Don’t Give Africa Aid. Just Pay Back What You Stole! The Role of Barclays Bank in African Poverty


Next time you hear western countries especially England, France, Belgium and Portugal discuss how much money they give in aid, ask when they will pay back what they stole. Over the next few months we will explore how history can help us answer the following question:

Why are the people with the most natural wealth not so well off when the people with the least natural wealth enjoy the highest standards of living?

Yes we have corruption, yes we have bad leaders, yes, yes, yes we hear it all the time. Unfortunately, those arguments present only half the story and create a smokescreen that prevents us from looking at our problems holistically. This is not about blame or reparations but about making Africans smarter about how they view the world. We must stop coming to the table with our heads held low asking for the IMF, World Bank, UN or other international NGO (non-governmental organization) to solve our problems.

We are not just people looking for a handout from the West. We are the most hardworking, intelligent and loving people and we want to find out why we don’t have what we should have. Over the next few months we will explore different events in history that explain how African economies got to where they are today.

We would like to look at Africa’s situation from an economic perspective, because we understand that beyond the issues of race and ethnicity is the driving force behind most events in history, MONEY!


To put things in our current context, the BRICS countries recently launched the New Development Bank BRICS (NDB BRICS), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to serve as an alternative to the existing US-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). This bank could potentially offer African countries another borrowing option.

Since it was formed there have been different events in these member countries, mostly linked to attempts at regime change, a rapid slow down in their economies and so forth. Specifically, there has been a consistent push to remove South Africa’s President Zuma for one reason or another. First, it had to do with the removal of the Finance Minister, then Nkandla and the list goes on. In Brazil, the lower house recently voted to remove President Rousseff for corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Russia, is currently under economic sanctions from the West. Whether or not any of these events is directly tied to their desire to set up their own bank, we will let you judge. One of the missions of the New Development Bank is to stop using the US dollar as the main currency. They have already implemented dollar-less BRICS energy deals, currency swaps and foreign direct investment not tied to the US dollar.

Our goal is to start the conversation about the causes of poverty in African economies. We will explore different stories about the events that have helped shape various African economies. This week we will begin with an example of a more recent story from the news. Barclays bank recently announced that it is leaving Africa.


Barclays Bank recently announced its departure from Africa as if it was a loss to us. We say good riddance. After many centuries of plundering Africa maybe just maybe it’s about time. Sometimes the news is reported to make us feel sorry for ourselves, that perhaps we are doing something wrong, we are mismanaging our economies, or maybe even have unstable political environments. When one looks at it from a long term perspective, most Africans are better off without Barclays Bank.

  • Several banks like Barclays, can trace their origins and wealth to the financing of the transatlantic slave trade. Many banks such as Barclays, Barings and HSBC and the Bank of England were built with the wealth of slavery. Some can trace their origins the Thomas Leyland’s banking house, which was notorious for financing slave trade. Hundreds of Britain’s great houses were built with the wealth of slavery including the Church of England which also acknowledges it financially gained from slavery. When slavery was abolished in England, many slave traders and owners were even compensated but the actual slaves taken from Africa never received anything. England did not even apologize for slavery.
  • In the 1980s, Barclays bank became known as ‘Boerclaysbank’, because of their continued involvement and support of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
  • Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair was accused of selling a useless air traffic control system to Tanzania in 2001. Clare Short, a UK Member of Parliament describes the agreement, “The deal was useless and hostile to the interests of Tanzania……… Barclays Bank had colluded with the government by loaning Tanzania the money, but lying to the World Bank about the type and size of the loan……..Tanzania could have paid much less for the same equipment which cost them £28m”
  • In the 2000s, Barclays Bank continued to finance Zimbabwe’s Mugabe regime during some of their most brutal and violent elections.
  • Barclays Bank, like Anglo- American, Bayer, De Beers and the Cabot Corporation, were also implicated in fueling the DRC conflict.

Also read our previous article on ‘How France Continues Slavery and Colonialism in the 21st Century’ to help explain why former French colonies face an uphill battle in becoming economically independent.

