Today’s World Desperately Needs “A New Just Economic Order”

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Call for New International Economic Order at the United Nations

(Frederick R. “Fred” Wills, was Foreign Minister of Guyana from 1975-78) I have been advocating for 50 years for a New Just International Economic Order with a new Financial Architecture dedicated to economic development for all people of the world. It should be clear to all qualified leaders that the hegemony of the so called rules-based order, has been shattered by the rising expectations of the “Global South.” The reemergence of the Non-Aligned Movement, typified by the Group of 77 and the BRICS, with their righteous demands for economic equality, has become a new force on our planet. They resonate with the calls for a “New International Economic Order” prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s. This is why it is more than relevant today for us to review and stand upon the shoulders of this profound speech, delivered before UNGA by Fred Wills, almost half a century ago. We have the responsibility to complete this mission for the sake of civilization. Excerpts from Fred Wills’ historic presentation follow: Mr. President, One year ago in this very forum there were articulated the Declaration on the Establishment of the New International Economic Order and a Programme of Action to implement it. These were adopted at the Sixth Special Session and were followed by the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties promulgated at the 29th regular session of the United Nations. Thus was provided a compendious mandate for the dismantling of the old structures that have proved inadequate and the construction of an entirely new system more responsive to the needs and hopes of the poor and disadvantaged. The allegedly sterile debate as to whether or not a new international economic order is required has already resulted in the presentation of far-reaching proposals which it would be our clear duty to evaluate in our efforts to arrive at a global consensus… THE IMPERATIVES FOR CHANGE The hour is critical. The expectations are that we will agree on concrete steps that will represent a real advance towards the new order on which the majority of mankind insists. The imperatives for change are clear. Thirty years ago the Bretton-Woods system, reinforced by the Marshall Plan, introduced a new era in the post-war world which promised a redress of economic disequilibrium in the developed world. Predictably, this system failed to satisfy the aspirations of the developing nations and it is this failure in especial that introduces the note of urgency in our debate. It is imperative that we should fashion new structures and new institutions to arrest the widening gap between the developed market economies and the producers of raw materials and semi-manufactures… It is clear, Mr. President, that any attempt to give new vitality to obsolescent institutions is wholly unacceptable. In the face of such attempts the solidarity of the developing countries is the best guarantee that the processes of change will lead to the establishment of the New International Economic Order. Those of us who embrace Non-alignment will not lose a moment’s sleep over deliberate attempts at misrepresentation. We are not a bloc. Unbound by pacts, eschewing centralised military force, refusing the dictation of hegemonic power, we are aligned with peace, independence, equality, justice and the importance of the single human being. Our solidarity is based neither on the preservation of nor on the quest for power. It is rooted in common perception and shared ideals. The universality of the principles of Non-Alignment has long been vindicated. Those who only recently have come round to the acknowledgement of its validity must now seek to understand it properly… GUIDELINES FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION Mr. President, the international community must move forward and in our way forward we must be guided by three fundamental approaches to the problems of development and international economic co-operation. From these approaches my delegation feels we deviate only at our peril. First, we must subject all proposals to the test of their likelihood of advancing the arrival of the New International Economic Order along the path charted by the Group of 77. Secondly, decision making on these vital issues must remain firmly within this Organisation. Thirdly, the solidarity of the developing countries must be given new depth and content, especially through programmes of collective self-reliance… Are we of the developing countries being asked to believe that institutions which have historically served the best interests of the developed world can be modified to promote our development? Must the improvement in the condition of the developing world remain a mere footnote to the prosperity of the developed world? In short, in a situation that demands surgery are we being asked to be satisfied with the dispensation of mere palliatives? Nevertheless, Mr. President, I wish to assure you that my delegation will approach these and all other proposals, including those of the EEC, objectively and responsibly, because we are aware that what is at stake is nothing less than the future condition of all mankind… Now, Mr. President, the third guideline – collective self-reliance among developing countries. The Programme of Action for the implementation of the New International Economic Order assigns an important role to collective self-reliance among the developing countries and calls upon the developed world to support such efforts. Forms of horizontal cooperation at the regional, sub-regional and inter-regional levels have already demonstrated their potential as instruments compelling significant change. Such new horizontal economic structures and arrangements will assist substantially in bringing our marginal situation to an end and could provide an essential thrust for radical alteration in the international economic system. The much maligned produce associations have already proven their worth as a stimulant of International dialogue, catalyst for change and a mechanism for the mobilisation of resources in the developing world… The new economic order must therefore be designed to foster all efforts of self-reliance on the part of the developing countries – efforts both national and collective. True development cannot be imposed ab extra, but must be part of the internal dynamics of growth. The international framework must therefore create the conditions and provide support within which self-reliance can flourish… Those, therefore, Mr. President, are the guidelines which we suggest should inform our decisions as we come now to the closing stages of this Special Session. They should be integrated within the blueprint already adopted for the New International Economic Order...(All emphasis added) Read the entire presentation below:
Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com.

“To terminate the African slave trade, we need to raise the value of man in Africa.” American System Economist, Henry Carey

A worker checks readings on an energy management system, South Africa. Photo credit: National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (Courtesy of un.org)
February 24, 2023 I am publishing below, “Industrialization is the Antithesis of Slavery” a new article by my colleague, Nancy Spannaus, creator of the blog, americansystemnow.com, because of the importance of this topic. Unfortunately, many Americans and non-Americans alike, foolishly repeat the silly and false notion that the success of the United States in becoming a great industrial power laid on the foundation of slavery. Nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. achievement in becoming an economic power was despite, and in opposition to slavery. A progressing economy requires trained, skilled, and educated workers to operate the tasks required by productive manufacturing industries. Slave labor, exploiting the animal-muscle power of human beings only works in labor intensive occupations performed for example, in sugar, tobacco, and cotton plantations. Spannaus uses the writings of American System Economist, Henry Carey, a follower of Alexander Hamilton and advisor to President Lincoln, to elucidate the issue. Slavery kept southern sections of the United States in backward economic conditions, that are still evident today. Slavery also contributed to a racist notion that “blacks” are inferior, affecting the U.S., such that we are still struggling with forms of racism centuries later. To free all men and women, in Africa and in the U.S., we must exploit, if you will, the unique powers of the human creative mind. This can only be accomplished in a scientific-technologically advancing industrial economy, where every human being can be engaged in a productive profession and treated with dignity. Read Spannaus’ article below:
Read my earlier posts: In Celebration of Black History Month, Let Us All Emulate the Great Frederick Douglas Frederick Douglass: “Knowledge Unfits a Man to be a Slave” Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

In Celebration of Black History Month, Let Us All Emulate the Great Frederick Douglas

Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglas (1818-1895)
February 15, 2021 There is no better way to celebrate Black History Month than to to absorb the ideas of Frederick Douglas. I recommend you read this latest article written my friend, American historian, Nancy Spannaus-see link below: Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglas. I also suggest you read his wonderful autobiography: Life and Times of Frederick Douglas.  Frederick Douglas believed in the U.S. Constitution and demanded that Americans and their leaders live up to its noble principles. That is something we should all aspire to. Douglas wrote: “Men talk of the Negro problem. There is no Negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own Constitution.” Frederick Douglas did not advocate tearing down America, but rather, demanded that Americans live up to the principle embodied in the U.S. Constitution.  
Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass
 Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

Today, More Than Ever, The World Needs Leadership Like Franklin Roosevelt

Franklin and Eleanor at the 1941 inauguration
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt riding in an open car, from FDR’s third inauguration. January 20, 1941. FDR Library Photograph Collection
April 15, 2020 I publish below, FDR: Leadership in a Time of Crisis, by my longtime friend and authority on American History, Nancy Spannaus, for two reasons. One, to commemorate April 12, the 75th anniversary of the passing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. More than just remembering a great President, we must look to his quality of leadership that the world desperately needs today. Humanity is faced with the most profound crisis, possibly ever, with the pandemic COVID-19. We have witnessed the deaths of tens of thousands of precious souls, tens of millions of people forced out of work, the once hailed globalized supply chains disrupted, and fears of starvation in the developing sector, and possibly, in the advanced sector as well, in the not too distant future. The Bretton Woods financial system, which is already bankrupt, is on life support from the Federal Reserve and other centralized banks, and our “just in time” economy has failed miserably to weather this crisis.  The global lack of a sufficient-redundant healthcare infrastructure has proved murderous, and we are no-where near the end of devastation from this deadly virus. Leadership should not just be left to our public officials, who have been deficient, in the last five decades, in creating a healthier economy for our planet of 8 billion people. Let us use this perilous moment of our civilization, to take the time, now, to reflect on what we must do, not only to survive this present crisis, but to guarantee a more prosperous future for all nations. ReadWorld Needs New Economic Platform to Fight COVID-19 ReadNew Economic Order Required to Combat COVID-19 in Africa   Read the entire Second Inaugural Address


History Course: “Africa The Sleeping Giant” Amb. Arikana Chihombori Lectures Students On The Berlin Conference

Former African Union Ambassador, Arikana Chihombori-Quao, speaking to Lawrence Freeman’s class at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Montgomery County Maryland on the Berlin Conference. December 5, 2019
December 7, 2019 At the fifth week of my African history course (outlined below), 80 students heard Amb Chihombori-Quao discuss the effects of the Berlin Conference on the people of Africa today. This provocative presentation lead to many questions.   

