The Old Washington Consensus and its Impact on Rising poverty & Unemployment

While some part of the WC were non-negotiable, the economic policy of trade liberalization, liberalization of inflow of FDI, deregulation & removal of regulations that is impeding market entry or restricting competition was not in Africa’s favor.  The policies gave room to exploitative tendencies which opens the labour market of less developed countries (LDCs) to exploitation by companies from developed economies.

Goods, services and skilled labour move freely to LDCs but LDCs can only export raw materials not finished goods. Today, World Trade robs African countries of £1.3billion per day. 14 times of what we receive in aid. For every £1 pounds we receive in aid, we pay back £14.

That’s why Africa has received the highest aid but is still the poorest continent. Africa is in no way an independent player in the global economy. Though we had independence but in bondage.

With an amazing reputation for producing what it does not consume and consuming what it does not produce, Africa is the world’s largest liability with her begging bowl as her critical asset. We must break out from this prison asap cos a begging bowl is not a pathway to prosperity of any kind. Botswana has the best meat in the world. Uganda has the best coffee under the sun.

Ghana has been digging gold for 200+ years. Cameroun has the most fertile land under the sun.

Congo has the largest deposit of uranium, no one builds a bomb without uranium.

Liberia has the best copper under the sun and Sierra Leone diamonds.

Africa is extremely wealthy but poor in knowledge.

Taiwan subjected the Washington Consensus to government control. China & South Korea restricted it and closed their borders.

Today, South Korea is the 15th-largest economy in the world.

They produced everything they needed internally until they had excess and became one of the world’s largest economy. Taiwan experienced quick industrialization and rapid growth. Its government implemented a policy of import substitution, attempting to produce imported goods domestically. Taiwan in 1962 had a PCI of $170, placing its economy at par with those of Zaire and Congo. By 2011, it had risen to $37,000. Nigeria is still below $1,500. Today Taiwan has a dynamic, capitalist, export-driven economy with gradually decreasing state involvement in investment and foreign trade.

Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world’s fifth largest. As of 2008, more than US$150 billion has been invested in the PRC by Taiwanese companies.  About 10% of the Taiwanese labour force works in the PRC, often to run their own businesses.


Taiwan’s total trade in 2010 was $526.04 billion, both exports and imports for the year reached record levels of US$274.64bn & $251.4bn respectively. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Unlike South Korea and Japan, the Taiwanese economy is dominated by small and medium sized businesses, rather than the large business groups.


In 2010, economic growth reached 10%, the highest rate in almost 30 years, international trade jumped more than 39% and the job market rose with most businesses set to recruit. Taiwan’s 2010 per capita income is over $34,700.  Every nation protects its people’s interest before others, so must we! We must stop our ministers from organizing road shows abroad, let them begin to talk with indigenous operators.


Whatever the World Bank, IMF & the US Government says must not be swallowed hook, line and sinker.  FDI & privatization is surely the next step for Nigeria but allowing foreign dominance above indigenous companies is merely a cosmetic solution. FDI into Africa in 2011 is $8billion and will hit $250billion by 2015. We’re signing out the next century!

The only way to take it back is through strategic enterprise & strong synergy. Some multinationals generate annual income that dwarfs the GDP of their host countries. Today, about 32 western corporations own and controls the vast resources of Congo.  Nigerians spent N602billion on phone calls in the first half of 2012. How much of that was retained in the economy?

Nigerians spent over N400billion on alcohol within the same period, how much of that was retained within the Nigerian economy? How many billions did we spend on food, rice, fish, clothes etc?

We still sew t-shirts abroad! Are the citizens that docile or our government is stupid?  No nation in the world has ever developed by depending solely on foreign counsel. Borrowing & spending is also not the way to economic prosperity. FG and states should stop borrowing. Development is only sustainable when it solves today’s problems without endangering the future.

America is owing over $6trillion in debts, how come they are still giving Africa loans?

When a country loses too much economically, it won’t have enough to defend itself in the face of crisis. When the people are extremely poor, they are easily incited for war. Those inciting war are already rich. Their children have multiple visas. If war breaks out, they and their children have security. They won’t be affected!

The rich man’s wealth is his fortress and the poverty of the poor is their destruction.

Dear fellow citizen, begin to strategically position to take territories, unite with your brothers & sisters. See them as a Nigerian not as a Northerner or Southerner, Muslims or Christians. A lot of the 40, 50, 60 year olds are fighting for their personal interests, not for the generation next. Don’t let them destroy the future they won’t be opportuned to feature in.

If Africa is full of problems & poverty, why is the world coming to Africa with billions of dollars? It’s time we change our approach or we’ll continue to get the same result.

The U.S. is home to 425 billionaires out of the world’s 1,226 billionaires. They protect their own all round but in Nigeria, it’s the other way round! Carlos Slim Helu’s Telmex control 90% of the Mexican telephone market not foreign companies.

Americans once argued citizens shouldn’t buy Chinese products for at least 1 month, fighting for “fair trade”, jobs creation and debt reduction?  They removed ALL items from a typical Texas middle class family’s home that were not made in the USA.

Literally, during the special they showed truckloads of items – USA made – being brought in to replace everything and talked about how to find these items and the difference in price etc.

A non- Norwegian is not permitted to lift Norway’s crude, what’s the story of our indigenous operators in the Oil & Gas industry?

If 200 million Americans each refuse to buy just $20 of Chinese goods, that’s a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved!!  This one month of trading losses hit the Chinese’s 8%, of their American exports.

Our government is paying for a Rolls Royce car for a VolksWagen Beetle value!!


They say most Nigerians simply don’t care.  The attitude there is “every man for himself” is that true? Begin to support Made in Nigeria!


True leaders, turn to the people, all the people, for support.


Nigeria is Africa. Saving Nigeria is vital to world stability. Arise o Compatriots.


This long read is an edited compilation of thoughts from Ronke Kosoko, Employment Solutions Strategist at Employment Clinic. She tweets from @ronkeemployment

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