Sunday, May 12, 2013

BBC World Debate Why Poverty?

BBC World Debate Why Poverty?

Published on Nov 30, 2012

This Debate is part of a global event hosted by the BBC and 50 other broadcasters around the world. The debate explores the causes of and cures for the enduring problem of severe poverty which still affects many people in the world.

It was recorded in front of a live audience in Johannesburg earlier this year. On the panel are Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister; Oby Ezekwesili from the Open Society Foundation, Africa and a former Nigerian government minister; Moeltesi Mbeki, South African author and Chair of SA Institute of International Affairs; and Vandana Shiva, Indian activist, environmentalist and scientist. Chaired by Zeinab Badawi.

It's easy, but why get rid of it, since the rich countries make billions off it! Let me give you a little example, the 8 trillion dollars, that pieces of shit bush n blair, gave to their cronies and their bosses, it would have given this Earth, 600 years free of poverty! An Abundance of Abundance!!


I am really sorry, but I can not watch a WAR CRIMINAL, tony blair, in an effort to be sanitized, discussing about poverty! This is despicable and unacceptable! I will never watch this host, in anything else she does, simply not credible!
India's World Indian firms in Africa land rush YouTube
Published on Feb 27, 2013
Indian ambassador Vijay Sakhuja, Oakland Institute Executive Director Anuradha Mittal and New Ethiopia Executive Director Obang Metho discuss "Land Grab" in Ethiopia. The panel was led by Bharat Bhushan, host of India's World.
Land Grab In Omo Valley,South Oromia/Ethiopia
Published on Oct 17, 2012
BilisummaaDailyShow #224:Land Garb In Omo Valley,Oromia/Ethiopia
Violent land grabs in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are displacing tribes and preventing them from cultivating their land, leaving thousands of people hungry and 'waiting to die'
to learn more go here:

The testimony of genocide against Luo people of Ethiopia

Uploaded on Nov 26, 2009

The testimony of massacres against the people of Anyuak: part of a wider extermination policy against defenceless and innocent people. A similar trend is happening in Acholi


The lands on the eastern and southern part of Ethiopia were Luo before the arrival of the Hebrew Solomon (Jerusalem) Crown. The lands are part of Southern Sudan, northern, central and southern Uganda, as well as the lands around the shores of Lake Victoria, all of which made/make up the country and nation known as LUOLAND. What the people who live in those lands speak is called LUO LANGUAGE and the people are LUO.
00:18 mele Zenawi = ethiopias prime minister/president.. he is a semitic north ethiopian murderer and a cowards and he is responsible for the genocides of the darker natives like the Anuaks of south ethiopia and the Ogaden-Somalians of east ethiopia the Somalian Ogaden region and many other ethnic cleansing..


ETHIOPIA Neocolonialism stealing Black Diaspora's Promised

Published on Jun 7, 2012

ETHIOPIA & Neocolonialism stealing Black Diaspora's Promised Land?
Repatriation is a MUST!

Investing in African Prosperity

Published on May 2, 2013


Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda

Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder, Econet Wireless

Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice President, Policy and Planning, Chevron

Michael Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute

Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest-growing economies, driven largely by surging foreign investment flows. FDI is expected to reach $150 billion in 2015 - double the amount received last year and six times more than in 2000. Africa is also home to the world's largest concentration of impoverished people, and the considerable gap between rich and poor continues to widen. For Africa's natural resource sector - target of 90 percent of foreign investment - to spread prosperity, reduce inequality and underwrite gains in human development, a new, collaborative approach to investment is essential. There are important roles for a range of players: investors, corporations, governments, development agencies, NGOs and foundations. This panel of global leaders will discuss innovative and untraditional ways to expand health care, build institutions and broaden the economic base on the continent.

What are the people saying about Vision 2030?

Published on Mar 25, 2012

Liberians around the country have all told the president the same things: They want the land issue resolved, not only about the purchasing of land issue but also the redistribution of land since alot of land is owned by a small amount of people that are not willing to sell, and that such lands lie dormant for years without any development. They also talked about land boundaries and of course the sale of land by unscrupulours people.

They also want a single currency, They do not want Liberian dollars and US dollars side by side, Which means the US dollars should remain in the banks when people send US based families money, the families in Liberia should get the Liberian dollars equivalent. Liberians should sell and buy in Liberian dollars exclusively.

They all want paved roads, not conditioned lateritic roads that get damaged every rainy season.

They do not want gay rights.

They want estates for citizens, teachers' quarters, superintendent quarters, etc.

Pipe borne water.....

