Mnangagwa is right-”nyika inovakwa ne vene vayo”- the IMF and World Bank are up to no good, scholar says


It is seven years old. But the presentation by Howard Nicholas, a professor at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, entitled: Underdevelopment in Africa- what is the real story, still rings true today. When you listen to it, you realise that Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is right when he says “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”- a country is built by its own people.

Nicholas, a Sri-Lankan, says the West will never allow Africa to prosper because this is not in its interest.

“We will do everything to keep Sub-Saharan Africa where it is- impoverished”, Nicholas says. This “is absolutely vital for the prosperity of everyone else”.

“We need Africa to be impoverished because we need its raw materials and we need them dead cheap….If Africa does something different, I assure you, living standards of all those in Europe, North America and Asia is going to fall, and that is a big price to pay. I assure you that the West is not going to allow that without a big fight,” he says.

Nicholas says even academics have the same mission, to keep Africa impoverished. The job of many Western academics, he says, is to convince Africans that they have to keep doing what they have been doing and to show them that “it’s your fault that you are poor. It is not our fault”.
He says it is vital for Africans to understand this because no country ever develops without manufacturing. Producing raw materials will not take you anywhere, producing basic agricultural goods will not take you anywhere..but western economists and western policy makers will never tell Africans this because they cannot afford to allow Africa to industrialise and start producing manufactures. 

“We will do everything to stop that.”

Another albatross on Africa’s neck is aid, Nicholas says.

“We give aid to Africa to keep repressive regimes in power so that we can continue to extract raw materials,” he says.

Debt is another tool the West uses to keep Africa down. Nicholas says the West gives African countries debt, even when they do not need it, so that they can keep control over them.

While the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are often portrayed as saviours, Nicholas says, they are actually tying African countries down.

“The IMF makes sure that countries keep producing what we want them to produce. We make sure they have recurrent balance of payments problems. These countries never get out of balance of payments problems. The countries that never took IMF support are always out of balance of payment problems but the countries that are continuously getting advice and support from the IMF are always in balance of payments problems. Why? Because that is how we keep our stranglehold on them,” he says.

Nicholas also says that the IMF and World Bank destroy food self-sufficiency because once you don’t produce your own food this increases their hold on you.

Zimbabwe is a typical example. It was self-sufficient in food in the 1980s. President Robert Mugabe, who was the country’s Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, was awarded the United Nations ‘Certificate for the Eradication of Hunger’. 

At that time, Zimbabwe had enough reserves to feed the nation for more than three years. Its small grains could last the country eight years. But it was told by the IMF to sell its food reserves and keep cash instead because the reserves were too expensive to keep.
Zimbabwe has been in trouble since. It has, however, reintroduced the grain reserve.

Listen to what Nicholas has to say:


Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on google
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Like it? Share with your friends!

Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

One Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *