...Now it’s not about what you give to the Chinese in exchange but who control the bargain, who sits at the bargain table with the Chinese – does he has a mind for the future"
The government was highly advantaged as unsolicited increase in foreign investment means a boost to the economy, however it wasn’t long before it would find out that the people were adversely disconnected from the entire scenario of fast paced development
It was erstwhile leader of the Chinese People who stressed the importance of a policy change that recognizes the strength of the citizenry in order to sustain the progress envisioned otherwise the entire activity was going to result to an adverse socio-economic imbalance. Mr. Hu Jintao during a meeting with former Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Paul Martin had stressed the importance the Chinese government attach to building a scientific concept of people-oriented, coordinated and sustainable development in order to sustain rapid growth and a balanced society.
Without raising dust over endless academic nor political rhetoric – a people oriented policy simply defines an economic development model that values the existence and participation of its citizens in nation building, this citizens encompass all classes of individual whose any careless neglect definitely affects the social wheel of progress both in the rural and urban settings
The China people oriented policy is designed to make sure that poverty is eradicated not by words of rhetoric of political statement but constructive implementation of the dividends of governance to the people who sustain the government. A policy built on the sincere commitment invested on the people that builds the society and powers the economy otherwise when you continue to deny your people of basic benefits the state authority is positioned to provide for its people, you deny them the opportunity to grow and contribute to the growth of the economy, you alienate them from the society which they belong and requires a collective efforts to build
China’s policy of development has evolved from industrialization to political ideology and now to the People – this is a new found futuristic strategy that is remote from materialistic pursuit and rewards the people that will sustain whatever progress political leaders will claim they have achieved. Has the African rulers and its elite agents visiting China for all the investor/investment window shopping learned anything that will change the status quo of criminal neglect and ridicule its citizens continues to be exposed to in China - I hope so. For one thing is certain, the pressure of public interests. From my numerous trips to Africa, I have engaged both the streets and overfed public officials, the cause of the many conflicts in Africa is elaborately defined, social disorder and disregard to the people who labour tirelessly to sustain the society, if the government can pass these tests, by designing a program or adopting a policy that places value on the people whom are direct recipients of whatsoever political policies that government upon governments continue to unleash on its people, especially in this age of internet, legitimacy of political achievements could be realistic other than the media hyped achievements that ends on news headlines – in the absence of that every trip to China to scout for investment should and would remain questionable The best African rulers shuttling China for jamboree investment seminars could do for its people is to take advantage of China's industriousness, commitment to do business and the value it places on its people without recourse to sentiments on its colonial affiliations
In one of those meetings I have had with a government special adviser on Investment & Trade, after listening to all the presentation, he looked up, with a forced smile and sneered “to China, to do what, of all places,” this is still the thinking of many African government elites closed up in the comfort of colonial legacies of Western influence only to turn to China when the loans are not forthcoming, from IMF to Paris Club, Euro this and Euro that, then to China for investment seminar upon investment conference. Do anybody take you serious at all?
In my various private meetings with state officials and private businessmen, One questions remain concurrent; what can you do without electricity, why is the government neglecting what should be its primary concern – its massive youth population, its agriculture and investment in its mineral resources. “The government is always crying no money, always no money and they waste our time on one projects for years-I am tired but why is your people like this?” This question has embarrassingly repeated itself over time and I keep struggling to find one valid answer till date.
Fact is; do Africa and its elites sincerely desire any growth in its economy, do they sincerely desire any structural development that is sustainable then it is paramount they invest in the people that powers and sustains the economy in other to achieve result because if you don’t do that foreigners will certainly operate the investments you are pursuing , foreigners will continue to influence your political decisions because they control and finance your industry – the source of economic power , then your people and in most cases you my dear dumb politician will remain the beggar of all kinds of favour from IMF to Paris Club and now China.
The Chinese has changed the order of demand and supply on the economic table or so it seems-give us a land, a piece of your gold, a barrel of your oil, your copper in exchange for the road constructions, the railways, the housing structures too-Now it’s not about what you give to the Chinese in exchange but who control the bargain, who sits at the bargain table with the Chinese – does he has a mind for the future of his homeland, the children, generations of men and women attached to the sovereign wealth, does he has a mind of his own as a unique individual created with the best of God’s gift to humanity, earth, wind and soul, does he understand the art of people-oriented policy, does he has any, sure bet if he does has- he will be a tactical negotiator with the Chinese and if he is bereft of knowledge like many of the jamboree investment fanfare government tourist shuttling in and out of China in the name of seminar, he will sell off complete generational wealth.
If you do not have any sense of tomorrow that never comes but now, Africa will have to sit upright and make the right demands for a future of peace and prosperity – the mistakes of leaders from the 90’s and colonial freaks of late 60’s to 70s is the result of the suffering and poverty many African counties are suffering today – should there be any better tomorrow that never comes but now – African rulers prattling around China in the name of seeking for investors and investment has this one more golden opportunity to do business for the sake of younger generation running around the world seeking asylum, swimming against deadly seawares to run to Europe
When leaders set a preference on the application of rule of law and its justice system, they become a gang of ruthless and mindless sets of individuals with one principal aim – acquire wealth, flamboyance and extreme arrogance displayed in the midst of filth and impoverishment, neglect and lawlessness except among the few gang members.
Now does it make any difference – Negative No! As I do know, one Africa down; all is down!
But when the welfare of the people who should be direct beneficiaries of whatsoever government policies is considered of prime significance, the governors, parliamentarian, ministers and even the president will curtail their excesses and wastefulness in order to adopt as a matter of urgency a policy that should accommodate its citizenry and provide the basic amenities that attract foreign investments, labour and productivity
Njoku SaintJerry A. is the founder of the SaintsAwards Projects and African Diaspora Institute, Beijing (ADI)