“Africa: The Sleeping Giant” 6 week-12 hour course syllabus by Lawrence Freeman

The instructor’s intention is to provide the class with broad overview of the development of the African continent over millennia and centuries, coupled with insights to understand the present. The instructor believes that it is impossible to know current events in Africa today, beyond the misleading media headlines, without a full knowledge of Africa’s unique and at times tragic history. Week 1–“Introduction”: In this class we discuss the great diversity of the continent. This includes its size, climates, geographical characteristics, deserts, rivers, lakes, and historical facts regarding Africa’s many nations, its economic condition. Week 2–“Man Is Not a Monkey”: This class traces mankind’s emergence to what we call modern man-homo sapien sapien-over millions of years by examining the effects of man’s powers of reason, that did not evolve from the apes, and mankind’s exodus from the African continent.  We will then discuss a few of the early civilizations in East and West Africa, concluding with the great Bantu internal migration that transformed the continent. Week 3–“Early African Civilizations-Slavery”: In this we class we continue examining early civilizations in Africa, iron making, and population growth. We will then leap ahead to the “discovery” of Africa by Europe and roots of slavery. Week 4–“Slavery to Colonialism”: In this class we examine the seamless transition from slavery to colonialism, which in total encompasses 500 years, leading to destruction of the cultural and physical evolution of the African people. Week 5–“European Empires Carve Up Africa”: This class focuses on the hideous Berlin Conference that divided up Africa in accord with Europe’s geopolitical Imperialist view of Africa and its people. Week 6–“Africa’s Post Independence”: We leap ahead to the liberation of Africa from colonialism circa 1960. We discuss current and changing conditions in African nations, especially as the West abandons the continent and China supports Africa’s economic growth by building and funding infrastructure projects across Afric

Is “Climate Change” Scientifically True or Just Culturally Popular?

March 16, 2019
I am posting a provocative article that challenges our society’s accepted cultural beliefs about climate change. Admittedly more analysis and discussion is required, but let me convey a few concepts that should provide food for thought.The current hysteria about that the planet is facing impending doom is strongly reminiscent of the old discredited Malthusian theory that too many couples having too many children would over run the capacity of our planet to produce food. We now have over 7 billion people, and we know that our planet can feed billions more, if we properly developed its potential. In the 20th century, Malthus’ unscientific babbling was further extended by the Club of Rome and World Wildlife Fund to assert that the our planet had limited-fixed resources that could only maintain a fixed number of human beings. Of course, none of this is true, nor was it ever scientifically proven, but it became part of the popular culture. I am now approaching 68 years of age, and know how this propaganda spread from the late 1960s on. I was there and organized against it!Tragically, our culture today has accepted the new mantra of climate change, without a healthy scientific debate and analysis. For example CO2 is not deadly, it is one of the building blocks of life. If you look at weather events over time, a century or more, you will find that there is not an increase in hurricanes, and tornadoes. If you go back hundreds of thousands of years you’ll find several ice ages and warming periods.Also, why assume the planet has one fixed condition? Tens of millions of years ago there was no Sahara desert; it was caused by the Africa plate banging into southern Europe. Since then, the Sahara becomes moist and dry following a 22,000-25,000 year cycle based on the wobble of the earth’s axis.If we study our planet and universe over long periods of time, we will discover all kinds on patterns and anomalies. However, they all indicate a self developing universe. Mankind is not an antagonist to our planet and its environment, but rather, a co-contributor to its growth and development, which is not finite.The principles of our physical universe are coherent with the principle of creativity that all human being posses. This leads to another discussion for a future time. A special note to my African friends. Beware of propaganda that tells Africans they should have less children and forego industrialization, because it will destroy the planet.
Our planet is about 4.6 billion years old. Separate continents began to form approximately 200 million years ago-(mya). Early stages of mankind emerged only 3-4 mya. Homo sapiens sapiens emerged only a few hundred thousand years ago. Our universe is constantly developing and changing.
The complete article follows the excerpts below: “The question is not whether, but to what extent human-caused changes in the atmosphere drive climate variations, and whether such changes are good or bad. Meaningful statistics (but ones that do not exist) would include responses to the following questions: • What would be the impact of doubling atmospheric CO2? • To what extent does water vapor cause a feedback effect? • To what extent must we take into account the solar magnetic field’s effect on the creation of clouds via cosmic radiation? • What is the certainty range on these predictions? • How well have climate models of the last two decades fared at predicting the global climate during the past 5 to 10 years? • Will the specific, foreseen changes in climate be beneficial or harmful, or a mixture of the two? “The climate of the Earth, as it exists in the solar system, is much more complex than a foolishly simple, yes-no question about “believing in” or “denying” climate change. “How can any such changes be determined? An individual cannot possibly notice that the climate is changing through their personal experience, which is necessarily limited in location and time. And it is absolutely ludicrous to claim that anyone could know, through their personal experience of weather, the cause of any such changes. “Science is not fashion. It is not decided by taking a poll or by seeing what is most popular… “A cultural paradigm shift occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, transforming the understanding of the relation of human beings to nature, and transforming the meaning of “progressive” from supporting progress to preventing it! “From this paradigm shift arise the unstated assumptions that underlie the emotional responses that many people have to these issues. One such assumption is a definition of “natural,” which excludes human activity, implicitly creating a goal—humans should simply not exist. This goes along with the shift from global warming (a specific change that could cause problems) to climate change, taking the assumption that any change to the climate would be bad, simply by virtue of its being change. Is this really true?…” Continue reading article

