By Somayeh Khalili
Russia has the capability to assist with the economic development of Africa and could be a superior replacement to Western countries that are currently profiting from African resources, says an analyst.
In an interview with the Press TV website, Mike Harris, a US-based journalist and political analyst, said Russia has an edge over Western countries as it is never had a colonial presence in Africa, and may not be viewed in a negative manner by the indigenous peoples of Africa.
He said the “opportunity exists for Russia” to assist with the development of the African continent which can benefit the countries and indigenous populations there.
“The West and in particularly the US, UK and France are concerned about Russian involvement in Africa, because this will create a competitive environment, where currently none exists,” he remarked.
“This will force Western countries to make more expensive offers and lucrative contracts which will increase the expenses for Western companies who are currently exploiting natural resources of Africa.”
That, the American analyst, hastened to add will cause the profit margins for the Western companies who operate in Africa to decrease, and bring down their performance.
Representatives of 49 countries, including 17 heads of state, took part in the two-day Russia-Africa summit earlier this week in St Petersburg.
A joint declaration called for “the establishment of a more just, balanced and stable multipolar world order, firmly opposing all types of international confrontation in the African continent”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promises to give them tens of thousands of tons of grain within months despite sanctions by the US and other Western states over the Ukraine war.
"We will be ready to provide Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic and Eritrea with 25-50,000 tons of free grain each in the next 3-4 months," the president said. "We will also provide free delivery of these products to consumers."
Harris told the Press TV website Africa has enormous undeveloped reserves of a multitude of minerals, energy and other natural resources that the West has been exploiting.
“The West has been working to lock up these resources via political manipulations and economic agreements. These actions are needed to ensure access to essential mineral and energy resources and other commodities needed to enable economic growth as technology advances,” he said.
“Without the mandatory mineral, energy, and other commodities continued economic development of the Western Countries will slow and be retarded from advancing.”
The US-based commentator also referred to internal problems facing the continent that impede their development and advancement to become an advanced society.
He said many African leaders serve their term of office, loot the country and then flee their homeland and retire to Switzerland with hundreds of millions of dollars looted from people.
“Also, Africa is a tribal society, ergo all members of the tribe are considered as family. This alone thwarts economic development,” Miller told the Press TV website.
“Africans who open a business will not charge family/tribal members and relatives for goods or services. This results in the majority of African-owned businesses going bankrupt and failing in a very short time. This is a cultural issue that must be overcome for Africa to develop economically.”
He also pointed to the problem of the lack of a “suitable workforce to perform the work necessary to develop infrastructure and the mineral and energy resources.”
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