The Cost of Debt

“Third World debt, structural adjustment, privatization, and trade liberalization are intentional strategies of a neoliberal agenda to enshrine poverty.”–ERIC TOUSSAINT

Ibrahim John
12 min readApr 20, 2022

--

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

The debt of low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa increased to a record $702 billion in 2020, according to a new World Bank report released on October 11, 2021. This is the region’s highest debt burden in a decade.

Writers such as Eric Toussaint, among many others, have made critical contributions to an understanding that “Western foreign policy toward Africa does not merely produce poverty and inequality as an accidental byproduct, but rather, that Third World debt, structural adjustment, privatization, and trade liberalization are intentional strategies of a neoliberal agenda to enshrine poverty.”

Having surveyed the underlying fundamentals that have led Africa into debt, it is needful to gain an understanding of the true cost of debt to Africa.

This chapter sidesteps the financial figures, to provide a figuration of the true cost of debt, in the deprecation of African nationalism.

It would appear that even the ‘minimizing political independence which many African nations gained during the decade of the 60s, could be returned, unceremoniously, to the imperialists, through the debt trap.

Debt and Sovereignty

Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

There seems to be a consensus, amongst scholars, that there is no further controversy that the core purpose of the colonial quest in Africa was the domination of African resources — human and material — to gain advantage for themselves and build prosperity.

As Britain’s Lord Lugard shamelessly stated: “It is sufficient to reiterate here that, as long as our policy is one of free trade, we are compelled to seek new markets; to allow other nations to develop new fields and to refuse to do so ourselves, is to go backward… We owe to the instincts of the colonial expansion of our ancestors those vast and noble dependencies which are our pride

--

--