We have asked if Sub-Saharan Africa can really be considered 'post-colonial,' and concluded that it cannot. When the More Able butt up against the Less Able, the power dynamic can be so uneven that normal relations are impossible. Westerners (and, increasingly, Easterners) just can't seem to keep their fingers out of all those little pies, commercial or humanitarian. But the doctrine of international relations today says that all peoples sit at the same table, negotiating as equals.
If it were proved tomorrow, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Sub-Saharans as a group were far less able than Westerners,... what would be the right policy response? We at Those Who Can See argue that such a policy framework is not hard to imagine-- as it is largely the one being used now.
World Trade Organization: Do we all belong at the Grown-ups' table?
1) Trade policy
We don't force children to play by the same rules as adults. In the context of the WTO, if a More Able people were faced with a profoundly Less Able one, what could be considered a 'fair' trade position to take? It may look something like this:
The first Lomé Convention (Lomé I), which came into force in April 1976, was designed to provide a new framework of cooperation between the then European Community (EC) and developing ACP [African, Caribbean, Pacific] countries, in particular former British, Dutch, Belgian and French colonies.
It had two main aspects. It provided for most ACP agricultural and mineral exports to enter the EC free of duty. Preferential access based on a quota system was agreed for products, such as sugar and beef, in competition with EC agriculture. Secondly, the EC committed ECU 3 billion for aid and investment in the ACP countries.
Why are these countries singled out for special treatment? After all, the list of places colonized by Europe is much longer: