14 African Countries Forced by France to Pay Colonial Tax For the Benefits of Slavery and Colonization
This articles summarizes a 50-year old pact France holds with a majority of its former African colonies demanding a tax for the benefits of colonialism. Originally created as an alternative to the French destroying in-country infrastructure, this 11-point pact demands allegiance and continued compliance from the former colonies.
|article||10 minutes||MAWUNA REMARQUE KOUTONIN||01-28-2014||http://www.siliconafrica.com/|
|mawuna remarque koutonin||2018-08-07 00:00:00 UTC|
In this Silicon Africa article, Mawuna Remarque Koutonin argues the ‘colonial-tax’ pact has been influential in shaping French African nations’ identities and limited their economic independence. The pact, which is continued today, is argued to be an ‘almost psychopathic’ exploitation of France’s past colonies. In addition to paying an annual debt, former French colonies are forced to keep at least 50% of federal reserves in French banks, give France the right to reject other country’s resource extraction bids and make French the national language, as well as use their own versions of French currency.
Koutonin describes how the French lost control of their colonies and reacted with harsh ultimatums, effectively forcing a continued subservience that continues through today. In 1958, Guinea won a long fought popular resistance to the French colonial rule. In response, an angry French colonial elite left with all their property and destroyed any existing infrastructure, from schools and bridges to tractors and books.
As the articles explains, Togo received independence five years later. This time, instead of allowing the French to destroy the country, the new Togolese government agreed to an 11-point pact, that included, among other things, a colonial tax to keep the infrastructure in country. The French also demanded that they be allowed to keep foreign legion troops in Togo. Other French countries followed suit in over the next decade. At the time, this was acknowledged as continued colonialism, but many countries were under experienced and under resourced, and could not afford to have the existing infrastructure destroyed.
Koutonin and others consider this to be a form of modern colonialism.
In this article the colonial tax is described as a tax linked directly to their colonial past. Few other resources shed light on the subject with similar confidence. But, many, such as Jason Hinkel in this Guardian article, use research to support the claim that ex-colonies still pay a large portion of money to European countries.
European destruction of resources upon exiting colonies occurred elsewhere too. In Mozambique, Portuguese settlers destroyed infrastructure when they left, leaving the country in disarray. The Portuguese and other European countries set the newly independent Mozambique further back by supporting the destructive Renamo rebel group during the Mozambique civil war from 1975-93.