How Young Are African Nations? Yet Africa is the Birthplace of Mankind

December 12, 2018
This picture is from a presentation I gave at the Christmas Party of the Mountain Club of Maryland. The audience had little knowledge of Africa, but were totally engaged, and excited to learn about this unique continent. Here I am showing them how young modern-day Africa is with a map of the dates of independence from European colonialism/imperialism. The notable exception of course is Ethiopia that was never colonized, having defeated the Italian army on the battle field at Adwa on March 1, 1896. It is more than ironic that the continent from which Homo Sapiens-Sapiens migrated to the rest of the planet approximately 100,000 years ago, has the youngest nations. My courses on African history investigate this paradox.
Lawrence Freeman Speaking in Columbia Maryland, December 9, 2018

Africa Creates Appalachian Mountains in the US

December 11, 2018
When the super continent Pangaea was formed 300 million years ago the African (Nubian) tectonic plate crashed into what is now the east coast of the US. This created the Appalachian Mountains that I and thousands of others hike regularly along the Appalachian Trail. Thank you Africa (I included this in a presentation I gave to my Mountain Club of Maryland’s Christmas Party on Africa)

Frederick Douglass: “Knowledge Unfits a Man to be a Slave”

Frederick Douglas was born a slave in the month of February 1818. He was a towering figure in the fight to end slavery in the United States and emerged as a prominent American statesman in the nineteenth century. The article excepted below rekindled my memory of the exhilaration I felt over twenty years ago when I read his autobiography: “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas.” Douglas’ lasting contribution to all Americans (and all people of the world) was his commitment to develop his mind. By learning to read and developing his mental powers, he had already “freed” himself spiritually years before he escaped from the Maryland plantation where he was kept a slave. In fact, it was the power of his mind that gave him the physical strength to challenge his master. There is no finer example for our children (and adults) to emulate, than the great Frederick Douglas, in our commitment to educate our minds and become free. Douglas understood, once he started reading, that if he could think, he would not be slave. He came to know, as we all should, that he shackles of the mind are more powerful  than the iron shackles on the body. In celebration of this bicentennial year of the birth of Frederick Douglas let us all renew our desire to unfetter our minds by emulating this unique individual. by Nancy Spannaus This year is the 200th anniversary of Douglass’s birth, and he is finally begun to be celebrated as the towering figure he was during the mid- and late 19th century. Douglass’s role in the movement to abolish slavery, including support for Lincoln in the Civil War, and later in the tumultuous post-war battles, showed him to be a great political leader. He famously championed the U.S. Constitution and called on his fellow African-Americans to support and enforce it. He fought for the woman’s right to vote. For many years he edited his own newspaper. He also served as ambassador to Haiti for a brief time, and remained active in politics until his death in 1895.
Frederick Douglass
But the aspect of Frederick Douglass’s contribution which I want to emphasize on this occasion is Douglass’s understanding of, and commitment to, education.  Yes, Douglass was primarily addressing black Americans in his discussion of this topic. But this man, who, despite being born into slavery, fought successfully to achieve a high degree of literacy, has much to teach all Americans (and others) about the qualifications for responsible citizenship of a republic. Readers have ample opportunity to investigate the subject for themselves in Douglass’s several autobiographies:  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition; My Bondage and My Freedom (1855); and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, which went through its final editing in 1892, three years before his death. A Mind Awakening By the age of nine, Douglass says, he was inquiring “into the origin and nature of slavery. Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? These were perplexing questions and very troublesome to my childhood. I was very early told by some one that ‘God up in the sky’ had made all things, and had made black people to be slaves and white people to be masters …. I could not tell how anybody could know that God made black people to be slaves.” In 1825, Douglass, who was about eight at the time, was sent to live in Baltimore with his master’s cousin, Hugh Auld, and his wife. The move to a city, one of the major industrial and shipbuilding centers on the U.S. East Coast, was to give Frederick a chance to expand his horizons both mentally and physically. It was at the Aulds that Douglass came to a more conscious understanding of his hatred of slavery and his love of learning. Douglass developed a passion early on for reading, a passion which, ironically, was provoked by the debased ideas of his master, Hugh Auld. Douglass called Auld’s lecture to his wife, on why she should stop teaching the boy to read, “the first decidedly anti-slavery lecture” he ever heard, and a revelation which drove him to learn as much as he could. In The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, the great man explained: “The frequent hearing of my mistress reading the Bible aloud … awakened my curiosity … to this mystery of reading, and roused in me the desire to learn. Up to this time I had known nothing whatever of this wonderful art, and my ignorance and inexperience of what it could do for me, as well as my confidence in my mistress, emboldened me to ask her to teach me to read … My mistress seemed almost as proud of my progress as if I had been her own child, and supposing that her husband would be as well pleased, she made no secret of what she was doing for me. Indeed, she exultingly told him of the aptness of her pupil and of her intention to persevere, as she felt it her duty to do, in teaching me, at least, to read the Bible.”
Abraham Lincoln reading to his son Tad.
What was the reaction of the presumably God-fearing, Christian slave-owner, Hugh Auld? Douglass describes it thus: “Of course he forbade her to give me any further instruction, telling her in the first place that to do so was unlawful, as it was also unsafe, ‘for,’ said he, ‘if you give a nigger an inch he will take an ell [an obsolete unit of measurement amounting to about 45 inches-ed.]. Learning will spoil the best nigger in the world. If he learns to read the Bible it will forever unfit him to be a slave.’ Apparently unaware of the rather extraordinary admission he had just made, Auld continued, ‘He should know nothing but the will of his master, and learn to obey it. As to himself, learning will do him no good, but a great deal of harm, making him disconsolate and unhappy. If you teach him how to read, he’ll want to know how to write, and this accomplished, he’ll be running away with himself.’ ”

Read: Frederick Douglass: “Knowledge Unfits a Man to be a Slave”


Slavery rips hearts, souls, and minds out of Africa.

