African Health Sovereignty

The concept of “legitimate defense” feeds a priori the idea that if someone finds himself in a situation of extreme danger, he is allowed to use any means to save his life, including if it is done at the expense of the life of the alleged adversary.

It therefore seems that when colonizing us several centuries ago, the Europeans considered that their citizens were in extreme danger because, among other things, they did not have enough food at home. It was supposedly simpler, cheaper and faster for them to come and take possession of our territories and our resources by force of arms and enslave our peoples rather than implement projects to improve agricultural or other yields at home. So, without our having done anything to deserve it, our European colonizers succeeded in making us Africans their adversaries.

This philosophy (seeking to live better at the expense of others) refers to the doctrine that the Nazis later defined under the concept “Lebensraum”, or “Living space”. The Germans felt that their own “living space” was too small for them. The Nazis therefore wanted to expand this space at the expense of other European countries to make their own citizens comfortable. Hitler then put forward this “argument” (increase in Germanic living space) to justify the progressive invasion of other European countries and, as a consequence, started the Second World War.

But times have changed a great deal since the last Great War and the discourse to call new soldiers to military work has reached its limits. The majority of young people no longer agree to embrace a military activity where the risk of losing one’s life is very real. The military tool to enslave others has therefore largely lost its appeal in favor of alternative economic and commercial methods that pursue the same goal. But these practices in question are always based, more or less, on some self-interested interpretation of the concept of Living Space mentioned above.

In this logic, apart from the Russia/Ukraine war which serves as an exception, confrontations by military means between the States have given way to muscular verbal contests within the WTO (World Trade Organization). In this respect, the Doha round of negotiations under the aegis of the WTO, focusing essentially on agriculture, will have been an interminable series of recriminations between the EU countries on the one hand and the Asian countries and American ones on the other before ending in a bitter failure for everyone. Today, the WTO is still handicapped to do its job properly. The de facto “spokespersons” of the EU in these Doha negotiations were the representatives of the French State, which has always shown itself to be intractable on everything concerning food control, as French standards (draped in EU) are self-considered superior to all other standards around the world, starting with those of the Codex Alimentarius on which France, like the other member countries, must obviously have given its approval.

But it is no coincidence that has established France as the omnipotent standard-bearer of the EU for everything relating to agricultural resources, including standards in particular. The gluttony of Europeans for African resources at low prices combined with the control of France over a large part of our Continent, West Africa in particular, through the CFA Franc and the French language, has favored France to become an unparalleled “EU hub” for what concerns the postcolonial control of inter-African trade and towards the EU. The purpose of these maneuvers, which has not changed since the colonial era and which all Africans now understand, is to extend at will the very asymmetrical trade between the countries of our Continent and the EU.

To contribute to this objective, many private organizations for the control of agri-food products, coming from different European countries, have concentrated in France — as an example, there is the SGS, Bureau Veritas, Intertek, Tüv Rheinland and many others — to continue, as in the days of colonization, the management of our African trade from afar.

However, by interfering in our controls of food and similar products, France and its associates acquire de facto access to working conditions within our companies, including information relating to prices, quality and working conditions such as purchases of Raw Materials and sales of Finished Products. This information, and others derived from it (equipment in place in the companies and manufacturing processes, etc.), are processed by the above-mentioned control bodies and others of their pro-European colleagues in serving their countries to maintain the stranglehold of countries of the EU on our wealth and, also, to steer the course of our trade in the direction that is even more favorable to them.

France derives the greatest benefit from its preeminent position over other EU countries on food control standards in trade with the former colonies of Europe. But this same Franco-European narcissistic attitude has infuriated other EU partners around the world including India, the USA, Latin America and others. At the same time, this French inflexibility has sometimes clashed head-on with the interests of Germany, whose agri-food trade is not, unlike France, at the top of its priorities.

In this regard, the condemnation in recent days by France of the candidacy of the American Mrs. Fiona Scott Morton as the next chief competition economist within the Brussels Commission has had no effect on the decision of the president, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, who confirmed the maintenance of the American candidate for this high position of responsibility within the EU commission, to the great displeasure of Paris. And Germany has not moved a finger to support France. In addition to being rejected here and there in the world, the French state must now feel quite alone if its EU partners are starting to turn their backs on him.