Tutu Calls for War Crimes Trial for Bush, Blair

Published on Sep 3, 2012

In an op-ed, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu said leaders of the U.S. and United Kingdom should be tried for the invasion of Iraq.

the world is waking up and some leaders are finding their voices.
let's shine some light on these vampires.
Babylon is falling. money, fame and loyalty to Satan won't save these monsters.
Bliar and bush have already been tried for war crimes in their absence by a Malaysian court and been found guilty.
Biofuelling Injustice: report on European energy policies and land grabbing in
Published on Mar 27, 2012
The European Union's biofuel policy continues to threaten food security and increase land grabs in Africa, shows the new report '(Bio)fuelling injustice: Europe's responsibility to counter climate change without provoking land grabbing and compounding food insecurity in Africa,' released by the EuropAfrica platform and FIAN International. Read the report: Pictured: Sylvain Aubry and Roman Herre, FIAN International.

Arms deal losses: theft from the poor

Corruption is no longer considered a ‘victimless crime’ and cancelling the arms deal contracts could unlock funds desperately needed for social spending, writes TERRY CRAWFORD-BROWNE.
South Africa is one of 40 signatory countries to the 1997 Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials. Implementing legislation includes the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (1998), and in theory the penalty for failure to report even suspicions of money laundering is imprisonment of up to 15 years.
However, Transparency International’s (TI) recent report on South African compliance contains just two words: ‘No Enforcement.’ It is an appalling commentary, and was soon reflected in the downgrading of the country’s credit ratings.
Amazingly, before the OECD Convention it was not illegal to bribe foreigners in Europe. In some countries, notably Germany, bribes were even tax-deductible as ‘useful business expenses’. Enforcement has remained lax, especially in England where successive banking scandals have confirmed the unsavoury reputation of the City of London as ‘the most corrupt square mile anywhere on the planet Earth!’
This is changing at last, though, with the growing realisation that corruption is not a ‘victimless crime’. In fact, it amounts to theft from the poor, as well as a serious security concern.
The criminal ‘overworld’ of malleable governments, bankers, lawyers, auditors and big business is finally being challenged by civil society and citizens. New technology makes it increasingly possible to track and prosecute the perpetrators of white collar crime.
The war business – euphemistically described as ‘defence’ – is particularly susceptible to corruption. Global military expenditure in 2011 amounted to about US$1.7 trillion, and about half of all this spending was by the United States. The late Joe Roeber estimated that the arms industry contributes to about 40% of corruption worldwide. New thinking appreciates that this is not only a waste of taxpayer resources, but also
• impacts on the operational effectiveness of the armed forces when the wrong equipment is purchased, putting the lives of soldiers at risk;
• reduces public trust in the armed forces and/or police;
• undermines democracy by rewarding politicians; and,
• deters international investors from the economy.
Another recently released TI report features a ranking of 82 countries and focuses on the defence sector. It finds that 70% of countries do not have adequate mechanisms to prevent corruption in the sector, and that 90% offer inadequate protections to whistleblowers.
Among these countries, only Australia and Germany are considered to have adequate control mechanisms. Scoring a D+, South Africa ranks in 69th place, on par with notoriously corrupt countries including Thailand, Ukraine, Mexico and Israel. Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo rank at the bottom.
The Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal offers a unique opportunity to reverse South Africa’s dismal reputation, although the first public hearings have just been postponed from March until August 2013.
With our celebrated transition from apartheid in 1994, European politicians flocked here to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and our new democracy with one hand, and to peddle weapons with the other. British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s lobbying became especially forceful after 1997, when the SA Air Force rejected BAE’s Hawk and Gripen fighter aircraft as both too expensive and unsuited to South Africa’s military requirements.
After failing several tender provisions, even cost was removed from consideration. British Secretary for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt finally admitted in 2003 that ‘commissions’ (read, bribes) had been paid to secure BAE’s contracts with South Africa. But these, Hewitt pleaded, were ‘within reasonable
In 2006, Blair squelched an investigation, which he claimed posed a threat to British national security, by the British Serious Fraud Office into allegations that BAE had bribed Saudi princes. It soon transpired that, with the collusion of successive British governments, BAE had been laundering over £1 billion in bribes to Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) became involved on the grounds that BAE was laundering bribes through the American banking system, for which the company was fined US$ 479 million.
BAE’s use of bribes to win arms export contracts is conducted on a scale that makes the Italian mafia look like saints. In 2008, the Scorpions raided BAE’s offices in Pretoria and Cape Town and seized 460 boxes and 4.7 million computer pages of evidence of corruption. Affidavits came into my possession that detailed how and why BAE paid bribes of £115 million (R1.5 billion), to whom those bribes were paid, and which bank accounts were credited.
When I took the matter to the Constitutional Court in 2011 to demand a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal, President Jacob Zuma’s legal counsel was unable to refute the accompanying mountain of evidence. Zuma reluctantly appointed the Seriti Commission.
Three of the Commission’s six terms of reference deal with offsets – the rationale for the arms deal being that R30 billion spent on armaments would generate R110 billion in offsets, and thus would create 65 000 jobs. No spaza shop gives R110 change for a R30 purchase! Offsets are a discredited instrument for weapons proliferation promoted by the arms industry with the collusion of corrupt politicians. I contend that they violate section 217(1) of the Constitution, which requires that government procurements are conducted in accordance with a system which is ‘fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective’.
The responsible Cabinet committee, led by former president Thabo Mbeki, Alec Erwin and Trevor Manuel, not only vigorously promoted the notion of offsets, but abused their powers of office to block investigations of the corruption that the arms deal unleashed. Even the Auditor General and parliamentarians were forbidden access to details of offset contracts on the spurious insistence that they were ‘commercially confidential’.
The offsets, and thus the arms deal, were illegal and unconstitutional right from inception. They were also fraudulent. The Department of Trade and Industry finally conceded in 2012 that the offsets did not materialise. British jurist Lord Denning famously noted, ‘fraud unravels everything’. A further legal principle applies that the fraudster should not financially benefit from his fraud.
The international remedy for fraud is to cancel the contracts, return the equipment and recover the money. The financial consequences of cancellation would thereby fall to British and German taxpayers whose governments underwrote the arms deal.
The cost of the arms deal is estimated to have escalated since 1999 from R30 billion to R70 billion. The acquired submarines and frigates are now lying inoperable in Simon’s Town harbour. Equally bizarre, the South African National Defence Force confirms that South Africa lacks the pilots to fly the BAE and BAE/Saab fighter aircraft, the mechanics to maintain them, and even the money to fuel them. Cancellation of the contracts would release funds desperately needed for housing and other poverty eradication initiatives.
Cancellation would also represent a tangible apology to the people of South Africa.
Nothing has so undermined the legitimacy of the government as perceptions that its leaders are stealing from the poor. The consequences are evident daily in non-delivery riots all over South Africa.
Most importantly, such an apology would signal to the world that South Africans are actually serious about tackling corruption, and are not just giving lip-service to the OECD Convention and other international commitments. The next step will be to get BAE and other arms companies blacklisted in all 40 countries that are signatories to the OECD Convention.
Terry Crawford-Browne, a former banker, represented the Anglican Church at the 1996–1998 Parliamentary Defence Review, and in 2010 applied to the Constitutional Court for the appointment of a commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

