Forced by France to Pay Colonial Tax

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Ivory Coast soldiers parade take part in a celebration commemorating 50 years of Ivorian independence as they carry the flags of African nations also celebrating their 50th independence day in AbidjanWe think of colonialism as an enduring stain in Africa’s history – a thing of the not-so-distant past that still lingers, haunts, and dictates the lived realities of generations. But even as most of us realize exploitation and economic oppression continue to exist in myriad forms, one stunningly blatant practice goes largely unnoticed. Earlier this year, an article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, peace activist and editor of SiliconAfrica.com addressed this practice.

The article called attention to an ongoing practice by which former African countries are forced to pay a colonial tax to France – even today. In fact, France continues to thrive on the practice, which extracts approximately 500 billion dollars from African countries each year.

As Koutonin notes, this outrageous tax deprives African economies of much needed funds, exacerbates debt, and strips their authority over their own natural reserves. But the detriments are more than just economic, as the ills of colonialism manifest in social ways that are equally devastating to the dignity and identity of the African people.

The article lists eleven compelling reasons why this exploitative practice keeps Africa locked in the grips of French colonialism and begs the question: are we in a post-colonial age or is colonialism simply flourishing under a different guise?

For more, see the article “14 African Countries Forced by France to Pay Colonial Tax For the Benefits of Slavery and Colonization.”
Photo credit: Revolutionary Frontlines