On June 16, 1976, the fascist regime of South Africa murdered scores of African Youth in Soweto for simply protesting European, racist, colonial education. Africa’s children worldwide have long been sacrificed at the hands of imperialism. Millions of African children have been forced into or caught between the military and mercenary forces funded by foreign economic and strategic interests. Millions of dollars, pounds, francs, and marks are spent to protect the economic interests of foreign corporations in Africa. Shell has its own private army in Nigeria. More than 30 million was spent on mercenary forces in Sierra Leone to protect diamond interests. Our children suffer most in these conflicts. In the 1980s African youth in the United States were used as cannon fodder by the CIA to fund its illegal covert war in Nicaragua, pumping in millions of dollars of cocaine into African neighborhoods. The mortality rate of African children is the highest in the world.
There is a direct connection between the imperialist military machine and destruction of children around the world. The British and United States bombings and sanctions in Iraq caused an estimated 5000 youth to die each month. The war in the Gulf was about controlling oil—weapons are a secondary question.
The interest of corporate wealth is what shapes foreign policy in capitalist countries. Children are misused and exploited in factories from Asia to the Caribbean to produce everything from tennis shoes to baseballs at wages that won’t buy a decent meal and surely not the products they produce. Corporate icons like “Disney” and “Nike” are used to soften the image of imperialism and add to the cultural domination of our youth. While the youth of the world suffer and die, the corporate CEO of Disney earns tens of millions.
“Therefore, every social class, every man, every women, every youth in Africa is directly affected by anything that may influence Africa’s future political, economic, social or cultural (life). It is (our) duty to labor to speed the pace of our people’s progress.” — Seku Toure
Imperialism in this modern day “trail of tears” reduces one child to an under-paid wage-earning slave, one to a mindless consumer, and another to a mercenary on the frontline of the battle. Today, in some villages there are more children with guns in their hands than books. Who produces the guns, where do they come from? Who profits even during war? The answer is simple: The same corporations.
Only a Unified, Socialist Africa can protect our children from foreign domination!