South African Minister Pandor Speaks ”Truth to Power” in U.S.

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Grace Naledi Pandor

March 30, 2024

South Africa is under attack by the self-proclaimed international rules-based order, which is another name for the Anglo-American establishment. Naledi Pandor, who is the equivalent of the Foreign Minister for South Africa, in her visit to the United States, is challenging their geopolitical doctrine that erroneously views the world as a zero-sum game composed of only victors and victims.

South Africa is being assaulted in the United States Congress for its right to conduct its sovereign foreign policy with other nations. Congressman John James (R-MI) has spearheaded the passage of legislation H.R. 7256  through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which alleges that South Africa is a threat to the national security of the U.S.

H.R. 7256  Section 3, sense of the Congress (1)

that the ANC’s foreign policy actions have long ceased to reflect the stated stance of nonalignment, and now directly favor that PRC, the Russian Federation, and Hamas, a known proxy of Iran, and therefore undermines the United States national security and foreign policy interest.

The mis-named U.S.-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act, with bipartisan support has passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and can now advance to a full vote of  to the House of Representatives.

According to this nefarious legislation, South Africa’s alleged “offences” include:

  • Courageously bringing to the United Nations International Court of Justice, the genocidal behavior by the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamim Netanyahu against the Palestinian people of Gaza.
  • Remaining in continuous dialogue with nations of the so called axis of evil; Russia, China, and Iran.
  • For participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • For being a leader of the Global South and Non-Aligned Movement that provides an alternative to the diseased ideology of zero-sum geopolitics. .

In a March 21, press release from his office, Cong James writes: “South African officials have made a miscalculation by aligning themselves with Russia and China. It is in our national security interests for the United States to review our relationships with nations that may not share our values and align themselves with such actors.

This disgraceful piece of legislation, which attacks Minister Pandor personally, reflects the animus towards a nation that does not accept the absolute authority of the “rules-based order.” South Africa is being targeted by the United States, not for any single action it has taken, but because South Africa will not submit to the dictates of the Western political-financial elite.  South Africa, other African nations and those of the Global South will rightly understand this legislation as a full scale violation of South Africa’s sovereignty.

Minister Pandor, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, March 19, 2024

Speaking Truth to Power

Into this environment, Minister Pandor challenged the precepts of geopolitical thinking in Washington, displaying courage, morality, diplomatic adeptness, all with a quality of grace and dignity, rarely seen in the U.S. Capital.

On March 19, I had the privilege of observing Minister Pandor in her discussion at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and afterwards at an inter-faith dialogue at the South African embassy on ending the war in Gaza.

The event at Carnegie entitled: Are South Africa-U.S. Relations at a Turning Point? A Conversation With Naledi Pandor, was conducted by Dan Baer, Carnegie’s senior vice president for policy research. Baer’s argumentative attitude reflecting the prejudices of Washington, was constantly challenged by Minister Pandor, as can be seen from the partial transcript that follows.

Baer began by asking Min. Pandor to rate American political leadership. She responded, shockingly: I rate it at 6 for executive and below that for the legislature…. I’m not sure the legislators have an understanding of South Africa…. I think they make conclusions about South Africa’s international relations, without necessarily speaking to us. And this is very troubling…. If I were to make a statement about their policy, I would at least speak to us first, and attempt to understand, the cause, if any, might be of an emerging dissonance.

Regarding the United Nations, Min. Pandor said: I think we need to look at the composition and the functioning, and the capacity associated with having a Security Council. I think we should have African presence as permanent members…. I also think East Asia should have a presence. I think India being so big and not being a part of the permanent members is an odd reality….

Continuing on the UN, she said: we don’t need more multilateral bodies to replace the United Nations, but the UN needs to be reformed to be more than a monitoring body…. We need to consider the [UN] capacity for peace enforcement. We have to find a way of protecting innocent people when there’s a conflict.

Minister Pandor participating in an interfaith dialogue (South African Embassy, March 19) with representatives from Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations opposed to Israeli’s war in Gaza.

