Address at the Third African Renaissance Festival, Durban, 31 March 2001

Chairperson
Premier of the Province
Our friends from the USA
Distinguished participants


As Africans, we are faced with the urgent challenge of ending poverty and underdevelopment on our Continent. This is a massive task that will take us some time to accomplish.

The first objective we confront in this regard is that we must ourselves take on the responsibility to answer the question - what are the ways and means that we must adopt to ensure that we achieve these objectives!

It is the poor themselves who must answer the question - what should be done so that their poverty comes to an end permanently.

They must themselves be responsible for the answers to this question so that they recognise the obligation to themselves to take such actions as may result from the answers they will have provided themselves.

I trust that your discussions during this Third African Renaissance Festival does indeed make an important contribution to the search for these answers, given that as these intellectuals you speak for a continent characterised by poverty and underdevelopment.

Necessarily, as we work to get these answers, we will have to proceed from the position that we will have to place our answers within the context of the constraints and possibilities imposed on us by contemporary global reality.

Accordingly, I would like to state some of these constraints and possibilities as I see them, in as stark a manner as possible.

Liberal democracy, capitalism and globalisation constitute some of the principal defining features of the modern world.

The most outstanding examples of the success of these political and economic systems are the countries of the North, also generally referred to as 'the West'. Together they account for a relatively small minority of the population of the world.

At the same time, these countries dispose of the largest volume of economic, scientific, technological, communication, military and other resources available for the development and management of human society as a whole.

Accordingly, with regard to these categories, they constitute the decisive and independent centre of the universe of human society.

An argument can also be advanced that this dominance gives these countries that constitute the centre, the possibility to play the decisive role with regard even to such matters as the cultures and value systems of the countries of the hinterland.

For example, without doubt, the controversial scenes shown in a recent episode of Yizo Yizo became possible only because theatre, cinema, television and now the Internet, in the countries of the centre, had already opened the way by creating an atmosphere permissive of the public propagation of such scenes.

What is considered as the appropriate balance among such matters as unacceptable pornography, the inalienable right to freedom of expression and the obligation to respect social norms will, in many circumstances, be determined according to the view prevailing in the countries of the centre.

Similarly, during the final voting round, the matter of who should host the 2006 Soccer World Cup was decided not on the basis of competence successfully to host the tournament and the basic values of fairness and justice, but on the balance of brute power as between the centre and the hinterland.

As we have said, around this centre there exists a hinterland, a periphery that, to one extent or another, is dependent on the centre for its progress, consistent with the needs of the centre.

At the same time, the centre has to access the periphery to supply its needs, consistent with the imperatives of its own mode of existence.

Accordingly the centre, itself caught in a never-ending process of change, determines the principal content of the ideas, the culture and the social relations of human society, both for itself and for its periphery and in its own interest.

At the same time, the hinterland is also engaged in a permanent and corollary process of the transformation of its own ideas, culture and social relations, among other things, seeking to guarantee that it does not get disconnected, disengaged and detached from the centre.

This manner of proceeding is necessitated by the fact that, by definition, the centre sets the rules of behaviour in the global village and reserves for itself the right to decide what the correct outcomes should be. This includes the right to change these rules and correct outcomes, consistent with the interests of the centre.

The hinterland has to respect this 'free will' of the centre because the latter has the means to impose sanctions against those who step out of line, while, in the main, the hinterland has no choice but to fall in line with what the centre demands.

As South Africans, you might want to apply the centre vs hinterland paradigm we have been speaking of to our own domestic situation.

This might help all of us to understand the circumstances according to which a few believe that they have the right and duty to set the rules and define the desirable outcomes, while the task of the majority is to do as they are told.

The centre of which we have spoken occupies specific and discrete geographic and other spaces. Geographically, these might be described as North America, Western Europe and Japan.

The discrete geographic, historical and other spaces these countries and regions of the centre occupy leads to a relative differentiation of its responses and interaction with the various component parts of the periphery, depending also on the geographic and other spaces these parts occupy.

