African states agree to giant trade bloc, Nigeria, S. Africa won’t sign up
African leaders agreed recently to form a $3 trillion continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people. However, its two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, did not sign up. The African Union started talks in 2015 to establish a 55-nation bloc that would be the biggest in the world by member states. The aim is to increase intra-regional trade, which sits at a measly 15 percent of Africa’s total commerce. A disgraceful situation that the continent finds itself in is that to travel to certain parts of Africa, the traveller has to leave the continent and travel to some where outside the very same continent usually Europe then get a flight back to the continent? Africa need to invest in high speed railways that will traverse the entire continent, for the transiting of goods and people. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, host of an AU summit in Kigali, declared the meeting a success after 44 African nations signed up to establish the free trade bloc within 18 months.
Some countries, to name a few, South Africa and Nigeria stayed on the sidelines. Others staying out of the bloc were Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Eritrea, Benin, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau. there is some suspicion that this has to do with their present and past close association with their former colonial masters and current handlers, who sees a united Africa, as a threat t their power base.
“It would have been great if the two biggest economies on the continent, Nigeria and South Africa, had signed, but the most important is that the rest of the continent is sending a right message to these two biggest economies that we are moving ahead without you,” said an analyst at Confidential Strategies in Ghana.
The project needed a minimum of 22 countries signing up to get off the ground and Kagame hailed the effort so far.
“What is at stake is the dignity and well-being of Africa’s farmers, workers and entrepreneurs,” he said.
Economists point to Africa’s low level of intra-regional trade as one of the reasons for the continent’s enduring poverty and lack of a strong manufacturing base.
It is blamed on a host of factors, from colonialism, to high internal tariffs to poor road and rail links to excessive border bureaucracy and petty corruption at frontier checkpoints.
The relatively small size of many African markets – only Nigeria and Ethiopia have populations estimated at 100 million people or more – also inhibit private sector investment.
Africa already has various competing and overlapping trade zones – ECOWAS in the west, EAC in the east, SADC in the south and COMESA in the east and south – although only the EAC, driven mainly by Kenya, has made significant progress towards a common market in goods and services.
Analysts said governments needed to do more to ensure goods and people flowed freely across borders.
“If they just sign the agreement without opening the borders, without getting rid of non-tariff barriers and if they don’t work on free movement of people, it is not going to work,”Even the six-nation EAC has its sticking points – Tanzania has been known to kick out Kenyan executives and impound Kenyan imports at the border, in violation of EAC rules.
Businessmen said the current set-up forced them to look outside the continent, particularly Asia for manufactured goods.
“It is easy and cheaper to buy in Asia than to buy in the sub-region because of less-flexible rules of origin and non-tariff barriers that are not clear,” said one insider, of the Moroccan Confederation of Businesses.
Sudden changes in rules and impromptu checks on goods also held up supply chains.
“Some countries all of a sudden decide they are going to do a quality check on goods but they don’t really know what they want to check. That slows the trade,
Now before you Jump up, rejoicing, and start singing a chorus of “Hallelujah” God be praised there is an article written by UK Column, a good independent news site, and here is the link, and a transcript of the text.
The Regionalisation Process
Building the Institutions and Systems of World Government
In the process of regionalisation, which is leading us all towards global government, we have been witnessing the incremental transfer of nation state sovereign powers to supra-national bodies.
One obvious example is the 28 member states of the European Union where the majority of laws can only be proposed by the un-elected members of the EU Commission.
Two other fledgling supra-national regional bodies can now be found on the EU’s doorstep, although neither of these has received much mainstream media attention. Former elected leaders and non-state actors, who operate across country borders, can be seen to be assisting this regionalisation process. In this article our aim is to expose this process, and its’ facilitators, to a wider audience.