Baer asserted that: the BRICS invited six new members, four of which are authoritarian regimes.

Pandor stood her ground, responding: Who makes these judgments? This assessment that you’re making…

Baer interrupted her, saying: You would challenge the premise that Iran, for example, is an authoritarian regime?

Min. Pandor: Is it your role to make that judgment?

Baer replied: I don’t think it’s me, uh, saying that. It’s widely regarded by most people….

Min. Pandor: I don’t know if they are an authoritarian regime. I do know that—

Baer interrupted: The minister of South Africa does not know if the regime in Iran is authoritarian?

Min. Pandor: I don’t have that definition in my logbook. I do have a concern about women, and their rights in Iran, and this is something I have discussed with the government of Iran, particularly my colleague, the foreign minister…. And to use our [South Africa’s] earned democratic success to say this actually works … because if we stop talking with everybody, because we define them in a particular way, I think that the models we have adopted would not have any meaning…. We use our post-apartheid progress as a way of exemplifying for others that we think this is a good practice to adopt.

Baer: It’s difficult to make the argument that South Africa’s example is available to people in Iran or China, or in Saudi Arabia….”

Min. Pandor: We’re not a perfect democracy by any means…. We have huge problems of poverty … which derive from our history … which we have not been able to fully address as an emerging democracy. But I do believe that there is a strength in being able to speak with everyone, because if you close off, I don’t think you achieve anything.

International Court of Justice (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

The discussion was contentious again when Baer criticized South Africa for bringing the charge of Israeli genocide against Palestinians living in Gaza, to the International Court of Justice, and not against Russia for the war in Ukraine.

Baer: What did South Africa intend to accomplish by bringing its case to the ICJ on Gaza? And how does South Africa square that with abstaining on UN resolutions with respect to Russia’s aggression to Ukraine? You compellingly spoke of the need for the UN to respond to the killing of innocent civilians, and certainly that’s happening in Ukraine. How does South Africa see connecting those two positions?

Min. Pandor: On Gaza, and what we hope to accomplish, the first thing is to stop the killing of innocent Palestinians, and what we’ve seen, what each of us watches every day, surely makes us horrified about ourselves, and our inability to stop that. So, we hoped that through the ICJ, through respect for it…as one of the international law institutions that through the provisional measures … would reduce the harm…. We knew that we may not stop the conflict in its entirety, but if we could reduce harm to the civilian population and get humanitarian aid in, we would be happy.

Min. Pandor: Provisional measures have been ignored by Israel, we’re seeing mass starvation now, and famine before our very eyes…. I think as humanity we need to look at ourselves in horror…. Speaking of Israel’s defiance to adhere to any law… there’s license, I can do what I want, and not be stopped…. The minute you allow something like this, then what you’re doing is setting in play a form of practice that will be very difficult to challenge in the future. We went to the ICJ, because we have always been told by those who know democracy better than us, that we must respect human rights, that we should respect UN institutions, that we should practice democracy, that we should end conflict in Africa. And so, we were merely practicing what is preached to us every day….

Min. Pandor: It behooves us to say, how do we find a better way…. It’s made more difficult by the most powerful countries in the world, because the impression that’s created is that it’s the weak who must respect, the weak should implement and the powerful can do what they want.

Min. Pandor: How do the powerful contribute to the greater good? What role is being played to ensure all of us hold up the highest standard? We’re the country that remains talking every week to both [Russia and Ukraine]. That’s saying we’ve got to get you in the same room. We participated in all the working groups, on the peace plan of President Zelenskyy. And we’ve now said, we think there has to be a meeting with Russia….

Talking of South Africa’s aspirations for the continent, Min. Pandor said: So, we do try to be good. But we don’t get it right all the time. … I believe we’re making an effort. And for us, the first prize would be in Africa to silence the guns, focus on development, industrialization, productive capacity, and achieving a livelihood for the majority of Africans, that places us in a different space of development. That is first prize, and first concern for us.

I completely concur with Minister Pandor: development, industrialization, and improving the livelihood of Africans is the first prize!

