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19.03.2019 Feature Article

The US Activity In Africa Over The Continent’s Rich Resources

America and African countries flagsAmerica and African countries flags

A rough estimation of the African continent accounts for about a third of all the natural resources of the world, which greater part of the resources in the territory of the south of the Sahara, hasn’t been touched. This applies to both minerals that are common in other regions of the world, such as oil, gas, coal, and those that are found mainly in Africa and almost anywhere else.

The most important example of the resources is the metal Coltan - columbite-tantalite, indispensable in modern industry in the production of electronic equipment or more precisely, electrolytes. About 80% of its reserves are located in Africa, primarily in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The biggest producer of bauxite, the element for the production of aluminum, is The Republic of Guinea, where, according to various estimates, from 30 to 40% of all world reserves are concentrated, and another 7–9% in Cameroon and Mali.

Most of the world's diamonds are also mined in Africa. Botswana is in second place in the world after Russia for their production, and the top ten countries also include Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone. The two non-regional countries that produce diamonds as well are Canada and Australia.

US activity in Africa
According to current projections, in the 2030s, Africa will become almost an exclusive global strategic reserve of sources of raw materials. For example, types that have military-strategic significance and are indispensable in defense technologies.

Already, without the use of some types of non-ferrous and rare metals, the production of modern military products are technologically impossible and the dependence of the US military-industrial complex on imports from some countries of Tropical sub-Saharan Africa exceeds 50% and 75% in cobalt.

Knowing this, the Americans were concerned in advance about obtaining unhindered access to African raw materials. Back in the mid-1990s, in a protest in Washington, the US-based companies American Mineral Fields and Barrick Gold gained control of the coltan and cobalt deposits in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At a time the east of this country was occupied by factions closely associated with Rwanda and Uganda, the Americans supplied the authorities of these countries with weapons in exchange for assistance in developing the mineral wealth of the region. An interesting fact is that the board of directors of both companies included former US President George Bush Sr.

The Clinton family is also closely associated with Africa-based businesses. In 2007, the Swedish-Canadian firm Lundin Group, which at that time worked in Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia and had a very mixed reputation in terms of involvement in several episodes of fraud. They transferred $100 million to the Clinton Foundation to promote the candidature of Hillary Clinton, in the 2008 US presidential election.

Such sacrifice did not go unanswered. In 2010, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton ensured that Kinshasa cancelled the decision to nationalize the mines controlled by the Lundin Group. It is well known that American companies Apple, Intel, and Motorola, perhaps and unintentionally, are buying raw materials from DR Congo for the manufacture of Smartphone’s and laptops, which are often referred to as “conflict or bloody minerals.”

Given that the central government in Kinshasa officially certified less than 5% of all mining mines in the east of the country, for example, in the provinces of South and North Kivu and the supply volumes significantly exceed the capabilities of these mineral developments, they can only go from which are not under the control of the authorities and around which fighting can be conducted.

Americans are also very active in the hydrocarbon market. Exxon Mobil and Chevron, together with Malaysian PETRONAS, are virtually monopolists in Chad's oil production. The same companies, as well as the American Anadarko Petroleum, are exploring gas in promising fields in Tanzania and Mozambique, respectively.

Kosmos Energy, a large energy company headquartered in Dallas, is active in West Africa. In Ghana and Equatorial Guinea, it produces oil; in Senegal, Mauritania and Western Sahara, through its subsidiary Cairn Energy, with the permission of the Moroccans who control the country’s territory and to the displeasure of the partly recognized authorities of the Sahara Arab The Democratic Republic) - is carrying out intelligence work.

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Child labour in blood diamond mining
With all such immense benefits slipping out of the hands of the US government because of high competition by China, which a decade ago has become the largest partner of African countries, America has to unleash Ebola in four mineral-rich countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Congo, to take control of the rich resources in those countries.

However, China has solutions for the games America play. They don’t want to lose the African continent for the US because of Ebola, therefore, the Chinese government joined the fight against Ebola in Africa and competed in Ebola trial vaccines against drug makers Merck and Janssen.

In the end, China has won the game leaving the US licking its wounds but the most important answer which the common suffering African would like to know is: How is it possible that all such crimes are taking place in a continent that has African leaders?

Joel Savage
Joel Savage, © 2019

Joel Savage is a Ghanaian-Belgian journalist and author. The accredited press-card holder of the Flemish Journalists Association once contributed regularly to the features column of the Daily Graphic, The Mirror, Ghanaian Times and the Weekly Spectator. The writer currently lives in Belgium., Author column: JoelSavage

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