To illustrate this, we will now give one or two examples about what the European Union, as a specific and discrete part of the centre, might do with regard to specific and discrete parts of the hinterland.

Analytically, we must understand that bloc behaviour does not necessarily mean that each individual member of the bloc behaves in the same aggregate manner towards the hinterland, as does the collective bloc.

I am certain that all of us agree that the European Union (EU) is one such specific and discrete segment of 'the West'.

Two of the other geographic zones to which it is

connected and to which it must respond are Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Strategically, this region poses four principal issues of concern and interest to the EU. These are:

the existence of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in this region, together with their delivery mechanisms;
the threat of mass population migration from CEE into the EU as a result of underdevelopment, poverty and instability;
the possible impact of sophisticated CEE criminal syndicates on the social systems and quality of life of the EU community of nations; and,
the growing relevance of the CEE markets as an important factor in the growth of the EU economies.
These factors are of such a nature that, to guarantee its own future, the EU cannot but have a strategic interest in the future of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Accordingly and of necessity, it pursues definite policy objectives towards the CEE which include:

working to ensure political and economic stability in the countries of this region, underpinned by the entrenchment of a liberal democratic political order;
working to ensure that the capitalist economies of this region have the capacity to address the needs of the population, thus discouraging emigration to the more prosperous EU region, while ensuring the 'proper' management of the exploitation and displ of the natural resources to be found among the countries of the former Soviet Union;
working to ensure that the governance structures and systems of the CEE have the capacity to work for these objectives, including the containment of organised crime; and,
working to ensure that the weapons of mass destruction existing in the CEE region no longer pose a threat to the EU and 'the West' as a whole.
The EU therefore works to implement a detailed and comprehensive programme of action focused on ensuring the achievement of these policy objectives.

Necessarily, the pursuit of these objectives and other factors, result in the stronger EU playing a decisive role in determining the evolving ideas, culture and social relations of the CEE countries. The latter, seemingly in their own interest, strive to model themselves according to the prescriptions laid down by the former.

Another region with which the EU must interact is Africa.

For reasons that will be clear shortly, for our present purposes, we must distinguish North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa.

With regard to the former, the principal strategic objective pursued by the EU is to ensure that legal and illegal economic migrants into the EU who would significantly change the demographic composition of at least some of the member states of the EU do not inundate it.

The principal tradeable commodity from this area, necessary for the EU economies, is oil. However, this constitutes a small part of the total consumption of hydrocarbons by the EU. In strategic terms, it is therefore of marginal importance to the health of the EU economy.

This region of Africa is also relevant to the issue of peace in the Middle East, in which the EU has a strategic interest. Its importance in this regard would not have the same weight as other Arab countries in the Middle East.

Sub-Saharan Africa supplies the EU with a significant volume of agricultural and mineral raw materials as well as gold and diamonds. Like the northern part of the Continent, the southern part also exports oil to the EU.

There is also a noticeable flow of economic migrants into the EU especially from West Africa.

Relative to Sub-Saharan Africa, the only issue of strategic importance to the EU is that there should be no interruption to the supply of raw materials into its markets.

The reality, of course, is that, currently, none of these raw materials are of any use to the countries that produce them, except as exports.

Accordingly, nothing has to be done by the EU to guarantee their continued flow, precisely because the producing countries understand that without these exports, they will sink even deeper into poverty, underdevelopment and instability.

In that sense, it must be assumed that they will themselves take all necessary measures, in their own interest, to ensure that supplies into the EU markets are not interrupted.

The additional reality is that with regard to their own raw materials, the Sub-Saharan countries do not dispose of the bargaining power that members of OPEC enjoy with regard to oil.

The net result of all this is that, essentially, the EU does not have the same obligation and need to elaborate a policy towards Africa, as it had to with regard to Central and East Europe, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries.

Its response to the imperatives Africa faces as part of the global hinterland, are driven by considerations of conscience and guilt rather than fundamental necessities to which it must respond, in its own strategic interest.