In the videos below, once can view Minister Pandor’s articulation of South Africa’s policy.

Read my earlier posts:

South African Minister Pandor Articulates Principles of Development for Africa

Int’l Court of Justice Rules Genocide Plausible: Netanyahu & Biden Losing Support

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

Infrastructure Essential for Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Economic Integration

February 5, 2024

Image: courtesy of tanzaniainvest.com

The two articles combined, (see below) by PD Lawton, (africanagenda.net), provide a clear conception of how Africa will increase its economic integration through the expansion of regional railway systems. Massive expansion Infrastructure, such as rail, road, water, and especially electricity, is the only way Africa will realize the goals of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The interview with the Director General of Tanzania Railway Corporation, (watch below) is an exciting overview of Tanzania’s commitment to regional economic growth by investing in new railroads, such as the Central Corridor Tanzania SGR.

At the Durban launch President Ramaphosa spoke of the days of Africa being the raw materials market for the global North were over. It is time for the world to meet Made in Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa officiated the launch of South Africa’s first shipment under the preferential trading agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 31 January 2024 at the Port of Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal. The shipment to Ghana includes refrigerators [1] home appliances and mining equipment.

This is an historic event for the entire continent as it marks the practical realization of the AfCFTA Agreement which was inaugurated on the 1 January 2021.

AfCFTA is expected to increase the size of Africa’s economy to $29 trillion by 2050.

Read President Ramaphosa’s remarks below.

Read below the detailed outline of the phases for construction of the Central Corridor Tanzania SGR

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

Int’l Court of Justice Rules Genocide Plausible: Netanyahu & Biden Losing Support

International Court of Justice (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

January 30, 2024

Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not defeating Hamas, it is exterminating Palestinians. In his full scale assault on Gaza, and to a lesser extent, the West Bank, Netanyahu is failing just as he did prior to the October 7, 2023, massacre by Hamas, when he was unsuccessful in protecting Israel. His war on Hamas will not succeed. Israel has yet to make further progress in freeing the remaining hostages since the weeklong hostage for prisoner exchange last year. Due to the growing political isolation of the U.S. and Israel, there attempts underway, so far unsuccessful, to establish a two month pause in the military campaign by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), issued the first condemnation and warning to Israel. Although it did not accuse Israel of genocide or call for a cease fire, it validated the legitimacy of the allegations by the government of South Africa. (See text of ICJ’s decision). A full reading of the court’s decision clearly shows that claims of genocide are plausible.

The ruling by the ICJ, in its closing section: VI. CONCLUSION AND MEASURES TO BE ADOPTED, contains the following:

Paragraph 75 reads: The Court concludes on the basis of the above considerations that the conditions required by its Statute for it to indicate provisional measures are met. It is therefore necessary, pending its final decision, for the Court to indicate certain measures in order to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible-(see paragraph 54 above).

Paragraph 54 reads: In the Court’s view, the facts and circumstances mentioned above are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible. This is the case with respect to the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts identified in Article III, and the right of South Africa to seek Israel’s compliance with the latter’s obligations under the Convention.

The findings by the International Court of Justice, which is an arm of the United Nations, is instructing Israel to take actions to prevent genocide of the Palestinians living in Gaza.  (Read: The ICJ’s Ruling on Genocide Is Actually a Gamechanger)

Public hearings in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel began at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on January 11, 2024.  (Photo: Selman Aksunger/Anadolu via Getty Images) (Courtesy of commondreams.org)

Genocide in Effect

Genocide is defined as a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group in whole or in part.

The challenge to proving genocide is to demonstrate intent. In the case of Netanyahu’s war against the people of Gaza, we have sufficient evidence to prove genocide in effect.

  • In the 3.5 months, since the Hamas massacre of October 7, 2023, the IDF, has become infamous for killing the greatest number of civilians, mostly women and children, in the shortest period of time. In 3.5 months, Israel has accomplished the following:
  • 26,000 Palestinians (that we know of) have been killed in Gaza. That is more than 1% of the total population of 2.2 million. This does not count the Palestinians also killed by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers on the West Bank.
  • 63,000 Palestinians have been wounded, the majority women and children.
  • According to  ReliefWeb, 10,000 children have had their lives snuffed out.
  • The United Nations reports that every hour, two Palestinian mothers lose their lives. An estimated 6,000 mothers have been killed.

