The New Scamble for Africa
by Lena Weinstein
International Socialist Review,
For centuries, beginning with the slave
trade, the West has ruthlessly exploited the African continent.
As Karl Marx described it, "the turning of Africa into a
commercial warren for the hunting of black skins" was one
of the chief sources of "primitive accumulation" that
"signaled the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production."1
But the abduction and enslavement of millions of Africans was
only the start. In the late nineteenth century, in what became
known as the "scramble for Africa," the continent was
arbitrarily carved up into colonies by the leading European powers,
which violently subjected its people and plundered the continent
of its rich natural resources. In the post-independence eras,
African states became weak pawns in the world economy, subject
to Cold War rivalries, their path to development largely blocked
by their debilitating colonial past. More recently, the West has
choked Africa with an onerous debt regime, forcing many nations
to pay more in interest on debts to the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund (IMF) than on health care, education, infrastructure,
and other vital services combined.
The legacy of Western domination has left
Africa devastated with crippling rates of poverty, hunger, and
disease. The continent today has a gross national per-capita yearly
income of $829-below that of the 1950s and 1960s in most African
countries-and an average life expectancy of only fifty years.2
Sixty-two percent of Africans have no access to standard sanitation
facilities, and two-thirds of the total world population suffering
from HIV/AIDS (25.8 million people) live in Africa.3 It remains
a continent abundant in human and natural resources, but these
manage to enrich only a handful of African rulers and foreign
This is the historical legacy, in the
words of Patrick Bond, "of a continent looted":
Africans; precious metals spirited away;
the 19th century emergence of racist ideologies to justify colonialism;
thecarve-up of Africa into dysfunctional territories in a Berlin
negotiating room; the construction of settler-colonial and extractive-colonial
systems-of which apartheid, the German occupation of Namibia,
the Portuguese colonies and King Leopold's Belgian Congo were
perhaps only the most blatant; Cold War battlegrounds-proxies
for U.S./U.S.S.R. conflicts-filled with millions of corpses; other
wars catalyzed by mineral searches and offshoot violence such
as witnessed in blood diamonds and coltan; poacher-stripped swathes
of East, Central and Southern Africa; societies used as guinea
pigs in the latest corporate pharmaceutical test; and the list
You might think a track record of this
kind would lead to some self-reflection on the part of Western
powers regarding their violent history in Africa. But you would
be wrong. Robert Calderisi, a former World Bank Africa chief and
author of The Trouble With Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working
(2006) offers diagnoses and prescriptions for Africa that are
no less paternalistic than those given by the colonialists of
[Some Africans] believe all of Africa's
problems are basically rooted in Western nastiness: colonialism,
slavery, debt, and the like. But my own sense is that opinion
has shifted tremendously in Africa over the last ten years, that
there's greater openness to accepting that African problems have
roots in Africa. [O]ne of the good legacies of colonialism [is
that] there are Western nations that could have turned their backs
on Africa a long time ago if they didn't have some historical,
economic, and sentimental connection. For me to suggest that we
reduce rather than increase aid to Africa will sound to many people
like spitting in the face of a dying man, but I see it as analogous
to dragging a dope addict to his feet and bringing him to a rehabilitation
Others, like British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown, are no less direct in their unapologetic defense of imperialism.
"The days of Britain having to apologize for its colonial
history are over," he said during a tour of Africa, "We
should celebrate much of our past rather than apologize for it."6
A new scramble for Africa marks the beginning
of the latest chapter in the plunder of the continent. The United
States and Europe, but also rising powers like China, seek to
consolidate their grip on Africa's oil, its minerals, and other
resources, all worth more every day because of a massive boom
in the price of oil and raw materials. Like the earlier scramble
for Africa, the new scramble for Africa is not only about profits,
but also control of strategic resources, chiefly oil. The United
States in particular is concerned about threats to its hegemony
in the region. And, as in the Middle East, the defense and expansion
of that hegemony also involves military intervention, justified
under the rubric of fighting terrorism. As author Michael Watts
The strategic interests of the United
States include not only access to cheap and reliableoil imports,
but also keeping the Chinese (for example in Sudan) and South
Koreans (for example in Nigeria)and Islamic terror at bay. Africa
is, according to the intelligence community, the "new frontier"
in the fight against revolutionary Islam. Energy security, it
turns out, is a terrifying hybrid of the old and the new: primitive
accumulation [i.e., looting] and American militarism coupled to
the war on terror."7
The new scramble for Africa centers chiefly
on oil, the world's most important strategic resource. The United
States, the largest global economic and military power, consumes
a quarter of the world's oil but possesses only 3 percent of the
world's proven oil reserves.8 West Africa alone sits atop 15 percent
of the world's oil, and by 2015 is projected to supply up to a
quarter of U.S. domestic consumption.9 U.S. oil imports from Africa-which
come mostly from Nigeria and Angola, but also from Chad, Congo
(Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon-surpassed those from
the Middle East for the first time last year.10
China, meanwhile, is also heavily involved
in the new scramble for Africa, driven to seek reliable sources
for oil by its own growing domestic needs. China's oil consumption
has doubled in a single decade, and oil imports now comprise more
than 40 percent of its total oil consumption.11 Other countries
are also getting in on the action. Brazil and Malaysia, for example,
have oil exploration projects underway in West Africa and Sudan.
There is intensifying global competition
for control of oil and gas production and supply. Worldwide, a
new generation of mainly state-owned companies, such as China's
CNPC, Saudi Arabia's Aramco, Russia's Gazprom, Venezuela's PDVSA,
and Iran's NIOC now control one-third of the world's oil and gas
reserves and production, while the major Western companies-ExxonMobil,
Chevron, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell-control just one-tenth of production,
and only 3 percent of reserves.12 (However, because they are fully
integrated operations, from extraction to production and distribution,
the Western "majors" make far larger profits.)
The dependence of the United States and
other developed nations on oil from developing nations is only
going to increase, as the Financial Times notes: "90 per
cent of new supplies will come from developing countries in the
next 40 years. That marks a big shift from the past 30 years,
when 40 per cent of new production came from industrialized nations."13
Thus the new scramble for Africa is a fight between major competing
powers for control of new energy sources and profits at a time
when they control fewer resources themselves. The race is all
the more important given that conflicts and tensions in other
energy-rich areas-such as Iraq, Iran, and Venezuela-have loosened
the West's grip.
The interest in African oil on one level
is nothing new. As Exxon boasts proudly, the company has been
in Africa for a century. Nigeria has been an exploration hotspot
for decades. A preview "of American plans for African people
and resources in the new century can be seen in Eastern Nigeria.