We would like to know what you think. Let us know about other events in African history that help to explain why we don’t have what we should have. Comment below.


  1. This Barclays pays dambisa moyo to spread false narratives & fake solutions for africa. When they know they made their money from slavery& benefitting from the proceeds of black labor til today.

    • No. How about no aid, no payback, more fences around European borders, and GUNS… LOTS of guns for fending off the borders of Europe.

    • They will not pay the debt. Africa should colonize Europe. Africa, let’s mobilize ourselves and migrate to Europe to bring back what they owe us. Brothers in North Africa have started.

  2. Africa we good at writing these stories but we can not take action. We have good leaders who has come and gone with good ideas. The role of Brics is a total denial of African ideas. Mamar Gadafi prophecies about African money and his ideas were the perpetual to his death. Ask yourself why did they kill MAmar Gadaffi. Western ideology can not solve Africa problem. African problems are solved by African people bring together the ideas. Why western ideas are consider in comparison to Africa ideas. Let alone Thomas Samkara Patrice Lumumba Nkwame Nkruma Josia Tongogara Steve Biko and and other great leaders were killed for thinking above the rest. Why? . The Western saw and is still seeing great opportunity to enrich themselves from underground movement –where they cause wars and destabilise the region while on the other hand they are busy stealing the valuables. Look close the laws the brought and write. The law of possession of precious metal. That law stole are valuable. When a African country man walk in the jungle and pick a diamond or gold the white person took it from him inciting the law of possession of precious metals with the same white man has no certificate to carry those stone. Cruel world.

    • This that you are saying is true and I always cry when I hear stuffs like this because the world is not fare I always fight with people who try talk against kwame Nkrumah and Gaadaffi’s it sad 😢😷

    • Well said is time we wake up as Africans because we are just sleeping and dreaming of thing we will want to achieve without any actions being taken from this oppressors ,just look at how they have manage to destabilized Libya because of their personal gains.Africa raise up

  3. I’m not someone who studied a lot of economics but in my humble opinion, I think that the way the west is right now and the economic boom it has has to do, inter alia, with very well established institutions. In Africa, the years of colonization left most of the continent with extremely weak ones, primitive if compared to the west’. Therefore, the growth won’t be harmonious with the actual resources available..

    • Actually, it’s the other way round. The development of European institutions ran hand in hand with the exploitation of Africa and the other colonies. It also necessitated the destruction of these non-European institutions.

  4. The barclays brothers were one of the two companies that received a charter from the queen of england to export Afrikans into slavery.

    • Portugal! What should one “inform oneself a bit more” about?
      Ever heard of Wenela? about the “prazos” in Zambezia? the practices of “cantineiros”? the slave trade?

  5. Sad, very sad, but the question is what can we (Europeans) do about that? What is the action to change this?

  6. While it is probably true that western ideas have flourished in Africa, it is also true everything they did Africa could have done for themselves but didn’t. Rather than blame, one should learn from. The wealth is still there you know.

    • You have no idea do you? Did you not see NATO pound the heck out of Libya illegally only for years ago? Did you not notice Barclays and other major Banks defraud the global economy only ten years ago? Did BP and Shell not destroy the natural environment in Nigeria as a corrupting influence on the government there. Didn’t your government help kill a million people only ten years ago on Iraq? Always saying “take responsibility”. How about you take responsibility for yours?

