|Mr Halifa Sallah|
European countries have continued to develop through the exploitation of African countries via unfair trade and use of the continent’s natural resources, says Halifa Sallah, as Africans at home and in the Diaspora marked African Liberation Day on 25 May this year.
At a symposium at Sir Dembo Nursery School in Bundung Borehole organised on 26 May by the Pan-African Forum to commemorate African Liberation Day, the veteran politician cum sociologist said: “For instance, The Gambia produces groundnut, Ghana produces cocoa, Kenya produces tea. So they (European countries) make sure that our people produce one crop, and sell it to them. They processed it into packets of tea, packets of cocoa, oil, etc and then come back and sell it to us (Africans). They also take our cotton and turned it into yarn and clothes and come and sell it to us.
“So they were getting the raw materials from Africa at very cheap prices and they were processing and selling it back to us at more expensive prices. Therefore, in our trade we were always getting less than we were spending - that is called trade deficit. It means that their economy would be going up and our economy collapsing. This is how they made us poorer and poorer and they became richer and richer.”
“From selling their (European) manufactured goods they make money and they take that money and invest it at a bank; so the banks started to collect a lot of capital. When the banks make enough money, they go there to get loan to be able to build industries and provide employment. Employment continues to increase as more and more industries are created; therefore jobs were growing in their parts of the world; that is why Africans are leaving our continent to go to Europe in search of greener pasture.”
Halifa said this kind of trade imbalance coupled with heavy exploitation of Africa’s natural resources has made African economies to be decelerating while those of European countries continue to grow.
Speaking on the role of youth in the development of Africa, Facuru Sillah, coordinator of Youth OAU Gambia chapter, said the youth are the pillars and backbone of a nation.
He therefore called on African youth, especially Gambians, to be knowledge seekers, get educated and learn lucrative skills to contribute to their countries’ development and change the poor state of affairs in Africa.
In her presentation on the necessity for African women to organize for Pan-Africanism, gender activist Amie Sillah said African women such as Yaa Asantewaa of Ghana, Queen Nzinga of Angola, Titina Sillah of Guinea Bissau, Mawina Kouyate (an African born in the US and finally lived and died in The Gambia) as well as other great women of The Gambia have all contributed to the emancipation of Africa and built Pan-Africanism, which is the total liberation and unification of Africa under a just socialist governance.
She therefore called on Gambian women to free themselves from the shackles of subjugation and degradation, exploitation and poverty, to organize for true freedom and liberation of Africa.