"France has many sins and some of them are in Africa (patrons of the Hutus anyone?) - but providing a sound currency to countries that would be basket cases on their own is not one of them. Inflation is not a good thing poor Africans are being kept out of. "
Germany, tnem Belgium, not France, was the colonial power in Ruanda-Urundi, which became the states of Rwanda and Burundi. The Germans and the Belgians both supported a political system which they saw as run by "Tuutsis" and ethnicized the country along Tuutsi/Hutu lines until independence.
Inflation is not a good thing, but since most Africans in the CFA zone have little cash savings (if any) the effect of the CFA-Euro link is higher prices for most people and binds these countries to the French economy. Compare prices in Ghana or Guinea with those in the CFA zone
posted on 02/07/2004 12:05:41 PM PST
Throughout the late '80s and early '90s, Rwanda's Hutu Power dictatorship had enjoyed the patronage of France. As a former Belgian colony, Rwanda was a French speaking country, and Paris's neo-colonial policy in Africa was to support those who spoke its language at all costs. In the early '90s, when Rwanda was plunged into civil war between the Hutu government, and the predominantly Tutsi rebel group, the Rwandese Patriotic Front, France threw its military support behind the Hutu regime. After all, the RPF came out of Uganda--where its leaders had been living in exile--and Uganda is an English speaking country. French leaders were unconcerned by their murderous Hutu Power clients. As the genocide reached its peak in the early summer of 1994, France's President François Mitterand was reported to say, "In such countries as this, genocide is not too important."
I know the history of the congo, thanks. The French were still patrons of the Hutus, who are francophone, against the Tutsis, who are anglophone. The rivalry there goes back to scramble for Africa days and UK-French competition. The Hutus had a populist ideology they learned from French revolution principles, later stoked up by marxism, which sees the Tutsis as the local version of a "feudal" "nobility" against the "prols" of the Hutus.
The effect of inflation does not depend on the size of cash savings. It is a redistributionist measure that rewards the cities, where the newly printed money is glad-handed around, at the expense of the farming countryside, where there is no cash economy but the actual work occurs. Preventing it via a sound currency allows real capital investment and accumulation if local work suffices for it. When let loose instead, it puts up concrete high rises in the cities and feeds a parasitic government class, but does nothing for real economic development or for the real standard of living of the people. The people of west Africa are dirt poor because they have always been dirt poor, not because of marxist myths that sound money equals capitalist exploitation.
posted on 02/07/2004 2:22:19 PM PST
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson