How France loots its former colonies

By Siji Jabbar on January 24, 2013
From the original published here

— We try to keep a positive vibe going here at This Is Africa, but every so often you come across something that just paints your mood black. Some of you may already be aware of this, but if like us you’re hearing about this for the first time your jaw will drop. And it’ll probably raise the same BIG questions in your mind that it did in ours.

Incidentally, once you read this you’ll no longer wonder why French presidents and ministers are sometimes greeted by protests when they visit former French colonies in Africa, even if the protests are about other issues. Though what other issues could be more important than this one we have no idea.


14 African countries only ever have access to 15% of their own money!
Monetary bankruptcy
Just before France conceded to African demands for independence in the 1960s, it carefully organised its former colonies (CFA countries) in a system of “compulsory solidarity” which consisted of obliging the 14 African states to put 65% of their foreign currency reserves into the French Treasury, plus another 20% for financial liabilities. This means these 14 African countries only ever have access to 15% of their own money! If they need more they have to borrow their own money from the French at commercial rates! And this has been the case since the 1960s.

Believe it or not it gets worse.

France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in the land of the Francophone countries.


So even if the African countries can get better prices elsewhere, they can’t sell to anybody until France says it doesn’t need the resources.

In the award of government contracts, French companies must be considered first; only after that can these countries look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the CFA countries can obtain better value for money elsewhere.

Presidents of CFA countries that have tried to leave the CFA zone have had political and financial pressure put on them by successive French presidents.

No escaping the CFA Zone
Thus, these African states are French taxpayers – taxed at a staggering rate – yet the citizens of these countries aren’t French and don’t have access to the public goods and services their money helps pay for.

CFA zones are solicited to provide private funding to French politicians during elections in France.

The above is a summary of an article we came across in the February issue of the New African (and from an interview given by Professor Mamadou Koulibaly, Speaker of the Ivorian National Assembly, Professor of Economics, and author of the book The Servitude of the Colonial Pact), and we hope they won’t mind us sharing it with you, so here goes:

The colonial pact
It is the Colonial Pact that set up the common currency for the Francophone countries, the CFA Franc, which demands that each of the 14 C.F.A member countries must deposit 65% (plus another 20% for financial liabilities, making the dizzying total of 85%) of their foreign exchange reserves in an “Operations Account” at the French Treasury in Paris.

The African nations therefore have only access to 15% of their own money for national development in any given year. If they are in need of extra money, as they always are, they have to borrow from their own 65% in the French Treasury at commercial rates. And that is not all: there is a cap on the credit extended to each member country equivalent to 20% of their public revenue in the preceding year. So if the countries need to borrow more than 20%, too bad; they cannot do it. Amazingly, the final say on the C.F.A arrangements belongs to the French Treasury, which invests the African countries’ money in its own name on the Paris Bourse (the stock exchange).

Ownership of natural resources
It is also the Colonial Pact that demands that France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in the land of the Francophone countries. So even if the African countries could get better prices elsewhere, they cannot sell to anybody until France says it does not want to buy those natural resources.

The contract must go to a French company, which incidentally has quoted an astronomical price
It is, again, the Colonial Pact that demands that in the award of government contracts in the African countries, French companies should be considered first; only after that can Africans look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if Africans can obtain better value for money elsewhere, French companies come first, and most often get the contracts. Currently, there is the awkward case in Abidjan where, before the elections, former president Gbagbo’s government wanted to build a third major bridge to link the central business district (called Plateau) to the rest of the city, from which it is separated by a lagoon. By Colonial Pact tradition, the contract must go to a French company, which incidentally has quoted an astronomical price – to be paid in euros or US dollars.

Not happy, Gbagbo’s government sought a second quote from the Chinese, who offered to build the bridge at half the price quoted by the French company, and – wait for this – payment would be in cocoa beans, of which Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer. But, unsurprisingly, the French said “non, you can’t do that”.

Overall the Colonial Pact gives the French a dominant and privileged position over Francophone Africa, but in Côte d’Ivoire, the jewel of the former French possessions in Africa, the French are overly dominant. Outside parliament, almost all the major utilities – water, electricity, telephone, transport, ports and major banks – are run by French companies or French interests. The same story is found in commerce, construction, and agriculture.