Below is one of the slides I use in my 14 hour course: “Legacy of Colonialism and Slavery in Africa” at Frederick Community College

Slavery rips hearts, souls, and minds out of Africa

Largest Forced Migration in Human History 1600-1900 (estimate) 10,904,00 Across the Atlantic 5,510,000 Across Indian Ocean and Asia Total: 16,414,000 slaves-human chattel in 300 years exported out of Africa 54,713 per year: 36,347 to Americas and 18,367 to Asia Consequences for African civilization *Loss of enormous source of productive labor *Forced redistribution of the population *Civil disruption including Africans forced to hide in the interior of the continent *Collapse in agricultural production *Strongest men and women removed from society *Increased susceptibility to disease *Increases scientific-technological gap between Africa and Europe *Decrease in reproduction of population; estimated loss of 100 million potential births *Degradation, insecurity, and diminished human identit

Learning About Africa: How History Effects the Present

Here is the announcement for my newest college course on Africa. Also listed is the course outline a class I am currently teaching; “Africa:The Sleeping Giant.”  I will be preparing a third course on “The Effects of British Colonialism on Africa” in the near future.  These courses are 15 hours long, taught over 7-10 weeks in Maryland. 

“Eight Nations Vital to the Development of Sub-Sahara Africa”

By Lawrence Freeman The African continent encompasses 54 nations and is more than three times the size of the United States. The northern portion of the continent is dominated by the Sahara Desert, equal in area to that of United States. It is the driest, hottest place on earth, relatively barren, and thinly populated. The African nations below this vast desert are designated as “Sub-Saharan Africa” where approximately one billion live, and is expected to double in population by 2050. All but two of the 48 nations of Sub-Sahara Africa suffered the brutalities of colonialism following centuries of slavery. As a result, Sub-Sahara Africa is the poorest and most underdeveloped region in the world. Unfortunately, following their liberation from colonialism beginning in 1956, these nations did not achieve economic sovereignty. However, now, for the first time since colonial powers occupied Africa, there are signs of progress with the building of new railroads, expanded ports, roads, and new hydro-electric power projects. This has created the potential to transform the continent. This course will focus on eight Sub-Saharan nations; each unique in their history, development, and their contribution to the growth of Africa. Their combined population of 550 million comprise almost 30% of the land area of Africa. Join us in examining the following nations from their birth to the present day: Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Over three decades, I have studied the history and developed an in-depth knowledge of Africa as a researcher, analyst, writer, and consultant. Sadly, most Americans know little about Africa, due to a limited number educational courses, and a reliance on the media. I hope to increase your understanding by sharing my accumulated knowledge with you.


“Africa The Sleeping Giant” Course Outline:

1-Discovering the Africa Continent 2-Africa: Home to Mankind 3-Man Is Not a Monkey 4-The Great Bantu Migration 5-Early Civilizations 6-Europe Discovers Africa 7-Slavery Rips the Soul of the Continent 8-Colonialism, Exploitation, and Genocide 9-Economic Sovereignty and the Nation State 10-Africa’s Future is Development

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika! Lord, Bless Africa!

June 24, 2017 The Schiller Institute’s June 24 conference in Berlin was blessed with the performance of a richly polyphonic setting—by Schiller Institute member Benjamin Lylloff—of the most famous hymn in Africa, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (Lord, Bless Africa). The video of this premiere performance of the setting, with Lylloff conducting, may be viewed here. Composed in 1897 by Enoch Mankayi Sontonga (ca.1873-1905), a school teacher near Johannesburg, it became a song of defiance against colonial rule across Africa. Today it is the national anthem of Tanzania in a Swahili translation. In South Africa, it is conjoined with the Afrikaans anthem, Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The Call of South Africa), to form the national anthem. Lylloff drew his inspiration from the choral setting by Australian musician and musicologist, Karl Aloritias, who had also established the text in consultation with a researcher in South Africa whose parents had fought and died in the liberation struggle. The text—which begins in isiXhosa, then transitions to isiZulu and then to Sesotho—is provided here with an English translation. Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo Yizwa imithandazo yethu Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo Yizwa imithandazo yethu Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo Woza Moya (woza, woza Moya) Woza Moya (woza, woza Moya) Woza Moya, oyingcwele Usikelele thina lusapho lwayo Morena boloka sechaba sa heso O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho Morena boloka sechaba sa heso O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho O se boloke, o se boloke O se boloke, morena se boloke Sechaba sa heso, sechaba sa Afrika Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika Lord, bless Africa May her spirit rise high up Hear thou our prayers Lord bless us, Lord bless us Lord, bless Africa May her spirit rise high up Hear thou our prayers Lord bless us, your family. Descend, O Spirit Descend, O Spirit Descend, O Holy Spirit Lord bless us, your family. Lord, save our nation Stop wars and suffering. Lord save our nation Stop wars and suffering. Lord, Protect our nation Lord, save our nation Protect the nation of Africa Lord bless Africa

Victory at Adwa- A Victory for Africa

Lawrence Freeman March 1, 2017 The battle of Adwa is probably the most renowned and historic battle in Ethiopian history. This celebrated victory by the Ethiopian army helped define the future of their nation, as one of only two non-colonized countries in Africa. The defeat of a European colonial empire by an African country, following the “Scramble for Africa” after the 1884-1885 Berlin conference a decade earlier, is not only a source of enduring pride and nationalism for Ethiopians, but also an inspiration to other Africans, who took up the fight for independence six decades later. Some historians suggest that this victory also led to the idea for the Pan-African movement. As a result, it is no surprise that on May 25 1963, Ethiopia under the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie was a founding member of the Organization of African States-OAS. Adwa, also known as Adowa, and in Italian Adua, was the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. A late comer to grabbing territory in Africa, Italy began colonizing Somaliland and Eritrea in the 1880s. It was from the vantage point of Eritrea from where Italy launched its campaign against Ethiopia. The immediate pretext of the invasion was a dispute of Article 17 of the 1889 Treaty of Wuchale. Italy insisted that the treaty stated that Ethiopia had to submit to its imperial authority, thus effectively making Ethiopia a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. The Ethiopians resisted Italy’s military enforcement of its version of the treaty, leading to the outbreak of war in December 1894, with the Italian imperialists occupying Adwa and moving further south into Ethiopian territory. On March 1, 1896, King Menelik II, who, commanded a force of over 70,000, defeated the Italian army, killing 7,000 of their soldiers, wounding 1,500, and capturing  3,000 prisoners, routing their enemy, and forcing them to retreat back to their colony of Eritrea. It has been speculated that, if Menelik had pursued the retreating Italian troops, and driven them off of the continent, it might have prevented a second Italian invasion. On October 3, 1935, Italy led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, launched its second military incursion into sovereign Ethiopia territory. Five years later in 1941, Ethiopia once again drove the Italian invaders out of their country. The 1896 defeat of a European nation, considered an advanced country, by Ethiopia, viewed as a backward Africa country, led to riots on the streets of Italy and well deserved consternation in the capitals of European powers. Without taking the time now to review the ninety years of Ethiopian history following this famous battle, the military defeat of Ethiopia’s dictatorial Derg Regime in 1991 brings us to the beginning of contemporary Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front-EPRDF assumed control of the government in 1991, it was led by the now deceased, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who initiated the economic policies that have guided Ethiopia for over 25 years. It was Meles Zenawi’s intellectual leadership, in particular his understanding of the indispensable role of the state in fostering economic development that distinguishes Ethiopia today from all other sub-Saharan African nations. For him the state was not “a night watchman,” but rather an active participant promoting economic growth for the benefit of its people. Ethiopia is a poor country. with a population approaching one hundred million, not endowed with rich mineral or hydrocarbon resources, and repeatedly struck by drought. Yet it has emerged in recent years with a rapidly growing economy. This is the result of Zenawi’s legacy that created a leadership with a self-conscious commitment to use the powers of the state to build an integrated infrastructure platform, which has served to drive the economy forward. This is clearly evident in Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plans I and II, which set ambitious economic goals five years into the future, along with its proposed thirty year road construction plan. Since the EPRDF took over the responsibility of governing the nation, more than thirty new universities have been created, graduating more students that can be easily employed. In collaboration with China, Ethiopia operates the first electrified train in sub-Saharan Africa, traveling 750 kilometers in seven hours from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, establishing a port to export Ethiopia’s products. Their highway system consisting of toll roads, highways, and all weather roads will connect their light manufacturing industries to the port in Djibouti via their new rail line.   As a result of coherent policy planning in energy infrastructure, the Gibe III hydroelectric power plant has now added 1,872 of megawatts to the country’s electricity grid, and over the next two years, the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will add an additional 6,000 megawatts, making Ethiopia the second largest producer of power in sub-Saharan Africa, behind South Africa.  The next step to develop the Horn of Africa is for Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya to extend their rails lines to become the eastern leg of an East-West railroad. Thus would transform Africa by connecting the Gulf of Eden/Indian Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean , creating an economic corridor that would literally revolutionize the economic power of the continent; contributing to the ending of poverty, hunger, and war. One cannot deny the success of Ethiopia’s unique path of development, nor can one omit the important role contributed to this process by Ethiopia’s successful resistance to foreign occupation; thus never having to suffer the dehumanizing effects of colonialism.

