Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obama's African Cant

 Obama said : "We don't look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognise Africa for its greatest resource which is its people and its talents and its potential".

Many Africans know that this was empty rhetoric. Obama's claim that the U.S. looks beyond oil and mineral resources should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

The US are genuinely frightened of the rate at which China is making concrete investment and control over Africa's crude oil and mineral resources. By 2009, China was already Africa's main trading partner, surpassing USA. In 2012, China's trade volume with Africa hit US$ 198.5 billion mark while the U.S. was at only US$99.8 billion. That is twice as much trading already and yet China's trade with Africa is only 5% of its total globe trade. It is estimated that more than 80% of China's US$98.3 billion of import from Africa in 2011 were in minerals, raw resources, and crude oil.

USA has been meddling in Africa for centuries. Why then is Obama misinforming the world about U.S. interests and presence in Africa as if U.S. is a new entrant in exploiting the continent?  The current predicament of Africa and its lagged economic progress is mainly attributable to these centuries of exploitative bullying from the U.S., UK, France and most of their colonial apparatuses that continue to meddle in Africa's internal affairs.  Africa would not have been as poor and deficient in all internal aspects to compete favourably in the international markets.

The U.S. has footprints in each and every country in Africa, stable or unstable. They are there primarily and precisely for economic benefit, not to develop human resources or African infrastructure.

Obama offers of $33 billion in new trade partnerships are to ensure that U.S. goods and services gain access to African markets. One only needs to read John Perkins' 2004 book: "Confession of an economic hit man" Perkins is unequivocal in his narration of how the US has always used underhand methods such as assassinations, cultivating civil unrest leading to regime change, paying bribe to influential leaders and where possible, supplying arms and protection of crooked leaders to manipulate co-operations of all kinds from any country in the world. Perkins provides numerous examples around the world where the US is still involved or where it left tragic footprints in pursuit of its interests.

According to Jeffrey Sach's 2005 "End of Poverty: economic possibilities for our times" The true story of African billion dollars losses", to unpack the worthlessness of this Obama US-Africa trade package. the true value of American foreign aid that reached the person in Africa in 2002 was only 6 cents after all deductions. Both Perkins and Sachs show that most of the money that the U.S. offers to Africa, either as aid for cooperation or grants go directly to U.S. agencies, paying off "expatriates", deduction for debts owed and financing infrastructure that serves American interests in those countries.

 Health Poverty Action's 2014 report, "Honest Account?" shows that for every US$ 30 billion in foreign aid that Africa receives annually, it losses US$192 billion. The money is lost through loan and debt repaying of US$46.5 billion. Other losses include US$35.3 Billion in tax evasion and other illicit financial flows facilitated through tax havens; US$17 billion in illegal logging; US$3 billion in remittances; US$46.3 billion repatriation of profits made by multinational companies; US$1.3 billion in illegal fishing and Africa incurs a loss of US$36.6 billion as a result of climate change and US$6 billion as a result of brain drain.

From here

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