By comparison, in the 23-month long war, Ukraine, with a population of     36.7 million, has suffered the following casualties according to reporting  from the United Nations:

  • 10,242, Ukrainians have lost their lives.
  • 575 Ukrainian children have been killed.
  • 19,300 Ukrainians have been injured, including 1,264 children.

Do the math. The duration of war in Ukraine is more than six times longer than Gaza, and Ukraine’s population is sixteen times bigger. The rate of death of Palestinian children by Israeli troops, under orders from Netanyahu, is unprecedented.

The IDF claims that 9,000 members of Hamas have been killed. Even if we take these figures at face value, almost twice as many innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed in the war in Gaza than Hamas fighters.

Palestinian women walk by buildings destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, October 16, 2023. © 2023 Hatem Moussa/AP Photo (Courtesy of hrw.org)

As disease, lack of potable water, and hunger spreads to a displaced population, more women and children will perish. It should be clear to anyone who understand the rudiments of demography: the effect will be a reduction in the rate of procreation of the  Palestinian people. Thus, decreasing the number of Palestinians living today and in the future.

Biden’s Self Inflicted Wound

President Biden is losing support from within his own Democratic Party and an increasing number of Americans, who oppose his blanket military and political support for Netanyahu’s war against Palestinians. The relentless bombardment of apartment buildings, houses, refugee camps, United Nations facilities, and hospitals has made Gaza not only the most dangerous place in the world, but a death zone for a desperate and displaced  population. No matter how much Biden’s advisors and press people try to spin it, the Biden administration has the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians civilians on his hands.

When President Biden rushed to Israel to “bear hug” Netanyahu on October 18, 2023, eleven days after the Hamas attack, and pledged full U.S. support o for Israel’s war, he had already sealed his fate. Recently, President Biden has issued statements of disagreement with Netanyahu’s conduct of the war and his rejection of a Two State Solution, but President Biden gas failed to extricate himself from “the hug.”  

President Biden’s immoral support for Netanyahu’s slaughter of Palestinians has been challenged by large demonstrations across the U.S., threatened walkouts by Congressional aids, and letters of protest against the war from the President’s staff and his presidential election campaign committee for 2024. More than once, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has had to meet with dissident members of the State Department who oppose blanket U.S. support for Israel. Increasing numbers of young voters, a critical section of the voting population that Democrats are counting on to win the 2024 election, oppose U.S. backing for the war.

“The Hug.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US President Joe Biden (Indiatvnews.com)

Last week more serious cracks appeared, when eighteen U.S. Senators from Biden’s party signed as co-sponsors to legislation to condition aid to Israel on their compliance (or lack of) with international humanitarian law. The New York Times reports that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) estimates about half of the 51 Democratic and independent senators would vote for such a measure on the floor. Earlier in the week the Senate tabled a motion sponsored by ten Democratic Senators to link aid to human rights abuses by Israel.

This election year, President Biden will need all the support he can get to be reelected, while Democrats will attempt to maintain control of the Senate, and not lose ground in the House of Representatives. In Michigan, a battleground state in this year’s presidential election,

Arab Americans are already distancing themselves from President Biden’s presidential campaign.

President Biden’s full backing to Israel, a nation which Americans witness killing innocent women and children every day, and wiping out entire families, will be a factor in the minds of voters when they go to the polls this November.

Photo/Eskinder DebebeTrucks carrying humanitarian aid wait to cross into Gaza from Egypt through Rafah. (Courtesy of the U.N.)

Netanyahu Was Always No Good

Netanyahu is using the war to remain in power as prime minister. The continued assault on the people of Gaza is his “re-election campaign.” No progress has been made since the earlier prisoner exchange two months ago. However, as the families of the hostages ramp up the pressure, Netanyahu, a conniving politician, is maneuvering to continue his grasp as leader of an increasingly isolated Israel.

