By Eliaser Ndeyanale
FORMER Prime Minister Nahas Angula says that Namibia, like many other African countries, is blessed with mineral wealth that has the potential to transform its economy, but that these resources are often more of a curse than a blessing.
Speaking during a public lecture on Pan-Africanism at the Swapo Party School in Windhoek last Saturday, Angula said that after gaining independence, many African countries chose to follow the capitalist system, instead of socialism.
“We are captured. When are we going to liberate ourselves from this capture?” Angula asked.
He suggested that Africans need to embrace Pan-Africanism, in order to value and identify themselves.
“It’s good to sing African and Namibian anthems here, but who is controlling your diamonds, which is the basis of your survival.
“After our independence, we betrayed our identity and followed capitalism. We should ask ourselves, what should be done.”
Angula also blamed the economic system in Africa, saying that it is not arranged properly, while asking the audience how many young people have been employed in the continent’s extractive industry.
He described the extractive industry as capital intensive, and said that this is where young people needed to be employed.
“All these things, we must interrogate and question them, and see what will be the way forward,” he said.
On the question of why Africa drifted away from socialism, and resorted to capitalism, Angula said African leaders wanted to use the system to accumulate extravagant wealth.
He encouraged these leaders to stop looting the continent’s resources, while giving the example of former Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President, Mobutu Sese Seko, who for 32 years treated his country like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account.
Angula explained that Sese Seko had plundered the country’s mines, and had insisted that their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas.
“The tendency is that you steal public resources, and then you send it to Europe. Imagine how much money you are taking outside the country. Who is benefiting from those resources? Is it just you yourself? The bottom line here is that we are not able to withstand the onslaught of the capitalist system, which makes our people poor and exploits our resources,” Angula added.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015