Tony Blair expands his African empire into mineral-rich Guinea

Tony Blair has added to his burgeoning African empire. The former prime minister can now count himself as official adviser to the president of Guinea, a hot, steamy republic in west Africa in possession of vast mineral resources.

Tony Blair expands his African empire into mineral-rich Guinea
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Tony Blair with Alpha Conde, the president of Guinea Photo: AFP/GETTY
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The country is the biggest producer of bauxite in the world Photo: AFP/GETTY

Robert Mendick

By Robert Mendick, Chief reporter
8:30AM GMT 11 Mar 2012

The agreement coincides with a deal to explore new mining opportunities signed by the government of Guinea and a Middle East investment fund, which also employs Mr Blair as an adviser on business matters.

That contract potentially opens Mr Blair up to accusations of a conflict of interest — as an adviser to both parties.

Guinea is the fourth state in Africa — after Rwanda, Liberia and Sierra Leone — to invite Mr Blair and his entourage into government. The formal partnership between Guinea and Mr Blair’s charity, the African Governance Initiative (AGI), was sealed at the end of last year after six months of negotiation.

Mr Blair can now include Alpha Conde on his list of African rulers with whom he is close. Mr Conde, a political science professor, came to power in 2010, the first time Guinea had elected its president freely and fairly since gaining independence from France more than 50 years ago.

Guinea, despite being one of the poorest and most corrupt countries on earth, may prove to be the jewel in AGI’s crown. After years of brutal, dictatorial rule, Guinea, which has a population of just 10 million in an area the size of the UK, has huge potential for growth.