If one looks back at Netanyahu’s history, it is clear that he always opposed peace with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank. How pathetically foolish it is for President Biden to believe that Netanyahu will be a dependable partner in establishing a Two State Solution. Not only has he recently, and repeatedly stated his opposition to a self-governed Gaza, but his real desire is to rid Gaza of Palestinians by murder or driving them out. Let us acknowledge what honest Jews and non-Jews alike know: Netanyahu will not be a reliable partner for peace with an independent Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has not changed his anti-Palestinian views in twenty years. Two decades ago, Netanyahu bitterly opposed the efforts to create peace with Palestine by Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, a true Israeli statesman. Rabin, a former military professional, and commander of the Six Day War died a warrior for peace after signing the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Rabin accused Netanyahu of in effect working with Hamas to prevent the signing of the peace  accords. The assassin of Rabin came from the extremist Jewish right-wing, who’s orbit was supported by Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the peace accords and did not object when his Likud Party called Rabin a traitor for striving to create peace with Yassir Arafat. Leah Rabin had to force herself to shake Netanyahu’s hand at her husband’s funeral, because of the scurrilous campaign waged by him and the Likud Party against Rabin’s quest for peace.

Is President Biden capable of separating himself from the clutches of Netanyahu? The future of Israel, Palestine, and world peace may depend on it.

Below, watch Naledi Pandor, Minister of South Africa, on the ruling by International Court of Justice.

Read my earlier post: Netanyahu Must Leave Office for the Future Existence of Israel, Palestine, & Good of Humanity

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

Non-Aligned Movement Spreading Across The Globe

Bandung 1955, Nehru of India, Nkrumah of Ghana, Nasser of UAR/Egypt, Sukarno of Indonesia and Tito of Yugoslavia

January 25, 2024

Western media and governments, led by the United States are attempting to dismiss the growing dynamic by the “Global South” to chart an alternative path of development free from Western domination. In Washington DC, one can witness the palpable fears of de-dollarization, the rise of China’s leadership in the developing world, the expansion of the BRICS, and the declining dominance of the U.S. hegemon.

Below is a report by EIRNEWS of the recent meetings by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Third South Summit, organized by the G77+China, in Kampala, Uganda.

Representatives of the entire “Global South” have been meeting for over a week in Kampala, Uganda at two back-to-back summits on the central topic of creating a world system which is fair and just, in which their nations participate in making the decisions on how that system functions, so that their peoples, too, can develop.

The 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, held Jan.15-20, was followed Jan. 21-22 by the Third South Summit, organized by the G77+China, the grouping of developing countries founded in 1964 to jointly defend the collective economic interests of its members on major international economic issues at the UN and its relevant institutions. Members in the two groupings strongly overlap but are not synonymous. The NAM, with its historic roots in the 1955 Bandung Conference, today has 120 member nations from Africa, Asia and Central and South America, 20 observer states, and 11 organizations (such as the African Union and the Arab League). While it still keeps its original name, the G77+China now has more than 130 member states.

The theme of the G77 summit was “Leaving No One Behind.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni “called on leaders in the world to support each other’s prosperity and ensure that no one is left behind.” He asked the central question of the day: “I wonder why global economic actors fail to understand that the prosperity of the entire world population benefits everyone, instead opting for policies that keep the majority in poverty.”

The Kampala Declaration issued at the end of the NAM Summit has a fighting tone. Targeting, for example, evil imperial practices which violate the sovereignty of nations protected under international law and the UN Charter, such as imposing coercive sanctions on nations.

And right from the outset of the Declaration, the right of Palestine and Palestinians to exist is asserted as their fight, as they reaffirmed “the importance of the Question of Palestine to the Non-Aligned Movement.” Expressing grave concern at “immense loss of life and injury, widespread destruction of their homes and massive forced displacement” being imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel, and the violence against the people of the West Bank, they take note of the case against Israel for genocide against Gaza filed before the International Court of Justice by South Africa, “a member of the movement,” themselves “strongly condemn the illegal Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip, the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian civilians, civilian objects, the forced displacement of the Palestinian population and further call for an immediate and durable humanitarian ceasefire.” 

