Africa deserves a version of the Marshall Plan, reconstruction and assistance, similar to that given to postwar Europe, after the years of “colonial rape” it suffered, U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has suggested.
“In order for countries to overcome disparities, they need to get fair trade and favored-nation trade status to cover the ravages of war and occupation and colonization. The formula was good for European reconstruction — it should apply to Africa,” Jackson told a legal gathering called the Kuramo Conference as reported by AP.
However, the Marshall Plan, proposed by the U.S. to rebuild Europe after WW II, cost roughly $13 billion at the time. But designing a plan on such a large scale would require increased accountability in African nations.
While Jackson agrees that issues of accountability amongst African nations will prove an impediment to such a plan, he said Western nations had an obligation to the countries they once occupied. Nonetheless Jackson offered no estimates on what new roads, sewer and building construction would cost across the continent.
Experts also believe the major problem with a Marshall Plan in Africa is accountability. Nigeria for example has an estimated $380 billion loss in embezzlement from crude oil revenues since its independence from Britain in 1960.
Recognizing the level of corruption across Africa by looking at Nigeria as a case study, Jackson admits that the people of Africa needed to demand accountability from their leaders.
Using Nigeria as a case study, Jackson also reiterated the need for transparent and mutually beneficial relationships between Western and African nations.
“Nigeria needs allies and help. Look at the impact of its oil-trading partners, who have benefited so handsomely from a relationship that is not mutually beneficial,” he told reporters in Nigeria.
The Marshall Plan was the primary program, 1947–51, of the United States for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Europe.
By 1952 as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels; for all Marshall plan recipients, output in 1951 was 35% higher than in 1938.
Over the next two decades, Western Europe enjoyed unparalleled growth and prosperity, but economists are not sure what proportion was due directly to the Marshall Plan, what percentage indirectly, and how much would have happened without it.