Africa-Press – Ghana. Unjust agreements can exist between individuals, companies, and states. The unveiling of the unjust agreement between Apple and Google is estimated to be worth around twenty billion dollars a year as payments to Apple and how much more to Google, from unsuspecting customers? Two powerful individuals can partner up to deceive others, including their own children.
However, when two extremely powerful companies partner-up against smaller companies and individuals, then states become implicit victims. The wise states like the US and EU will fine them high and regulate to their advantages; but questionable states like AU or African countries will under-react or even praise the guilty companies and States that back them. If Money is the highest blessing, then I am ashamed of being an African, not just being poor, so far. However, the nasty character of these Billionaires and politicians of the richest to poorest states is a reminder that financial riches is not everything.
Anti-trust laws are not updated into the rapidly changing world of technology. The anti-trust laws were created because we knew big companies will try to keep small companies from fair competition. Human beings sadly enjoy dominance and unlimited greed and the rat race in capitalism tends to worsen things. Our topic will focus more on Apple and Google, but they are far from the only culprits. About a decade ago, I highlighted how the governments are failing to enact laws to force companies like Microsoft to support customers in reasonable time. They tactically force customers into unnecessary updates by refusing simple support. Then I gave an example of how a three year Word program may not be able to open newer Word documents, but an open-office program can do it. Because humans are increasingly not just becoming ‘slaves’ to companies and states, but we refuse to teach victims and enact laws towards freedom for the willing.
Although we may not be total victims as ordinary individuals, our leaders seem much worse, but we elect, re-elect, or even unjustly honor them. You and I are less likely to pledge we will refuse supporting or using Google and/or Apple for one year, five years, or life. How many companies will shun the ‘Johny Depps’ based on accusations, but continue with Google and Apple even after evidence. Some of us are so blind to even see ourselves as victims. By allowing Apple to easily collect about twenty billion dollars a year, how do you expect me or someone you know to compete with them towards hiring you or make a product that is much better for the world? If we allow Google to dominate through ‘bribing’ billions to the biggest players, then the African who designs a search engine may accuse us of refusing to support our ‘own’, but s/he may never understand how Google collects a lot more to research harder and perhaps outperform competitors.
The commercialised Justice world also works on ability to see before presentations. So the primary victims may seem to be smaller companies, but individuals and states are indeed victims in such practices. How many companies can bring a civil suit to huge companies like Google or Apple? You need top lawyers or millions for such a case, and how will you collect evidence? Beside civil cases, the governments are busy arresting marijuana folks and monitoring activists, so they cannot see the criminal activities of companies for years. ‘
If an individual sends ten thousand dollars regularly to someone or an organisation, they may investigate; but if a company is paying millions or billions regularly, we do not have the needed laws or agency to verify what for? The u.s believes in regulating weak countries and individuals more than companies? Then they heavily fine guilty companies to cause lay-offs against junior employees, but will senior employees face criminal charges? There is no question that countless top officials in the mentioned companies knew this is implicitly illegal and explicitly unjust. I think investigation and potential charges should be brought against not just the negotiators, but those who knew and kept quiet. Whistleblowers against companies and individuals are protected, but whistle-blowers against the big states must run to Russia like Snowden? The NSA was busy telling beautiful women to avoid Jarga, the activist, so how can you blame them if they cannot see or hear the wrongs of big companies? If an Activist owns a company in your country, then Israel can help you monitor them, to hammer them on tolerable mistakes or bait them in other ways.
The African States or AU lacks the minds to properly argue beyond fines, like the EU. It is wrong and shameful that we cannot force global companies like Apple to have a centre in a country like the Gambia. Despite our size and poverty level, we have tens of thousands of Apple Iphones, computers, and other products. So it is not fair to allow multi-billion dollar companies to refuse proper service to a whole country, because they consider them poor. Our questionable, immature, or simply useless African leaders allowed bad agreements and unjust status quo that we must change. Our present mindless leaders brag about financial achievements and wives, so they do not want to listen to poor activists like Jarga? Efforts and enough efforts are different. We need to re-write the world trade rules, so that multi-billion dollar global companies are pressured to serve globally and serve enough. Companies like Apple refusing to have Apple stores in poor Countries like the Gambia is unacceptable, but because they have it in Ghana, Nigeria, or South Africa — we may never see the importance of collective fight for the weaker countries.
Suppose we cannot change things at world trade level, what can AU do in rallying China, Russia, and the Millions of Africans in the Diaspora, including boycott or girl-cut? Servicing customers should be mandatory, the availability of certain products can be optional. If someone bought a new Iphone in Edmonton of Canada and it has problems, s/he have a centre to walk in to and get help; but Gambian customers have to go to Ghana or cry bad luck? The AU must understand by helping the Gambia and others have Apple Centre and many other centres from multi-billion dollar companies, we are not just getting more employment to reduce illegal migration, but the training will lead to more marrying of wives or possible inventions, more taxes, more contribution to the AU and beyond. So the task is the AU should list all companies with value of over ten billion dollars, check which ones have centres in every African country, over 75% of countries, and smartly confront where need be. If Samsung and Huawei seem to accept our proposal more than Apple, then an annual report of AU should mention companies that are African friendly and those that are not based on verifiable reasons. Opening about fifty four centres in Africa will not break Apple, Huawei, Samsung, etc in any way, and they may argue the store in Gambia will make less than million dollars for them, but remind them gratitude to customers and how the store in New York is partly due to Gambians spending there.