In short, the Colonial Pact has created a legal mechanism under which France obtains a special place in the political and economic life of its former colonies.

The big questions
In what meaningful way can any of the 14 CFA countries be said to be independent?

If this isn’t illegal and an international crime, then what is?

What is it going to take for this state of indentured servitude to end?

How much have the CFA countries lost as a result of this 50-year (and counting) “agreement”? (Remember, they’ve had to borrow their own money from the French at commercial rates)


Do French people know they’re living off the wealth of African countries and have been doing so for over half a century? And if they know, do they give a damn?

When will France start paying back money they’ve sucked from these countries, not only directly from the interest on cash reserves and loans these countries have had to take out, but also on lost earnings from the natural resources the countries sold to France below market rates as well as the lost earnings resulting from awarding contracts to French companies when other contractors could have done things for less?

Does any such “agreement” exist between Britain and its former colonies, or did they really let go when they let go?

Ory Okolloh explains why Africa can’t entrepreneur itself out of its basic problems

You can’t entrepreneur around bad leadership, we can’t entrepreneur around bad policy,”

One of Kenya’s best known tech investors Ory Okolloh has thrown cold water on the push for entrepreneurship and innovation on the continent. “You can’t entrepreneur around bad leadership, we can’t entrepreneur around bad policy,” Okolloh said, criticizing what she called the “fetishization” of entrepreneurship and neglect of fundamental problems hampering African countries. “There is growth in Africa but Africans are not growing,” she said echoing earlier comments she has made.

Speaking at the Quartz Africa Innovator’s summit, (Sept 14), Okolloh said:
“I’m concerned about what I see is the fetishization around entrepreneurship in Africa. It’s almost like it’s the next new liberal thing. Like, don’t worry that there’s no power because hey, you’re going to do solar and innovate around that. Your schools suck, but hey there’s this new model of schooling. Your roads are terrible, but hey, Uber works in Nairobi and that’s innovation.
During the Greek bail out, no one was telling young Greek people to go and be entrepreneurs. Europe has been stuck at 2% or 1% growth. I don’t see any any entrepreneurship summit in Europe telling them you know, go out there and be entrepreneurs. I feel that there’s a sense that oh, resilience and you know, innovate around things—it’s distracting us from dealing with fundamental problems that we cannot develop.

Those of us who have managed to entrepreneur ourselves out of it are living in a very false security in Africa. There is growth in Africa, but Africans are not growing.

We can’t entrepreneur our way around bad leadership. We can’t entrepreneur our way around bad policies. Those of us who have managed to entrepreneur ourselves out of it are living in a very false security in Africa. There is growth in Africa, but Africans are not growing. And we have to questions why is there this big push for us to innovate ourselves around problems that our leaders, our taxes, our policymakers, ourselves, to be quite frankly, should be grappling with.

Our systems need to work and we need to figure our shit out.”

… I think sometimes we are running away from dealing with the really hard things. And the same people who are pushing this entrepreneurship and innovation thing are coming from places where your roads work, your electricity works, your teachers are well paid. I didn’t see anyone entrepreneur-ing around public schooling in the US. You all went to public schools, you know, and then made it to Harvard or whatever. You turned on your light and it came on. No one is trying to innovate around your electricity power company. So why are we being made to do that? Our systems need to work and we need to figure our shit out.”

Originally published here

“Educated Africans do not make good politicians”


Nb. Google images results show Jacob Zuma’s picture as the first image that comes up when you type in “Educated African Leaders”

I was going thru my Facebook feed today and came across this post on Educated Africans in politics. See snapshot below.
I quickly found myself typing away a comment on my mobile phone and discovered that I had A LOT to say on the matter. Below is the contribution I came up with in a few seconds but believe you me I could have gone on and on and on and on.
Would you say I gave a fair comment, and would you care to engage with me on the subject here or on twitter @Webster_IM