In 2013 World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair set up the Global Network of Delivery Leaders. The World Bank report of the event revealed that “the leaders met with Kim and Blair during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting [and] the World Bank Group and the Office of Tony Blair will provide technical support to the network and its members.” One vehicle through which Tony Blair directed his involvement was via the Tony Blair Africa Global Initiative and its website mirrors the World Bank narrative of the above event.
The purpose of this network of delivery leaders was “to share knowledge about what works — and what doesn’t — in delivering government services to citizens.” Group members were John Mahama, the president of Ghana; Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia; Joyce Banda, president of Malawi; Senegalese President Macky Sall; Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, and, Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. We asked: What else links the nation states of Albania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Malawi, and Senegal to each other?
The Republic of Albania has been an official candidate for accession to the European Union since June 2014 and it is also a member of the Union for the Mediterranean. In contrast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Malawi and Senegal are all members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
The African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP)
The Georgetown agreement of 1975 created the ACP group. It comprises 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states. Each state, with the exception of Cuba, is also a signatory to the Contonou Agreement (ACP-EC). This is a partnership agreement binding them to the European Union. Of these 79 states 36 are also members of the British Commonwealth.
Examples of ACP regional and continental organisations include:
• The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), launched in 1994, replaced the customs union of African States.
• The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which includes Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
• The Southern African Development Community (SADC), established following the signing of a declaration and treaty in 1992. Members states include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
• The Forum of the Caribbean ACP States (CARIFORUM)
• The African Union (AU), established in 1999 following the Sirte Declaration. The Durban Summit (2002) launched the AU and convened the 1st Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union.
The main organs of the African Union are the Assembly, the Executive Council, the Commission, the Permanent Representatives’ Committee, and, the Pan-African Parliament. The African Central bank, which is planned to the sole issuer of the African Single Currency, is one of the three financial institutions of the AU. A BRICS Post report in 2015 revealed that “Africa aims to have a common currency by 2025”.
The 20th November 2016 was, according to the United Nations, ‘African Industrialisation Day’. The UN claims that “the important contribution of inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in helping Africa to overcome its critical development challenges is clearly recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
The 254 page Economic Report on Africa published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in 2016 ‘Greening Africa’s Industrialisation’, illustrates how the African continents industrial policy is being shaped so that it conforms with the global UN agenda. This globalisation programme provides a fertile business environment which can be fully exploited by the ever greedy international corporations.
The ACP-EU Joint Institutions are the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors.
According to the document Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want, “Political unity of Africa will be the culmination of the integration process, including the free movement of people, the establishment of the continental institutions, and full economic integration.”
And according to MDGs to Agenda 2063/SDGs, Transition Report 2016 – Towards an integrated and coherent approach to sustainable development in Africa, a publication of the African Union, Economic Commission for Africa; African Development Bank and United Nations Development Programme, “the priority areas of Agenda 2063 span the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental,”
If you were wondering how the African Union can follow their own Agenda 2063 whilst the European Union members are committed to following the United Nations Agenda 2030 programme you needn’t. The aforementioned report also tells us that “there is convergence of the two agendas particularly at the level of the goals.”
The Union For The Mediterranean (UfM)
The Union for the Mediterranean “comprises the 28 EU Member States, the European Commission and 15 Mediterranean countries.” The 15 Mediterranean countries which were co-signatories of the Paris Declaration for the Mediterranean are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Syria suspended its membership to the UfM on December 1, 2011 and we understand that Libya has observer status in the UfM.
The former Barcelona process was re-launched as the Union for the Mediterranean in 2008. According to the EU Commission the primary objective is “the creation of a deep Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area, which aims at removing barriers to trade and investment between both the EU and Southern Mediterranean countries and between the Southern Mediterranean countries themselves.”
In 1973 the UK electorate were duped into the false belief that the embryonic European Union was solely to be a free trade area (Common Market). It appears that a similar deception has also been taking place against the electors of the Southern Mediterranean countries and the African, Carribean, and Pacific group of states.
