African Countries Still Pay Over $500 Billion as Colonial Tax to France Each Year

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When Sekou Toure of Guinea Conakry triggered the abandonment of France (Independence),

the French government ordered home three thousand Frenchmen from the country.

They were asked to take with them, all their possessions and everything that was under French control in the country and destroying all that could not be moved.

Among the things that were destroyed across the country were schools, nurseries, buildings of public administrations, important national records and plans, cars, books, and medicines,

The gigantic destruction covered also, instruments of research institutes, tractors for agriculture, roads; horses, cows on farms were killed, and stored foods were burned or poisoned.

In solidarity, and as a concern for this this horrible act against the people of Guinea, the President of Ghana at the time, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had to offer £10 million of Ghana’s economic reserve to support Guinea in order that the country can survive this turmoil!

The aim of this scandalous act was to send a clear message to all the other colonies about the consequences of France’s rejection.

The fact is that little by little, the fear seized the African elites, and after these events no other country ever found the courage to follow the example of Sékou Touré, whose slogan was “We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery “.

For any newly independent country thereafter, it was necessary to find compromises with France.

Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, a small country in West Africa, found a solution likely to calm the French:

Not wanting to continue to undergo French domination, he refused to sign the colonial pact proposed by De Gaule, but agreed in return to pay an annual debt to France for the so-called benefits obtained during the French colonization.

This was the only condition for France not to destroy the country before leaving. However, the amount estimated by France was so large that the reimbursement of the so-called “colonial debt” was close to 40% of the country’s budget in 1963.

Senior tax collectors sitting close to the tax users

Consequently, the financial situation of just independent Togo was very unstable, and in order to get out of this situation, Olympio decided to leave the monetary system set up by colonial France the FCFA (franc of the French colonies of Africa), and created the currency of the country.

On January 13, 1963, three days after he began printing the new bills, a squad of soldiers (supported by France) seized and killed the first elected president of independent Africa: Olympio was executed by an ex French legionnaire, the sergeant of the army Etienne Gnassingbe who, at the same time, received a bonus of 612 dollars from the local French embassy for the success of his mission.

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