“African politics is a type of politics that is not suited for educated people. It is a politics based on the Great Leader mentality, the one big thinker for the group. The “visionary” father who leads a mass of ignorant children whose only contribution is to vote when asked to. The children have to wear apparel with the great leader’s face imprinted on it and sing songs of how he eloquently often puts the white man in his place with words.
The great leader shall build universities but their graduates shall not be invited to parliament or to town house meetings. They shall be “youths” until they are 70 years old and survived a series of scandals that have nothing to do with their degrees. Thats when they can stand for parliament.
How does an educated citizen raise a fist in the air sloganeering “down with so and so”?
How does a university graduate play the African drum on the runway to welcome the great leader when he returns from the great indabas abroad?
Which chapter or page, in all his reading, tells him that he has to donate a goat to the great leader’s pen each time He comes round to his village constituency to give that campaign speech?
Can he dare remind the great leader that those men in uniform work for the people and not the great leader and his party?
Listen, madhodha: the brand of politics that is common across most of Africa is just not suited for the Learned citizen.
If he does make it to the high bench he will have to do only what he is told, even if it means staying in office for life, spewing out anti imperialist rhetoric drafted in the military barracks.”

Quick thoughts on presidential term limits and the political crisis in Burundi

Originally posted on An Africanist Perspective:

The president of Burundi is about (or not) to join the list of African leaders who have successfully overcome constitutional term limits in a bid to hang on to power. Currently (based on observed attempts in other African countries and their success rate) the odds are roughly 50-50 that Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza will succeed. The last president to try this move was Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso who ended up getting deposed by the military after mass protests paralyzed Burkina’s major cities.

Successful term limit extensions have so far happened in Burkina Faso (first time), Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Namibia, Togo, and Uganda. Presidents have also tried, but failed, to abolish term limits in Burkina Faso (second time), Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia. Countries that are about to go through a term limit test in the near future include Angola, Burundi, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia…

View original 320 more words

‘With Heads Bowed in Shame’: Thabo Mbeki’s 2008 xenophobia speech

This isn’t the first time South Africa has been wracked by xenophobic rioting – the following is a speech given by then president Thabo Mbeki following the May 2008 riots. Different decade, different president, how much has changed?


Video. Warning. Viewers discretion is advised.

Directors of Ceremony,
Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, Mayors and members of all spheres of Government,
Your Excellencies, Diplomatic Representatives of the sister nations of the world,
Representatives of communities which live and work side by side with our immigrant population,
Leaders of political parties,
Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Fellow South Africans:

I am privileged to participate in this important Gathering of Remembrance to honour fellow Africans from our country and other parts of the African continent whose lives were needlessly ended through the criminal violence which erupted in various localities in our country in May this year.


Many of us present here today view ourselves as the offspring of forebears who advanced a noble vision starting 150 years ago – the vision of Africans, on our Continent and the Diaspora, free at last, proud of themselves and their heritage, and united in their resolve to combine in a mighty force of liberation to uplift themselves.

I speak here of the Rev Tiyo Soga.
More than 140 years ago, Tiyo Soga wrote about the unity of all Africans both on the Continent and the Diaspora. Writing to salute the struggle of the African-Americans for freedom from slavery during the American Civil War, he said the African-Americans were “looking forward to the dawn of a better day for (the African-American) and all his sable brethren in Africa.”

I also speak here of J.G. Xaba.

110 (1897) years ago, J.G. Xaba, one of the founders of the Ethiopian church movement in our country, said “the aim of the Ethiopian church is to promote…unity in the whole continent of Africa.”

I speak too of Pixley ka Isaka Seme.

100 (1906) years ago, Pixley Seme celebrated the grandeur and dignity of all Africans in the following and famous moving passages:

“I would ask you not to compare Africa to Europe or to any other continent. I make this request not from any fear that such comparison might bring humiliation upon Africa. The reason, I have stated – a common standard is impossible! Come with me to the ancient capital of Egypt, Thebes, the city of one hundred gates. The grandeur of its venerable ruins and the gigantic proportions of its architecture reduce to insignificance the boasted monuments of other nations.


“The pyramids of Egypt are structures to which the world presents nothing comparable. The mighty monuments seem to look with disdain on every other work of human art and to vie with nature herself. All the glory of Egypt belongs to Africa and her people. These monuments are the indestructible memorials of their great and original genius.