The EU also includes all our former colonial powers, as a result of which we even continue to have such geopolitical entities as Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone Africa.

In the past, this has provided the basis to argue in favour of a special EU responsibility towards Africa. However, more recently, representatives of the EU have stated the matter plainly that "the post-colonial period is over" and that, as Africans, we must take responsibility for our successes and failures.

I believe that, as Africans, we must accept that in taking these positions, the EU is taking perfectly rational positions that are themselves immanent within the dominant contemporary liberal democratic and capitalist social order that is also characterised and is further entrenched by the objective process of globalisation.

As we all agree, the modern world is characterised by deep inequalities.

On this matter, the UNDP Human Development Report of 1999 has this to say:

"Global integration is proceeding at breakneck speed and with amazing reach. But the process is uneven and unbalanced, with uneven participation of countries and people in the expanding opportunities of globalisation - in the global economy, in global technology, in the global spread of cultures and in global governance. The new rules of globalisation - and the players writing them - focus on integrating global markets, neglecting the needs of people that markets cannot meet. The process is concentrating power and marginalising the poor, both countries and people." (p30.)

The following statistics illustrate what the UNDP means when it writes of a globalisation process that is 'uneven and unbalanced'.

As at the end of 1997, the countries of the North held 68% of the world stock of foreign direct investment. The equivalent figure for Africa was 1.9%.

The market capitalisation of the emerging markets, the strongest among the countries of the South, accounted for 9% of the world's total market capitalisation.

In the period 1990-1996, the OECD countries accounted for over 70% of global exports of goods and services. The equivalent figure for Sub-Saharan Africa was less than 2%.

As the last century came to its close, the high-income countries had 506 telephone connections per 1000 people compared to 16 for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The figures for Internet hosts stood at 375 per 10 000 people in the high-income and 2 per 10 000 people in African Sub-Saharan countries respectively.

At this time, with regard to the important issue of research and development, 3 316 patent applications were filed in Canada, as compared to 6 in Zambia.

Reflective of this historical tendency, in the same period, 31% of French manufactured exports were high technology goods, while these constituted 2% of exports from Mauritius.

The infrastructure imbalance is dramatically represented by the fact that 91% of the roads in high-income countries are paved, as against about 16% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Add to this the particular additional constraint that faces us as Africans, arising out of our history over the last forty years or so.

That history has created an image of our Continent as one that is naturally prone to wars, military coups and dictatorship, denial of human rights, corruption, permanent dependence on aid and humanitarian assistance, and, more recently, an AIDS pandemic caused, it is said, by rampant sexual promiscuity and endemic amorality.

Add yet another particular additional constraint - a perception of ourselves, of Africa and Africans, in terms of a deeply entrenched racist stereotype.

The US scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr tells an interesting story about the outstanding painter, Pablo Picasso.

In 1907, Picasso visited the Museum of Ethnography in Paris and became engrossed in viewing African art objects.

Later Picasso said:

"At that moment I realised what painting was all about. Painting isn't an aesthetic operation; it's a form of magic designed to be a mediator between this strange, hostile world and us, a way of seizing the power by giving form to our terrors as well as our desires. When I came to that realisation, I knew had found my way. Then people began looking at those objects in terms of aesthetics."

(Henry Louis Gates Jr, in "Africa: The Art of a Continent": ed Tom Phillips, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1996.)

And yet, later, Picasso is quoted as having said:

" African art? Never heard of it!" (Gates op cit).

Henry Louis Gates Jr comments that:

"It is impossible to separate (Picasso's) anxiety about (African) influence (on his art). From Europe's larger anxiety about the mask of blackness itself, about an aesthetic relation to virtually an entire continent that it represented as a prime site of all that Europe was not and did not wish to be, at least from the late Renaissance and the Enlightenment." (Gates op cit.)

The question that arises from this is how will we, who belong to the African periphery, and require the support of Europe to succeed, convince Europe to support an entire continent that, according to Gates, is 'a prime site of all that Europe was not and did not wish to be'!

