Africa's Place in the Multi-Polar Order with Fadhel Kaboub
Manage episode 348092419 series 2809925
**Thank you to our listeners! Can you believe this is our 200th episode? Crazy, right? Well, it wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of a dedicated team. Our sound editor and engineer, Andy Kennedy, has spent thousands of hours (literally) producing these weekly gems. Then there’s the diligent band of copy editors—Brad Sandler, Jonathan Kadmon, Jay Spencer, and yours truly, Virginia Cotts, (plus, in earlier days, Rose Ann Rabiola Miele and Rob Baxter)—who pore over every AI-generated transcript, correcting mistakes and fixing punctuation for clarity. Julie Alberding, the RP website’s reigning eminence, created the layout. Each week she meticulously formats and posts the transcript, show notes, and extras. And let’s not forget our inimitable host, Steve Grumbine, who invites us along on his personal quest for knowledge. The journey has resulted in some unforgettable interviews, invaluable content, and a few “aha!” moments.**
It’s fitting that our 200th episode is also Fadhel Kaboub’s 10th. Fadhel is the non-economist's economist. You don’t need a new language to learn from him. In this episode he revisits some familiar themes, expands upon them and draws conclusions that... well, they just make so much sense.
He looks at global changes, post-2008, post-Covid, and post-Russia/Ukraine. To avoid future disruptions to the supply chain, the three major power blocs—the US and North America, the EU and western Europe, and China, with Russia and central Asia in the hub—are looking to repatriate strategic industries. They are consolidating their sovereignty in terms of food, energy, high-tech manufacturing, strategic industries, and geopolitical, geostrategic sovereignty within each region. That leaves the global South as the place all three blocs perceive as the source of cheap raw materials, the dumping-ground for surplus output, and the site for low-cost assembly line manufacturing.
“So that's the world that is emerging. The question for me and for the global South in general, and for Africa as a continent in particular, how do we position ourselves on this new map? And I think I said it before to you on the show, Steve. If you don't have a long-term strategic vision for yourself, you're going to be part of somebody else's strategic vision.”
Fadhel proceeds to describe the structural deficiencies that neocolonial nations must overcome and then lays out his vision for the solution.
“And that's been one of the most important things that I'm trying to convey to global South activists, academics, public intellectuals, and people who have influence in government policy on the African continent, is formulating that coherent pan-African vision for economic sovereignty, food sovereignty, energy sovereignty, technological sovereignty, and then leveraging that coherent vision—on African terms—to partner with anybody, including China.”
He talks about the IMF and its debt traps. He talks about the built-in roadblocks on the path to energy independence. He talks of the need for truth and reconciliation commissions and looks at what post-colonial reparations must include. If you made a diagram of this discussion, there would be arrows connecting each piece to all the others. Sounds dialectical, doesn’t it?
Dr. Fadhel Kaboub is an Associate Professor of Economics at Denison University and President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.
@FadhelKaboub on Twitter