African governments as moral scapegoats for postcolonial exploitation

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Pimps are cruel human traffickers who kidnap or trap young girls before prostituting them to rich men. Many times, the rich men who patronize traffickers have high social status and wish to protect their reputation. So, they pay the pimps to legalize the trafficking to appear as free enterprises of girls who joined voluntarily. Despite paying for legality, the high-status men make public shows of condemning the pimps when the trafficking cruelty is criticized. Also, despite creating and patronizing Africa’s postcolonial dictatorships for exploiting indigenous people’s resources, some first-world countries condemn African governments through whom they exploit colonially-forged and underdeveloped people. Their demand (luxury) necessitates supply (African exploitation), and not the other way round.


In the movie, ‘3:10 to Yuma’, Dan Evans told the inspector paying him off to give up a noble but risky duty: “they do not pay you to walk away, they pay you so they can walk away.” Likewise, foreign exploiters do not pay African governments to walk away from the foreign exploitation of African villages. Instead, they pay African politicians to take the blame for their heartless exploitations in Africa, when their crimes are exposed. They pay so they can walk away blamelessly, while claiming to have settled the people’s “fantastically corrupt” government. So, they dump their guilt and blame on their African politician-allies as people refusing to share consumption[1] to the exploited people. While African politicians subdue the colonially-merged peoples for them to exploit, they maintain a policy of “see no evil, hear no evil”.


Many first-world governments and financial institutions express disapproval for wars, inter-ethnic crises, poverty and diseases in Africa. While showing empathy, they condemn African politicians and businessmen as corrupt people depriving the exploited people of imported consumer goods. Yet, they eagerly support pliable African politicians to protect their exploitative ventures and frustrate or kill social reformers, who they tag rebels. Instead of liberating the exploited people and not patronizing the colonially-installed extractive systems, they establish charity organizations to donate consumer goods to pacify the exploited peoples. Even some foreign governments who directly aid and abet exploitation in Africa flaunt empathy for the people. They insist on sharing consumption funds to poor people as condition for repatriating stolen monies they aided in stealing and hiding.[2]


Africa’s nation states were formed by foreigners, lines drawn by Europeans on maps of places they had often never been to. They carved out territories, cut up kingdoms and societies of which they had little idea… they (African countries) lack a common conception of nationhood.”[3] Given the brutal and deceitful process of their formation, African countries do not have democracies, instead they rotate various colonially-imposed dictatorships. Hence, whoever occupies the postcolonial office holds down other people for former colonialists and their allies to exploit. Using the human trafficking instance, it would mean that whoever takes charge of the trafficking network holds down the trapped young girls for big men (foreign exploiters) to rape.


To stop being moral scapegoats for foreign exploiters, African politicians will modify their international relations following these steps:

  • Distinguish and acknowledge the different peoples colonially merged in their countries.[4]
  • Acknowledging the different people’s ownership of their lands and resources, instead of the colonial idea of an alien government ownership of all lands and resources.
  • Inviting friendly organisations or indigenous engineers to teach the people how to process their local resources for onward production.
  • Enabling a negotiation between the groups on the mode of exchanging their processed or semi-processed resources and specialized labour.
  • Agreeing on a benchmark for internal democracy within the different groups in their countries, before agreeing on preferred political structure for a productive partnership.
  • Evaluating former international treaties based on the treaties’ ability to develop their people’s productivity and social harmony.


Foreign exploiters will continue pretending on their moral high-ground until African politicians grow the integrity and courage for social reorganization.

[1] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “sharing consumption breaks and enslaves people, sharing productivity unites and liberates people” in Restartnaija. retrieved 4th January, 2020.

[2] Punch, Adelani Adepegba, “Switzerland gives Nigeria conditions for returning $321m Abacha loot” in Restartnaija, March 8, 2016. retrieved 28th December, 2019.

[3] Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010), p.3

[4] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “The social research for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija June 5, 2018. retrieved 22nd July, 2018