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Trump Is Right To Put America First


We don’t agree with Trump very much, but where we do agree with him is on his aim to put America first. Extreme poverty is the normal condition throughout Africa only because African nations, and indeed the continent itself, do not put themselves first.

                                By David Barber & Tendai Ruben Mbofana

Instead, they roll over before Western and Chinese commercial and financial multinationals and businesses. And they allow the Western dominated United Nations  (UN), World Bank,  International Monitory Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization to dictate to them.

Conversely, where Africa is concerned, Western nations and China have always put themselves first, ahead of our interests. And this is a major reason for the problems of poverty and very poor economies that we experience in every nation in Africa, without exception.

If Africa wants to escape poverty, it has to put itself first, kick out foreign control and encourage its own indigenous African financed, owned and led businesses to take over.

African nations don’t put themselves first in another way. With very, very few exceptions, Africa’s corrupt governments do not put their nations or their citizens first.

They put their own greedy, power-obsessed selves first. And they actually want foreign domination to continue because it is the aid and loans they get from China and the West that helps them to stay in power.

Indeed, many African governments would simply collapse if they did not have Western and Chinese aid and loans to help them keep going. For all his spluttering about “Western imperialism”, Mugabe would have been forced out of power years ago if the West and China had stopped supporting him.

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And, despite the blame he put on Western sanctions, the support he got from the West and China was mind-boggling. In 2015, they together added 35% to his income. For the period 2016-2018, that was set to rise to a staggering 80%, virtually doubling his income.

Now that he has gone, it is not clear know what aid and loans the new regime will get, but it looks to rise well beyond that, making a major contribution to keeping ZANU PF in power.

Don’t get us wrong –Western sanctions were imposed on us. But it is doubtful that they made any real difference because Mugabe was determined to rape his citizens for his own purposes anyway, so the economy would have ended up just as bad.

All sanctions achieved was to give him a convenient excuse, a smokescreen for his corrupt activities.

After World War II, Japan was in as bad a state of poverty as any African nation is now. So how did Japanese citizens get from African-style poverty to Western-style affluence so fast?

Very simple: despite intense pressure from the West not to do this, the Japanese government put Japan first, stopping all but the most essential imports from the West, and heavily supporting its own entrepreneurs and business  \people against foreigners.

It only opened its borders to Western imports and businesses when it was strong enough to compete with them on a level playing field.

China did the same. It is not so long ago that China was in as bad a state of poverty as any African nation is now. So how did it grow so fast to where it will dominate the world economy in just a few years?

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Very simple: like Japan, it, too, put itself first. It up a barrier to Western imports and businesses, and then heavily supported its own entrepreneurs and business people.

It also only opened its borders to Western imports and businesses when it was strong enough to compete with them on a level playing field.

How did South Korea go so fast from African-style poverty to its present wealth? In exactly the same way as Japan and China had done, by putting itself first.

By “putting America first”, Trump is only doing what America, the UK and many other so-called developed countries should have done years ago. All these countries have paid a huge price by allowing first Japan, then China, to decimate their industries, causing a loss of literally millions of jobs across the West.

Poverty in both the USA and Great Britain is growing at an alarming rate only because their industries and manufacturing businesses have been driven out of business or forced to take their manufacture abroad by the poverty wages that developing countries are allowed to pay workers and staff.

And Trump’s policy is working. A large number of jobs have already been created in the USA as it cuts imports and takes back manufacturing from foreign countries. And this is showing in the USA stock exchanges which have risen from an all-time low just a year ago to their highest ever.

If Africa and African nations want to solve their financial and economic problems, they, too, need to follow Trump’s example and put themselves first.



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263Chat is a Zimbabwean media organisation focused on encouraging & participating in progressive national dialogue

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