook will not load and claim for install, again and again. In short, Office Productivity Suite is a must have, but sometimes it can become a pain in the ass.

The competition is running after Office since a decade without gaining substantial ground. Some propose web based suite to try to beat Microsoft - which retaliated proposing the same. Other desktop productivity suites are simply not fully compatible with Microsoft Office's set standards. For instance, one can use such suites to save a document into Microsoft office formats, to found out that your correspondent - the destinator of the document, cannot open it.

Click here for more


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