Meles Zenawi: The Neo-Liberal Paradigm Is Dead

Here are excerpts taken by Lawrence Freeman, from an unpublished 2006 preliminary draft by then-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, entitled, “African Development: Dead Ends and New Beginnings.”  From the Introduction: “The political and economic renaissance of Africa is an issue that continues to preoccupy Africans’ and non-Africans alike. Various methods of achieving such a renaissance have been proposed. Most of these proposals are variations of the dominant neo-liberal paradigm of development. My argument is that the neo-liberal paradigm is a dead end, is incapable of bringing about the African renaissance, and that a fundamental shift in paradigm is required to bring about the African renaissance.” Continue reading

Tribute To  Ambassador Kofi Awoonor of Ghana, Who Challenged IMF, World Bank and UN Policies Towards Africa

Lawrence Freeman November 1, 2013 A tribute to the late Ghanaian Ambassador Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor, slain in the terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Sept. 21, was held in New York City on Oct. 29. Entitled, “I Will Say It Before Death Comes,” the memorial was organized by the Multicultural Communications Cooperation and Development Inc., and the African Development Institute. Awoonor, a novelist, literary scholar, diplomat, political activist, and acclaimed “Poet of Ghana,” was not afraid to publicly criticize the policies of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations. continue reading

Commemoration of  50th Anniversary of the African Union

Donielle DeToy June 4, 2013 Fifty years ago, on May 25, 1963, African leaders representing 32 newly created nations gathered in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, to form the Organization of African Union (OAU). The President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a founding father of the OAU, presented a clear and necessary vision of a united Africa joined together for the common cause of independent banking, economic cooperation, and large infrastructure projects Continue reading


by Lawrence Freeman March 3, 2012 A giant of Africa, Professor Sam Aluko of Akure, Nigeria, passed away peacefully on February 7, 2012, in a London Hospital at the age of 83. Nigeria, and the African continent, has lost one of its greatest sons, but the rest of the world will also suffer from his absence. Professor Aluko was the only competent African economist I ever met. He was respected beyond the borders of Nigeria for his steadfast and vocal opposition to the murderous policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, both of which are squatting in Abuja today, still directing Nigeria’s failed economy. My acquaintance with Professor Aluko, as I always called him, began one morning in the mid-1990s while he was eating breakfast at a hotel in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. I introduced myself to him, and that initiated a wonderful friendship and collaboration that has lasted over these many years. Professor Aluko, after studying the writings of Lyndon LaRouche, became actively involved in our international movement overnight. He participated in many activities with the LaRouche movement and contributed articles to Executive Intelligence Review. He spoke at two major international conferences in Bad Schwalbach, Germany, organized by the founder of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Winning the Ecumenical Battle for he Good, in May 2001; and How to Reconstruct A Bankrupt World, in March 2003. He also participated in a conference in January 2001 in Khartoum, Sudan, entitled: Peace Through Development Along the Nile Valley Basin in the Framework of a New, Just World Economic Order, with Mr. and Mrs. LaRouche, along with scholars and government officials from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, as well as myself. Professor Aluko was the embodiment of what sociologist David Riesman called the inner-directed personality. Once Professor had proved to himself that he was right, he would not succumb to peer group pressure nor be a slave to popular opinion, a quality I greatly admired. He also did not hesitate to speak out to criticize government officials of his nation when he knew their policies were wrong, which often got him in trouble. When Professor Aluko accepted the chairmanship of National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) from 1994 to 1999 under General Sani Abacha, he was severely criticized, even rebuked, by many shortsighted Nigerians. Ironically, he refused a position in the elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, years later, following Abacha’s death. He accepted the chairmanship of the NEIC in the Abacha regime because he was given the freedom to improve the economy, which he fully intended to do, with no concern for what people thought of the head of state. Professor Aluko continued to insist that the economy was better under Abacha than in subsequent governments, to the consternation of Obasanjo, who reacted foolishly by attacking Professor Aluko as senile, which he certainly was not. In fact, it is reported that in the final days before his death, Professor Aluko wrote a memo to the Ondo State government on how to the improve revenues of the state. Unlike the majority of people in society today, Professor Aluko always acted on the basis of principle, even when it caused hardship to himself and his family. He was immoveable once he set his mind on a course of action and, as everyone knew, he was incorruptible. He was always motivated by the good he could do for society, and never for personal gain. These are the qualities that I so much admired in Professor Aluko, who I could always count on for blunt, honest reports on conditions in Nigeria when we talked. I, in turn, would brief him on Mr. LaRouche’s assessment of global strategic developments. He was always eager to hear what “Dr. LaRouche” had to say. When a disgruntled former member complained to him that the youth were taking over the LaRouche organization, he admonished this individual by telling him: Of course they should–they are the future! Professor Aluko knew a thing or two about youth and the future, having a family that included 20 or so grandchildren (who’s counting?), that he loved to have around him. Once, when I walked into the NEIC office in Abuja, upon hearing my voice, he shouted out: Ah, that must be my American spy. Needless to say, I accepted the title happily. Unfortunately, today, with terrible conditions afflicting countries throughout the world, and especially, the horrific conditions of life for over 70% of Nigeria’s 160 million people, the absence of a Sam Aluko, with his powerful intellect, will have an enormous impact on us all. Until the end, he remained upset about the current state of affairs in Nigeria. For me, it will take time to overcome the grief caused by his passing, but I also feel special, that in my lifetime, I was privileged to know Professor Sam Aluko. Thank you so much for that gift, Sam. Alas, it is now time for me to say good-bye to my old friend. [Professor Sam Aluko was born August 18, 1929, in Ekiti State; studied economics at the London School of Economics between 1955 and 1959; taught economics at the University of Ife (Nigeria) and the University of Nigeria at Nsukka from 1959 to 1966; visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (USA) 1962; appointed Professor of Economics at the University of Ife in 1967; served as Economics Advisor to the Government of Ondo State, 1979-1983.]

