Time for a Marshall Plan for Africa? - Edofolks.com
Time for a Marshall Plan for Africa?
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Dear Recipient:

Perhaps the devastation that Africa endures today is seen as incomparable to that faced by Europe after the second world war. The effect is the same. A continent that is bankrupt and unable to repay crippling debts.

Why is the the world not willing today to effect a Marshall Plan for Africa. Can it be that because the affinity of a common origin is lacking (I refuse to use the word racism) or is it because nobody in the proper position is confronting the world with the parallels between a prostrate Europe in 1947 and a prostrate Africa in 2000.

It is time to canvass for a similar rescue package for Africa. What was the Marshall Plan?

A coordinated effort by the U.S. and many nations of Europe to foster European economic recovery after WORLD WAR II. First urged (June 5, 1947) by U.S. Sec. of State George C. MARSHALL, the program was administered by the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) and from 1948 to 1951 dispensed more than $12 billion in American aid.

Extracts

1. “The remedy lies in breaking the vicious circle and restoring the confidence of the [European] people in the economic future of their own countries and of Europe as a whole.”

2. ” Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all.  It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace.  Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist. Such assistance, I am convinced, must not be on a piecemeal basis as various crises develop. Any assistance that this Government may render in the future should provide a cure rather than a mere palliative.”

3. Furthermore, the people of this country are distant from the troubled areas of the earth and it is hard for them to comprehend the plight and consequent reactions of the long-suffering peoples, and the effect of those reactions on their governments in connection with our efforts to promote peace in the world.

4. The truth of the matter is that Europe’s requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products – principally from America – are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character.

5. Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all. It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace.

– GENERAL GEORGE C. MARSHALL,
SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES
AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY, JUNE 5, 1947

Wole Akande
Republic of Ireland

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