In terms of its’ structure the Union for the Mediterranean annual Presidency is held in rotation by each of the four members of the Bureau. The former Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Forum became converted into the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) in 2002. In March 2010, EMPA’s name was changed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM (PA UfM). According to this organisational chart PA UfM has five standing committees. These are
• Committee on Political Affairs, Security and Human Rights
• Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs, Social Affairs and Education
• Committee on Improving Quality of Life, Exchanges between Civil Societies and Culture
• Committee on Women’s Rights
• Committee on Energy, Environment and Water
At the 2008 Paris Summit it was agreed that the Anna Lindh Foundation along with the UN Alliance of Civilizations would be in charge of the cultural dimension of the Union for the Mediterranean. One example of Civil Society action is provided by reference to an online report issued by UNESCO. This revealed that Debate to Action, a five day, communications and leadership programme in Amman, Jordan was “organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Jordan Media Institute and Common Purpose International in partnership with UNESCO (through the EU-funded NET-MED Youth Project), the British Council (co-manager of Young Arab Voices), and the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.”
We have recently revealed in The Shared Societies Project – The World They Want that the Anna Lindh Foundation was to be “a Network of National Networks, established in each of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean and bringing together around 4000 civil society organisations.” These organisations include “NGOs, public institutions, foundations, and, local and regional authorities.” The Anna Lindh Foundation is Co-financed by the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Commission.
Further evidence of the presence of Common Purpose on the African Continent is provided by reference to the Africa Venture 2016 Report. Africa Venture, a Common Purpose programme run in collaboration with the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid, provides the “opportunity for a rising generation of leaders to interact with former Heads of State and Government from the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.” Key suggested outcomes of the programme on participating candidates includes:- leading beyond authority, growing cultural intelligence, collaborative working, building relationships and leveraging diversity.
The global reach of the European Union can now be better understood when the territory of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is added to that of the states comprising the Union For The Mediterranean (UfM).
The Commission for Africa
The Commission for Africa was established in early 2004 by Tony Blair.
Of the seventeen commissioners, three are from the UK. Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister who now leads a number of initiatives including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Africa Governance Initiative; Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the Commission for Africa; and Hilary Benn who was the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development at the time of the Commission for Africa. One commissioner, Nancy Kassebaum Baker, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Commissioners were supported by a small secretariat “made up of two members of the original secretariat – Myles Wickstead and Claire Hickson – and the consultancy Development Initiatives, with research input from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.” A short biography of Myles Wickstead can be found on the website of BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development). This tells us that he was formerly “Head of the British Development Division in Eastern Africa, and British Ambassador to Ethiopia.” The board of BOND is chaired by Caroline Nursey. She has also been Executive Director of BBC Media Action since 2009. BBC Media Action is another international development charity with a strong presence in africa and the middle east.
The Commission for Africa published its first report of 464 pages “Our Common Interest” on 11 March 2005. A follow-up report “Still Our Common Interest” was launched on 13 September 2010.
The Africa Progress Panel
The Africa Progress Panel was originally formed through a UK Government initiative following the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005 and the Commission for Africa Report in 2007. It was set up by Tony Blair to monitor official aid pledges. It consists of ten distinguished individuals from the private and public sector who advocate for equitable and sustainable development for Africa. The Panel builds coalitions to leverage and broker knowledge and to convene decision-makers to create change in Africa. The Panel has extensive networks of policy analysts and think tanks across Africa and the world.
The Africa Progress Panel is chaired by former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate, Kofi Annan, and consists of the following members:
• Michel Camdessus – Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
• Peter Eigen – Founder and Chair of the Advisory Council, Transparency International and Chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
• Bob Geldof – Musician, Businessman, Founder and Chair of Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8, Co-founder of DATA, and ONE
• Graça Machel – President of the Foundation for Community Development and founder of New faces New Voices.