Read PD Lawton’s post 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

African Nations Must Proceed With Needed Industrialization

Image: proposed layout of the industrial park

October 28, 2023

My colleague, PD Lawton, presents a thorough report on the creation of an industrial park in South Africa that will benefit the entire region-(read below). This directed economic development coupled with a comprehensive trans-continental rail transportation network and accessible electricity will transform the African continent. This is the method to end poverty and hunger across Africa.

Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) is a proposed industrial park in South Africa, designated with tax incentives as a special economic zone (SEZ). It is an initiative of the Limpopo Province provincial government and the flagship project of the SADC Industrialization Strategy in conjunction with  the African Union Agenda 2063. The aim is to promote industrialization through mineral beneficiation and value addition in agriculture and mineral resources. The manufacturing sector will produce processed metals such as steel, petro-chemicals and plastic production (processing of oil) as well as OEM`s (original equipment manufacturing) which is producing component parts for other industry sectors. Petro chemicals are needed to produce fertilizers. In 2022, South Africa imported US$1.51 billion worth of fertilizer. The security of food supply depends on synthetic fertilizer.

This economic hub is vital for a number of critically important reasons. It will serve as a catalyst for economic growth for the entire SADC region .Achieving of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on poverty reduction cannot be achieved without African economies manufacturing on an industrial scale including in that processing of agricultural products and processing of mineral resources which is known as mineral beneficiation.”

The African Free Trade Agreement inaugurated in January 2021,remains theoretical without operational SEZs in every region and connected by modernized high tech integrated infrastructure as epitomized by the African Integrated High Speed Railway Network which has been designed to connect economic corridors across the continent  by high speed electrified railway.

Read the entire article.

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

South African Minister Pandor Articulates Principles of Development for Africa

South African Minister Naledi Pandor speaking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

July 18, 2023

Below are excerpts from remarks by South African Minister, Dr. Naledi Pandor, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on July 4, 2023.*

Minister Pandor’s words speak eloquently for themselves. However, permit me to put a fine point of her focus on the importance of African nations fostering manufacturing and industrialization.

As a physical economist, I understand better than most people, the substance of her reasoning. The only true measure of a successful economic policy is: does the material standard of living improve from one production cycle to the next? And does the implementation of this  policy produce an expansion of real physical wealth from the present generation to that of their children? Throughout modern history, it has been proven repeatedly that real sovereignty requires a robust manufacturing sector, physical infrastructure, and increased industrialization of one’s economy.

It is a touch of poetic justice, that Minister Pandor delivered her remarks on July 4, the day the United States declared Independence from the imperialist grip of Great Britain. British suppression of manufacturing by the colonies was overturned and reversed by the adoption of the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton. Contrary to the myth that slavery was the underlying cause for the growth of the U.S as an economic power, it was the genius of Treasury Secretary Hamilton’s four economic reports that outlined the course of economic development for the newly formed nation.** If not for the decisive support of Hamilton’s policies by President George Washington, against the objection of those, who advocated, slavery, states’ rights, and agriculture as the only source of wealth, the American republican experiment would have failed.

Hamilton’s argument in his Report on the Subject of Manufactures, written in 1791, remains relevant today. A nation that cannot manufacture the essential commodities for the continuous progress of its people is endangering its national security.

 The essence of successful foreign, domestic, and economic policy by a wise government is founded on the same elementary principle: creating the economic conditions for the advancement of the physical wellbeing of its population.

*Ministerial meeting of the Bi-National Commission of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

**Hamilton Versus Wall Street: The Core Principles of the American System of Economics, by Nancy Spannaus, 2019.

Excerpts from, Minister Naledi Pandor

We spend too much time trusting others outside our continent and not enough time trusting ourselves. We need to change that history. I’m hopeful that our business leaders will leverage opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

I believe that the AfCFTA will be a catalyst toward the pursuit of beneficial economic integration in the continent. Through the Free Trade Area agreement, we have promised ourselves as Africans that we will increase intra African trade. That doesn’t mean we buy goods from country B and pretend they were made in the DRC. It means we must manufacture in the DRC and sell within Africa. It means we must manufacture in South Africa and sell within Africa. It means we must manufacture in Ghana, in Togo, wherever we find ourselves as Africans we become productive, and we change our conditions.