Guinea is the world’s biggest producer of bauxite, used to make aluminium, and is set to become the third largest source of iron ore. There are also significant deposits of diamonds, gold and uranium. Bauxite reserves are estimated at 25 billion tons while there are a further four billion tons of iron ore.
AGI is currently deploying a team on the ground in Guinea’s ramshackle capital Conakry to instil good governance among its ministers and bureaucrats. Significantly, it will also involve itself in attracting foreign investors.
AGI’s website boasts of the charity’s determination “to attract the sustainable investment to build strong economies for the future”. One West African diplomatic source told The Sunday Telegraph: “AGI’s dealings are part business and part charity. While some people in his organisation are pushing the shepherding bit of his operation, others are doing business on the mineral resources side of things.”
A source in Guinea praised Mr Blair’s efforts. “I believe their commitment is genuine,” said the source. “In Guinea, it has already led to improvements in decision-making and coordination of policy.”
Mubadala Development Company, a £20 billion sovereign wealth fund set up by the Abu Dhabi government, signed the “collaboration agreement” with Guinea in November. It includes investing in new bauxite and iron ore mines.
Mubadala is well known to Mr Blair. His private consultancy Tony Blair Associates has been a paid adviser to the company since 2009.
It has been speculated that Mr Blair, who has seven properties to run including a town house in London and a country estate in Buckinghamshire, earns around £1 million a year from Mubadala, although a source at the company suggested that sum was too high.
There is no evidence that as an unpaid adviser to the Guinean government, Mr Blair or his team were in any way involved in the Mubadala agreement with Guinea. Nor is there any suggestion that Mr Blair has profited personally from the deal.
On Mr Blair’s role in Mubadala, a spokesman for the fund said: “He is one of many valued advisers on business matters to Abu Dhabi.
“Tony Blair does not receive any remuneration from Mubadala in respect of Guinea and has no commercial interest in the Mubadala connection there.”
Mr Blair’s spokesman said: “All the work he does for AGI is pro bono, he has no commercial interest connected with any of the work he does for AGI in these countries and indeed he supports the charity with his own money.”
AGI described Mr Blair as a “leading advocate” for Africa who believed its future depended on a thriving private sector.
The AGI spokesman said: “He [Mr Blair] frequently discusses the development of AGI’s partner countries with other governments, companies, philanthropic foundations and development agencies. He has no commercial interest in any such discussions and all the work he does as patron of AGI is on a pro bono basis.”
Mr Blair first visited Conakry last June and returned there in December to formally agree AGI’s tie-up with Guinea.
AGI is run from Mr Blair’s London headquarters in Grosvenor Square by Kate Gross, a former adviser to Mr Blair when in Downing Street, while its country head in Guinea is Shruti Mehrotra, previously a campaigner with anti-corruption charity Global Witness.
Mr Blair and Mr Conde appear to have struck up a good friendship.
Mr Blair has said he was “attracted by the vision” of Mr Conde, while for his part Mr Conde declared in December: “The first thing that Tony Blair brings is his expertise; second, the experts who he has put at our disposal; third he helps us see that it’s not just enough to define priorities, we need timetables to deliver them.”
A month earlier, Mubadala announced it had signed “agreements to explore new investments and partnerships in strategic sectors such as bauxite, alumina and iron ore”. A press release issued at the time noted the deal would “deliver significant benefits to the economies of both the Republic of Guinea and United Arab Emirates”.
It is not known if Mr Blair was involved in Mubadala’s decision to move into Guinea. Another acquaintance of Mr Blair also has an interest in the country. Oleg Deripaska, oligarch and friend of Lord Mandelson, owns a bauxite mine and a smelting plant in Guinea through his company Rusal, the world’s largest producer of aluminium.
Rusal also held talks in November with Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, over a new bauxite mining project. Separately Mr Blair is an adviser to Mr Koroma.
Mr Blair has previously benefited from Mr Deripaska’s largesse. Another of Mr Blair’s charities — an environmental campaign group called Breaking the Climate Deadlock — was given £300,000 by Mr Deripaska in 2009.
Mr Blair has been linked to Rusal through another of his advisory roles.
In 2009, JP Morgan, an investment bank which pays Mr Blair about £1 million a year, tried to put together a deal in which Rusal would be refinanced through a £3 billion loan from the Libyan Investment Authority.
JP Morgan linked the deal to a trip being made by Mr Blair to Tripoli to see Col Muammar Gaddafi — although Mr Blair denies any knowledge of the JP Morgan negotiations, which later fell through.
A Rusal spokesman said last week: “Tony Blair has never participated in any negotiations regarding Rusal’s business and has never been an adviser or consultant to the company.”
A source added: “They are adamant they have had no dealings with him in Africa.”
Africa is only one part of Mr Blair’s growing empire. Mr Blair — or companies associated with him — also has consultancies with the governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan, and the Swiss insurance group Zurich Financial Services.
In January is was disclosed that a management company set up by Mr Blair had an income of more than £12 million but paid tax of just £315,000 on profits of more than £1 million.
Mr Blair’s total fortune has been estimated as between £30 million and £40 million, although Mr Blair’s aides deny it is that high.


