Nigerian journalist, Uddin Ifeanyi, says economic nationalism often has dire consequences for African countries, with Uganda under the late Idi Amin, and Zimbabwe under the late Robert Mugabe being good examples.
Writing for the Premium Times, a Nigerian publication, Ifeanyi says during times of economic difficulty, African governments tend to peddle the narrative that local economic interests are being hurt by the predatory and rapacious activity of foreigners.
Consequently, across the continent, governments then resort to imposing severe restraints on the activities of resident non-nationals, or simply kicking them out.
In Uganda, Amin kicked out Indians, with most of them migrating to Britain where they are now run successful businesses while in Zimbabwe, Mugabe kicked out white farmers, and some of them are now thriving in Zambia. Ifeanyi writes:
In Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF hacks ― again, more brutal than competent ― took over the farms after their white owners had been forced out.
The success of the Gujarati community in Britain, following their expulsion from Uganda is mirrored by the collapse of the Ugandan economy thereafter.
The same way that the white Zimbabwean farmers’ continued success across the border in Zambia mirrors the failure of the Zimbabwean economy.
On Monday, the Zimbabwean government announced that it was open to revoking offer letters given to resettled black farmers and give the back land to foreign former landowners.