Transaqua, the “Mattei Plan” boycotted by France
September 19, 2023
This new article, TRANSAQUA, THE ITALIAN WAY TO THE SAHEL BOYCOTTED BY FRANCE AND EUROPEAN UNION, by Italian journalist, Francesca Ronchin, is quite timely, given the explosive developments we are witnessing amongst the nations in the Sahel and West Africa, today.
Ms. Ronchin does a service for Africa by publishing this story on August 30th (originally in Italian), one month after the coup in Niger. The obviously complete failure by France, the United States, and Western institutions, to nurture real economic development and provide security for Sahelian nations has led to a succession of coups. From my vantage point as a physical economist, these drastic changes in leadership are understandable, though by themselves they will not provide a solution. Unfortunately, more coups may be on the way.
Take the case of Niger. With almost half its people living in abject poverty, only 3% of the population having access to electricity, and the youth seeing no future as a Francophone nation, should anyone be surprised of the anger directed at the Western backed government? Niger is home to multiple miliary bases for drone deployments and to house 1,100 U.S. troops and 1,500 French forces.
The relevancy of Transaqua* is that, if this great water-energy-agricultural infrastructure project had been implemented, as I have advocated for 30 years, the conditions life in the nations of the Lake Chad Basin would have undergone an economic transformation. Had there been progress over recent decades in constructing Transaqua, Niger today, would be a completely different nation. If the U.S. had deployed the over $500 million it spent on military training and building drone bases on developmental infrastructure, such as electricity, the coup in Niger could have been averted. Sadly, the concept of development has vanished from the comprehension of the U.S. President, Congress, and State Department.
Although, it would appear to be miraculous, America is still capable of following in the footsteps of our most pro-African president, John F Kennedy, who unlike his immediate predecessors and those who came after him, had a true vison for the development of Africa. **
*Transaqua is discussed in detail in numerous posts on this website-click lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com/lake-chad-basin–
** Betting on the Africans, John F Kennedy’s Courting of African Nationalist Leaders. Philip E Muehlenbeck, Oxford University Press, 2012
Read my earlier post: To Prevent More Coups Like Niger: Eliminate Poverty in Africa
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.