Saturday, July 25, 2009

THE 8TH BOARD MEETING OF THE AFRICA REGIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE STUDY OF JUCHE IDEA (ARCSJI) HELD AT FADEN HOUSE 117, Av Colonel TSHATSHI IN KINSHASA, T










































THE SPECIFIC TASK OF SELF SUFFICIENCY AND DEVELOPMENT OF INDEPENDENT AFRICA BY DR ALHASSAN MAMMAN MUHAMMAD,
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, NIGERIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE STUDY OF JUCHE IDEA. BEING TEXT OF THE LECTURE DELIVERED AT THE 8TH BOARD MEETING OF THE AFRICA REGIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE STUDY OF JUCHE IDEA (ARCSJI) HELD AT FADEN HOUSE 117, Av Colonel TSHATSHI IN KINSHASA, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO FROM APRIL 30TH TO MAY 3RD, 2009.


FORWARD
The 8th board meeting of the African Regional Committee on the Study of Juche Idea was held beiween April 30th to May 3rd 2009 in Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of Congo. The text below represents the paper presented at the meeting.

INTRODUCTION
Africa, the second largest of Earth’s seven continents, covers 23 percent of the world’s total land area and containing 13 percent of the world’s population. Africa is a land of great diversity. If you were to trek across the continent, you would pass through lush, green forests and wander vast, grassy plains. You would cross barren deserts, climb tall mountains, and ford some of the mightiest rivers on Earth. You would meet diverse people with a wide range of cultures and backgrounds and hear hundreds of different languages. You would pass through small villages where daily life remains largely the same as it has been for hundreds of years.
Africa plays a very important role in the global mineral economy, producing about three-quarters of the world’s cobalt; half of the global supply of platinum, chromium, and diamonds; approximately one-third of all gold, manganese, and uranium; one-fifth of all bauxite; and one-tenth of the world’s petroleum. Minerals account for at least half of export earnings in 12 African countries, and 90 percent or more of exports in Angola, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, and Zambia. The countries of the Sahel and East Africa, where mineral production is unimportant, are notable exceptions.
North Africa is one of the world’s major centres of oil production, and Libya, Algeria, and Egypt are among Africa’s top producers of crude petroleum. Algeria has vast reserves of natural gas as well. North Africa is also rich in phosphate deposits and production, Morocco being a leader in world output. Of lesser significance in the region are coal, iron ore, uranium, platinum, lead, zinc, and cobalt.
West and Central Africa also contain significant oil reserves. Nigeria is Africa’s top petroleum producer, and Angola, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo are other important oil-producing countries. West and Central Africa also possess some of the world’s most significant sources of cobalt, manganese, potash, bauxite, and copper. Guinea has about one-third of the world’s reserves of bauxite, the commercial source of aluminium. Other minerals of economic significance are iron ore, gold, diamonds, tin, uranium, phosphate, columbite, and titanium.
Africa has several of the world’s greatest rivers. The Congo, which alone accounts for some 38 percent of the continent’s discharge into the ocean, drains an area of more than 4.1 million sq km (1.6 million sq mi), ranking second only to South America’s Amazon River in terms of discharge and size of drainage basin. The Nile, which extends for 6,695 km (4,160 mi), is the world’s longest river; it occupies the fourth largest drainage basin. Other important rivers include the Niger in West Africa and the Zambezi in southern Africa. These river courses provide ideal conditions for hydroelectric power generation. Africa has about 40 percent of the world’s hydroelectric potential, but only a small proportion has been developed.
Africa has the second largest tropical rain forest, the Congo basin after the Amazon in Brazil. The southern part of West Africa is thickly forested and produces a wide variety of cash crops such as cocoa from Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria; palm oil mainly from Nigeria; cotton from Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, among others.