U.S. and multinational oil companies like Shell, BP, and Chevron,
which once named a tanker after its board member Condoleezza Rice,
have ruthlessly plundered the Niger Delta for a generation."14
The crisis-wracked Horn of Africa has
also been the site of Western corporate investment for a number
of years. "Big Western companies including Conoco-Phillips,
Chevron, and Total held Somali exploration concessions before
the country slid into civil war in 1991."15
But interest in East African oil heated
up dramatically over the past fifteen years.16
Somalia may seem an unlikely prospect
for investors seeking untapped oil and gas fields, but that could
be about to change as the [oil] majors turn their gaze off the
beaten track. Driven by record profits, a race with hungry Asian
rivals and fears of growing energy nationalism in South America
and Russia, interest in eastern Africa has never been higher.
"Africa across the board has seen a substantial uptake in
acreage in recent years by all sizes of companies from the majors
to mega-majors, independents and minnows," said Duncan Clarke,
chairman and CEO of international energy consultants Global Pacific
& Partners. "Quite a few significant players have moved
Increasing oil and raw material prices
have produced a boom in some African countries, as well as a marked
jump in foreign investment, especially by Western and Chinese
capital. By 2005, foreign direct investment had almost tripled
over the previous five years.18 U.S. investors were expected to
pump more than $50 billion into African oil between 2007 and 2010.19
According to a report published in April
2007 by the IMF, sub-Saharan Africa recorded growth in its GDP
in the 5-6 percent range for the third consecutive year, fueled
by the tripling of worldwide oil prices since 2003.20 "Investment
bankers are grappling with a novel challenge," remarked the
Financial Times, "explaining to potential investors that
exotic places like Abuja and Accra, the capitals of Nigeria and
Ghana, are among the new frontiers in the international capital
markets.[But] there is a glut of liquidity in the global financial
system that is helping to fuel the current enthusiasm for far-flung
markets such as those in Africa."21 ExxonMobil has mega-projects
in the works, having wrapped up the infamous Chad-Cameroon pipeline
that runs through war-torn areas in Central Africa, the largest
single investment in Africa. ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil
company, invests 22 percent of its capital expenditures in Africa,
and gets 30 percent of its oil from Africa.22
Wall Street is lining up to get in on
the action. JP Morgan helped raise $300 million for Nigeria's
largest bank last spring, and an officer for Citigroup in Nigeria
celebrated the new boom saying, "There are deals we are doing
today that a couple of years ago we would not even have contemplated."23
In June 2007, a private equity company called Emerging Capital
raised $523 million to invest in Africa, one of the largest amounts
ever raised for the continent. The fund managers gloated about
the opportunities for investment, announcing, "Africa is
open for business."24 The growth in volume of sub-Saharan
Africa's stock market has surpassed that of the Far East and Eastern
Europe since 2002.25 Angola, recently dubbed an "oil industry
darling," received a $902 million bid last year from Eni,
the Italian oil company, to secure the rights to drill offshore,
one of the highest fees ever paid by an oil company.25 East Africa
is also a new favorite, with countries like Kenya signing giant
exploration deals with companies whose other global sources are
The Greater Horn has become a hotbed of
competition between oil companies flush with profits. Oil companies
have hundreds of millions of dollars from high oil prices to spend
on exploration this year, but have been burned in countries like
Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Russia, which are all taking a
much tougher stance on production deals. This has boosted Africa's
profile, while factors like growing violence in Nigeria and rising
taxes for producers in Algeria have shone a new spotlight on the
eastern seaboard. Much of the interest is from Chinese, Indian
and Malaysian firms with deep pockets, technological skills and
an appetite for higher insecurity than Western competitors.27
China's trade with Africa "has risen
more than tenfold in a decade to $55 billion. Chinese demand for
energy and mineral resources to fuel its booming domestic economy
has helped drive up commodity prices on world markets, and contributed
to the longest period of sustained growth in Africa since the
1970s."28 At a 2007 meeting of the African Development Bank
hosted in Shanghai, China pledged $20 billion in infrastructure
and trade financing over the next three years, with a chunk of
that amount intended for electricity, roads, and other infrastructure.
Most of China's trade in Africa is with oil-producing countries
like Sudan, Nigeria, and Angola, but it is also mining in Zambia,
Namibia, and South Africa.
China's most significant role is in the
Greater Horn, where billion-dollar deals with Sudan and Ethiopia
have established it as a major power and threat to the U.S., all
the more so because of the Horn's strategic proximity to the Middle
East.29 China buys 60 percent of Sudan's oil, much of it through
its largest state-owned company, China National Petroleum Corporation.
Hence, U.S. sanctions against Sudan, announced by Bush last year,
will not harm the country's oil production, as even U.S. officials
admit.30 The stakes in Darfur are all the more clear given the
abundance of resources in the area: massive amounts of oil in
both Sudan and Chad, plus gold, uranium, copper, and bauxite in
Sudan, including Darfur.31
Chinese President Hu Jintao went on a
whirlwind African tour in early 2007, and, as the New York Times
described it, "swept through 8 nations, among them some of
China's closest allies, largest trading partners and most prominent
objects of Chinese investment. He left behind a multibillion-dollar
trail of forgiven debts, cheap new loans, and pledges of schools
and cultural centers."32 China has followed up its own investment
with recent calls by Wen Jiabao, China's premier, "for developed
nations to deliver on promises of aid and market access for Africa."33
China's involvement has generated hypocritical
hand-wringing from the U.S. and EU, distressed that China has
become such a big player in Africa and is building alliances through
grants and loans without strings attached. Western investors claim
that China's loans to Africa could pave the way for economic crisis
down the road, with African nations tied to oil exports and world
prices that have no guarantee of sustaining high levels. The IMF
has delivered warnings of a "new wave of African debt"
led by China, but also other competitors like Brazil and India.34
The irony of Western concerns was not missed on at least one Financial
Times writer, who commented that China's pattern of operation
in Africa, "draws comparisons with Africa's past relationship
with European colonial powers, which exploited the continent's
natural resources but failed to encourage more labor-intensive
Western powers' real concern is that African
states will opt for Chinese deals to free themselves from the
punitive conditions of IMF-World Bank loans and other forms of
financial dependence on Europe and the United States. As the second
largest source of oil in Africa, Angola is now in such a strong
position that it is rejecting IMF loans completely. As one consultant
put it, "[w]ith all their oil revenue, they don't need the
IMF or the World Bank. They can play the Chinese off the Americans."36