• Strive Masiyiwa – Founder Econet Wireless
• Linah Mohohlo – Governor, Bank of Botswana
• Olusegun Obasanjo – Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General on the Great Lakes Regions and former President of Nigeria
• Robert Rubin – Co-Chairman of the Board, Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary of the United States Treasury
• Tidjane Thiam – Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse
The Africa Progress Panel monitors, on behalf of the United Nations, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Africa Progress Panel chair, Kofi Annan, is also chair of the Elders.
The original concept for the Elders was devised by Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel. The group was launched in 2007, with help from Nelson Mandela. It claims to be “an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.” They boast that they provide “an independent voice, not bound by the interests of any nation, government or institution”. Their claim of independence can be proven to be hollow.
For example, their advisory council members and donors include Richard Branson and Jean Oelwang (Virgin Unite); Peter Gabriel (The Peter Gabriel Foundation); Kathy Bushkin Calvin (The United Nations Foundation); Randy Newcomb and Pam Omidyar (Humanity United); Jeff Skoll and Sally Osberg (Skoll Foundation).
The Elders Strategic Framework 2014 – 2017 is directed towards the United Nations post-2015 development agenda.
Richard Branson is also closely linked to the United Nations Climate Change agenda. In 2009 he launched the Carbon War Room whose vision is “a world where over $1trillion invested in climate change solutions is an annual occurrence, not a historic milestone.”
The World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid “partners with governments, inter-governmental organisations, civil society, scholars and the business world…to foster social and political change.”
Of the twelve Elders six are also members of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid. These are Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland; Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile and former President of the Club of Madrid, and, Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.
Of the remaining Elders we noted with interest that Ela Bhatt is also a trustee at The Rockefeller Foundation.
The Clinton Global Initiative
The Clinton Global Initiative was established in 2005 by former United States President Bill Clinton. The Youtube video A Common Purpose – The Clinton Global Initiative promotes the concept of the golden triangle at work. Government, Business and Civil Society working together in partnerships to change the world.
Between 2005 and 2016 the CGI organisations “brought together more than 200 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel laureates, and hundreds of leading corporate CEOs, Presidents of foundations, Executive Directors of the most effective NGOs, and major philanthropists to commit to take action against the world’s most pressing challenges.” Four examples of the worlds most pressing challenges extracted from a range of CGI Commitments to Action includes:
• Global Leadership for Climate Action, the 2007 Commitment by the Club of Madrid and United Nations Foundation
• Virgin’s bill. Commitment to Renewable Energy Initiatives, Commitment by Virgin Group Limited
• Further, Faster, Together to a Clean, Low-Carbon Future, Commitment by Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon War Room (Richard Branson)
• 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, a globalist programme that we have already examined in our research article The Resilient Cities Programme: Another Threat to Individual Liberties?
2016 sponsors included: Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, and, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Clinton is also the founding chair of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI). The GFI claimed mission is to “promote a more equitable, sustainable approach to economic development for the world’s working poor by advancing fair wages, equal access to markets, and balanced public policy to generate opportunity and end the cycle of poverty.” Partners include the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, International Labor Organization, International Trade Center, The Prince of Wales, United States Agency for International Development, The World Bank, and, The Clinton Family Foundation.
Clinton Foundation work in Africa is focused on “strengthening health systems and expanding access to lifesaving treatments [my emphasis]; providing farmers with tools they need to increase their incomes and strengthen their communities; and addressing climate change by making forests and cities more sustainable.”
The Clinton Foundation is another NGO claiming that it “builds partnerships of great purpose between businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals.” Donna E. Shalala is the president of the Clinton Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which the late David Rockefeller had been involved with since 1949.
Clinton Foundation donors and grantors include many of the usual suspects such as: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Commonwealth of Australia; Dow Chemical Company; Exxonmobil; Microsoft; Monsanto Company; Open Society Institute (George Soros); PricewaterhouseCoopers; The Eranda Rothschild Foundation [The ERANDA Foundation]; The Rockefeller Foundation; The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc; Soros Foundation; United Nations Foundation; Virgin Group Limited, and, UK Department For International Development (DFID).
