African governments urged to seek alternatives to economic support

Professor Vijay Prashad

Professor Vijay Prashad, a well-known historian and journalist, has advised African countries to look outside the Bretton Woods institutions in their search for economic support.

He contended that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s assistance to developing African countries, particularly Ghana, was ineffective at addressing the continent’s socioeconomic issues.

Often, the support of those institutions benefited the West while undermining the African continent’s economic advancement.

Prof Prashad made the remark during the launch of the fourth edition of the book “Great Deception” at the headquarters of the Socialist Movement of Ghana, in Accra, over the weekend. 

The “Great Deception” is a collection of classified documents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other United States government secrets, with commentaries by historians, journalists, and political activists. 

The book also reveals the “false propaganda” of the Feb 24, 1966, coup which overthrew Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

“The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are tightly controlled by the United States of America’s Treasury Department. They use the raw materials, technology, and finances of developing countries. They are only serving the interests of the West, not African countries. They are also serving the interests of the imperialists and the capitalists,” said Prof Prashad

He advised African countries to explore other international financial institutions, such as the New Development Bank, to help them fill the financing gap for social and economic infrastructure that will benefit the continent’s growth.

The historian also decried the persisting inequity in the global system, pointing out that developing nations such as Ghana continue to regress in terms of development despite their continued engagement with Breton Wood institutions.

He challenged Ghana’s political leaders to reconsider Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s goals and ideology for the country to reclaim its global as well as African leadership.

The Bretton Woods Institution, established in 1944, sought to restore and sustain the benefits of global integration through promoting international economic cooperation.

However, some critics question the institution’s sincerity in promoting African progress, insisting that these organizations are to blame for the continent’s economic and developmental problems.

Prof. Akua Britwum, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, noted that the Bretton Woods Institutions had a crucial role in the “overthrow” of Africa’s foremost nationalist leaders, especially Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

She said that the unwillingness to provide aid, investments, and other economic support had a substantial role in Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s fall in 1966.

“These institutions were using instruments like aid, debts, and foreign direct investments to stabilise our commodity prices. The sequencing of aid payments and insisting on counterparty funding were things used to destabilise Ghana.

“There were repeated reports for the Akosombo Dam, and these were all things these institutions used to cause instability in Ghana to facilitate the coup,’’ she said. 

She emphasised that Dr. Nkrumah’s legacy as a Pan-African and Marxist could not be erased, as some of his projects were the foundation of Ghana’s development.

Source: GNA 

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