Kick The British Out of Africa!

Lawrence Freeman gave the presentation below in Khartoum to a conference organized by General Union of Sudanese Students following the indictment of President al-Bashir by the ICC.  Lawrence Freeman April 5-7, 2009 “We could end all of the manipulated conflicts in Africa that are borne from shortages of the necessities for human life. The conflicts arise because people are not permitted to live with the full rights and dignity that each human being is entitled to. Some may say that the kind of generational long-term infrastructure projects that I have just outlined are a dream, a mere nice idea, but that it is impossible, that it will never happen. Others may ask, what good does it do for us now? I maintain that it is the only hope for Africa. “First of all, it is the only way to guarantee a future for the children who will be born tomorrow, and a generation from now. This approach to infrastructure as a driver is necessary to stimulate our minds, to get us to think big thoughts, to dare us to imagine a continent where people’s daily existence is not dominated by simple survival. Yes, we need to survive, and do what is necessary to maintain our existence, but we must do it with a vision of the future that provokes our imaginations, and stimulates our minds.” Continue reading

Amb Mubako: Zimbabwe Acts To Resolve the Issue of Land Ownership

Dr. Mubako is the Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United States. He was interviewed by Lawrence Freeman on May 27. (The references to “whites” refers to the British and Rhodesians who occupied Zimbabwe for 90 years.) Amb Mubako: Well, Zimbabwe was colonized by the British in 1890. They came to Zimbabwe from South Africa, then Cecil John Rhodes, and originally he was looking for minerals. But when he didn’t get enough minerals, he turned land, and began grabbing land from the Africans, and driving them off into reservations—what we call communal areas. And he took the best land for his settlers, most of the land—to the extent that, at independence, they reserved for themselves about 45% of the land, which has now been reduced to about 30% of the land, of the whole of Zimbabwe, but which constitutes about 70% of the best farming area in the country. And this land is owned by 4,500 farmers only, and many of the farmers are not, in fact, living in Zimbabwe. Some of them pay live in England, sit in the House of Lords, and there are rumors that even some of the ministers in Britain own land in Zimbabwe today. Continue reading

Roosevelt’s `Grand Strategy’ to Rid the World of British Colonialism: 1941-1945

Lawrence K. Freeman Printed in The American Almanac, July 14, 1997

Two Opposing World Views: The Case of Africa

In Africa, Roosevelt saw, as we can unfortunately still see today, the horrendous, abysmal conditions of life which have resulted from British rule. When Roosevelt visited British Gambia on the West African coast in 1943, and saw the appalling conditions there, it created a strong image in the President’s mind of the truly ugly nature of British colonialism. He later spoke about it in his press conference:
“I think there are about three million inhabitants, of whom, one hundred and fifty are white. And it’s most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life…. The natives are five thousand years back of us. Disease is rampant, absolutely. It’s a terrible place for disease.“And I looked it up, with a little study, and I got to the point of view that for every dollar that the British, who have been there for two hundred years, have put into Gambia, they have taken out ten. It’s just plain exploitation of those people.”
He told his son after his visit to Bathurst (now Banjul), the capital of Gambia, that workers were paid only fifty cents a day. “Besides which,” he added,
“they’re given a half-cup of rice. Dirt. Disease. Very high mortality rate…. Life expectancy–you’d never guess what it is. Twenty-six years. These people are treated worse than livestock. Their cattle live longer!”
Roosevelt threatened the British, that he would expose what they were doing in Gambia:
” … if you Britishers don’t come up to scratch–toe the mark–then we will let all the world know.”
Continue reading

The History of the Nile Region

Muriel Mirak-Weissbach June 9, 1995 The rich history of Sudan presents many paradoxes, primary among them, the paradox of its relationship with Egypt. Throughout ancient history, the culture of dynastic Egypt and that of the Nubians were intertwined, at times in conflict, at times at peace. During the periods of peaceful coexistence, if not actual alliances, both cultures prospered, the arts and literature flourished, regardless of which nation was the ruler.  It was in fact under the reign of a Sudanese pharaoh, Piankhy (or Piye), in the XXVth dynasty, that Egyptian culture, which had fallen into decay, was renewed; monuments were built, and a great age in sculpture was inaugurated.  When, however, outside forces invaded, as in the case of the Assyrians, Egypt and Sudan were set against each other.  Egypt’s continuing efforts to subjugate Sudan led to repeated invasions and conquests, each time driving the Sudanese power into retreat, in rump kingdoms, moving further south. The Sudanese, regardless of the pressures, held on to their independence, albeit in reduced form. Continue reading