Bear in mind also what we said before, that objectively Europe has no need to elaborate any specific policy towards our Continent, given that it has no strategic need to do so.

To take the first tentative steps towards answering the question - what is to be done - let us step back into a past that is well known to all of us.

For centuries, the Western world has treated Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, as a source of cheap labour and raw materials.

Necessarily, this has meant the export of wealth from Africa rather than its expansion within the Continent.

Where there has been an infusion of wealth - in the form of investment - this was to generate larger volumes of wealth for export.

The period of slavery constituted a massive export of cheap labour itself, for use as a virtually cost-free factor of production.

For Africa, this represented a very big loss of human capital and therefore the severe undermining of the capacity of the African communities to generate wealth.

In a very real sense, the enrichment of the West was predicated on the impoverishment of Africa.

Colonialism sought to achieve the same objective by:

obtaining mineral and agricultural raw materials at as low a cost as possible;
using cheap local labour to produce these commodities; and,
preserving the African markets as exclusively as possible for products from the colonising country.
Again, this does not strengthen the capacity of the African countries to expand their economies, with a lot of economic activity in these countries being enclaves that are mere extensions of the economies of the metropolitan countries.

The destruction of productive capacity in the African colonies is clearly illustrated by the decline in domestic agricultural production except for cash crops.

Accordingly, many African countries suffer from food deficits and have become net food importers.

The post-colonial period has not changed this situation fundamentally.

Indeed, diversion of resources away from wealth creation accelerates in the post-colonial period, as more resources are needed to finance the new state machinery and to meet the pressing social needs of the people.

Employment in the public sector serves as an incentive for people to move away especially from agricultural activities, seeking public sector, urban service jobs.

The net effect of all this has been the entrenchment of a downward vicious circle, confirming Africa's peripheral and diminishing role in the world economy.

The more the African countries acted as a source of raw materials and cheap labour, the less capable they became of breaking out of this mould.

This has also confirmed a frame of mind about Africa that:

the Continent has no place in the world economy except as a supplier of raw materials;
there is no requirement that the Continent should have access to modern technology and contemporary human skills;
such socio-economic problems as the Continent faces should be contained within Africa and addressed as welfare problems;
no contribution to human civilisation can be expected from Africa except in the fields of the performing and plastic arts and the natural habitat; and,
the Continent has no major role to play in the global system of governance.
The reality that has accumulated over many centuries is that Africa is defined as, of necessity, the marginalised.

This determination leads to actions that result in the further marginalisation of the Continent.

The more this succeeds, the more difficult it becomes to reverse this process of marginalisation. This difficulty includes the generation of significant resources from the Continent itself to reverse this process.

Necessarily, in this situation, the hopes of Africa's peoples for a better future begin to rest on the magnanimity of others.

This transforms the objective dis-empowerment of the African people into a subjective acceptance by these people of the view that they are incapable of empowerment.

Thus they become less and less capable of acting as conscious and purposeful actors for their own emancipation from dependence, poverty and underdevelopment.

To bring this human tragedy to its end, it is necessary that the peoples of Africa gain the conviction that they are not, and must not be wards of benevolent guardians, but instruments of their own sustained upliftment.

Critical to this is the knowledge by these peoples that they have a unique and valuable contribution to make to the advancement of human civilisation, that despite everything we have said, Africa has a strategic place in the global community.

Despite our negative past over the last few centuries, it is both possible and necessary to ensure that Africa enjoys a positive and optimistic future.

The starting point is the same material base that resulted in Africa becoming a marginalised Continent.

Africa's strategic place in the global community is defined by the fact that the Continent is an indispensable resource base that serves all humanity, as it has done for many centuries.

