Commonwealth for Africa


I am writing this article from Algeria, on the other side of the Mediterranean. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to North and West African, starting from Algeria, is one of the most meaningful and featured trips in recent years. The countries he will visit – Mauritania, Senegal, Mali and Algeria – transferred from French colonialism to independence in starting in the 1960s. In fact, the independence adventures of these countries can also be read as a political end of the Algerian War of Independence, which lasted eight years between 1954 and 1962 and cost the lives of 1 million Algerians.

With Algeria's resistance, France realized that nothing could remain the same anymore and paved the way for independence of other colonies in the region to prevent a domino effect from Algeria.

We know that Western colonizers have not kept their hands off Africa, especially Algeria, after declaring formal independence. These countries, which have powerful natural resources and geographical richness, especially in fossil fuels, could not properly assess their resources until recently due to the West's policy of weaken, divide and rule through civil war, and became the victims of turmoil, internal strife and terrorism.

Algeria is the world's third-most natural gas and 10th-most oil. Algeria is also one of the most important countries in the world in terms of hydrocarbons.

Today, if these four countries, all former French colonies, combine their underground and surface riches, and if these are rightfully commercialized, they would be among the wealthiest countries in the world. Now, however, they are among the poorest countries in the world.

Can this situation be quickly reversed? In other words, can resource-rich African countries, starting from North Africa, quickly climb to the league of rich countries by including these resources in global trade and finance in line with their own interests?

Here, Turkey says today is the right time. Just like the saying goes, tomorrow is too late, yesterday is over and now is exactly the right moment. Now is the right moment, because the current global crisis is also the greatest economic and political crisis that has been experienced by the West since the Industrial Revolution, but this crisis also reveals the dynamics of a great transformation for eastern and southern countries. Britain, which began the Industrial Revolution, spread the technology of this revolution to the West, and the economic-political hierarchy of the world was established accordingly. In the current industrial revolution, on the other hand, Asia is spreading technologies that are the drift of the new industrial transformation, in contradiction to common practice and the West.

Britain formed a vertical network of technology with the Industrial Revolution and the West's mercantilist loot until the Industrial Revolution was combined with this network to establish an absolute Western sovereignty-colonial system. This is now breaking. The new technology revolution makes it necessary to have multiple and widespread information networks, infinite sharing of information and horizontal technology exchange. More precisely, the essence and fiction of this new revolution sits on horizontal, multiple sharing. In this sense, for example, Algeria now has the possibility to re-evaluate its hydrocarbon richness with more advanced technologies than the West. What is important here is that these countries should move away from the colonial ideology of the West politically and ideologically through good political leadership. They should create a new, independent understanding in the economy in the country.

Actually, this is exactly what Turkey is doing together with Erdoğan. This is the journey of the East's great transformation starting from Turkey.

It is no exaggeration to say this transformation in this region starting from Eastern Europe, extending to the Caspian and also covering North Africa on the other side, has the possibility of a commonwealth union headquartered in Turkey is born with its great transformation.

Britain started the Industrial Revolution with the claim of a commonwealth. This ideal, which can be translated as common welfare, is in fact only meant as welfare for the mainland, i.e., Britain, and to be content with what remains from this prosperity, even for those in Britain. The current industrial revolution is multi-centered in essence, and the more commonwealth is widespread, the more likely it will be to replace the former. In this respect, the creation of common prosperity in Asian countries in the Pacific and countries in Eurasia like Turkey correspond to such a paradigm separating itself from the former qualitatively is the true commonwealth.

In this context, what Venezuela is doing in Latin America today can be also done by Algeria in Africa. Venezuela has recently introduced the Petro, a digital currency unit linked to oil deposits. I think the Petro is a very significant and real start. Countries with rich natural resources can create new monetary systems, taking advantage of the possibilities of digital network technology and depending on these sources in the first stage. Turkey will support these steps enthusiastically. Today, the commercial dominance of the dollar is the lone cause of the global crisis, and in fact, this monetary system is theoretically over.

The main point, of course, is the ending of Western-oriented economic fallacies. When this is over, colonialism, which caused millions of people to die, especially in Africa, eastern and southern countries, will literally end.

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