But France is known for having, and wanting to keep, this haughty attitude since the day after the Second World War. While France itself lost the war against Germany, the French state prides itself on being one of the great powers that guide the world. And it is true that some thirty years ago and beyond, the French trade balance was still in surplus and justified France’s enthusiasm to indulge in a role of great power. Today, France’s debt is close to that of Italy and is getting closer every day to that of Greece, the most indebted country of the EU states. And to make matters worse, more and more African countries refuse to cooperate with the French and ask them to leave Africa.

This rejection of the French presence in Africa has been accentuated since the involvement of France in the activity for recycling products imported originally from China, Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere has revealed to the great day the gloomy role that French operators, among a swarm of European speculators, assume in the resale of a very large number of products of non-European origin after their “redefinition” of form in the “Made in EU” mode for facilitating the sale in our African countries with fabulous profit margins for these intermediaries. The above certification bodies play a central role in this speculative but highly lucrative trade.

But nowadays, more and more countries have become aware of this rent economy that the Europeans have developed on our backs, with the active support of the expertise and certification bodies mentioned above, and want to put an end to this masquerade. Moreover, it would be highly surprising if this type of traffic could go unnoticed by our government officials. But if so, why are these people (our government officials) doing nothing to stop this hemorrhage of our meager corporate finances going into the pockets of these well-to-do but ever-hungry organizations to earn more from us.

Not being a civil servant ourselves, we do not claim to have the ultimate answer to this question. But, if there is no cabal here, there remains reasoning.

It is obvious that bringing some order to the work of these EU consulting firms, for advice, expertise and certification, which want to continue to dictate our conduct to us from their headquarters in Europe (in France) can be beneficial to the emergence of African national skills in the field. It cannot be otherwise. So, if our government officials (in Morocco and probably elsewhere in Africa too) concerned do not react, it is perhaps because they are unable to. For example, France has not stopped since the independence of Morocco to have our Moroccan government officials sign partnership agreements of all kinds on behalf of His Majesty’s Government and perhaps diabolical clauses have been slipped in here and there which handicap the liberation of some of our activities from French supervision. We think in priority of the ONSSA (National Office for Sanitary Safety of Food Products), the LOARC (Official Laboratory of Chemical Analysis and Research), Morocco Foodex (ex-EACCE, establishment created by colonial France), and organizations that perform the same type of function. The IMANOR (Moroccan Institute for Standardization), which certifies on behalf of the State and controls its own work outside of common sense and the standards in force at the international level, should also be part of these organizations to be overhauled.

Another scenario is more plausible for us. In this regard, one of our former prime ministers has just been sworn in as an expert psychiatrist in Casablanca. We highly salute this doctor who shows all Moroccans that he is capable of living from his own work outside the “politician profession”. Unfortunately, there are not many of them. The result is that among our rulers, and yet deciders on our behalf, many (not all) are specialists in politician politics. In other words, among these people there are some who would not know how to make a living if they were excluded from the political sphere. There are, however, many among this category of pseudo-leaders who decide on the choice of priorities for government action to redefine the place that belongs to Morocco today among other nations.

I personally have doubts that this category of people has sufficient awareness that there is no place for Morocco’s leadership among African nations without confirmed leadership on the health sovereignty of our nation. But, that would surely be beyond the comprehension of the spirits to which I refer.

Of course, if career politicians in our country do not show themselves capable of establishing (African) national health sovereignty on bases equivalent to those of the countries which oppress us economically and commercially, it is not a reason for us, civil society, to stand idly by. It is not too late to act, starting by reflecting on the methods of launching an African certification and expertise firm, very african, whose ultimate goal will be to aim for regulatory competition with other Pro-European firms, particularly in terms of honesty and the Quality/Price ratios of the interventions. It is in this way, and in this way only, that we will have a chance of succeeding in balancing the commercial and economic conditions of competition in our trade with other extra-African nations.

This blog will gladly welcome for dissemination any initiative that goes in the direction of this objective.