“It is not through Egypt alone that Africa claims such unrivalled historic achievements. I could have spoken of the pyramids of Ethiopia, which, though inferior in size to those of Egypt, far surpass them in architectural beauty; their sepulchres which evince the highest purity of taste, and of many prehistoric ruins in other parts of Africa. In such ruins Africa is like the golden sun, that, having sunk beneath the western horizon, still plays upon the world which he sustained and enlightened in his career…

“Oh, for that historian who, with the open pen of truth, will bring to Africa”s claim the strength of written proof. He will tell of a race whose onward tide was often swelled with tears, but in whose heart bondage has not quenched the fire of former years. He will write that in these later days when Earth”s noble ones are named, she has a roll of honour too, of whom she is not ashamed.

“The giant is awakening! From the four corners of the earth Africa”s sons, who have been proved through fire and sword, are marching to the future”s golden door bearing the records of deeds of valour done.”

The visionary words spoken by Tiyo Soga in the 7th decade of the 19th century gave birth to the historic goal enunciated by J.G. Xaba in the 10th decade of the same century, and this, in turn, inspired Pixley Seme’s prophetic imagining during the 1st decade of the 20th century, which foretold of the future golden door of freedom.

It is on these foundations, which are more than a hundred-and-fifty years old, that generations of our people built a great edifice of African hope, Africa’s oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress.


It is from this Mother of Hope that we have drawn the nourishment that has defined and taught us who and what we want to be, a Mother of Hope who must fight through all time to remain the Mother of Hope she has been for many generations.

As we have grown up, because of where we have suckled, we have therefore always known that we belong among the teeming millions of Africans in Africa and the Diaspora, an inalienable part of these masses.

We have always known that regardless of the boundaries drawn by others to define us as different and separate from our kith and kin, and even despite our occupation of different spaces across the divides occasioned by the existence of the oceans that nature has formed, we share with those of whom we are part, a common destiny.

We have also always striven to combine with all Africans in Africa and the Diaspora in one united, gigantic, open conspiracy and effort to restore to ourselves our collective human dignity, based on the unshakeable conviction that no African anywhere will be free until all Africans everywhere are free.

Because we have, at all times, known of the grandeur and originality of Africa and the Africans, of which Pixley Seme spoke, of the indelible valour of the African heroes and heroines proved through fire and sword, of whom Pixley Seme wrote, we have known that as Africa and Africans, acting together, we will achieve our Renaissance, our rebirth.

We have constantly thought it self-evident that, as Pixley ka Isaka Seme had said, the regeneration of Africa would come to be, and would mean that “a new and unique civilisation would soon be added to the world…(whose) essential departure (would be) that it is thoroughly spiritual and humanistic – indeed a regeneration moral and eternal!”

And yet we, the offspring and heirs to the noble spirit and vision of African unity and solidarity advanced by our own giants of thought and action, Tiyo Soga, J.G. Xaba and Pixley Seme, have gathered here today with heads bowed in shame because it has seemed that what happened in our country in May betrayed the dreams of many generations, including our own.


We have gathered here today to convey to all Africans everywhere, to all African nations, severally and collectively, to our own people, and to the families of people who were murdered, our sincere condolences, and our heartfelt apologies that Africans in our country committed unpardonable crimes against other Africans.

We have convened here to express our pain that, today, we have fellow Africans from various African countries – Somalia, the DRC, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi – and others, who are quarantined in temporary camps, separated from the African communities in which they lived peacefully as fellow-Africans, until the dark days of May that descended upon them without warning.

We are meeting here, today, to pledge that:

• we will do everything necessary to ensure that as Africans, regardless of our geographic origins, we will once more live together as Africans, at peace with one another, refusing to impose on ourselves a new apartheid order;

• we will work expeditiously to achieve the reintegration of all the displaced Africans within the communities from which they were forced to flee because of murderous criminal activities;

• we will do everything necessary to assist the victims of this criminal onslaught, both the South Africans and our foreign guests, to resume their normal lives;

• we will act without any unnecessary delay to address all genuine concerns which may give birth to tensions between the native and immigrant Africans;

• as we work to improve our social and national cohesion, we will also address the challenge to entrench the understanding that this includes full acceptance within all our communities of new residents from other countries, as well as the understanding among the latter that we welcome them as good neighbours and citizens;

• we will work to mobilise all our communities to isolate and defeat the evil elements in our midst who target vulnerable African migrants, subjecting them to violent attacks for criminal purposes and personal gain;

• we will ensure that all those responsible for the criminal activities during the dark days of May, targeted against African migrants, face the full might of the law; and,

• we will take all necessary and possible measures to sustain respect for the law and our Constitutional order by all who live in our country, and the safety and security of all these, whether native-born or immigrant.