Multinational corporations: The new colonisers in Africa

Aug 25, 2010

Before the end of the first period of colonialism African nations were properties of their colonial masters who did what they could to rape the continent of whatever resource they deemed good for the development of their citizens in Europe.

Out of nowhere and without any consultation with the people of the African continent, the Europeans met and divided the continent amongst themselves in what has been termed 'The Scramble for Africa'.

Through this scramble France, Britain, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy all went on a looting spree, raping Africa of her resources without putting any of the proceeds back for the development of the continent.

When US President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Gambia on 13 January 1943, he was so appalled by the conditions of Gambians that he made this lamentation:

'It's the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life… The natives are five thousand years back of us… The British have been there for two hundred years – for every dollar that the British have put into Gambia, they have taken out ten. It's just plain exploitation of those people.'

He continued, telling his son Elliot, 'I must tell [Winston] Churchill what I found out about his British Gambia today. This morning, at about eight-thirty, we drove through Bathurst to the airfield.' (Elliott notes that it was here that his father began speaking with 'real feeling in his voice'.) 'The natives were just getting to work. In rags … glum-looking…They told us the natives would look happier around noontime, when the sun should have burned off the dew and the chill. I was told the prevailing wages for these men was one and nine. One shilling nine pence. Less than fifty cents.'

'An hour?' Elliott asked.

'A day! Fifty cents a day! Besides which, they're given a half-cup of rice. Dirt. Disease. Very high mortality rate. I asked. Life expectancy – you'd never guess what it is. Twenty-six years. Those people are treated worse than the livestock. Their cattle live longer!'[1]

And the exploitation was not peculiar to Gambia. The Gold Coast (now Ghana), Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)), Namibia, South Africa, Congo and Angola all suffered from the same colonial exploitation and underinvestment.

For almost 300 years the Europeans, who were supposedly civilised, devout Christians, irresponsibly looted Africa's resources and made slaves of its natives without developing their colonies. When the local population protested against this exploitation without reciprocal investment, they were brutally crushed, as happened in the Congo, where King Leopold II of Belgium looted the resources, made slaves and killed close to 10 million Congolese.

Martin Ewans, co-author of ‘European Atrocity, African Catastrophe: Leopold II, the Congo Free State and its Aftermath' has described in detail the horrors committed by Leopold II, the State of Belgium and the companies that exploited the resources of Congo.

He writes: "Leopold's exploitation of the territory (Congo) and its peoples that ensued was merciless to the point of genocide. Large tracts were declared to be ‘vacant lands' and the inhabitants were debarred from profiting from them. Concessions were granted to a small number of companies, which were given a free hand in procuring rubber by whatever means they chose. Leopold himself created a Domaine de la Couronne from which the profits of the rubber regime went to him personally. The local inhabitants were forced to collect rubber for minimal returns, and were subjected to a variety of compulsions if they failed to deliver the quotas demanded. Hostages were taken against deliveries, chiefs killed or intimidated, individuals slaughtered and whole villages razed. A potentially lethal whip of dried hippopotamus hide, the chicotte, was widely used, and the regime's soldiers were ordered to produce severed hands, to prove that they had used their weapons effectively. The populations of the rubber producing areas were decimated, partly as a result of these practices, partly through flight, and partly as a result of the malnutrition and disease that followed. Overwhelmingly, Belgium chose not to know about what was going on. Strict secrecy was in any case imposed on those who worked in the Congo, and it was a simple matter to deal with any who stepped out of line. For a long time, even the missionaries who worked in the Congo said little or nothing publicly, fearing that they might prejudice their evangelical activities".[2]

Altogether the atrocities that Leopold II and Belgium perpetrated against Africans claimed more than ten million lives. The crimes committed were so monstrous that its records have been sealed away from the public and even serious researchers have been denied access to them. It is important to state that the underlying cause of the slaughter of Africans was resources: land, rubber, gold and diamond. Peter Bate's film the ‘White King, Red Rubber, Black Death' is a reconstruction of what really happened in Congo.

Despite having looted Congo's resources for more than seven decades the country was virtually left undeveloped: without roads, schools, hospitals, good drinking water and rail lines. There was a deliberate policy to keep the people uneducated and undeveloped. According to Martin Ewans when Congo gained independence in June 30th, 1960 ‘there were a mere seventeen African graduates, and not a single qualified African doctor, lawyer or engineer. There were no Africans in the senior judiciary and not a single army officer, while in the senior administrative ranks, out of a total of nearly 5,000, the numbers of Africans barely ran into double figures. There were no experienced political leaders, no educated citizenry, no indigenous administrators, no professional, commercial or military elite, no established middle class with a stake in the stability and well-being of the country' [3].