Or more to the point, as one writer put it, "[w]ho needs
the painful medicine of the IMF when China gives easy terms and
builds roads and schools to boot?"37
Chinese threats to Western hegemony in
Africa are behind some of the recent Western cries of distress
over China's human rights record in Africa, especially Darfur,
where Western politicians have strong-armed China into pressuring
the Sudanese government to accept peacekeeping forces. Similar
base concerns motivate Western politicians targeting the 2008
Beijing Olympics.38 "More than 100 U.S. Congressmen released
a lettersaying inaction by China threatened 'disaster' for [this]
year's games. 'This is a moral challenge for us all; if China
fails to do its part, it risks being forever known as the host
of the 'Genocide Olympics'."39 This hypocrisy is not unique
to U.S. politicians. European investors and statesmen have done
their share of finger-wagging, saying that the Chinese "prefer"
to work with "non-democratic" governments. "A lot
of the provincial Chinese governments are active in Africa and
they basically just want to grab the minerals and go," says
Richard Dowden of the Royal Africa Society.40 "Today most
western institutions are preaching the values of good governance
and democracy," the Financial Times claims. "Turning
a blind eye to corruption and the abuse of political power is
a recipe for political instability. It does not serve China's
long-term interests, either."41 Or as another journalist
noted, "China is not sniffy about dealing with despots."42
The U.S. and European governments stoop
to new lows when they chastise China for its record on human rights
in Africa, given their own far longer and bloodier legacy of colonialism
and "dealing with despots." As a Financial Times special
report notes, U.S. cooperation with brutal regimes in Africa "has
drawn criticism from human rights groups which say the U.S. is
repeating its Middle East mistakes by cozying up to despotic and
corrupt regimes on the continent" in order to combat Islamic
Neither Western nor Chinese investment
has closed the gap between the handful of extremely rich African
elites and the majority of ordinary people, but rather has deepened
the immiseration. Much of the billions of dollars invested in
African petroleum projects every year go to pay skilled Westerners,
and profits are repatraited to the West.44 Moreover, the massive
rise in oil prices threatens to wipe out any economic gains made
over past years. As the Financial Times writes:
Yet the effect of increased corporate
interest has not always translated to economic wellbeing for African
countries. Soaring oil prices have threatened to wipe out recent
economic gains on what is both the world's poorest continent and
its fastest-growing oil and gas exploration zone of the past decade.
According to the International Energy Agency, the increase in
the cost of oil in 13 non-producing countries, including stable
economies such as South Africa, Senegal and Ghana has since 2004
been equivalent to 3 per cent of their combined gross domestic
product. This is more than the debt relief and foreign aid received
during the same period. Even in some of Africa's biggest producers,
where high oil prices have driven rapid economic growth, poor
governance in the use of oil funds as well as high fuel prices
brought about by a lack of refining capacity and heavy import
bills have added to social woes.45
Even South Africa, the standout industrialized
nation on the continent, has an unemployment rate of 40 percent.
On the rest of the continent, conditions are far worse. Angola,
"darling of the oil industry," earned more than $30
billion last year form oil exports, but according to the World
Bank, 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day
and one in four children die before their fifth birthday.46 Home
to the most extensive oil exploration on the continent, Nigeria
shows all too clearly how multinational corporations have destroyed
the lives of ordinary Africans.
As one activist put it,
Where once there were poor but self-sufficient
people with rich farmland and fisheries, there is now an unfolding
ecological collapse of horrifying dimensions in which the land,
air and water are increasingly unable to sustain human life, but
the region's people have no place else to go. Twenty percent of
Nigerian children die before the age of 5, according to the World
Bank. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of oil have been extracted
from the Niger Delta, according to Amnesty International in 2005.
But according to them, its inhabitants "remain among the
most deprived oil communities in the world-70 per cent live on
less than $1 a day. [And that's i]n spite of its windfall gains,
as global oil prices have more than doubled in the last two years.47
Trade policy and international financial
Recent decades have exposed the disastrous
impact of Western global financial institutions, such as the IMF
and World Bank, on African societies. After independence, African
ruling classes emphasized state investment and national development
based on import-substitution industrialization. The concept was
that the West would lend funds through the World Bank to help
nations build infrastructure, grow domestic industries, cut reliance
on imports, and boost exports. One of the chief concerns of the
World Bank and IMF was to keep states out of the Soviet orbit
by promoting Western-led economic development.
These loans from the World Bank were the
origin of Africa's debt-debts incurred to create industrial sectors
that could not effectively compete on the world market. Respectable
growth rates of 4-6 percent in the 1960s gave way to stagnation
and decline in the 1970s, as most African states proved, as latecomers
to industrialization, unable to marshal sufficient capital resources,
even with state intervention, to overcome the legacy of colonialism.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the dogma
began to change; the World Bank and IMF mandated a shift away
from industrialization toward economies based solely on the export
of raw materials and agricultural products. Loans were now to
be used as leverage to impose what were called Structural Adjustment
Programs (SAPs)-programs that mandated slashing social spending,
eliminating price subsidies and trade tariffs, and privatizing
government-owned industries and services-all in order to pay down
This approach flowed from a need to spur
world trade and help restore profitability in the advanced capitalist
countries following a series of recessions starting in the 1970s;
industrializing nations would grow their economies by focusing
on producing commodities that could be exported to the rich countries
while importing the latter's finished goods. In practice, this
had the effect, as under colonialism, of turning Africa back to
a one-way conveyor belt of raw materials. Africa today exports
the bulk of its natural resources.
The strategy had disastrous consequences.
For one, it stultified developing economies: rather than building
diverse industries, economies became entirely reliant upon the
West for imports to meet domestic needs. Further, economies reliant
on a handful of exports are more vulnerable: if the price of one
commodity falls, it sends the entire nation into recession. "Sub-Saharan
Africa has seen the terms of exchange of its export products on
the global market deteriorate since the 1980s. [T]he value of
a basket of goods exported by Africa has lost half its value compared
to products imported by the North."48
The impact was to reduce growth, and in
some cases led to a reversal of trends toward industrialization.
