Mallence Bart-Williams: Change Your Channel at TEDxBerlinSalon (Transcript)

 

Here is the full transcript of Mallence Bart-Williams’ TEDx Talk: Change Your Channel at TEDxBerlinSalon conference. 

 

Mallence Bart-Williams: Good afternoon. I am Mallence, and I come from the richest country in the world.

It is located in the richest continent in the world, in the West of the richest continent. My country is called Sierra Leone. On the surface we are blessed with infinite beauty and abundance of flora and fauna, producing the most exquisite harvests of coffee, cocoa, fruits, vegetables and caoutchouc. You name it, we’ve got it.

We also have diverse wildlife and vast marine resources, and waterfalls, and rivers that run into the most beautiful beaches. The land is golden; literally, a true paradise, which of course is inhabited by the most beautiful souls.

We have a very strong cultural heritage. In fact, Sierra Leone had the first sub-Saharan university. Prior to that there was one in the kingdom of Timbuktu, which was the first university in the world, succeeding the great Gnostic schools of Egypt and Osiris.

On a deeper level, we are blessed with the real treasures the kings and queens of this world desire. This was the largest alluvial diamond ever found. It weighs almost a thousand carats, 969 to be precise. This beauty was found by an old lady in her backyard about 2 years ago, 125 carats. Some people mine gold in their backyards. That’s quite common.

Besides gold and diamonds, we have about 20 precious minerals that have been discovered as of today. We recently started extracting huge petroleum reserves that have been discovered. We have platinum, ilmenite to make titanium, rutile to coat jets, iron ore, the largest iron ore deposits in Africa, the third largest in the world. Tantalite, also known as coltan, used in your mobile phones and computers.

Bauxite for aluminum production, zinc, chrome ore, copper, coal, phosphates, potassium, salt, lead, granite, asbestos, nickel, zircon. Furthermore, we have exquisite timber, like mahogany and teak. And we have the most beautiful stamps in the world.

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Of course, the West needs Africa’s resources, most desperately, to power airplanes, cell phones, computers and engines. And the gold and diamonds of course: a status symbol, to determine their powers by decor, and to give value to their currencies.

One thing that keeps me puzzled, despite having studied finance and economics at the world’s best universities, the following question remains unanswered: Why is it that 5,000 units of our currency is worth one unit of your currency, when we are the ones with the actual gold reserves?

It’s quite evident that the aid is in fact not coming from the West to Africa, but from Africa to the Western world. The Western world depends on Africa in every possible way, since alternative resources are scarce out here.

So how does the West ensure that the free aid keeps coming? By systematically destabilizing the wealthiest African nations and their systems, and all that backed by huge PR campaigns, leaving the entire world under the impression that Africa is poor and dying, and merely surviving on the mercy of the West. Well done, Oxfam, UNICEF, Red Cross, Life Aid, and all the other organizations that continuously run multimillion-dollar advertisement campaigns depicting charity porn, to sustain that image of Africa, globally. Ad campaigns paid for by innocent people under the impression to help with their donations.

While one hand gives under the flashing lights of cameras, the other takes, in the shadows. We all know the dollar is worthless, while the euro is merely charged with German intellect and technology, and maybe some Italian pasta. How can one expect donations from nations that have so little? It’s super sweet of you to come with your colored paper in exchange for our gold and diamonds. But instead, you should come empty-handed, filled with integrity and honor. We want to share with you our wealth and invite you to share with us.

The perception is that a healthy and striving Africa would not disperse its resources as freely and cheaply, which is logical. Of course, it would instead sell its resources at world market prices, which in turn would destabilize and weaken Western economies, established on the post-colonial free-meal system.

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Last year, the IMF reports that six out of ten of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, measured by their GDP growth. The French treasury, for example, is receiving about 500 billion dollars, year in, year out, in foreign exchange reserves from African countries based on colonial debt they forced them to pay.

Former French president Jacques Chirac stated in an interview recently that we have to be honest and acknowledge that a big part of the money in our banks comes precisely from the exploitation of the African continent. In 2008, he stated that without Africa, France will slide down in the rank of a Third World power. This is what happens in the human world, in the world we have created.

Have you ever wondered how things work in nature? One would assume that in evolution the fittest survives. However in nature, any species that is overhunting, overexploiting the resources they depend on as nourishment, natural selection would sooner or later take the predator out, because it offsets the balance.

Now that I shared my perspective with you, I would like to share my initiatives with you. As a Sierra Leonean, I am a diamond expert. I find them in the rough. What nature created from the darkest substance, under the influence of heat and pressure, transforms into the strongest, most brilliant rocks.

These rocks have the consistency to sustain an entire nation. These will be our future leaders. Please meet the FOLORUNSHO creative collective I formed with 21 street kids that were orphaned and displaced as a result of the Sierra Leonean civil war, and ended up living in the street as early as age 3, growing up as outlaws of society.

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