In 1904 to 1907 the German, led by Commander-in-Chief Lothar Von Trotha, committed their first genocide of the 20th century by killing 90 per cent of the Herero and the Namaqua people of South West Africa (now Namibia) when the people protested against the exploitation of their resources. And the sad stories of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Namibia, Kenya and Angola, where people were denied access to land, citizenship and basic rights and had to take up arms before they were granted independence, are in many history books. We know how Nelson Mandela (now a hero in Europe) and a number of freedom fighters endured long prison sentences, torture, exile and deaths in the hands of their 'devout Christians' and 'civilised' European colonisers. The idea was that through The Scramble for Africa they had bought Africa and had power to do as they wish, hence the rape, torture, genocide and mass killings.

While Europeans became richer, Africans became poorer. For example, with the looting of the Congo's resources, enslavement, the amputations of hands and 10 million deaths, Brussels – which now doubles as the capital of the European Union – and Belgium were built.

When they were given their ‘freedom', the fathers of independence inherited nothing more than empty treasuries. They realised that after more than 300 hundred years of colonial rule their colonial masters had left them nothing; no money and no infrastructure.

This bad situation and their eagerness to improve the lives of their peoples forced them to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for assistance, and when they went lo and behold their former colonial masters were there waiting for them. The colonisers used their majority votes to dictate to the World Bank and IMF about how these former colonies should be helped. Of the 185 members that make up the IMF, six colonial masters and their allies – comprised of the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Italy – control 42 per cent of the votes.

The colonial masters dictated to the IMF and the World Bank that for Africans to be helped, they had to open their economies to allow European and American corporations in. This underscores the numerous conditionalities that are associated with loans from these institutions. The conditionalities are nothing more than a smokescreen designed to ensure that Europeans never lose their grip on the resources of their former colonies. Some of these conditionalities include instituting secret memorandums of agreement, subsidies to foreign corporations and massive tax concessions (such as income tax, usage fees and property tax) – the primary source of revenue for 'export-oriented', developing countries.

The sad thing is that Africans thought independence would give them respite to develop, but this was never to be as the colonial masters used their corporations and intelligence services to deliver vengeance on the people. They encouraged and financed civil wars, unashamedly polluted rivers, wells and the soil through their oil and mineral activities, deliberately understated their profits and falsified profit documents, as well as undervaluing their goods, indulging in smuggling, theft and the falsification of invoicing and non-payment of taxes, and employing kickbacks and bribes to public officials. They also overpriced projects, provided save havens for looted funds, promoted the sale of guns, overthrew African leaders, supported dictatorships and assassinated those who disagreed with them. We know, for example, the tragedy of Patrice Lumumba of Congo and the support the West gave Mobutu.

The corporations forced onto Africa by the IMF, the World Bank, the US and Europe have been implicated in a number of cases for corrupting African leaders and stealing trillions of dollars worth of resources. Global Financial Integrity says that '$900 billion is secreted each year from underdeveloped economies, with an estimated $11.5 trillion currently stashed in havens. More than one quarter of these hubs belong to the UK, while Switzerland washes one-third of global capital flight.' Of this $900 billion, $150 billion comes from Africa.

'The idea that Switzerland has a clean economy is a joke; it is a dirt-driven economy,' says Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research LLP. The Swiss Bankers Association claims that four-fifths of the nation supports banking secrecy, which reveals a society deeply embedded in a culture of impunity and exploitation. The fact is that those who steal must find a way to hide their loot, and Switzerland provides the ideal environment for such crimes to take place. And it is not Switzerland alone that does not have a clean economy. Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg can all be described as vampires.

In her article 'Capital flight: gingerbread havens, cannibalised economies', Khadija Sharife writes:

'This policy is especially lethal for developing countries where the poor are now caught in tax brackets, courtesy of the IMF and World Bank's structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), instituting policies ranging from "tax holidays" to the privatisation of state services [and] carving out huge slices of natural capital at corporate auctions… Africa has collectively lost more than $600-billion in capital flight, excluding other mechanisms of flight including ecological debt (globally estimated at a potential $1.8-trillion per annum), the cost of liberalised trade (just under $300-billion) … and the list goes on…'[4]

Thus with the support and collusion of the IMF and the World Bank these corporations are paying close to nothing for the resources they take from Africa.

