France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding France”
When Guinea demanded independence from French colonial rule in 1958, the French unleashed their fury with more than 3,000 leaving the country taking their enteire property. In addition, they destroyed anything that couldn’t be taken – destroying schools, nurseries, public administration buildings, cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged, animals killed and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned. In effect they were sending a message to all other colonies that the consqueences for jrejecting France would be high.
Colonialism as an enduring stain in Africa’s history, and economic oppression continue to exist. An article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, peace activist and editor of SiliconAfrica.com addressed this practice.
The article called attention to an ongoing practice by which former African countries are forced to pay a colonial tax to France – even today. In fact, France continues to thrive on the practice, which extracts approximately 500 billion dollars from African countries each year.
As Koutonin notes, this outrageous tax deprives African economies of much needed funds, exacerbates debt, and strips their authority over their own natural reserves. But the detriments are more than just economic, as the ills of colonialism manifest in social ways that are equally devastating to the dignity and identity of the African people:
Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, instead of signing the colonisation continuation pact with De Gaulle, instead agreed to pay an annual debt to France for the so called benefits of French colonisation. This prevented the French not destroying the country before they left however the amount estimated by France was so big that the reimbursement of the so called “colonial debt” was close to 40% of the country budget in 1963. Olympio’s dream was to build an independent and self-sufficient and self-reliant country but the French had him killed by a seargeant who was given a $612 bounty by the French embassy.
History has shown that despite years of African fighting to liberate themselves, France repeatedly used many exForeign legionnaires to carry out coups against elected presidents. This included Jean-Bedel Bokassa who assassinated David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic. In the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups has occurred in 26 African countries, of which 16 are ex-French colonies. This indicates that France is desperate to hold on to whatever land it has in Africa.