Foreign direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa fell from 25 percent
of the world's total at its peak during the 1970s to less than
5 percent by the late 1990s, according to data from the UN Conference
on Trade and Development.49 The average rate of growth in Africa
in the 1970s was about 3.5 percent; by the 1980s it had fallen
to 2.5 percent, and to 2.2 percent by 1998.50 Manufacturing output
per head in sub-Saharan Africa actually fell 14.3 percent from
1990 to 1996.51
For example, "in Abidjan [Ivory Coast],
one of the few tropical African cities with an important manufacturing
sector and modern urban services, submission to the SAP regime
punctually led to deindustrialization, the collapse of construction,
and a rapid deterioration in public transit and sanitation; as
a result, urban poverty in Ivory Coast-the supposed 'tiger' economy
of West Africa-doubled in the year 1987-88."52 GDP growth
in Ivory Coast stood at 1.6 percent in 1990 but by 2000, its GDP
shrunk 3.3 percent; the value of its industry declined 11 percent
in that same period.53
The World Bank and IMF began to operate
as global loan sharks. African debt from 1980 has been paid back
four times more than what was originally borrowed, a total of
$255 billion. The amount also exceeds many times over the amount
African exports have earned. "Long before shock therapy in
Eastern Europe or even the debt-driven 'adjustments' in Latin
America, it was sub-Saharan Africa that was the playground of
neo-liberalism's assault."54 The All-Africa Council of Churches
has called Africa's debt burden "a new form of slavery, as
vicious as the slave trade."55
Africa is also saddled with another burden:
because their economies are narrowly tied to exports, many African
nations are compelled to import oil for their own use, and so
higher oil prices actually hurt them. Free-trade agreements also
force developing regions such as Africa to import other Western
goods including food, which, according to Oxfam, destroys the
"livelihood for many small producers[and] the adverse impact
on poverty [is] substantial."56 Driven off their land, small
farmers have flooded urban areas, producing the massive slums
and unemployment documented in Mike Davis's book, Planet of Slums.
The world's highest percentages of slum-dwellers are found in
the African nations Ethiopia and Chad (99.4 percent each).57 With
African economies in free fall, some of neoliberalism's former
boosters like World Bank head Joseph Stiglitz have been forced
to conclude that free-trade agreements "are not right for
developing countriesit is not a negotiation, it is rather an imposition."58
But not everyone was hurt under these
conditions: "The boom in exports all too frequently benefited
only a tiny stratum. One of the most extreme cases was Angola,
a major producer of oil and diamonds. In Luanda, where in 1993
a staggering 84 percent of the population was jobless or underemployed,
inequality between the highest and lowest income deciles 'increased
from a factor of 10 to a factor of 37 between 1995 and 1998 alone.'"59
Post-colonial economic development on
the continent proceeded unevenly, resulting in combined and uneven
development that has concentrated industrial growth in key centers
such as Nigeria and South Africa. According to the World Bank,
those two countries together account for 55 percent of the industrial
value in sub-Saharan Africa, while the other fifty-one countries
share the remainder.60 Class polarization has expressed itself
most sharply in these centers, with enthusiastic ruling-class
support for market-based neoliberal reform on the one hand, and
higher levels of working-class resistance on the other.
In South Africa more than 40 percent of
the population languishes in extreme poverty while the top quarter
of the population earns 85 percent of the country's wealth.61
In Nigeria, 80 percent of the nation's oil wealth is concentrated
in the hands of 1 percent of the population.62 As John Ghazvinian
describes in Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil
foreign oil companies have conducted some of the world's most
sophisticated exploration and production operationsbut the people
of the Niger Delta have seen none of the benefits. While successive
military regimes have used oil proceeds to buy mansions in Mayfair
or build castles in the sand in the faraway capital of Abuja [Nigeria],
many in the Delta live as their ancestors would have done hundreds,
even thousands of years ago.63
In much of the rest of the continent,
prevented from industrializing and developing an economic base,
many nations are now subject to the latest version of blame-the-victim,
as Western investors chide African economies as "basket cases"
for having "missed the globalization boat" because they
are not set up to compete on the world market. An accepted part
of the mainstream debate on Africa is that assistance "doesn't
work." Africa's been given generous amounts of aid, goes
the argument, "without showing very much in the way of economic
or social success."64 In fact, aid to Africa has been cut
by 40 percent since the 1990s. To think about it another way:
the U.S. gives the state of Israel $4.5 billion a year, but only
$680 million to the entire continent of Africa. But U.S. military
aid to Africa has increased dramatically since 2001. For example,
"since September 11, Kenya, which the State Department describes
as a 'frontline state' in the war on terrorism, has received eight
times more military aid than in the preceding five years."65
The ultimate irony is that Africa is actually
not a debtor continent: because African ruling classes deposit
so much money from Africa into foreign banks, what's called capital
flight, billions more have gone into those banks than has been
lent to Africa. According to one study, sub-Saharan Africa experienced
capital flight of $196 billion between 1970 and 1996-whereas these
countries' combined debt in 1996 stood at $178 billion.66 A good
portion of this money comes from funds siphoned off from foreign
aid and sent back to the private accounts of African rulers in
Western banks. This dynamic helps explain why African ruling classes
do not refuse the World Bank and IMF terms, as deadly as they
are for the majority in Africa: they profit off of foreign assistance.67
In the face of their disastrous track
record in Africa's economy, Western rulers have recently declared
their commitment to reforms and ending poverty in Africa. Former
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has tried to redeem his record
as a war criminal in Iraq by making a name for himself in African
debt relief, and the G8 summit in Scotland in 2005 produced a
promise to double aid to Africa by 2010. But this rhetoric masked
no small amount of posturing, as the lead up to the 2007 G8 summit
in Germany made clear. The press reported that the richest nations
in the world fell well short of their goal and aid actually decreased
by several billion dollars.68 Oxfam has said that the failure
to meet aid goals will mean that 45 million more children will
die between now and 2015.69 The U.S. was among the worst culprits
in the drop-off of aid pledges to Africa.70
In any case, increasing aid does nothing
to attack the overall structure of inequality in the G8 trade
deals, because aid itself is a political tool that comes with
strings attached. As Oxfam has pointed out, "[t]hey are using
their muscle to push for greater liberalization and access to
African markets while continuing to protect their own markets
from competition from African exports"71-the very policy
that is hurting most Africans. The U.S., for example, uses aid
to expand African dependence on U.S. exports.72
The World Bank and IMF launched the Highly
Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) plan in 1996, which effected a miniscule
reduction in debt. And the UN launched a set of targets for 2015
called the Millennium Development Goals for child mortality, disease,
and environmental sustainability. But the actions of the U.S.
and the EU give lie to the lip service they pay to these goals.
New trade deals that force African countries to eliminate tariffs
will cut 25 percent of their income-the equivalent, for example,
of Zambia's yearly budget for dealing with AIDS.73 Meanwhile,
such so-called reforms come with requirements for "good governance,"
the favorite buzzword for new conditions imposed on African nations
for aid. But Western powers' concern over political instability
in Africa is sheer hypocrisy, given that they have supported the
worst, blood-soaked rulers in Africa when it suited them, while
backing deregulation and privatization that "stripped the
African states of what little control they had previously exercised
Neoliberal African-based reforms, like
the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African
Union, championed by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and former Nigerian
president Olusegun Obasanjo, are no solution to African inequality
and poverty as they merely create opportunities for more African
ruling-class involvement in trade policy.75 NEPAD helps to create
favorable conditions for Western investment through (African-imposed)
requirements for privatization, cuts in social spending and "good
governance," i.e., subjecting African policy-making to the
political will of Western imperialism and its allies. The response
to this African "partnership" highlights the tremendously
uneven benefits of neoliberal policy across classes and nations.