Another matter that we must address if the African Continental Free Trade Area is to be a success, is the value addition to our natural resources within the confines of our continent. Everybody is running after the rare mineral resources of the DRC but they’re not establishing factories in the DRC. Don’t sign any agreement if production is not to happen here. We must refuse. We must ensure that value addition beneficiation happens within Africa. And we must ensure that as Africans we derive full benefit from the value chain and that our people realize these much needed opportunities. The time has come for South Africa and the DRC to work at changing our condition. To work at changing our history. But to do these things it’s not easy, there’ll be much opposition. So, the challenge is can we work together honestly and faithfully. If we can do that, we will change our conditions. But if we allow others to divide us, to direct us as to what should suit us, we will never achieve these ambitions.

So honorable minister I close by saying the future is in our hands. It is only by working together that will bring the change that we all want to see. I look forward to our fruitful deliberations… Our people have placed on us the responsibility of ensuring that they enjoy peace and prosperity. Our relations have always been inspired by our commitment to Pan African ideals and solidarity…Our Pan African ideals impose a commitment on us to ensure the development of our countries, but the development of the entire continent of Africa. Our Pan African ideals and our solidarity ask us to pose difficult questions to ourselves as to what good we are making out of the wealth of the nations of Africa. How do we industrialize? How should we manufacture?

Our main goal and vision is to see real changes in our people’s livelihoods. After all they don’t elect us because we are pretty or because we wear nice outfits. They elect us to change their lives. Our people want their children to be educated. They want their children to become responsible future leaders of our nations. Our people want girls and women to be empowered so that they can fully participate in our economies and in our political lives. Our people want us to create sustainable jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for them so that our people become independent, self-sustained, enabled, and empowered to take charge of their own future and identity. Allowing our people to remain poor is to keep them in a prison of lack of advancement. So, we must change the condition of our people so that they are free to realize their full abilities. (Emphasis added)

Read my earlier posts:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

China & Freeman Agree With The African Charter: “Economic Development is a Human Right”

Celebrate July 4th Time to Adopt Hamilton’s Industrialization Polices for Africa

Alexander Hamilton’s Credit System Is Necessary for Africa’s Development

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

“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

“Electricity is the lifeblood of a nation” Nuclear Energy Can Be A Solution To The Continent’s Dearth of Electricity

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, developed in South Africa, can be a solution to Africa’s lack of energy (Courtesy of the International Atomic Energy Agency)

Dr Kelvin Kemm, a South African nuclear physicist, deleivers a cogent argument for nuclear energy in Africa, in his presentation below, “A Reliable Electricty Supply.,” (Provided by PD Lawton, creator of the blog: africanagenda.net)

Africa Needs Electrcity

There is no more urgent task for the nations of Africa than expanding the construction of energy plants to generate a massive increase in electricity for distribution by their national electrical grids.

W. Gyude Moore, who formerly served as Liberia’s Minister for Public Works, recently wrote:  

The International Energy Agency now estimates that Asia is set to use 50% of global electricity by 2025. China, with its 1.4 billion people, who account for a majority of that. Although Africa has a comparable population to China, its 54 countries will use just 3% of global electricity. That disparity is an eloquent and concise a treatise on Africa’s poverty as there can be…By 2030 the continent is set to host 84% of the world’s extreme poor. Without access to cheap and reliable electricity as well as expensive road [and railroad] systems, Africa’s terms of trade will not improve, and its poverty will remain entrenched.

