Why Inauguration Day Probably Means Hard Times Ahead for Africa

Today May Signal Hard times Ahead for Africa

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Inauguration Day is finally here.

Regardless which candidate you supported during years-long bid for presidency between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it’s my hope that today, we can come together as a unified nation and throw our support behind our new leader.

During last year’s presidential campaign, I was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, especially in the face of a Clinton White House with Mrs. Clinton at the helm. I pushed for Black voters to stop voting tradition and start voting for America’s preservation.

Most Black voters probably ignored my actual advice, but many sided with me by default. Yes, Donald Trump took the so-called blue wall states of North Carolina and Pennsylvania. But I think more people opted to stay home rather than play an active role in electing Hillary Clinton, thereby denying her most sought after life ambition- the honor of being called “Madame President.”

Still, for the first time in my adult life living in America, I was forced to see just how many Americans were willing to compromise their own values to vote a party ticket, even if it meant electing someone they claimed not to trust.

TRUST, CORRUPTION AND THE WHITE HOUSE

Trust is an interesting concept. Typically, when a public figure loses trust and goes down for corruption, other high-profile people keep their distance. Associations are meaningful in the eyes of the public and no one wants to be affiliated with a corrupt politician.

But in this last election, Democrats remained loyal. This was true even in the face of Mrs. Clinton’s looming investigation for alleged corruption – the mishandling of resources at the Clinton Foundation and utter disregard for national security with that entire private email debacle. The Democrats threw their support behind a candidate whose credibility was quickly diminishing among voters.

Donald Trump has publicly referred to Clinton as corrupt and been adamant about the fact that Americans can neither tolerate nor afford corruption in the White House.

Here’s my concern:  Trump has also called out African leaders, labeling them as corrupt. “They steal their people’s money and come to Western countries to hide and squander the money.”

And I know for a fact that his accusations are true. That’s why I believe African nations are in for a rude wake up call.

TRUST, CORRUPTION AND AFRICAN LEADERSHIP

From 2010 to 2011, I lobbied the US government for Nigeria, my country of origin. My goal was to get the US to assist in helping the Nigerian government install the infrastructure needed to generate electricity for all of Nigeria.

In September 2011, the US government approved $1.5 billion in funding to help generate power in Nigeria. That should have been a huge win, and I was excited to see the tide finally turning in Nigeria’s favor. But there was one problem: Nigeria never actually accepted the money. Not one penny of it.

Why not?

Well, because Nigerian leaders know they must use that money for its intended purpose. I didn’t realize during my lobbying days that Nigerian leaders aren’t interested in having access to funds they can’t steal.

In 2014, President Obama initiated his Power Africa Program; the results have not been favorable. TheFinancial Times reported, “Barack Obama’s power program makes slow progress,” and a Bloomberg headlinewas even worse: “Obama’s African power plan falls short, leaving continent in the dark.”

Africa was in the dark long before Obama thought to help them. And my fear is that Africa will remain in the dark for years to come.

I learned the hard way, if you cannot show Nigerian governors and ministers how they will personally benefit from your humanitarian efforts, the best interest of the Nigerian people alone is not enough to incentivize them.

These days, I think back on all my efforts, going back and forth to Nigeria; I truly believed I could help. Of course, now I know the proverbial saying that “you can only help someone who wants to be helped” is as true for one person, as it is of an entire government.

Eventually, I gave up. And Nigeria is still in darkness.

ARE CORRUPT AFRICAN LEADERS INTENTIONALLY SANDBAGGING AFRICA?

In the last three to four years, most world economies grew by one, two or even three percent. Africa’s economy shrank by three to eight percent, depending on the African country in question.

There is only one reason for that: Corrupt and despotic leaders have failed the African people year after year. The only difference is, this time they will not be able to look to the West for rescue.

For President Trump to help Africans would mean pandering to their corrupt leaders. The truth is, he will probably choose to ignore Africa rather than engage its leaders.

In the past, Western policies specifically ignored corrupt African leaders for one simple reason – it’s easier to ignore them than to change them. The mission was to foster East-West policies and contain the so-called socialists and communists threats of the world. In a very real sense, Western countries who chose to do business with African countries had to pick their battles.

Today, we operate in a global economy where there is neither East or West. There is only the Market. You would think with that being the case, African nations would have a distinct advantage over other nations.

Here’s a smart fact for your thoughtful review: Africa controls over thirty percent of the world’s natural resources.

These are the same resources that created the wealth of nations like the US, Russia, Australia, and China, to name a few. Even countries that have no resources, like Japan, Singapore and South Korea – which Nigeria should most certainly be wealthier than – have managed to get their hands on these natural resources to develop their economies.

So, how is Africa overflowing with third world countries and only a handful of developing nations? I will refer you back to poor leadership. Too many African leaders simply prefer a life of stealing, and hiding their stolen money in Western countries for frivolous enjoyment.

Donald Trump’s foreign policy was obvious the day he announced his candidacy:No No more unnecessary wars. No more underwriting of NATO countries that cannot contribute to their own defense.

No propping up corrupt regimes in the Arab world.

Our days of policing the world are nearing their close. As Trump said, “We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments.” According to his count, the US government has wasted trillions of dollars in the Middle East and “enough is enough.”

The candidacy and election of Donald Trump signals to the world that Americans are tired of fighting everyone’s war but their own. Our middle class is decimated; the Chinese are eating our lunch every day. We need our money working for us here if we’re to ever make America great again.

CONSIDER THIS THE OFFICIAL WAKE-UP CALL: THE END HAS ARRIVED

Eight years ago, I wrote an article about how Nigeria will lose once America becomes energy independent. “Obama’s dream is Nigeria’s nightmare” that prediction has come to pass and I followed up my initial piece with “Obama’s dream realized, Nigeria’s nightmare just began.”

In the first article, I echoed the words of Raul Pal of Global Macro Investor, who predicted that oil could go down to $30 dollars per barrel. That article was written two years before oil took a dive in world markets.

For the next four years (at least), I believe African countries will be left to their own devices. They should no longer look for foreign aid. But if aid should arrive, they should consider it an anomaly.

Oil is a commodity upholding the economies of several African nations, and it may well go down to $20 a barrel when America unleashes its new energy policy under President-Elect Donald Trump. One look at the new Trump Administration lineup will quickly reveal Trump’s intentions.

Trump has pegged Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil CEO as Secretary of State. Tillerson knows where every barrel of oil is hidden in every well across the globe. The Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has stated that the US will unleash its oil technology to create more wealth and more jobs for the American people.

Who can forget the Tea Party’s mantra of yesteryear: “Drill, baby. Drill!” Coincidentally, Trump’s new Energy Secretary and former Texas governor, Rick Perry,  is a Tea Party stalwart.

America has already begun dismantling the barriers and regulations preventing drilling. Oil is on the verge of dropping to prices we have not seen in decades. At $10 per barrel, some African country will probably cease to exist.

So, then. What will happen to Africa?

One threat is evident: African leaders may no longer be able to look to the US for support. It’s back to the business of running America. No corrupt politicians in his administration. No lifelong politicians. Just great business minds.

Good luck, Africa.

 

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