February 15, 1999
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Washington D.C. 20515
RE: SUPPORT “HOPE For Africa Bill” and OPPOSE “AFRICA GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT” (H.R. 434).
It is said that “those who forget the lessons of history are bound to repeat them“. SLAVERY and COLONIALISM were products of European business entities. While slavery brutalized Africans who were brought to the Americas, colonialism did the same to those who remained at home. In both cases, some Africans (chiefs and others) who were showered with cheap favors, bribes of alcohol, clothing, guns, money and undeserved chieftainships by foreign agents, facilitated and promoted exploitation and raping of their own people.
Today, multi-national corporations are doing to Africa what their European counter-parts did a few centuries ago. They have sponsored “AFRICA GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT” (H.R. 434) and unleashed agents of African regimes which were propped up by the same corporations to come and try to convince you that this Bill will help Africa. In essence, this bill is meant to re-colonize that continent of ours by empowering foreign companies to dominate and control all economic resources; leaving nothing for local people who are yearning for economic empowerment and growth.
Last year, nearly 1000 Africans in the Washington Metro area signed a letter to U.S. Senators opposing this bad bill. Presidents Mandela, Nyerere and many other African nationalists also expressed their opposition to the Africa Trade Bill. Compassionate American organizations and citizens also oppose it.
We are writing to you at this critical moment when the survival of our continent is in the balance. We know so because we are true sons and daughters of Africa with roots deep in our people. We request that you co-sponsor and support Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. s “HOPE for Africa Bill“ as one way to save our continent from re-colonization by multi-national corporations. Between exploiters and the exploited, you shall have sided with the latter if you support the HOPE for Africa Bill. Thank you for supporting Africa s struggle for freedom, self-determination and independence.
Remigius Kintu, President