Former president Bill Clinton is currently Honorary Co-Chair of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.
In 2012 George Soros, through the Open Society Foundation (formerly Institute), spent £429,000 hiring Blair and his aides to help the leader of Guinea manage and execute his ambitious reform agenda. The money was paid via “Blair’s personal charity, the Africa Governance Initiative”.
In 2014 it was revealed that Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative had secured a £3.3 million funding deal in the Power Africa Initiative. This followed intense lobbying by Blair’s aides some seven months before bids for the contract were opened. This deal was with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which was, until February 2014, overseen by Hilary Clinton.
Writing in 2001 Gilles d’Aymery pointed out, in his article The Circle of Deception: Mapping the Human Rights Crowd in the Balkans, that
Behind the veil of legitimacy and humanitarian concerns can be found the same powerful people and organizations such as the Open Society Institute of the billionaire and – as always characterized – philanthropist, George Soros, the Ford Foundation…. and many more, financing and using a maze of well known NGO’s…….as well as more obscure entities. With the help of these various groups it is possible not only to shape but to create the news, the agenda and public opinion to further aims which are, in short, the control of the world, its natural resources and the furtherance of the uniform ideal of a perfect world polity.
As we have now discovered that very same process has been performed across the wider African region and beyond. NGOs, like those discussed in this article, are almost totally unaccountable to the public. Some commentators have put forward compelling arguments that their presence actually works to minimise meaningful public participation in political activities in the nations in which they operate. For example, James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer point out that
In most cases the NGOs are not even membership organizations but a self appointed elite which, under the pretence of being “resource people” for popular movements, in fact, competes with and undermines them. In this sense, NGOs undermine democracy by taking social programs and public debate out of the hands of the local people and their elected natural leaders and creating dependence on non-elected overseas officials and their anointed local officials.
This concentration of power into fewer and fewer hands and the rise of the NGOs and CSOs has been deliberately engineered at the global level.
Civil society organisations being used to undermine the Nation State
Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter established a consultative role for certain organisations which are neither governments nor member states. The acronym NGO stands for Non-Governmental Organisation although there exists another entity, the Civil Society Organisation or CSO. Whilst the term NGO may apply to any non-profit organisation, a CSO designation applies only to those NGOs that are accredited by the United Nations and hold “consultative status” through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
We were not surprised to discover that CSOs enjoying consultative status with the United Nations include the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute (George Soros), the Rockefeller Foundation, and, the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid.
Those readers who remain unfamiliar with the accelerating global plan of the United Nations are strongly advised to examine our e-book Agenda 21: Your Life in their hands. The UN Agenda 2030 programme, mentioned in this article, is a continuation of Agenda 21. The end goal is that all human activities are to be regulated, monitored and controlled.
It has now become evident that the processes of Globalisation and regionalisation have provided fertile ground that former presidents and prime ministers have been able to capitalise on through their involvement with NGOs and CSOs. Just as there was no public mandate for British Sovereignty to be pooled with the other nations of the European Union there was no popular mandate for our membership of the broader African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) nor the Union For The Mediterranean (UfM). These pan-regional structures are additional building blocks propelling us all towards a system of Global Government, the final form of which is yet to be revealed to the global public.
Africa unity and co-operation is the most welcome news of the decade. But whilst i welcome this event, i have to ask every one to be thinking critically, and remember that “not because a person is black, that they have the black man’s interest uppermost in their minds. Very often they have the house Slave mentality “ serving and looking after Massa’s interest, above his race and himself. There is the agenda of the former imperial and colonial powers to have their one world policy and if they can recolonise Africa and unite them under the pretext of a trade block with the help and encouragement of their house Niggas. they can deliver Africa on a plate. for a payoff. the EU is a typical case of the strangle hold that the North American has over the EU countries. Now they are vassal states of the USA. Africa will stand no chance.
This article was originally published by“ukcolumn”.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of BBC Blog.