That resource base can be broken down into three components. These are:

(Component I): the rich complex of minerals and plants that can be found throughout the continent;
(Component II): the ecological lung provided by the Continent's rain forests and the virtual absence of emissions and effluents that harm the global environment; and,
(Component III): the paleontological and archaeological sites containing evidence of the evolution of the earth, life and the human species; the natural habitats containing a wide variety of flora and fauna; and, the open uninhabited spaces that are aature of the Continent.
The first of these, Component I, is the one with which the world is most familiar. Below, we will discuss its importance and role in the Africa we all seek to build.

The second, Component II, has come to the fore only recently, as humanity came to understand the critical importance of the issue of the environment.

The third of these, Component III, is only now coming into its own, emerging from its being of relevance merely to a narrow field of science and a matter of interest to museums and their curators.

We must proceed to describe the role and place of each of these three components in the context of the global community.

But before we do this, we must address the important question of how this resource base gets transformed from a neutral fact of objective reality into a material base for the upliftment of the African Continent.

The subjective transformation of Africans into a sub-human species of humanity constitutes a complex process that covered many centuries.

All of us face the critical challenge to accept that, historically, this ideological transformation of the Africans did happen, without seeking to attach value-laden blame and judgement against and to anybody.

The dogma, consigning the Africans to a lower plateau in the human hierarchy, understood as self-evident truth, created the possibility for those who considered themselves to be superior to the Africans, principally the Europeans, to treat the Africans as natural inferiors.

When superior technology, better organisation and anti-human convictions enabled the Europeans to defeat the Africans and seize them as slaves, the objective success of these Europeans confirmed for them the correctness of their subjective conviction of the inferiority of the Africans.

Further, the apparent submission of the Africans to the domination of the victors proved the point to the Europeans that they had the natural right to exercise absolute authority over the Africans.

All African rebellions in these circumstances, historically destined to fail, served as an affirmation of the self-evident truth that the black could never vanquish the white.

Each failed uprising confirmed that even with the resort to force by the black against the white, the predestined and fixed relationship between superior and inferior, between dominant and dominated, between master and servant, could not be altered.

Thus, for some time, history inherited a powerful motive force of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The only thing that could deny or disprove the prophecy was practical proof of the falsity of the prophecy - a human demonstration, specifically for the master, that the servant becomes as human as the master when he or she ceases to be a servant.

To achieve this result, the Africans had to rise against European colonisation, and succeed.

The sustained success of the rebellion, and not the fact of the rebellion, however heroic, was the critical factor that would destroy the superstition that there was a natural order of things that dictated that white should be superior and black inferior.

The possibility of the Africans to govern themselves and the independent countries that became their political homes as a result of the rebellion, created the capacity to use the resources of the Continent not as an incentive to others to colonise the Continent.

It made possible the use of these resources as the means to be used to benefit the native population.

With political power having passed from the colonial countries to the formerly colonised, a heavy burden fell on the shoulders of the formerly colonised.

They had to prove that they could discharge their functions in a manner than would address the interests of the formerly oppressed African masses.

This had to be done in a situation in which the foreign powers saw the defence of their continuing interests in the now independent states as an essential part of their 'national interest'.

This national interest was also defined by the reality of the cold war generated by East-West competition and conflict.

It was therefore in the interest of the former colonisers and other dominant players in the global community that the newly independent states should not be so strong that they become truly independent players.

Rather, it was desired that they should not have the ability to act in a manner that would threaten the residual 'national interest' of the metropolitan powers, as well as fall into a 'wrong ideological bloc', in the context of the East-West conflict.

This created the situation in which the dominant powers were prepared to live with malpractice in the former colonies, provided that this guaranteed the protection of their interests, widely defined.

It also obliged these powers consciously to strive to entrench the continuing dependence on themselves of the independent African states, to ensure that the strategic objective of securing this guarantee was achieved.

Given their relative weakness, many of these independent states had very limited possibilities to be anything but dependent.

The more dependent they became; the more secure the interests of the dominant powers became; the more entrenched the historical view became, that the Africans belonged to a lower order of humanity.

Accordingly, the pursuit of their interests by the dominant powers led to a situation in which the fact of the independence of the former African colonies meant that these now independent countries would not have the possibility to harness African resources for Africa's development.