In 2002, members of some forty African social movements, trade
unions, youth and women's organizations, non-governmental organizations
(NGOs), religious groups, and others rejected NEPAD in the African
Civil Society Declaration on NEPAD.76 Ultimately, whether African
elites are at the table or not, the priorities for Africa are
set by the needs of global capital rather than the needs of ordinary
Militarism and the "war on terror"
Economic and strategic goals are driving
a new militarization in Africa, and growing talk of a "war
on terror" across the continent. And, as in the Middle East,
"promoting democracy" has provided a useful pretext
for military intervention. Yet, as the Financial Times so cleverly
put it, "Dick Cheneyonce pointed out [that] the good Lord
did not see fit to put oil only where there are democratic governments.
The Horn of Africa, one of the world's last unexplored oil frontiers,
bears this out."77 Both the Horn of Africa and West Africa
present serious problems for the U.S. in its new scramble for
African resources. U.S. officials fear instability could interfere
with access to the region's oil and minerals, especially with
military operations tied up in Iraq. The State Department, the
Pentagon, and industry heads have been jointly strategizing to
find a coherent policy balancing investment opportunities and
security risks.78As elsewhere in the world, the "war on terror"
provides a central ideological justification for U.S. ruling-class
strategy in confronting these obstacles, and Africa's proximity
to the Middle East and large Muslim populations make it that much
It was the Clinton administration that
first designated Africa as a "terror" target, and dropped
bombs on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory in 1998 to back this
up. Madeleine Albright declared in 1999, "Africa is a major
battleground in the global fight against terror, crime, drugs,
illicit arms-trafficking, and disease."79 The current plans
continue this agenda. There is the "$100 million Eastern
Africa Counter-Terrorism initiative involving Kenya, Ethiopia,
Uganda, Tanzania, and Eritrea as well as Djibouti. Another new
State Department program, the Pan Sahel Initiative, is being implemented
by Pentagon and civilian contractors in Mali, Mauritania, Chad,
and Niger. These actions suggest the obvious targeting and encirclement
of Islamic Africa.80
The Horn of Africa has been called the
"hottest conflict zone" in the world; the wars of the
region-including Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea-have created
a human rights catastrophe of mammoth proportions: 9 million people
displaced and 16 million in need of humanitarian aid.81
The history of Western intervention in
the Horn extends back through the twentieth century, when colonial
powers and the Cold War superpowers waged proxy warfare in constantly
shifting superpower alliances and competition, against a backdrop
of falling world commodity prices and economic devastation. The
Horn's civil wars today must be seen as the direct result of the
U.S. and USSR arming the different sides with billions of dollars,
all while famines raged.82 The so-called humanitarian intervention
by U.S. Marines in Somalia in 1992-93 was merely a continuation
of this policy with a different name, and humanitarianism too
has become a useful ideological guise for foreign intervention.
Alongside "fighting terror," promoting humanitarian
goals has been a watchword of both the Clinton and Bush administrations,
designed to cover for economic and military aims, and to justify
U.S. military deployment in the region.
Today, U.S. policy in the Horn centers
on shoring up local allies, especially Ethiopia but also Sudan,
as partners in counterterrorism, even as Bush denounces the Sudanese
government for permitting genocide in Darfur. As the region's
regimes line up on different sides, supporting various Islamist
groups and warlords, the conflict intensifies. In June 2007, U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs
Jendayi Frazer declared, "We were against the Ethiopian invasion."
In reality, the U.S. offensive against Somalia's Islamic Courts
Union-ousted by U.S.-backed Ethiopian forces-included "fundingwarlords
to pursue terrorists on its behalf. By 2006, the enlisted warlords
were gettingabout $150,000 a month." In contrast, the U.S.
gives "far less humanitarian assistance to Somalia than to
other countries in the region."83 This is the pattern for
Africa as a whole in recent years: big jumps in military aid while
other forms of aid are slashed.84 The EU is also extremely concerned
about instability in the Horn, yet worries that U.S. intervention
will spark an all-out regional war.85 Declaring it potentially
"one of the most serious of all conflicts that we could possibly
imagine," EU officials set aside approximately $6 billion
as an incentive for "good governance," pointing to the
danger of "inflamed tensions" spreading to the Middle
East and even Europe.86
In 2003, while invading and occupying
Iraq, the U.S. military built a base in the strategic location
of Djibouti, a tiny country next to Somalia and across the Red
Sea from Yemen, and has earmarked $100 million a year to support
its counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. used Camp Lemonier to train
Ethiopian forces in the lead-up to the December 2006 invasion
of Somalia. Washington has backed up its support for the Ethiopian
invasion with periodic air strikes against so-called terrorist
camps.87 "Meanwhile, the [Islamic] Courts' collapse has left
a huge vacuum that the Transitional Government cannot fill. The
Courts had brought [relative] peace and stability, and their defeat
has returned Mogadishu to the warlordsof the past two decades."88
In other words, "U.S. political and military alliance with
Ethiopia-which openly violated international law in its aggression
towards Somalia, is destabilizing the Horn region and begins a
new shift in the way the U.S. plans to have permanent and active
military presence in Africa."89 Two hundred thousand new
refugees have been created since the invasion. Refugees trying
to cross the Red Sea are reported drowning off the Somali coast.
The Washington Post reported from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa,
that "More than 200 FBI and CIA agents have set up campand
have been interrogating dozens of detainees picked up in Somalia
and held without charge and without attorneys in a secret prison
somewhere in this city."90
"The carnage and suffering in Somalia
may be the worst in more than a decade-but you'd hardly know it
from your nightly news," wrote a Reuters reporter last month.91
Salim Lone, a Somali spokesperson for the United Nations mission
in Iraq in 2003 denounced the occupation on Democracy Now!, saying:
"The prime minister's attempt to lure Western oil companies
is on a par with his crying wolf about al-Qaeda at every turn.
No one believes it."92
The Ethiopian occupation continues. Mogadishu
has used helicopters and tanks to destroy entire neighborhoods,
killing at least 400 Somalis in a single assault. A recent Amnesty
report on Somalia found that "Some 6,000 civilians were reportedly
killed in fighting in the capital Mogadishu and across southern
and central Somalia in 2007, and over 600,000 Somali civilians
were internally displaced from and around Mogadishu. In addition,
an estimated 335,000 Somali refugees fled Somalia in 2007."93
The U.S. outpost in Djibouti has another
role of ostensibly winning the "war on terror" through
public works projects, in what the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof
calls "the softer touch." In a column called "aid
workers with guns," Kristof explains how U.S. troops stationed
in Djibouti pitch in during natural disasters, dig wells, and
build hospitals.94 This "soft touch" approach is one
strand in the web of political, economic, and military relations
drawing U.S. policy-makers closer to the African ruling class,
and is designed to ease the interjection of military power.