Yet rather than these huge resource bases being a driver of African development, in many cases, their extraction has resulted in crisis and conflicts with the resultant hunger, refugees, militancy, rebel movements, killings, among others. Examples include: the Niger Delta militants fighting the global oil companies extracting oil in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria; the blood diamonds trade that brought Liberia to its knees, the Tuareg rebellion in the uranium rich department d’agades region of Niger Republic; the problem in eastern Congo DR which is partly over the resources in that part of the country.
During the first period of colonialism, several Western European countries—led by Portugal, The Netherlands, Spain, France, and Britain—used their colonial territories to provide them with goods for consumption and trade. In the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution brought mechanized production to many nations and ushered in a second period of colonialism. Industrialized countries could produce much larger quantities of goods and resources than had previously been possible. To achieve this level of production they relied on colonies to provide raw materials for building and powering machines and for supplying their factories. These countries and many of the people living in them experienced increases in wealth and ease of access to essential resources and staple foods.
The colonies in Africa did not share in these gains. Often, the resources of the colonies were exploited and plundered by the colonizing countries. In the colonies, the production of cash crops and raw materials for manufacturing diverted indigenous peoples from doing subsistence work, such as growing food crops, gardening or tending livestock. Others were simply displaced from their land as was the case in Azania (South Africa), Zimbabwe and many other African countries. Native Africans had been self-sufficient as farmers, herders, or hunter-gatherers; now they became dependent, for the first time, on outsiders for their basic needs, and many became poor.
Some social scientists argue that wealthier developed countries continue to practice a form of colonialism, known as neo-colonialism. The affluence of these countries is based to a large extent on favourable trade with the developing world. Developed countries have been able to get inexpensive natural resources from poorer countries especially in Africa. For example, oil for power, ores and minerals for manufacturing durable goods, and manufactured goods made by low-wage workers in factories operated by multinational corporations. This practice contributes to the dependency of poorer countries while not raising their standards of living.

From 1960 to 1980 most newly independent African countries launched ambitious development plans to lift the standard of living of their peoples, who had suffered years of colonial misrule and exploitation. Development projects were launched to spur economic development by promoting manufacturing and other industries. One major goal of industrialization was for a nation to spend less on imports by producing the consumer goods that formerly had to be imported (such as textiles, tires, chemicals, fertilizers, paper, glass, ceramics, and electrical equipment). This strategy, known as import substitution, faltered in the 1960s because of the inability of new African manufacturers to produce consumer goods efficiently. New factories required imported machinery and other costly goods to sustain production. The high costs made local manufacturers inefficient and incapable of competing with foreign manufactured products. The efforts were also hampered by the relatively low demand for consumer goods by Africa’s small markets.
The reality was quite different. First, the export-promotion strategy was crippled by declining world prices for African raw materials. Second, what wealth was generated in the developed areas was often expatriated to foreign investors, siphoned off by national governments, or spent on ostentatious public works and imported consumer goods for urban residents. The promised economic spill over effects was minimal.
This rapid and intensive exploitation of the continent’s natural resources holds both dangers and positive potential. Africa’s resource rich countries are characterized by the condition known as the ‘resources curse’, in which resource abundance is often correlated with high levels of corruption, conflict, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality. However, Africa’s natural resources are value neutral and have the potential to be the catalyst for sustained long-term development, as well as economic and social growth. Central to development and self sufficiency is the issue of ideology. The inability of African countries to be self sufficient and attain development is our inability to anchor our developmental strides on a sound ideological base.
Thus, for African countries to change and become stronger, more impressive, successful, and advanced, we must anchor our developmental strides on a sound ideology. This ideology should be a system of social organization in which ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, and political philosophy or program that should drive African countries out of poverty, civil strife, rebel movements, foreign domination and dependency on the Western world to an Africa that is self sufficient, well secure from foreign domination, Africa where each member country can defend its territorial integrity and secure its own boarders and ultimately use its natural resources for the maximum benefits of all rather than few of its citizens. This ideology is Juche Idea and its associated Songun Politics.
By adopting Juche Idea and its associated Songun Politics, African countries would now be better placed to defend their territorial integrity. We must lend to place greater attention on military affairs and only when we do this that Nigeria can be able to take care of the militancy in the oil rich Niger Delta, Mali and Niger be able to eliminate the threat pose by the Tuareg rebellion in their northern territories, Senegal be able to handle the Casamance secession, Uganda be able to deal with the lord’s resistance army, and Congo DR be better placed to wade rebellion and foreign elements in its eastern part.
Juche Idea would afford African countries to individually place the love of their countries over and above anything. By this, countries would have the opportunities to implements national development plans without dictates from Western Governments and Institutions whose directives and influences in form of loans, development aids, grants and assistance, has left Africa prostrate, politically, socially, militarily and economically.

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