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Seen in Negative Light By Whom?
No doubt, by the Western contractors used to the gravy train of change orders for infrastructure in Africa.|
What dragged Africa deeper and deeper into the hole in the last 300 years was the West. Under the guise of developmental assistance, loan commitments are made by Western financial entities (even the World Bank and the IMF, and before that the many Western governments and banks), on projects and plans paid for by the West, that paint beautiful and bright futures and comes with colorful business plans, setting down in words on how the proceeds from the developed projects paying off the loans. The catch is, of course, the construction contracts go to the engineering companies from the creditor nation. They even promise to hire the locals and train them to be engineers and skilled workers, all of them, so maybe they can do their own projects in the future. Why, from the profits, the West even donates money for "humanitarian aid", like a million here and a million there.
Then the "fun" begins. Fun for the robber and not so much fun for the robbed - touche.
As a rule of thumb, Western contractor built projects in Africa ALWAYS end up being 3 to 5 years late, and there are always huge change orders that are billed at "prevailing rates," much higher than the bid price of the project (it's like selling a whole car part by part, at 10 times the cost). The typical Western built project costs at the end AT LEAST 3 times as much as the original bid. Whatever original economic justification there was is irrelevant - the already destitute African natives have no hope of ever paying for the project, and so the hole gets deeper.
It is very much like dope pushers pushing their dope on credit to addicts. Once in a while the pusher even acts magnanimous and "write off" some of the loans!! And they expect unending gratitude from the Africans, and 300 more years of exclusivity to all natural resources on the continent, which the West has designated as the "Dark Continent." Of course the interest rate on the refinancing of loans already defaulted would have to be higher - you see that in your credit card contracts all the time. Dark indeed.
Under the prior arrangements, the Western engineering firms made out like bandits, making profit margins twice or 3 times what they can get in developed worlds, off of the backs of the most deprived and most destitute. Sometimes you do wonder how they sleep at night. But then I am told that white men actually are built different. Not having any heart, they are not bothered at all by the atrocities they commit over millenia in Africa.
Africa remained dark, that is, until China comes on to the scene. Just the presence of the Chinese engineering companies, building hospitals, railroads, dams, schools, roads, markets, etc., ON TIME and UNDER BUDGET, has caused the fat and sloppy Western contractors to lose sleep.
So they complain and they lobby and cajole their pols to do something about it. And Washington happily complied, by sending in the troops, and now tries to start up new wars in Africa, to make sure that there can be no hope of the continent ever pulling itself by the bootstraps.
[ Last edited by tongluren at 2007-8-4 04:06 AM ]