When I was looking for the title for my Malawi project I’ve chosen a cite from the book of Joseph Conrads “heart of darkness”: “Exterminate all the brutes” describes the character of the classical imperialist, the insulanian, who came to impose his way of living, his moral and religion onto another world.
Some of us might believe, that this a view from the old colonialstic times. Malawi is just a free country for 40 years now and the western companies have found new ways to put african countries in their dependency.
I would like to remind of the “memorandum of understanding”, that Microsoft tried to do with the education Minister in Malawi about a year ago, so that the Microsoft operating system has to be used in Malawian schools only.
That time some students and systemadministrators of the University of Malawi have prevented this “pact with the devil” by writing an open letter. Even Bill Gates himself seems to have understood, that the fight on the operating systems is already lost for him. Why else should he quit Microsoft and do more engagement for his “Bill & Melinda Gates Foudation”? The Gates are wageing a neoimperialist crusade with the spreading of genetically manipulated seeds and american pharmaproducts. It’s also grotesk to read the following statement on the Gates Foundation Website: “And because information can change lives, we support public access to computing in libraries worldwide.”
Bill Gates didn’t support in his past the standardisation of formats (e.g. Open Document Format) but supports the introduction of softwarepatents in the european government.
But Bill Gates and Microsoft are only two examples out of the large comples image of africa. Many other western companies and single person own big parts of the local economies. The Tea plantations that go from the south of Blantyre down until Moçambique are almost all into the hands of white Landlords. While the malawian workers are employed for a very poor salery.
The seeds, that are sold to the Malawians in the shops are sold as “newest technology” and contain genetically manipulated sterile seeds, that can not be used after growing for producing seeds again, but has to be bought every year because of the sterile seed.
This principle describes the same way, that DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) works. Music, that is digitally DRM tagged, can only be listened to for a restricted time and cannot be used any more afterwards. This method of selfdestruction is imposed after an american model to other cultures and leads to the destruction of culture and culture-goods.
Today the “American Corner Blanytre” was opened. An extension of the Library of the Polytechnic, that should be accessible to the public and not only to the students of the University. Under the argument to provide Malawi a plattform for knowledge and education, the american government evangelises and propagates its own country ind Malawi.
In this way a lot of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisation) are doing propaganda for western products. The strategy to sell african citizens anti-AIDS vaccine emerges to be a marketingstrategy much more than development aid. The moneys, that flow through the NGOs into such projects are flowing directly back into the western worlds pharma industies. Meanwhile the africans remain with their role of a guinea pig.
Also Madonna would better give away her music to the world using the creative commons license, than to go on a shoppingtour to Malawi to buy a new kid like a new handbag.
The spriral of neoimperialism makes it hard for african countries to stand on their own feet.