VAMPIRE BANKERS PLUNDER AFRICA
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IF YOU LIKE THIS STORY PLEASE SHARE IT: In terms of natural resources Africa is far richer than Latin America, Russia and China combined. If a fraction of Africa’s wealth seeped through to the peoples of Africa their lifestyle could match that of the people of Dubai.
Typically, Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with vast deposits of precious minerals such as diamonds, gold, and tantalum. Katanga’s western-backed regime transferred at least $5 billion of assets from the state-mining sector to private companies but not a brass cent to the Katangese people.
In 2004, a small, mostly civilian group took over a village mine operated by the Australian firm Anvil Mining. The desperate natives protested that the company was making huge profits without rewarding the local workforce. The Congolese army crushed the uprising and killed around 100 people, many by summary execution.
What happened in Katanga is being repeated throughout Africa. The one notable exception was Libya where the wealth of Libya’s natural resources benefited the Libyan people whose lifestyle was superior to that of Europeans. The mugging and plundering of Libya by NATO was a reminder to Africa’s despots not to step out of line.
Investigative journalist Tom Burgis says the combination of staggering wealth, rampant violence, and abject poverty in DR Congo is no coincidence, but part of a pattern causing devastation across Africa.
Burgis, a former correspondent in Lagos and Johannesburg, uncovered many autocrats and oligarchs running rackets during his African travels. A common thread is that the wholesale theft of resources during colonial times has barely slowed through the post-independence era, albeit with new beneficiaries.
Michael Walsh, author, and journalist who travelled extensively around Africa says the journalist’s findings echo his own. “The so-called de-colonisation of Africa was the transfer of its wealth from Europe to the banking dynasties.”
The author of four book titles relating to Africa adds, “Ironically, ordinary Africans lived far better under colonial rule.”
Burgis says, “When the foreign power leaves, you are left with an elite that has no division between political and commercial power. The only source of wealth is mines or oilfields, and that is a recipe for ultra-corrupt states. The multinational companies hold enormous economic and political power in post-independence African countries. In this way, there is a straight line from colonialism to modern banking exploitation.”
He cites Angola, which earns almost half of its GDP from oil, as an example of government as a service for the elite. A 2011 IMF audit revealed that $32 billion disappeared from official accounts between 2007 and 2010, a quarter of the state’s income.
The Angolan elite rejects accountability and does not tolerate any challenge from the public, Burgis adds, recalling the recent case of activists being jailed for a public reading of a pro-democracy book.
The experts says, “The growth of offshore banking in the late 20th century created new opportunities for globalists to cover their tracks, a practice laid bare in the Panama Papers in which most of today’s political elite were implicated.
The era of globalist finance has opened African markets to a new generation of mysterious traders. Responsibility for the plight of resource-dependent nations goes beyond traders and dictators. The global economy still requires a huge supply of raw materials that originate in Africa, creating an imperative to maintain the existing, destructive model. There has been a tendency to lecture African rulers (but) the problems are in the world financial system.
That financial secrecy is available is not Africa’s fault,” says Burgis. “Address the part that sits within the global system, which can be regulated from Western capitals.”
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