Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Rhodes to Africa

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes - “What we hear from our businesses is that they want to get in the game in Africa. There are other countries getting in the game in Africa – China, Brazil, Turkey. And if the US is not leading in Africa, we’re going to fall behind in a very important region of the world.”

Over a century earlier, another Rhodes – Cecil  – explained that very game: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.”

How best to obtain access to Africa’s mineral and petroleum wealth?

Obama has been criticized for military interventions in oil-soaked Libya and AfriCom’s fight against Islamic fundamentalists in Somalia, for mercenary support and torture-rendition activities in several African countries, and for gifts of drones and US troop deployment in authoritarian Uganda.

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that Obama promoted and as the Heritage Foundation has argued, AGOA aims to “encourage governments to open their economies and build free markets” – which, translated by Michael Besha of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, means “coercing African countries into total trade and financial liberalization.” Riaz Tayob of the Southern and East African Trade Institute, explains “standard US policy to debtor countries is to open financial markets.”

From here 

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