This enhanced the necessity for the metropolitan countries to provide aid for the former dependencies, further entrenching the dependence of the African peoples on the erstwhile colonial powers.

For the peoples of Africa the absence of sustained indigenous development meant continuing suffering, including the persistence of state measures focussed on ensuring that these suffering masses did not rise up against their new rulers.

Ironically, for the developed countries, this meant that the seemingly endemic instability of the African countries threatened the achievement of their strategic objectives of:

securing their economic interests in Africa; and,
guaranteeing the political allegiance of the African countries.
This leads us to the identification of a strategic objective that is of crucial importance both for Africa and the rest of the world.

This is that Africa needs a political order and system of governance that would:

be legitimate and enjoy the support and loyalty of the African masses;
be strong enough to defend and advance the sovereign interests of these masses;
help to address the fundamental development interests of these masses; and,
have the capacity to ensure the achievement of these objectives, including interacting with the various global processes that characterise the world economy.
The benefit of this to Africa is self-evident.

It is also important to the rest of the global community because it would ensure that stable and predictable conditions exist in Africa, rationally to order the sustained interaction of the rest of the world with the globally strategic African resource base.

This is also critical for the rest of the world because it would constitute a major blow against both the global grey economy and global organised crime, bearing in mind the fact of the globalisation of both these phenomena.

To address the challenge of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation, Africa and the rest of the international community need to ensure that Africa takes the next step in her political evolution.

This refers to the evolutionary movement:

from slavery to colonial subjugation;
from colonial subjugation to neo-colonial dependence;
from neo-colonial dependence to genuine independence and democracy.
It is only under the conditions of the latter that Africa and the world will succeed in its efforts to defeat African underdevelopment.

In its own interest, the African Continent itself has to organise itself such that:

democracy and respect for human rights prevails, underwritten by the necessary constitutional, legislative and institutional arrangements;
conditions are created to end all resort to measures that lead to civil and interstate wars, including strengthening Africa's capacity for the prevention, mediation and resolution of conflicts;
there exists a system of governance, with the necessary capacity, to ensure that the state is able to discharge its responsibilities with regard to such matters as development, democracy and popular participation, human rights and respect for the rule law and appropriate responses to the process of globalisation.
Realistic, country-specific programmes must be worked out to achieve these and other related goals.

The international support programme focused on this area should:

be based on these country-specific programmes;
seek to build a truly indigenous capacity within each country;
deliberately avoid to use such support to create relations of dependence on the part of such countries as would receive international support; and,
give resources to such regional and continental initiatives as may be necessary to improve effectiveness in this overall area.
As we have said, which all of us know, Africa is rich in agricultural, mineral and aquatic raw materials that have been exploited for centuries for the benefit of others.

These must be used to develop Africa's economies and peoples.

This would be possible only if value is added to these natural resources so that they are traded with the rest of the world as processed products rather than raw materials.

The necessary economic measures and policies would therefore have to be undertaken:

to attract domestic and foreign investment into the extractive sector of the economy;
to attract domestic and foreign investment into the sector that would process the raw materials;
to facilitate access of the value added products into the markets of the developed countries; and,
otherwise to make all products from this value chain internationally competitive, whether as consumer products or as intermediate capital goods. (Obviously, this should not be taken to be an argument for the prohibition of the export of unprocessed raw materials from Africa. It is a proposal to use Africa's resource base both to develop Africa and to meet the needs of the global economy.)
Objectively, given their access to the most advanced technology in existence and their cost disadvantage relative to the hinterland with regard to some products, the countries of the centre should not treat what we have said as a threat.

It does not make any economic sense for them to seek to protect production in their countries of agricultural products, clothing and textiles, steel and other products that can be produced more efficiently in the countries of the hinterland.

In addition, a qualitative expansion of the world economy that would also be of enormous benefit to the countries of the centre can only occur if the billions of people in the world who are poor and constitute the majority of humanity, have larger and increasing disposable incomes.