Africa has been labelled the world's most corrupt region because multinational internal mis-pricing makes up 60 per cent of capital outflow, with corporations declaring profits in tax havens, as opposed to the country of performance. Corporations declare about 40 per cent of their profits in the African countries where they operate, siphoning the rest into their safe-haven accounts in order to avoid paying tax which could be used to eradicate poverty. And this is not the end of the corruption and the story of daylight robbery.

We know how Elf operated as an arm of the French state supporting dictators, looting resources and establishing a flush fund used to bribe African leaders to look the other way while the corporation looted Africa's oil and gas.

The author of Poisoned Wells Nicholas Shaxson wrote of the subject: 'Magistrates discovered the money from Elf's African operations supplied bribes to support French commercial, military and diplomatic goals around the world. In exchange, French troops protected compliant African dictators.'

This explains why there are so many more corrupt dictators in French-speaking Africa compared with elsewhere in Africa. Gabon's Omar Bongo, Togo's Gnassingbé Eyadéma, Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko, Guinea's Lansana Conté, Côte d'Ivoire's Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Burkina Faso's Blaise Compaoré, Congo's Sassou Nguesso and Chad's Idriss Déby are some of the compliant leaders who were or have been protected by France. And what happened to the non-compliant African leaders? Your guess is as good as mine. Please find time to read more about Bob Denard, a Frenchman who made a career as a mercenary overthrowing African leaders. French author Jean Guisner says: 'Denard did nothing that was contrary to French interests – and he allegedly acted in close cooperation with French intelligence services'.

In the Elf corruption case André Tarallo, the real boss of Elf-Afrique, 'told the court in June 2003 that annual cash transfers totalling about £10m were made to Omar Bongo, Gabon's president, while other huge sums were paid to leaders in Angola, Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville. The multi-million dollar payments were partly paid to ensure the African leaders' continued allegiance to France. In return for protection and sweeteners from Elf's coffers, France used Gabon as a base for military and espionage activities in West Africa.'[5]

The real deal is that Elf, Shell, BP and their counterparts in Europe and America pay bribes to African leaders to induce them to look the other way when they plunder resources. Ask any Gabonese or Congolese whether they have benefited from the oil and diamonds and the answer will be a big no. What is so tragic is that the people know they have oil, diamonds and see these companies processing them everyday yet do not know where it goes, who buys them and where the proceeds go.

In the UK former Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of selling a device based on ageing technology to Tanzania. 'The UK sold a useless air traffic control system to Tanzania in 2001 in a scandalous and squalid deal, the House of Commons was told.' Clare Short, an minister of parliament, said, 'The deal was useless and hostile to the interests of Tanzania.' She continued, 'Barclays Bank had colluded with the government by loaning Tanzania the money, but lying to the World Bank about the type and size of the loan.' Short said, 'Tanzania could have paid much less for the same equipment which cost them £28m'. Shadow International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said 'BAE had used ageing technology and said the system was not adequate and too expensive.'[6]

And it all happened after they had bought Tanzania officials to look the other way while a device based on ageing technology was being sold to the country. BAE colluded with Tony Blair and Barclays Bank to sell a useless commodity at an exorbitant price to Tanzania. This is nothing but a continuation of the contempt and impunity with which Europeans have traditionally treated Africa before, during and after colonialism. BAE is indirectly saying that Africans do not deserve the latest technology even if they pay a cut-throat price. It is also a message to Africans that they must develop their own technology and not rely on the generosity of others.

It is no secret that the Shell oil company colluded with Nigeria's corrupt Abacha regime to steal oil, pollute the country's rivers, wells, creeks and soil and render millions of farmers and fishermen in the Niger Delta jobless. '[Shell] admitted that it inadvertently fed conflict, poverty and corruption through its oil activities in the country. Nigeria contributes to about 10% of Shell's global production and is home to some of its most promising reserves, yet the country is steeped in poverty and conflict.'[7] So Shell, in addition to stealing Nigeria's oil and polluting its rivers, wells and soils, also promotes corruption, poverty and conflict.

In the DRC about five million people have died in a war, the underlying motive for which is the satisfaction of the West's insatiable appetite for high-quality, low-price cell phones, laptop computers, Playstations, jewels, diamonds and coltan. And in Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, New York or Washington, who cares about five million deaths anyway? Why has the DRC's war not ended? Who supplies the rebels their arms and who buys the minerals they mine illegally? Why have Ugandan and Rwandan forces crossed several times into DRC? And whose agenda are they pursuing? A report by the UN says it all.

The panel calls for financial restrictions to be levied on 54 individuals and 29 companies it says are involved in the plunder, including four Belgian diamond companies and the Belgian company George Forrest, which is partnered with the US-based OM Group.

