“Africa the key to global economic growth”; this was a refreshingly honest recent headline from the Washington Post, but hardly one that qualifies as ‘news’. African labour and resources- as any decent economic historian will tell you – has been key to global economic growth for centuries.
When the Europeans discovered America five hundred years ago, their economic system went viral. Increasingly, European powers realised that the balance of power at home would be dictated by the strength they were able to draw from their colonies abroad. Imperialism (aka capitalism) has been the fundamental hallmark of the world’s economic structure ever since.