The devastating impact on the absence of electricity for African nations was also dramatically highlighted by the well-known African philanthropist, Mo Ibrahim. In a February 9th interview on Straight Talk, he explained without exaggeration, the consequential stark reality of the deficit of electricity for African nations. He said:

600 million African people are without access to electricity. Without access to electricity, you don’t have access to life. You don’t have education. You don’t have health. You don’t have businesses. You have nothing!

Gyude Moore and Mo Ibrahim, understand, as every rational human being should; without electricity, economies and nations can’t function. I will go further: people are dying in African nations today due to the catastrophic deficit in electrical generation. There is no more vital issue to be addressed by African leaders and friends of Africa around the world, than reversing the dire shortage of electrical  power throughout African continent.

African Solutions For African Problems

Perhaps surprising to many Africans and Westerners alike, nuclear energy is another example of the potential of African nations to provide solutions for African problems.

Dr. Kemm points out that South Africa was a leader in pioneering the development of a Small Nuclear Reactor-SMR. South Africa designed the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor-PBMR mnany years ago, a SMR that  could have been utilized throughout Africa to deliver desperately needed energy, if the program had continued.

Quoting Dr. Kemm:

So, in 1993 a decision was made to start investigating the potential in developing a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) to be placed in South African areas in which there were no major supplies of water. South Africa has minimal spare inland water.

So South Africa became the first country in the world to start designing a commercial SMR. The project grew to a significant size, with a total workforce of some 2,000 people, and by 2008 the reactor was ready to be built. The pressure vessel was ordered, and it arrived in South Africa…

African countries and others around the world became interested in nuclear power as they realised the importance of solutions which really work for African conditions, or for the local conditions of diverse countries.  A few African leaders have made powerful public statements about their intention to take their countries down a nuclear path. That is totally reasonable, by using Small Modular Reactors which do not need large scale water cooling.

African countries can also easily form a collaborative ‘club’ to link to each other with daily operations, training, and regulatory oversight, amongst other functions. Such an approach will lower costs further and also induce a spirit of cooperation which will be beneficial to all.

Investors need to have the confidence in an advanced energy solution development coming from Africa. Some established mindsets need to change. The SMR from South Africa is an investment opportunity waiting for people with vision, and some courage, and who also have some self-confidence, and a belief in abundant and reliable green power for the future.

To elimiate hunger in Africa. To industrialize African economies. To lift hundreds of millions of Africans out of poverty. Africa must have nuclear energy as its power source.

Source: africanagenda.net/a-reliable-electricity-supply-six-months-and-half-a-dozen-years

Read my earlier posts below:

A Nuclear Energy Economic Platform Is The Future for Africa

Nuclear Energy Will Create Jobs and Raise Skill Levels in Africa

South Africa: A Leader on the Continent for Nuclear Energy

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

South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

Fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster, Mantashe tells conference

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

The paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa is killing Africans every day. South Africa Energy Minister Mantashe has continually rejected demands by Western nations and their political-financial institutions for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources. To improve the living conditions of their citizens, African nations must industrialize their economies, which necessitates exploiting every resource available. Not only are these dictates an infringement on the sovereignty of African nations, but those in the West, who are trying to prevent Africa’s energy utilization, are contributing to poverty, hunger, and loss of life.

Reported on October 4, from news24.com

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the African continent should not be dictated to when it comes to the pace of its energy transition. This as a R150 billion funding deal from rich countries to help fund South Africa’s transition from coal hangs in the balance.

In an address to the 2022 Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mantashe said the war in Ukraine has hit developing economies with high energy costs, along with increasing food prices and interest rates.

He said the climate change question “sits uncomfortably with energy poverty”, adding that the pressure on African economies to decarbonize quickly will expose it to the risk that its people will not have access to reliable and affordable energy if handled with haste.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs, & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.”

“I see the protests outside this venue that said ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

“We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at,” he said.

Read entire article here from news24.com

Originally posted below by africanagenda.net

Read below earlier posts from my website on this subject:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

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

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill discussing the Atlantics Charter at the Argentia conference.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

To read full transcript on Minister Pandor’s presentation at the UNGA: Click here.

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

To read the full transcript of Minister Wang Yi: Click here

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

Read my earlier posts:

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

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