George Bush announced in 2007 the creation
of a new Africa command called AFRICOM, likely based off the coast
of West Africa to protect energy interests in Nigeria and the
Gulf of Guinea region, "to deal with what the Christian Science
Monitor dubbed 'Strife, oil, and Al Qaeda.'"95 Some African
leaders are refusing to consider an AFRICOM base on their soil,
but U.S. military officials are determined. As Rear Admiral Richard
Hunt, the Commander of Combined Joint Taskforce-Horn of Africa
(CJT-HOA) at Dijbouti's Camp Lemonier explains, "Africa is
the new frontier that we need to engage now, or we are going to
end up doing it later in a very negative way."96
AFRICOM is only the most public of a ring
of U.S. military bases operating or under construction across
the continent, and for the U.S. and the local forces it trains,
"instability" and "insurgency" are frequently
code words for the revolt of ordinary people against brutal dictatorships
and their American partners. As one U.S. activist put it:
Local Africans are demanding respect
and a share in what is after all, their oil. They are now routinely,
viciously suppressed in eastern Nigeria, in Equatorial Guinea
and elsewhere, by African troops trained and equipped with American
tax dollars. When resistance continues, as it certainly will,
America is preparing to up the ante with more American equipment,
with military and civilian advisers, with bombs, bullets and if
need be, with American bodies. That's what AFRICOM is about, and
what it will be doing in the new century.
The U.S.'s new military base is upping
the ante for China to step up its own security in the region.
Equally, claims of genocide have provided the pretext for "bringing
UN/NATO troops into the [Chinese-controlled] oilfields of Darfur
and south Sudan.
"Unofficial" military forces
are also at work in Africa. The U.S. hired a major military contractor
called DynCorp this spring to provide logistical and technical
support to African Union (mainly Ugandan) "peacekeeping"
forces. The State Department has asked for $40 million for Somalia
alone. DynCorp also has forces on the ground in southern Sudan
and Ethiopia, including paramilitary "security teams."99
U.S. contractors have a long record of doing business in Africa.
Blackwater and Halliburton's KBR provide services to bases in
Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia; the Bush-connected Barrick Gold
provides "intelligence" and security for operations
in Congolese mines, and helped fuel a bloody civil war with a
death toll of 5 million people.100
Interests in Africa extend to other Western
powers, and the U.S. is by no means the lone military force in
Africa. The UN has organized 11,000 troops for Darfur's next-door
neighbor, Chad, and the Central African Republic. Chadian and
Sudanese rebels, and the governments of both sides, are engaged
in a cross-border war, using Darfur as a staging ground for uprisings
supported historically by both the U.S. and France. There are
approximately 300,000 Sudanese refugees and 120,000 displaced
Chadians. India, another regional competitor, has a massive navy
that dominates the Indian Ocean abutting East Africa.101 Nonetheless,
only the U.S. is presently willing to back up its economic interests
with direct force, and neither India nor other powers, established
or emerging, are in a position to challenge the military hegemony
of the U.S. for quite some time.
Beyond the Horn and East Africa, threats
of instability posed to U.S. investments in West Africa are a
huge concern. One of the most important recent examples was the
April 2007 Nigerian election, rigged in favor of President Obasanjo's
hand-picked successor, which further inflamed resistance in the
oil region. Over the past year, attacks on oil facilities have
forced Nigeria to shut down one-fifth of production and has resulted
in lost billions in revenue to the Nigerian government; more than
100 foreign workers have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta region,
with attacks from a range of forces under the umbrella grouping
of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. Given
U.S. corporate investment in Nigeria, some policymakers have openly
called for military intervention. The Atlantic Monthly has called
Nigeria the "largest failed state on earth," and written
that further destabilization would threaten "the abundant
oil reserves that America has vowed to protect. Should that day
come, it would herald a military intervention far more massive
than the Iraqi campaign."102
But as Ike Okonta, a Nigerian academic
at Oxford University and the author of When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian
Elites, Big Oil, and the Ogoni Struggle for Self-determination
points out, the West is to blame for these conditions:
At the heart of thisgrowing armed insurrection
in the Niger Delta, fed and sustained by five decades of economic
exploitation and political marginalization that the local communities
have suffered at such terrible cost. The United States and the
European Union backed the Obasanjo government in 1999 and again
in 2003 even though there was abundant evidence that those elections
had been marked by rigging and violence. He was seen as a competent
general who could be counted on to rein in the youth activists
in the Delta region and ensure that Western oil companies continue
to extract oil undisturbed. Local democracy and corporate social
responsibility were thus sacrificed for cheap oil.103
John Ghazvinian, author of Untapped, describes
the conditions behind the uprising in Nigeria the following way:
You have people living in Stone Age squalor,
in mud huts, you know, in swamps with no roads, no electricity,
no running water. I spend a lot of time in the Delta, and I've
seen the way people live there. And, you know, through their backyards
you have thousands of miles of pipelines, ultra-modern, multi-million-dollar,
air-conditioned, state-of-the-art facilities going up, and people
just haven't seen any benefits from the oil exploration. And over
time, that has turned into a fairly nasty sort of militant insurgency,
as I think shouldn't surprise anyone, really.104
Competition between the U.S. and China
has spilled over into this very unstable area as well, with China
making massive investments in Nigeria in exchange for oil exploration
rights and arms deals.105 As in Somalia, Chinese workers have
been victims of what is euphemistically termed a "security
deficit" in the Niger Delta region, a deficit China may be
less and less willing to tolerate.106
Conclusion: possibilities for resistance
The new apologists for colonialism, the
Bush administration included, operate as if the only solution
for poverty, crisis, and civil war in Africa is to back up Big
Oil with more privatization and military force. Even many NGOs
are resigned to promoting limited reforms that fall far short
of challenging the murderous terms dictated by global corporations
and Western imperialism. But these are not the only alternatives.
Africa has a long tradition of militant struggle. Mass movements
in the anticolonial period, supported by millions of workers and
peasants, shattered the political control of Europeans powers
on the continent. Left-wing national liberation movements and
African socialism-new heads of state such as Nkrumah, Lumumba,
and Nyere-inspired movements elsewhere around the globe, including
Black liberation struggles in the United States.
These newly emerging African economies,
however, were not able to fulfill the aspirations of their populations
after the era of liberation. Those that attempted to insert themselves
into the world market, or break free from it, met increasing resistance
as the global recession of the 1970s intensified competition.