Things like the auto industry, when recalls are made and you have no centre in your country, then blame the AU and country leaders for not trying even simple efforts of pressure. Your job is not just to condemn coup d’etats and co-protecting elites, but how to help the weakest to be strong. It is not enough to say the Gambia or Cape Verde government can choose Toyota over Mercedes Benz due to support Centers, but ask what simple efforts can be done collectively versus separately. A mid-level western city having multiple centres, while a country of about three million ignored is not globalisation.
Beside world trade rules and AU, I believe UN speeches and social media should move just suggestions. President Barrow and who else is rich for life, but if he indifferently ignores how He can help the poor who enrich him, then gratitude and humility to learn from each other are in question. I am not impressed by most of the UN speeches of African leaders, because they lack the pitching of smarter new ideas and creating a world vision for a better new world order. If the Gambia’s president smartly word how multi-billion dollar companies can justly consider poor countries, they may repent or millions around the world will urge them to… We are demanding justice, not begging for favor. Yes, our questionable leaders can afford new products where companies refuse or complicate service, but the poor masses deserve efforts and real service. We should be demanding factories in every continent from certain companies, and demand service centres for every country. Partly for jobs, but largely due to consumer rights.
It is a Judge who will decide how much Apple and Google pay to the state than the companies; it is a smart Justice minister and prosecutor in Europe who will negotiate or charge the companies for their people. It is the independent writers who sometimes inspire journalists to pressure politicians towards thinking. May God bless us through Show love Trinity: let’s learn, let’s work, let’s have fun.
If the estimate of Google payment to Apple is twenty billion dollars per year, then what is the total payment? A smart Judge will demand the financial books of each company, not to fine based on estimate. One to three hundred billion dollars fine or will they argue they have already distributed that wealth to CEOs, share holders, stock buyers, etc.? Will they argue a heavy fine will lead to layoffs and how will EU courts demand? How many smaller companies can claim to be victims and to demand how much? The job of a human writer or judge is not easy, but God has the tools to do a bigger job? God has the powers to make leaders listen, understand, and change, but will He help grateful agents see success and big achievements? These are sins between creatures, so humans should try our best to settle it on earth. I seriously urge African journalists to raise the pressure level on African leaders, but also the public. Special hours and editorials should discuss how we can be affected by such than slavery reparations. Our focus on past wrongs tend to blind us from current wrongs.
Simplistic minds of the formally educated can sometimes be void of thinking and present excuses against beautiful ideas. We are not forcing companies to go bankrupt, but how to globally serve beyond sales. So we will smartly check profitable multi-billion dollar global companies. If Samsung or Apple Loses less than hundred thousand dollars in the Gambia in one year, how about the past or next year and the millions they may make from Senegal? Although the plan will affect less than ten percent of companies, it will largely help the world, including the reduction of corruption and migrants. So smart or caring western leaders will get on board if we properly educate them, suggest smartly, and never arrogantly over demand from companies. Big African countries must also be educated and stop the indifference.
We have seen how Erdogan and others are trying to court Elon Musk for a factory in their countries, but African leaders are not trying even the just part, let alone smarter favors. We suspect Elon Musk is a racist or a coward considering how he accuses South Africa of calling for genocide against whites. However, you can try many other companies. Facebook, Twitter (x), and many others are not paying their fair share to Africa. Unless we demand our dues, they will not voluntarily offer. Sometimes you have to show the culprits their wrongs, help the victims learn to react smartly. It is vital to rise as individuals, but our collective responsibilities are much bigger. If we rightly argue the points, we will see results and an Apple store in the Gambia or Guinea will benefit many others before it may help a poor writer like me. I pray for something bigger than owning such a store, so I appeal for Africa+, far from for personal benefit or just the Gambia.
Although countries can bring lawsuits, organisations like AU are in much better shape to handle such. The lawyers must be thinkers, not just educated, and be paid through commission rather than salaries. They should be altruistic humans or pan Africanists, whose achievements will partially return as reward, based on scale. If we under punish companies and their leaders, we send a very disturbing message. ‘Hello corrupt CEO, a judge fined Apple or xyz only five billion, so take this twenty billion dollars a year, and we control an industry until God exposes us. They did not charge the negotiators or those who sign the illegal checks, so let us take the risk…’. Precedents matter and the lives of the eight billion people on earth is not just on politicians, but on Judges, journalists, and all of us. Some of us cannot even share thoughts that may benefit millions or billions of people. Worse than big companies partnering against smaller companies is big governments (states) partnering against smaller states, companies, or individuals. I am not talking about just how US and Israel are committing worse than war crimes beyond Gaza, but that the African Union (AU) not to abuse any company through my suggestions. Justice demands conscientious demands, not unreasonable demands or abusing public trust. Invest in learning, as individuals, companies, and states. We must not also use such corruption to justify our corruption. Maturity means staying from all wrongs, especially vivid wrongs with ripple effects. Instead try to suggest or do good with ripple effects.
Source: News Ghana