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ECOWAS – ECCAS: Good thinking

Arms struggle which is the greatest distracting race in both ECOWAS and ECCAS is inhibiting human development and prosperity in the two regions and calls for common front to tackle it.
Victor C. Ariole
Generally trade deficits result from how resources are allocated in an interconnected global economy and are natural reflections of the global value chain and international division of labour
Between recreating the past which was what Professor Peter Drucker saw in Europe in the thirties that made him relocate to USA where he smelt that the future existed and could be created instantly to lead to innovation, the world is in such phase now and as Dr Zhou seems to narrate it in the article I read, it is USA recreating the past now while CHINA wants to create the future in line with innovation dictates.
Bringing Africa in the equation, it is like Africa with its abundant resources both material and human needs China to escape further doldrums in the evolving world of innovation. Africa is accused of letting out its abundant human resource in forced migration process while China is accused of letting out its excess profits hence trade war that could eventually translate to human wars, as it happened when Peter Drucker decided to leave Europe in 1935, if not well managed. Quixotically, they are all structural issues quite resolvable by humans distinct from more complex and multidimensional issues like quarantining the moon so as to explore the solar system.
Dr Zhou needed to tell us more about the division of labour so as to balance it with the rule-based system which, as Henry Kissinger said, is begging for reforms and he seemed to give credit to president Donald Trump for fast-forwarding that reform process. It is in line with that that the recent coming together of ECOWAS and ECCAS, two African regions that seem not to be making impact in even the American AGOA initiatives not to talk of the world GDP, comes in. With stronger presence of these two regions who are not benefitting from World Trade Organisation and which Nigeria quickly signed to belong, there should be ‘no sitting on the fence’  for Nigeria not to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The Emir of Kano, Sanusi, feels it is imperative for Nigeria to sign that agreement if indeed it is interested in exiting the most poverty ridden country tag trap. Arms struggle which is the greatest distracting race in both ECOWAS and ECCAS is inhibiting human development and prosperity in the two regions and calls for common front to tackle it.
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According to JeuneAfrique, these two regions are wasting their resources in arms struggle keeping poorly maintained troops with Nigeria having 162,000 and Cote d’Ivoire having 42,000 struggling to face imaginary brother enemies in the East and North of Africa who are also parading more than 600,000 poorly maintained troops. It is either arms struggle against Boko Haram or Balaka and anti Balaka or Seleka or anti Seleka or Secession groups in Cameroun or Tuareg engineered wars in the north or currently farmers and herdsmen clashes; all supported by some foreign interests who are more interested in being allowed to exploit what Zhou could easily see as enabling resource for the greater global value chain that enables the current $62trillion world GDP.
Within the surroundings of Chad basin alone such enabling resources like uranium, metals and crude oil are greatly exploited by the big powers and the insurgencies going on there dare not intervene. And it is said that Africa does not contribute up to 0.33% of the global and whereas a company that feeds on the metal exploits that is tormenting Congo DR and other African countries could boast of $1trillion dollar worth. Why can’t someone see in the African contribution as the seed and constant contribution without which the whole GDP architecture of the world could not stand?
According to Sanusi, it is high time African leaders sat on a round table with the West and talk of how many solar panels could be built to sustain electricity supply and create industries instead of sitting down to discuss arms provision. In effect discussing immigration should not be an African problem as over 8 million unemployed youths, trained in the European values, must seek for greener pastures where their value orienta tion can find fulfilment.

Here is where the idea of a global value chain and division of labour is not completely connecting, and thanks to Ethiopia – China experiment in the energy creation, and trying to open up the Djibouti axis and getting Eritrea to follow suit and abandon belligerence matter. These are lessons to get ECOWAS and ECCAS to hasten their pace of connectivity. Note that the recent initiative of the leader of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed to reconcile that axis that leads to Indian Ocean or the Red Sea had seen China devote $4billion to that effect.
It is also expected that Chad Basin that links ECOWAS AND ECCAS be joined in such venture to help in actualising the next economic reform championed by China that expresses itself in the SILK ROAD ECONOMIC BELT PROJECT. It is a project that could help re position Africa in the quest for a better appreciation of its contribution to humanity at large.Nigeria and its leaders needed to get the project started for the progress of both ECOWAS and ECCAS as more people would be employed across borders if only China should allow more Africans to participate effectively and not make it another arms struggle project like Nima Elbagir narrated the case of China’s arm sales in Darfur in favour of the Janjaweed fighters.
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So, as Nigeria takes on the ECCAS in a bid to move Africa forward, it should also learn how Central African Republic survived its own Boko Haram brand in the name of Selaka or anti Balaka movements contrived by Michel who hid under christian name to introduce a trojan-like horse that invaded the north of Central African Republic only to be rescued by France’s intervention. Note that within the borders of CAR are stationed over 300,000 Sudanese troops and somehow from the western side some disorganised Ghadaffi loyalists hiding in Chad and seeking opportunity to overrun CAR. This is a belt zone not far from Nigeria’s north east and quite linkable.
So, great expectations are expected from what President Faure Gnasingbe bequeathed to Nigerian president so that peace reigns in ECOWAS and ECCAS for the uplift of Africa.
Ariole is a Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Lagos

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