These can only come from heightened economic activity represented by increased production by and much better market access for the countries of the hinterland.

Africa also has an important role to play with regard to the critical issue of the protection of the global environment.

It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study properly to assess the environmental resources Africa has, for the benefit both of the Continent and the rest of the world.

These would relate to such issues as the ozone layer; climate change; air, water and oceanic pollution; sanitary and phyto-sanitary questions; and the expansion of knowledge about the environment.

These resources include:

the African rain forests;
the virtually carbon-dioxide free atmosphere above the African Continent; and,
the absence of toxic effluents in the rivers and soils that interact with the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
The Africa development strategy should indicate:

how these environmental assets can be turned into tradable goods; and,
what investments should be made to ensure that these environmental resources are not destroyed?
For instance, it is obvious that unless poor people in the vicinity of the tropical forests are offered an alternative means of earning a living, they will cooperate in the destruction of these forests.

Similarly, African governments will permit logging companies to do the same, if this is only economic activity that would enable them to help provide a livelihood for their people.

Appropriate measures would also have to be taken to ensure that the developed countries do not take advantage of Africa's impoverishment to use the Continent as a target for the dumping of toxic waste.

Historically, the development of technology has resulted in a continuous change in the relationship between humans and the tools they use.

While facilitating the greater mastery over nature by human beings, this technological development has also continuously changed the relationship between humans and their tools, with the tools assuming the dominant position in the interaction.

This has tended to emphasise the role of human beings as factors of production, competing for their place in the production process with their contemporary or future tools.

Modern technology has exacerbated this tendency, resulting in the atomisation of people and the erosion of the sense of community.

As the possibility for individual material improvement has changed for the better in the developed countries, the possibility for the all-round human fulfilment of these individuals has declined very rapidly.

Critical to this decline is the rupture in the link between human beings and the natural world.

This link is important because it enables the materially successful citizen of the developed world to break with the highly ordered, organised and impersonal world of modern technology and organisation.

When these citizens turn their backs on this human-made world, for a short holiday period during the year, they depart from a world that depersonalises them and denies them their humanity.

As this humanity, their most basic instincts inform them that, fundamentally, they are part of the natural rather than the human-made order of things.

Being part of this natural order of things frees them from domination by technology and the rhythm this technology imposes on them.

It liberates them too from the human, hierarchical command structure this technology, and the related social organisation, dictate.

Freely interacting with nature, they become human beings once again, equal with any other human being, with equal dominion over nature and themselves.

The restoration of the sense of their own humanity becomes a critically important factor in stopping these materially successful human beings from being socially dysfunctional human beings.

For some time, political economy has recognised that recreation will be an increasingly important part of human civilisation as technology reduces the obligation on human beings to work.

The African development strategy must recognise the fact that technological development not only creates the time for recreation, but also the imperative for recreation, without which technological development will create the forces for its own destruction.

What this means is that:

tourism in Africa should be treated as a critical corollary of modern scientific and technological development;
the African land and sea flora and fauna typical of undeveloped Africa should be preserved and protected as a global resource;
ways and means should be found to ensure that the peoples of Africa actively contribute to the achievement of this latter objective, including the protection of the animal species to be found on the Continent; and,
steps should be taken to generate the necessary domestic and foreign capital to create the tourism infrastructure that would both preserve the resource and satisfy the necessary human need that is addressed by the availability of this resource.
What all this means is that tourism in Africa should be developed as a permanent feature of the African economy, of benefit to Africans, the rest of the world and Africa's resources in flora and fauna.

As the place of the origin of all humanity, Africa has an unequalled role to play as a valued place for the affirmation of the common humanity of all humanity, regardless of race, colour or nationality, as confirmed by the recent scientific disclosures about the human genome.

She has the possibility to be a place of celebration of the unique identity and sanctity of each human being, regardless of gender.

Her history, her culture, her works of art has a possibility to communicate the message that none need think that anyone of us is anything other than part of one interdependent humanity.

