The big brother serves as a protective figure for the younger siblings. In the face of a challenge, the younger brother seeks comfort and stability from the older sibling. Similarly, third-world countries consider first-world countries to be their big brother. Historically, nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom have provided aid and military action to African countries. However, third-world countries continue to engage in megaprojects that need financial assistance in the form of loans from developing countries. The analogy of big brother applies to foreign aid, whether economic or otherwise, obtained by developed countries. The aid seeks to assists the countries in the completion of the projects that will assist the states in improving their collection of revenue to better the lives of the populace.
Is the big brother a real brother or an opportunistic figure that seeks to capitalize on the problems of the developing nations? A big brother would not attempt to oppress the younger one after offering assistance. More so, the older sibling would not use the aid as a snare to trap the little one into obvious danger. The loans going to the African countries seem like a good progress during the release of the funds. However, it is good to consider the primary beneficiaries of those loans. Is the big brother analogy just a fallacy? If you assist me, I should be in a position to dictate how I need the assistance since I will be responsible for paying back. However, if the help is conditional, you might turn out to be the primary beneficiary of the support you are offering me.
When an African country, like Kenya or Ethiopia, secures a loan from states like China and the United States for a mega project, then the country itself should be in the decider of who should complete the project. For example, having a loan from China and having the same Chinese counterparts working on the project appears conditional. Here, we have a country that gives out credit, but its citizens become the primary beneficiaries of the loans in the form of employment, procurement of materials, and running the project. In the end, a substantial amount of the credit goes back to the provider, since its citizens benefit the most. As such, the countries taking the loans are aside, as the big brother keeps oppressing them further. One would argue that the developing countries lack necessary skills to work on the projects themselves.
How hard would it be to share positions on the project equally? A big brother without ulterior motives would help you win a fight and allow you to decide where you want to take the prize. Secondly, some of the loans offered to the African countries are unrealistic. A big brother will not trap you in a loan knowing well that your financial power cannot repay the debt. Consider a situation where a country outsources for funds to run the government. Such an instance shows that the country cannot generate enough revenue to sustain the economy. Such a state does not need additional loans, but an establishment of a system that can create autonomy. However, you find a developed country bragging about assisting the third world countries by loaning them, cash to sustain the government. I want a big brother that teaches me how to fish, not providing me with fish and asking for payment later.
After the completion of the project, the big brother pushes the small one into handing over the project to the same elder sibling to run. One of the common reasons given is that the system is complex and requires five years of training of the locals. At this point, the big brother is very caring. The young brother waits aside and watches how the elder sibling divides the spoils of the fight. Therefore, the big brother collects the revenue for the first five years sharing with the government. At the end of five years, the big brother has created more than enough wealth for his citizens who were working on the project for the entire period. The next step for the big brother is to go back home and expect the little one to generate money and start repaying the loan.
However, for five years, the young brother has been watching from a distance. Therefore, he finds it impossible to maintain the project without assistance from the older brother. Such projects end up making losses in the form of millions of dollars. In such an economic state, the developing country cannot raise enough money to run the project and repay the loan. Here, the big brother comes up with another enticing project. The cycle goes on and on for decades and decades. In the end, the developed nations continue enjoying economic benefits while the third world countries struggle with loans, whose benefits were close to none. What happens when the young brother cannot repay the loan? Many would expect the big brother to be forgiving and understanding. However, the situation changes and he becomes aggressive.
Firstly, he identifies the most important infrastructure in the country. For example, power and water supply channels fall into the hands of the big brother. Current news circulating in the media is that the Zambian power supply is on the brink of falling under the control of the Chinese government due to the failure to repay a loan. Majority of the Zambian population have no idea on how their government have used the funds. However, the whole community must abide by the friendly big brother and work hard to repay the loan within the time limit required. In such cases, the Zambians will have to contend with higher taxes, expensive essential commodities to avoid making the big brother angry. The big questions remain, is the older brother a real friend or just an opportunistic fellow? The answer to the question is dependent on individual interpretation.
This strongman in our case is speedy to identify issues in the life of the younger siblings. The big brother comes in hand with a supply of multiple solutions to eliminate the problem. However, the younger sibling fails to understand that each of the solutions has a catch. The catch seeks to present the older relative as a helper, but in the real sense, he is just an entrepreneur looking for an investment with big returns, while providing his citizens with employment and his factories with the ready market for their products. Which older brother would want to take over the favorite toy owned by the young brother? In my perception, the he should be the first person to protect the toy and teach the younger brother how to take care of it.
It is high time the African countries redefine the big brother’s terminology concerning the developed countries. A while ago, during the genocide in Rwanda, the developed countries failed to provide immediate assistance to end the war. However, the same countries intervened fast when there was war in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. One of the leaders pointed out that their intervention must be in line with their national interests. Here, the big brother means that he does not invest in any place or region that does not have any potential benefit to him. Similarly, although in actions rather than words, the big brother is demonstrating that any loans offered to other states must be beneficial to him. The benefits are evident in the form of jobs, market, and profits generated from the credits. Any default makes the subject nation lose more to the debtor.
Sovereignty is an essential aspect of any state. However, it begins with the leadership of a country. Third world countries need to invest in leadership that seek the well-being of their countries as the priority of their administration. Reliance on loans from the developed nations is not a reliable way of funding projects in the country. These loans pull the states behind making life very difficult for the population. These leaders need to redefine the terms of loans to ascertain the potential benefits. On the other hand, the big brothers need to handle the small brothers with a bit of care. The exposure in the developed nations is enough to calculate whether the countries will be in a position to pay back the loans.
If developed countries are true friends to the developing countries, let them assists in the formation of systems that facilitate the states in generating more income for the people. Currently, the developed nations are in a constant war of dominance and supremacy all over the world. Therefore, the countries use loans in enticing developing counties with substantial potential minerals like oil and valuable minerals. I do not need a big brother that fights for me, but ends up taking more than the enemy would take. I would rather fight alone, than fight alongside a sibling that would oppress me more, than the enemy. In the end, all I need is a big brother that would protect me in the face of challenges and teach me to fight for myself in future in case of his absence.
The developing countries cope with problems such as terrorism, outbreaks of diseases, unemployment, and tough economic times among others. Therefore, the developing nations need to stop taking advantage of the situation and assists the countries in improving the lives of their people. It is unrealistic for a developed country to work on a project in the third world countries, but fill all the vacancies with foreign workers. Let them train the employees they need from the locals and use the labor in completing the projects. Let them assist these countries in eliminating corruption and help them achieve economic autonomy. That is the big brother I want and the one we all want.