guest column:Reinfor Khumalo

THE number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) sponsored by Western countries has increased excessively as neocolonialism intensifies.

The strategy by Western countries to partition Africa in 1844 at the Berlin Conference in order for Africa to sustain the West at the expense of the former has only changed from being brutal to subtle.

World institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations (UN) set up by developed countries are designed to impoverish Africa to benefit the West.

NGOs together with other charitable funding, aid and so forth are advanced to African countries to lull them from an awareness to look after themselves.

All aid from Western countries is designed to save the face of Western countries from the subtle exploitation they inflict on Africans through extracting their primary resources for virtually nothing in exchange.

By this aid and by sponsoring Africans through NGOs, Western countries instil self-pity on the African continent and that enables self-condemnation on developing countries as they see retrogression in their economic development.

This act portrays Western countries as little redeemers of Africa, yet they are the very initiators and perpetrators of the problem.

No country on earth can develop economically through trading on its primary resources without any manufacturing. Western countries are encouraging and sponsoring African countries to do exactly that — concentrate and pride themselves in trading in primary resources and never manufacture anything.

To cite an example, Zimbabwe because it has an abundance of cotton used to have many textile factories in Kadoma, the urban centre of cotton production and Bulawayo the industrial hub of the nation.

At the moment, all those textile factories have disappeared because tonnes of bales of cheap clothing some of which used to be sold at dollar-for-two are frequently shipped from China and Europe for sale in this country to ensure that no textile industry takes off, but to encourage the export of cotton to textile industries in China and Europe.

NGOs established in Africa have pseudo missions. They do not operate in a manner that is true to their mission statements of ensuring sustainability.

If this mission was fulfilled, after so many years of the operations of NGOs in African countries, we could be having less or no NGOs on the continent.

I challenge anybody to show me a single NGO that achieves its objectives of self-sustainability, even in this country. If any NGO responds that it fulfils its mission, I will ask why such an NGO still exists in the country. If it does exist, it means that it does not follow through its mission of providing sustainability to the programme. NGOs are proverbially giving people fish and not training people how to catch fish.

For that matter, most NGOs that I have known in this country are required by their funding partners in Europe when reporting about deliverables to state how the funds that have been provided by the funding partner have been used.

The key deliverable that should check whether the project will sustain itself after a given period is never emphasised or is not there at all.

The deliverable requirement of the projects because it lacks the self-sustainability component, is confirmation that there is a sinister motive in the NGO.

Such NGO will perpetually operate in the country because there is no measurable achievement to discontinue it. Sustainability is absent — a deliberate act initiated by NGOs.

It is an open secret that Western countries design strategies to keep Africa down to exploit for themselves the continent’s resources. Most of these strategies are crafted and executed through these institutions established by the West such as NGOs, the World Bank, IMF, UN, assemblies of G20 and G8 countries.

To cover up and to portray a show of transparency, the West involves and employs some well-educated Africans and give them senior positions in these institutions.

As for the G8, some African countries are invited briefly and then released from the meetings after some photo sessions have been performed to evidence the presence of African countries.

The crux of the agenda is, however, discussed after an African country has left the meeting.

This is when strategising about suffocating aid to Africa is discussed.

African countries should look at any aid from the West with suspicion. All African countries’ currencies have been heavily depreciated by Western aid to enable a very cheap obtainability of African resources. Have you ever asked yourself why Western European currencies such as the sterling, the US dollar and the Euro have always remained strong while African currencies go down annually?

NGOs represent, among others, a tool that perpetuates underdevelopment of Africa to enrich the West. It is high time African governments desist from being spoonfed to their demise.

African countries need to utilise their resources for their own benefit. They need to ensure that they are not cheated under dubious terms of the so-called globalisation.

The very looters of our resources end up laughing at us when they are among themselves, wondering how we do not see through their exploitative schemes.

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