  7. Let’s talk about the uncomfortable truth of another more recent wave of “colonization” – Western NGO’s exploiting the African myths of “helplessness” with fund-raising stories of bring “hope to the hopeless” (Africans) destitute by HIV/AIDS, famine, drought, poor education, girl-child marriage and female mutilation, and, all the rest of the stories “out of Africa.” This is the new (now decades old) “gold mine” for NGOs made rich from unsuspecting donors and the all-too-eager “short-term mission trip” volunteers who spend thousands of dollars/euros to go and “help”, “bring hope,” take pictures, post them on their blogs, FB and websites and go home and go on with their busy Western life pursuits. No wonder the Kenyan and other governments are clamping down on NGOs and denying extensions on their registries.
    Let’s talk wage/salary/benefit discrepancies between ex-pat NGO staff (pulling down Western wages and housing/transport allowances) while their national staff (usually called “support staff” or “functionaries”) are paid local wages not much higher than day laborers.
    All the while, the “impact” reports go back to the Western boards and donors with glowing “hope restored” stories and photos and videos, (without permission waivers), claiming “transformation” of the soul of Africa.
    No wonder a brother in Soweto no longer allows “visitors” to take photos of the children in the schools his African NGO operate. “They would always come, take pictures of the kids, and promise but never delivering support. Next thing you know, you see the photos up on their websites claiming “look what we are doing in Soweto,” he told me. Yes, its like that! Its big business.

    • It is also interesting that just from a numbers perspective, there are probably more poor people in China and India than the whole of Africa as a continent but for some reason western donors just focus on Africa as the ‘dark continent’. I think it serves narrative that black people are inferior. Now Asia is rising so its hard to use it to spread white supremacy. Africa provides a scapegoat

      • Good point but the difference between India and China compared to most parts of Africa is that the Governments don’t have control of the natural resources to fund transformation.The very same colonizers are still plundering Africa.

  8. I quote “In the 2000s, Barclays Bank continued to finance Zimbabwe’s Mugabe regime during some of their most brutal and violent elections.” This is very true, and I’m curious if you won’t start singing Mugabe’s praises in future articles… That man is a dictator. Period.

  9. In my opinion, Africa should embrace crypto-currency as a way to boost its economies on addition of its wealth.

  10. Africans must grow up , stop looking for excuses for your own demise, during the colonial times you had jobs and bread on the table , you were given an education ,you were doctored and looked after . as each country was given their independence they became poor and to the extent where they had to beg for hand outs in order to survive.
    look what has happened in Zimbabwe and what it presently taking shape in South Africa,
    stop blaming the past, as long as you look backwards ,you can not move forward.
    stop looking for excuses and confront the problems at hand .
    get off your lazy bottoms and start thinking how to eradicate corruption , change your votes at election time and vote for the correct leaders,
    only then will Africa become great once again

    • Funnily enough afrucans are so lazy yet we do all the jobs even in your own countries that no one else wants. I challenge you come to Africa and watch how hard afrucans work for Judy a meal because of western currency controls. Ignorant funk

    • You past largely decide your future. Coz if you get a criminal record when you young..
      Therefore the criminal activities of the West create the poverty in Africa

  11. I have been following this website and I must say I am impressed and happy that I am not alone in this. I am not interested in what they stole from us because they would never return them.
    I want us to be enlightened to take action against these ENEMIES OF HUMANITY.

  12. It would be interesting to have our history books rewritten with the truth. At the very least written by the original peoples of a country and let each individual try and comprehend what truth is…

  13. Let leave the past and concetrate on our future as Africans. We need strong leadership, change of attitude and the desire to sacrifice for our nation. Corruption, selfishness, Greediness, doing the right thing, get rich quick etc. is what is making us loose our value as Africans.

  14. For all its flaws, many colonialists meant to do well. And perhaps did accomplish much in furthering Africa’s progress. And it was England that declared slavery illegal, and even sent ships to arrest slave ships, and return the captured people back to Africa, as best they could. England stopped slavery. Everyone likes to forget that.

    • So you want us to reward the creators and perpetrators of slavery as some sort of heroes? Listen to yourself Justyna you sound miseducated and your logic is disturbing. It was England that started slavery and they should have ended it. They never confronted USA about the continuation of slavery 200 after the so called abolishment when USA was breeding slaves inside its borders and your beloved England was silent. So what well…did the colonialists mean- raping , pilfering, genocide what good can come out of that please do tell. Please Justyna think for yourself and take the shackles off your mind. You are swallowing propaganda its not a good look. You are intelligent think for yourself. Its your God given right.

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