As many were killed or maimed during the dark days of May, thousands displaced, businesses and homes looted, and homes and businesses destroyed by arson, I heard it said insistently that my people have turned or have become xenophobic.

The word xenophobia means a deep antipathy towards or hatred of foreigners. When I heard some accuse my people of xenophobia, of hatred of foreigners, I wondered what the accusers knew about my people, which I did not know.

Over many years I have visited many parts of our country, both urban and rural, in all our provinces, and met many people from other countries, including African countries, who have not hesitated to announce their countries of origin.

On occasion I have been amazed to hear people in the Western Cape introduce themselves as migrants from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. On occasion I have been amazed to hear people in small towns of Mpumalanga introduce themselves as migrants from Somalia. On occasion I have been amazed to hear people in Western Gauteng introduce themselves as migrants from Mozambique.

On these and other occasions I have known that these immigrants could thus openly introduce themselves because they knew, from their experience, that because they had not experienced any xenophobia, they had no need to hide their countries of origin.

I have been to Guinea Conakry, at the upper end of the Gulf of Guinea on the African west coast. The Guineans told me of their fellow-nationals who live in our country and tell their relatives and government of how they have made our country their new home.

Everything I know about my people tells me that these heirs to the teachings of Tiyo Soga, J.G. Xaba and Pixley Seme, the masses who have consistently responded positively to the Pan-African messages of the oldest liberation movement on our Continent, the African National Congress, are not xenophobic.


These masses are neither antipathetic towards, nor do they hate foreigners. And this I must also say – none in our society has any right to encourage or incite xenophobia by trying to explain naked criminal activity by cloaking it in the garb of xenophobia.

I know that there are some in our country who will charge that what I have said constitutes a denial of our reality.

However, I dare say that if anyone convenes residents of Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, Hammanskaraal, Atteridgeville, Alexandra Township, Diepsloot, Orange Farm, Ekurhuleni, Motherwell, Khayelitsha, Inanda, and stays to listen to these ordinary South Africans, none will hear our people say we should attack immigrants, or that they hate these because they are foreigners.

And yet, despite everything I have said, we have, as native South Africans, gathered here today with heads bowed in shame, because of the immense pain and fear about the future that some among us deliberately inflicted on fellow Africans in our country, who originate from other lands on our Continent and elsewhere in the world.

In spite of this reality, I will not hesitate to assert that my people are not diseased by the terrible affliction of xenophobia which has, in the past, led to the commission of the heinous crime of genocide.

I will not hesitate to say that the cultures of all our people, black and white, and despite the many centuries of racism imposed on our society by force of arms, continue to inform the overwhelming majority of our homesteads that they should welcome all visitors and travellers in a spirit friendship and human compassion.

I will not hesitate to say that despite the centrifugal impulses generated by colonialism and apartheid leading to the dissipation of the human instinct towards human solidarity, my people, still, harbour in their hearts a deep-seated respect for the practice immanent in the outlook described as Ubuntu, to give water, food and refuge to the traveller.

As a people, we fully understand the proverb of the people of Madagascar that it is not the fire in the fireplace which warms the house, but the people who get along well.

Still, we, the offspring and heirs to the noble spirit and vision of African unity and solidarity advanced by our own giants of thought and action, Tiyo Soga, J.G. Xaba and Pixley Seme, have gathered here today with heads bowed in shame, because some in our communities acted in ways that communicated the message that the values of Ubuntu are dead, and that they lie entombed in the graves of the cadavers of people who died ostensibly solely because they came among us as travellers in search of refuge.

Obviously and needless to say, we have a common responsibility to explain this conundrum – the seeming disjuncture which sets in opposition one to the other, what we pride ourselves about who and what we are, and what our practical actions broadcast about who and what we really are.

The dark days of May which have brought us here today were visited on our country by people who acted with criminal intent. What happened during these days was not inspired by a perverse nationalism, or extreme chauvinism, resulting in our communities violently expressing the hitherto unknown sentiment of mass and mindless hatred of foreigners – xenophobia.

