‘Will to be free from French colonialism’
Picture: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Taken on October 6, 2022 – Supporters of Burkina Faso’s new junta leader Ibrahim Traore hold national flags of Burkina Faso and Russia during a demonstration near the national radio and television headquarters (RTB) in Ouagadougou. Activist Ludovic Tapsoba sees Burkina Faso’s transitional President Traore as a ‘very determined’ person who has a desire to ‘free himself from colonial domination’.
By Maxim Grishenkin
August 5 marks Bukina Faso’s Independence Day, achieved from France 63 years ago. In honour of this event, Sputnik Africa interviewed Ludovic Tapsoba, deputy secretary general of the Association of Former Students and Trainees of the former USSR, to discuss the relevance of this milestone and the country’s present-day path.
Burkina Faso’s Independence Day is an expression of the nation’s will to liberate itself from French colonial rule and to stand on a par with the other countries, Ludovic Tapsoba told Sputnik Africa.
“It is the will of the Burkinabe people to free themselves from the French colonial power, so that they can promote their own development,” said the deputy general. “Through this independence, we wanted to be free, equal and fraternal with all the other peoples of the world.”
However, Tapsoba noted that for 63 years, Burkina Faso remained “tied to its coloniser” in the economic sphere, with a currency, agreements and the price of gold imposed by France.
According to the pundit, the aspiration for total independence is observed in the West African nation today, and the country is poised for economic self-sufficiency.
“In recent years, we’ve seen that not only is political independence increasingly asserted, but economic independence is, I’d say, on the way. We’re ready, really.” – Ludovic Tapsoba, Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Former Students and Trainees of the Former USSR
In this vein, Tapsoba pointed out that Burkina Faso’s Transitional President Ibrahim Traore is a “very determined” person who has a desire to “free himself from colonial domination”.
The activist also commented on Traore’s call for Africa to unite, made in an exclusive interview with Sputnik Africa.
Tapsoba echoed the leader of Burkina Faso, saying that African economies would gain from the integration of the Continent.
“Only the union of all these countries, in a single bloc, will really be able to consolidate Africa’s economy,” the Burkinabe stressed.
Tapsoba added that “it’s only through real, concrete pan-Africanism that we’ll be able to have a real impact on this economic development”.
Roots of Niger Situation
As for the situation in Niger, where rebels announced that they had overturned the elected president Mohamed Bazoum, the activist emphasised that the reason for this coup, and similar events in the region, is the “French policy of economic dominance”.
Nigerien Activist Calls Out West’s Hypocrisy
In particular, Tapsoba implied that colonists influence the price of uranium in the country and if a president of Niger wants to raise it, “he will be forced out of office”.
The activist added that similar social explosions could occur throughout Africa, for instance, in Benin, the former French colony, because “young people can no longer continue to be dominated by the West”.
On June 26, Niger’s military said during an address on national TV that President Mohamed Bazoum had been ousted, the borders closed, and a curfew declared.
Western leaders have raised alarm over the military coup in Niger, with Paris being the most active. France, Germany, the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) halted financial aid to the West African country.
Mozambique’s Gold Production Increases 53 percent
By Samantha Arias
Gold mining has a long history in the country, dating back over 1,000 years. The mineral has been ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world’s 7th most-traded product.
The National Information Agency of Mozambique has published data from the Q1 2023 on the Economic and Social Balance of the execution of the State Budget, reporting that gold production increased by 53 percent, amounting to a total of 346.3 kg so far.
According to the report, quoted by the national news agency, “this represents 26 percent of the total expected for 2023”.
The government stated economic growth in the gold industry, based on the short term industry indicators of the National Statistics Institute of Mozambique. In the first quarter of 2023 the amount was higher, compared with the 226 kg of the first quarter of 2022.
“This figure is higher when compared to the 226 kilos of gold produced in the first quarter of 2022. This performance is the result of good development of the companies in the sector, as well as the continuous exploration of hard deposits of rock, the launch of a new processing plant and the resumption of exploration activities in the central province of Manica,” reads the document.
Other metals have likewise seen a surge in production, with tantalise, ilmenite and zircon production also recording growth of 53 percent (64.5 tonnes), 48 percent (747.734 tonnes) and 11 percent (33.345 tonnes), respectively.
The Trading Economic analytic website predicted an increase in GDP Annual Growth Rate in the country by the end of the current quarter, largely driven by the mining sector.
The East African nation is expecting important growth over the next two years, the report indicated.
“GDP Annual Growth Rate in Mozambique is expected to be 4.5 percent by the end of this quarter,” the website reported based on global macro models and analysts’ expectations. “In the long-term, the Mozambique GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 8.1 percent in 2024 and 12.0 percent in 2025, according to our econometric models.”
However, the UN ECA African Minerals Development Centre, explained that there is no large scale gold mining and artisanal miners account for around “90 percent of Mozambique’s gold”, therefore, “artisanal mining has expanded considerably”, which means it creates diversification in the Mozambique mineral industry.
The top exports of Mozambique are gold, raw aluminum and coal briquettes, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity analytic platform.
Kenya’s Odinga Named as Ruto’s Rival at Next Elections
By Gleb Chugunov
William Ruto was declared president on August 15, 2022, six days after the general elections, by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Wafula Chebukati. He defeated Raila Odinga by 50.49 percent to 48.85 percent.
Leader of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya alliance, Raila Odinga, will reportedly be incumbent President WIlliam Ruto’s main opponent in the race for the forthcoming elections.
According to local news outlet, members of the president’s entourage made it apparent that the purpose of their speeches was to announce president Ruto’s candidacy for a second term while the nation’s leader paid a five-day trip to the Mt. Kenya region.
“We want to make it very clear that this is our President who was elected in broad daylight and in accordance with our legal institutions […] He is the one we in the mountain support now, in 2027 and beyond,” Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has stated.
Ruto’s entourage went on to refer to Odinga as “Kimundu kiu”, which is roughly translated as “that flawed person” and said he would not be allowed to take advantage of the benefits of being in power.
The president used the slang phrase to declare in Kirinyaga County that he intended to put a stop to Odinga’s political career by forcing him into retirement.
“I now have only one task left, to take this man to Bondo,” Ruto stated.
The governors who are hosting the visit alongside Gachagua – Kimani wa Matangi (Kiambu county), Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a county), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga county), and Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri county) – have all vowed to support the current president in his bid for reelection in 2027.
Odinga will be 84 by the general election in 2027, and 90 by the next one in 2032.
These articles were first published on Sputnik