The individuals named include Rwandan army Chief-of-Staff James Kabarebe, Congolese Minister of the Presidency Augustin Katumba Mwanke, Ugandan army Chief-of-Staff James Kazini and Zimbabwean Parliament Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa, BBC online reported.[6] The report also accused 85 South African, European and US multinational corporations – including Anglo American, Barclays Bank, Bayer, De Beers and the Cabot Corporation – of violating the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) ethical guidelines on conflict zones.

The guidelines they were accused of violating relate to arming Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese rebels and profiting from their illegal looting of Congo's minerals, as the following excerpt shows:

'Despite the recent withdrawal of most foreign forces, the exploitation of Congo's resources continues, the report says, with elite networks and criminal groups tied to the military forces of Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe benefiting from micro-conflicts in the D.R.C. "The elite networks derive financial benefit through a variety of criminal activities, including theft, embezzlement, [the] diversion of public funds, [the] undervaluation of goods, smuggling, false invoicing, non-payment of taxes, kickback[s] to public officials and bribery," and added that such pillaging is responsible for much of the death and malnutrition in eastern D.R.C.'[8]

And so while millions die in Africa with the complicity of these corporations, European and North American citizens, with all their hypocrisy, live to enjoy lavish holidays. And when Africans try to reach Europe the citizens say 'Europe is full. No more immigrants.' Where do the queens and kings in Europe get the diamonds and gold that they show off? Is it not from the blood diamonds from Congo, Sierra Leone and other conflict zones in Africa that are smuggled out and sold in Brussels, Zurich, London and New York?

And this is not their only crime. We know how Halliburton established a $180-million flush fund and bought Nigerian officials to secure a $10-billion oil contract. We know Acres International of Canada paid $260,000 to secure an $8-billion dam contract in Lesotho. We know Swiss, British, German and French financial and banking institutions have made fortunes by providing safe havens for funds looted by Abacha, Mobutu, Bongo, Conté, Kenya's Daniel arap Moi and the rest of the dictators in Africa. And it is no secret that Belgium is angry with the DRC government for inviting China into the country because they are privy to and beneficiary of all the daylight robbery going on in the resource-rich but economically impoverished country.

Africans know that these corporations are making fortunes but they see none of the benefits from these fortunes. Ghanaians know gold and diamonds are being mined at Obuasi and Akwatia but they do not know where it goes, who buys them and where the proceeds end up, and the same is true of the oil in Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Algeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea. And as for the DRC, a nation with one-third of world's natural resources, the less I say the better.

This corrupt, daylight robbery is what has been promoted as globalisation, with Africa and the Third World being encouraged to join by Europe, America, the IMF and the World Bank. My question is whose globalisation? Is it the globalisation that only those with blue eyes enjoy or what? If the answer is no then the IMF and the World Bank should explain why the world is divided between the 'white haves and the coloured have-nots'. Is this not a second colonialism dressed as globalisation?

Susan Hawley says it all:

'Multinational corporations' corrupt practices affect the South (i.e. Africa, Asia and Latin America) in many ways. They undermine development and exacerbate inequality and poverty. They disadvantage smaller domestic firms and transfer money that could be put towards poverty eradication into the hands of the rich. They distort decision-making in favour of projects that benefit the few rather than the many. They also increase [the] debt that benefit[s] the company, not the country; bypass local democratic processes; damage the environment; circumvent legislation; and promote weapons sales. Bribes put up the prices of projects. When these projects are paid for with money borrowed internationally, bribery adds to a country's external debt. Ordinary people end up paying this back through cuts in spending on health, education and public services. Often they also have to pay by shouldering the long-term burdens of projects that do not benefit them and which they never requested.'[9]

And in all these, the Western media has kept silent and has not raised a voice against what its governments, intelligence services, corporations and businessmen are doing to Africans. They prefer instead to criticise China for courting the same African leaders Euro-Americans have been protecting for decades. A clear hypocrisy isn't it? These are the same criticisms King Leopold II levelled against the Arabs who were competing with him for resources and slaves in Congo, and we know what Leopold II, the 19th-century Hitler, did in the DRC in the name of Christianity and 'civilisation'.

With China as a fierce competitor, Africans now have a choice not to go to the World Bank and the IMF for conditional loans. They also have a choice to either give their resources to Chinese companies or European and American cartels. It may be the beginning of the end of colonialism, slavery, instability, dictatorships, corruption and all the ills that Europeans and Americans have been promoting in Africa.

It may be the beginning where Africa's resources will be bought and payment made to the people and a new chapter that will usher in Africa's development and close the poverty gap from 5,000 years to perhaps 100, as observed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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