The economic gains of debt.

Author:Jere-Malanda, Regina
Position::Brief Article

There is one significant point that the G7 the IMF, World Bank et al, are not telling: What effect will debt cancellation have on Western economies? This, my kindred, is the real issue.

I have literally been off-the beat recently, carrying our, proud to say efficiently, my other duty -- being a mother and wife. But it is nice to be back. I am sure most of our readers saw and read it all, the recent events in Prague -- the anti-capitalist protests, benevolent speeches, vacuous communiques on how the West is helping the poor -- (read Africa), effectively blared to the world mainly by the Western media.

But may I draw your attention to a point which I think is intentionally overlooked by the "rich" when they meet at these forums to discuss our poverty and the debt situation: What would happen to the Western economies if Third World debt was written off? What impact would a debt-free, prosperous, Africa, trading on equal terms with the rest of the world, have on the "rich" nations, particularly the not so rich in natural resources G7?

No point going round in circles: Debt cancellation is not in their (West) economic interest, period! This is the real problem, and it is time concerned Africans and journalists took a deeper look at the whole issue.

Not a day goes by, in most African publications, without a front page carrying yet another banal story on how this or that Western government PLEGDED so much towards debt relief or given so many dollars for the education or health sector, etc. The anatomy of Africa's indebtedness is much more complex than what appears in the media. Is the West really "giving" us millions in aid?

Our people need to know the hidden Western hand in the creation of this crisis on which the West now prospers! Would they dismantle this pillar?

Recent remarks on debt relief by the British finance minister, Gordon Brown, made an annoying read: "It is not," he said, "the lack of finance but lack of peace that is holding up debt relief..."

Lack of peace? In the meantime, in my very, very, very peaceful native Zambia, which is religiously implementing IMF/World Bank economic policies to the letter amid unprecedented levels of poverty (clearly linked to these policies), the government has in the past three years been forced to use the same so-called aid money to repay some of its external debt!

This is coming on the heels of a vexing situation where the country's main economic backbone, the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM)...

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