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STATEMENT: Economic Implications of the Xenophobic Attacks on the African Continent

XenophobiaBackground
UBUNTU!! “The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”
“My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “A person is a person through other persons.” _ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

UBUNTU!! Is that which we boldly say “I AM BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU ARE BECAUSE I AM”.

This is the South African term that represents ‘human kindness’; a value which we still hold in high esteem as Africans. Yet we can do better, we all know that. It takes some level of commitment to lift us beyond that thing which we call ‘sovereignty’ that we hold so high, – yet we cannot do better than we were six decades ago.

Recent developments in South Africa – xenophobic attacks- have caused for the many Africans who thought that for some time in a long while, Africa is progressing; and that we are emerging as one of the fastest growing regions in the world. We are looking at economic growth averaging 5 percent per anum for a decade and over. This is the African story – the new momentum- that we are parading around the world.

We could have dealt with Ebola in a manner that could have saved the over 10, 000 lives that were lost as the result of the outbreak in West Africa. We all saw it – yes we did – the dire economic implications it had on the affected countries and even the entire West Africa. These countries were branded, isolated and stigmatized; the effect of it, we are all aware.

Estimated 10 precious lives of different nationals of African descent have been lost (may their souls rest in peace) as a result of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. An act we condemn outright as it depicts a group of people who are intolerant to each other- an element which inhibits on the transformation agenda of our collective wellbeing as Africans.

Economic implications
The question that arises is, what is the ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS of these incidences on the economies of South Africa and the entire continent?

One which becomes clear is the effect on the economic integration of Africa. The dream for a united economy or regional economic integration in Africa started early years after post-colonial rule. African leaders’ quest for unity after independence clearly demonstrates their commitment, which have impetus to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, now African Union (AU).

The current incidence in South Africa is an upfront to this dream of a united Africa. This dream is a partnership for transformation. Through the strategies, policies and programs and activities of regional integration, the fifty four fragmented economies on the continent could become one robust, diversified and resilient economy, supported by a first class trans-boundary infrastructure, highly educated, flexible and mobile workforce, highly mobile financial capital, sound quality health facilities and peace and security.

The xenophobic attacks also has negative economic effect in respect to South Africa, the Southern regional blocs’ position to attract foreign investments (FDIs). Every investor would want to invest in a politically stable economy; one which will be provide the lasting security for his / her investments. The incidence is a direct opposite of actions that attract investments into an economy.

We are again looking at the scattering of South African conglomerates across countries in Africa. How well does some of these actions affect the operational safety of these companies? These actions put South African multinationals at risk of losing grips of their continental investments. We can debate more about some of these economic issues, the end of which will show that actions such as what we are witnessing in South Africa today negatively affect Africa economically.

The way forward
We stand the chance to remedy such continental mishaps. It is something within our reach to stabilize our regions and create that strong resilient and stable continent ready to take its rightful position in the global economy.

Xenophobic attacks and other stigmatization is a continental canker that requires a collective responsibility of African nations. It calls for the sharing of the tiny sovereignty that we hold so high but cannot really define our transformation.

We call on the leaders of the regional bloc – Southern African Development Community (SADC) to fast track processes to stabilize the region. All other Pan-African institutions – African Union (AU) must all get involve to water down the tensions in South Africa.

And most importantly, the South African government must also show the commitment. They are responsible for the security of all people living in South Africa, and that include all other nationals. Swift security measures must be instituted in the violence affected regions.

What South Africa needs, like many countries in Africa, is the opportunity for all, whether national or foreigner.

UBUNTU!! I AM BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU ARE BECAUSE I AM!!

Signed
Daniel Osei Tuffuor
Executive Director
ExLA Group
0246 489 782

Signed
Paul Frimpong
Founder & Chairman
YPEN
0241 229 548

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Comments on this statement should be sent to YPEN @ info@ypenetwork.org OR ExLA Group @ exlagroup@yahoo.com

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