Africa's ancient history, which encompasses the formation of the earth itself, the emergence and evolution of life and human life, of human society and the arts, of mathematics, science, architecture and medicine, must also say to us as Africans that they lied those who said that we are less than human.

Everything we have said so far points to the fact that extraordinary measures will have to be taken to train the necessary numbers of Africans to participate in the reconstruction and development programme represented by this strategy.

These are required for the public and the private sectors; as scientists, engineers and technicians; and as managers and bureaucrats.

The capacity has to be created within the Continent, possibly on a regional basis, to ensure that this need is met on a continuous and dynamic basis from within the African Continent itself.

More generally, we have to consider expenditure on human resource development not as a cost that we must minimise, but as a critical investment that must be made.

Accordingly, we must give pride of place to issues of expenditure on health and education as a necessary condition for success in everything we have to do.

Clearly, we cannot afford the situation according to which millions of our people are disempowered from becoming productive citizens by debilitating disease and ignorance.

The African development strategy requires that a strong and evolving base of information and scientific inquiry be established to ensure that all programmes are properly executed and all possibilities fully exploited.

The human, material and institutional base will therefore have to be established, with a strong emphasis on regional and continental co-operation, to ensure that this happens.

The African development programme we have sought to detail will never succeed unless Africa bridges the digital divide generally and particularly with regard to the context of the specific development projects, whatever their nature.

Accordingly, the development of the telecommunications infrastructure and ensuring Africa's access to information technology is a vital sector on which the Africa strategy must focus, in a comprehensive manner.

Once more, means will have to be found to attract the necessary domestic and foreign investment to enable the development of this sector.

Needless to say, the challenge to attract larger inflows of capital into our Continent also signifies that we must take all necessary measures to encourage our own domestic African investors to invest in Africa, rather than contribute to the flight of capital out of Africa.

Similarly, an urgent solution must be found to the absurdity according to which Africa becomes a net exporter of capital to the countries of the centre, as a result of the intolerable and unserviceable debt burden that many African countries have to carry.

What we have been speaking of requires that things be done that go beyond the ordinary.

One of these is that we should treat the critical matter of Africa's development and reconstruction as a challenge that faces not only our governments and the African elites, but also the masses of our people.

Accordingly, we must seek to ensure that whatever we say as Africa's intelligentsia and leadership, we communicate this to the ordinary people of our Continent. Thus should they be empowered to speak out about what they want for themselves, their countries and Continent? And thus will they be enabled to participate in the struggle to emancipate themselves from poverty, underdevelopment and despair.

Similarly, the leadership of the countries of the centre has an obligation itself to think and act beyond the demands of the moment.

This leadership must understand that it has an unprecedented opportunity to act in a manner that would help to release resources that exist within human society, which would ensure that poverty is eradicated throughout the world.

The mass demonstrations in Seattle during the WTO conference, the global campaign for the cancellation of the African debt and other demonstrations demanding an end to global social and economic processes that perpetuate poverty indicate that many among the masses of the people in the countries of the centre understand the imperative to return to the values of internationalism and human solidarity.

It is in our interest that we reach out to these masses.

But first of all, we must ourselves answer the question - what are the ways and means that we must adopt to ensure that we extricate the African masses from poverty and underdevelopment.

The 1999-2000 70th Annual Report of the Bank for International Settlements makes the following observation:

"Africa's basic structural weakness (i.e. its low degree of integration in the world economy and excessive reliance on agriculture and exports of primary commodities) has made its macroeconomic performance relatively insensitive to changes in global demand conditions but highly vulnerable to terms-of-trade movements. In addition, because of poor governance, a rudimentary financial structure and low saving, the resistance to domestic shocks is weak and, as a result, variations in growth rates across countries are typically much larger than for other groups of emerging market economies."

It is to this bleak situation that we must respond.

I trust that your interaction during this weekend will move us forward towards the transformation of Africa away from this situation and towards the accomplishment of the objective of an end to poverty and underdevelopment.

I wish you success in your important work.

Thank you.


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