Those who have eyes to see will have seen that much of the violence we experienced was targeted at the immigrants who had property to loot. Those who have eyes to see will have seen that the majority of the immigrants who live in conditions of poverty as do many of our people were not attacked.

Those who have eyes to see will have seen that in other disturbances in the past, allegedly occasioned by so-called service failures of municipal councils, small shops owned by immigrants have been looted.

We are confronted by the reality that, objectively, it will take a considerable period of time before we achieve our objective of providing a better life for all our people. Objectively, therefore, together with the masses of our people as a conscious agent of change, we must continue to manage the reality of unfulfilled expectations.


As we have said before, like other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world, we are going through a very difficult period of rising food and fuel prices, higher costs of borrowing, rising inflation, and therefore the erosion of the living standards of especially the poor.

None of us can be happy or satisfied with this reality.

At the same time we must recognise the reality, and work continuously to oppose it, that some in our midst will seek to exploit this to attack the immigrants in our midst, falsely blaming them for our woes, seeking to use their vulnerability to loot their possessions for personal gain, as happened during the dark days of May.

Today, gathered here as a representative microcosm of our country, we must reaffirm that we remain loyal heirs of our noble forebears, Tiyo Soga, J.G. Xaba, Pixley Seme and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our liberation, and therefore will continue, as Africans, to be our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers.

Today, gathered here as a representative microcosm of our country, we must reaffirm that we are committed to the sustained pursuit of the goal of the regeneration of Africa and the African Diaspora, based on the unshakeable understanding that we are to one another, as Africans, brothers and sisters.

Today, gathered here as a representative microcosm of our country, we must pledge that never again will we allow that anybody brings shame to our nation by betraying the values of Ubuntu and committing crimes against our visitors and travellers, thus to besmirch the character of the eminently good human beings who constitute our nation as a people afflicted by the cancerous disease of xenophobia.


Today, gathered here as a representative microcosm of our country, and proud of our people’s pioneering and vanguard role in the struggle for the emancipation of all Africans and the restoration of their dignity, we must make the solemn undertaking that we, as leaders and representatives of our people, will continue to act as servants of the African peoples, determined to combat all tendencies that lead to the dissolution of African cohesion and solidarity at the altar of the pursuit of the pernicious goal of personal gain and aggrandisement.

Today, gathered here as a representative microcosm of our country, we must state that we know that the problems of our country and Continent will not be solved by declarations and demands, and suggestions that we have instant solutions to address long-standing and complicated challenges.

I thank you for taking the trouble to gather here this afternoon. Let everybody who comes to learn of this occasion and everything that was said this afternoon, understand the unalterable truths that:

• as Africans we will never abandon the values of Ubuntu;

• as Africans we will never become enemies of other Africans;

• we define ourselves as Africans because we belong within the family of the billion Africans who live in Africa and the Africa Diaspora, who are linked to one another by a common destiny;

• we are proudly African, not only because of our indelible contribution to human civilisation, but also because we know that the regeneration of Africa will add new humane values to human society, as demonstrated by the many in our society who rallied to provide assistance to and reintegrate the thousands of displaced fellow Africans;

• as South Africans, who fought for more than three centuries to achieve the dignity of all Africans and all human beings, regardless of race, colour, and gender, we will never allow that we fall victim to the criminal perversion of xenophobia, which, in earlier times, led to the genocidal destruction of entire peoples in the Americas, South Africa and Australia, and, more recently, the Jewish Holocaust in Europe and the Genocide in Rwanda; and,

• as South Africans, who know the value of international solidarity and Pan-Africanism, we will continue to extend a hand of help to all other Africans whether in Haiti or the Central African Republic; Somalia, Guinea Bissau or Comoros; Sudan, Niger or Zimbabwe.

On behalf of our people and Government I humbly convey to our people, our foreign guests, all Africa and the peoples of the world, our apology that we allowed criminals in our midst to inflict terrible pain and damage to many in our society, including and particularly our foreign guests.

We will do everything possible and necessary to ensure that we have no need in future to proffer this humble apology, which is inspired by genuine remorse.

Thank you.