Widespread illusions that political independence would create
the conditions for rapid economic development were undermined.
Africa's new national states were so small and economically weak
that they could not, without giant loans, even begin to embark
on the policy of national development they eagerly promised. Hobbled
with weak infrastructures inherited from the colonial regimes,
and insufficient capital to technologically advance, these economies
fell increasingly behind. The new nationalist elites, meanwhile,
were forced into the mold of all ruling classes: exploiters of
workers and peasants, driven by the logic of international competition.107
But the fight for self-determination did
not end with colonialism's demise, and African workers and the
poor waged a new round of strikes and protest movements decades
later against new African ruling classes;108 over three dozen
dictatorial regimes were toppled by struggles from below in the
1990s alone.109 Just as African economic development is marked
by uneven development, resistance is focused in key centers of
working-class opposition, such as in South Africa and the Nigerian
oilfields, where the concentration of workers provides the social
weight to bind together the struggles of whole regions, overcoming
ethnic barriers. Above all, the example of apartheid's defeat
at the hands of South African workers-with their hands on some
of the most valuable minerals in the world-shows how working-class
struggle, concentrated at key points, can unify the resistance
of the many oppressed groups, from ethnic minorities to the unemployed
of the region.
Revolts against neoliberal structural
adjustment policies began in the 1980s; so-called IMF riots, and
class struggle exploded in the 1990s. These included strikes against
wage cuts, anti-poverty activism, mobilizations for AIDS treatment,
struggles against the privatization of water and electricity,
and movements for debt relief.110 Many of these struggles have
laid the basis for alliances and longer-term battles over basic
needs and human rights for workers and the poor today. Activists
against privatization in South Africa have raised the demand for
reparations for apartheid, and the global justice movement has
built solidarity with those in Africa, like Jubilee South Africa's
campaign against Citigroup, the source of billions of dollars
in loans to the apartheid regime. Along with activists across
the Third World, African activists built the World Bank Bonds
Boycott that successfully forced the world's largest pension fund,
TIAA-CREF, to drop its bonds.
The battle against the new scramble for
Africa's resources has for years put the oil industry in its crosshairs.
Movements in Nigeria have demanded reparations and environmental
justice. Oil companies have been the targets not just of kidnappings
and sabotage of oil pipelines, but organized strikes, sit-ins,
and demonstrations. In May 2007, protesters in Ogoniland carried
out a weeks-long occupation of a major oil pipeline hub that forced
Royal Dutch Shell to cut production by 40 percent.111 Human rights
activists have also waged a long campaign against the World Bank's
support for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.112
A petition to the World Petroleum Congress
stated the following:
At every point in the fossil fuel production
chain where your members "add value" and make profit,
ordinary people, workers and their environments are assaulted
and impoverished. Where oil is drilled, pumped, processed and
used, in Africa as elsewhere, ecological systems have been trashed,
peoples' livelihoods have been destroyed and their democratic
aspirations and their rights and cultures trampled
Your energy futurethreatens the global
environment, imposing on all of us the chaos and uncertainty of
climate change and the violence and destruction of war. Another
energy future is necessary: yours has failed!113
Movements are also taking on the blood
diamonds of the West African diamond industry, land displacement
for gold mining and dam construction, and the deadly monopoly
of pharmaceutical companies. The new scramble for Africa has produced
new movements of resistance.
Above all, workers' power in Africa has
shown the potential for uprooting the source of poverty and inequality.
Workers have shown how to take on global institutions like the
IMF. For example, in Zambia, the workers' movement led a half-million
strong general strike against IMF-imposed wage freezes. The Zimbabwean
labor movement of the past decade has waged a fierce struggle
against Robert Mugabe's repressive regime, including strikes and
protests for wage hikes this past spring. However, the leading
opposition group against Mugabe, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), depends heavily on bourgeois financing and support, and
has adopted neoliberal strategies. As Patrick Bond writes, there
is a concern that "the MDC [will] end up like the Movement
for Multiparty Democracy in Zambia. There, trade unionist Frederic
Chiluba won the 1991 election against veteran nationalist Kenneth
Kaunda with a multi-class alliance, and quickly applied neo-liberal
economic policy with even worse results than his predecessor."114
The question of the politics and class independence of the developing
social movements in Africa therefore matter a great deal.
South Africa is where workers' power achieved
the most important victory since the end of colonialism: the overthrow,
in 1994, of racist apartheid rule, following decades of struggle
in the mines and factories alongside uprisings in the townships
and schools. The rise of workers' struggles in the 1980s shook
the apartheid system to its core and ushered in its final days.
South African workers have continued to
fight against corporate power and inequality in its neoliberal
guise, now administered by the African National Congress (ANC).
In 2001, 3 million South African workers joined a general strike
against the ANC government's privatization of public utilities
and basic industries. The COSATU strike slogan declared: "We
did not fight for liberation so that we could sell everything
we won to the highest bidder."115 Key pillars of the 1994
ANC program "included promises for land, water, electricity,
housing, jobs, education, healthcare. The promises were all immediately
Great challenges confront the building
of a workers' movement in Africa that is capable of taking on
the power of global capital in a battle for the world's most critical
resource. These include U.S. and Western military power; economic
terrorism on the part of the IMF and World Bank; repressive African
regimes; uneven development and vast unemployment, due to deindustrialization
and economic "restructuring." Equally, as elsewhere,
there is a pressing need to rebuild a Left independent of both
the so-called Left regimes and top-down NGOs that refuse to shake
free of the dictates of corporate and governmental power. These
are indeed huge challenges.
African workers and the poor have a proud
history of struggle, from the uprooting of colonialism to contemporary
movements against the neoliberal order. With the new scramble
for wealth in Africa, and the role workers on the continent play
in producing that wealth, Africa's workers are crucially positioned
to link the battle against the new imperialism with the struggle
against exploitation in all its forms. African workers are tied
to international capitalism and to the potential for international,
permanent revolution that links the developed and the developing
world. These connections make working-class resistance and revolutionary
struggle in Africa, and our solidarity, so important today.
1 Karl Marx, Capital Vol. I (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), 915,
2 Average world gross national income
is $7,748. Source: World Bank Key Development Data and Statistics,
3 Global Aids Statistics, Global AIDS
Alliance, http: //www.
4 Patrick Bond, Looting Africa: The Economics
of Exploitation _(London: Zed Books, 2006), 2.
5 "Questioning authority: Interview
with Robert Calderisi," , May/June 2006.
6 Quoted in John Pilger, "Iran may
be the greatest crisis of modern times," International Socialist
Review 53, May-June 2007.
7 Michael Watts, "Empire of oil:
Capitalist Dispossession and the scramble for Africa," Monthly
Review, September, 2006.
8 "Reducing U.S. oil dependence,"
Natural Resources Defense Council, http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fensec.asp.
9 Monica Perin, "Oil firms flow to
West Africa," Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, http:
10 "According to data from the U.S.
Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States imported
1.736 million barrels per day (b/d) from Sub-Saharan Africa in
February 2007-the bulk from Nigeria and Angola but also from Chad,
Congo (Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. This amount
was slightly greater than imports from the Middle East-Saudi Arabia,
Iraq, Kuwait, and a small amount from Yemen-which totaled 1.708
million b/d. In March 2007, the United States imported 2.194 million
b/d from sub-Saharan Africa compared to 2.095 million b/d from
the Middle East." Peter Kiernan, "Will Africa rival
the Middle East as a U.S. oil supplier?" World Politics Review,
October 31, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1292.
11 Åshild Kolås, "China
in African oil: Guilty as charged?," Economists for Peace
and Security Newsletter, June 2007, http: //www.epsusa._org/publications/newsletter/june2007/kolas.htm.
12 Carola Hoyos, "The new seven sisters:
Oil and gas giants dwarf Western rivals," Financial Times,
March 12, 2007.
14 Bruce Dixon, "Africa: Next U.S.
oil war venue," Black Star News, April 17, 2007.
16 John Ghazvinian, Untapped: The Scramble
for Africa's Oil (New York: Harcourt Books, 2007). Ghazvinian
gives a country-by-country detailing of the workings of Big Oil
in Africa, as well as their local collaborators and community
17 "Are African peacekeepers in Somalia
to serve Western oil and gas interests?" Somaliland Times,
February 24, 2007.
18 Watts, "Empire of oil."
19 Interview with John Ghazvinian on Democracy
Now, May 17, 2007, http: //www.democracynow.org/2007/5/17/untapped_the_
20 "World economic outlook: Spillovers
and cycles in the global economy, International Monetary Fund,
21 Joanna Chung, "Sub-Saharan Africa
confident it can attract investment," Financial Times, May
22 "Majors turn to Africa for growth,
but face mounting competition (ExxonMobil Corp.)," The Oil
Daily, November 10, 2005. Dino Mahtani, "The new scramble
for Africa's resources," Financial Times, January 28, 2008.
24 Luisa Beltran, "Buyout firm targets
Africa," Daily Deal/The Deal, May 24, 2007. Cf. Javier Santiso,
"Africa: an emerging markets frontier," OECD Observer,
25 Robert Farzad, "Can greed save
Africa?" BusinessWeek, December 10, 2007.
26 Jad Mouawad, "Angola, one of the
poorest places on Earth, is an oil industry darling," International
Herald Tribune, March 19, 2007.
27 "Are African peacekeepers in Somalia
to serve Western Oil and Gas interests?"
28 William Wallis and Geoff Dyer, "Wen
calls for more access for Africa," Financial Times, May 16,
29 Walden Bello, "Beijing's turbo-charged
diplomacy sparks debate in Africa," Pambazuka News, February
30 Jad Mouawad, "Oil may provide
a way for Sudan to escape the full pain of the new U.S. sanctions,"
New York Times, May 30, 2007.
31 Ayesha Kajee, "The dirty underbelly
of the Darfur conflict," Pambazuka News, April 25, 2007.
32 Michael Wines, "China's influence
in Africa arouses some resistance," New York Times, February
33 Wallis and Dyer, "Wen calls for
more access for Africa."
34 Alan Beattie and Eoin Callan, "China
loans create 'new wave of Africa debt,'" Financial Times,
December 7, 2006.
35 Wallis and Dyer, "Wen calls for
more access for Africa."
37 F. William Engdahl, "China and
U.S.A in new cold war over Africa's oil riches: Darfur? It's the
oil, stupid" Global Research, May 20, 2007.
38 Jim Yardley, "China defends Sudan
policy and criticizes Olympics tie-in," New York Times, March
39 Richard McGregorin, "Beijing's
Africa envoy to focus on Darfur," Financial Times, May 16,
40 Alan Beattie, "Loans that could
cost Africa dear," Financial Times, April 23, 2007.
41 "Chinese model is no panacea for
Africa," Financial Times, February 6, 2007.
42 Brian Smith, "Western concern
at China's growing involvement in Africa," World Socialist
Web Site (WSWS), April 10, 2006
43 Mahtani, "The new scramble for
44 Ghazvinian, Untapped: The Scramble
for Africa's Oil, 14.
45 Mahtani, "The new scramble for
46 Mouawad, "Angola, one of the poorest
places on Earth, is an oil industry darling."
47 Bruce Dixon, "Africa-Where the
next U.S. oil wars will be," Black Agenda Report, February
28, 2007, http: //www.
48 Eric Toussaint, Your Money or Your
Life: The Tyranny of Global Finance (Chicago: Haymarket Books,
49 "Economic development in Africa:
Rethinking the role of foreign direct investment," United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, March 2005.
50 Ibid, 284. See Thandika Mkandawire,
"Maladjusted African economies and globalization," Africa
Development, Vol. XXX, Nos. 1 & 2, 2005, 1-33.
51 Ibid., 18.
52 Mike Davis, Planet of Slums (London:
Verso, 2006), 156.
53 Africa Development Indicators, 2007,
World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2008.
54 Watts, "Empire of oil."
55 Africa Action Press Release, August
22, 2001, http: //www.africaaction.org/desk/wcar0108.htm.
56 "Signing away the future: How
trade and investment agreements between rich and poor countries
undermine development," Oxfam Briefing Paper, March 2007.
57 Cited in Davis. Planet of Slums, 23.
58 "Signing away the future."
59 Quoted in Davis. Planet of Slums, 164.
60 Africa Development Indicators, 2007.
61 Jennifer Abrahamson, "Meet the
buppies," Salon.com, April 29, 2004.
62 Ghazvinian, Untapped, 68
63 Ibid., 19.
64 Calderisi interview, May/June 2006.
65 Frida Berrigan "The new military
frontier: Africa," Foreign Policy In Focus, September 19,
66 Mkandawire, "Maladjusted African
economies and globalization," 8.
67 Bond, Looting Africa, 50.
68 Barry Mason, "G8 fails to meet
aid pledges to Africa," WSWS, June 6, 2007.
69 Hugh Williamson, "Annan chides
G8 on aid to Africa," Financial Times, April 24, 2007.
70 Alan Beattie, "G8 pledge on aid
to Africa threatened as spending falls," Financial Times,
April 4, 2007.
71 The World is Still Waiting, Oxfam Briefing
Paper, May 2007.
72 Eric Ruder, "How Washington puts
profits before helping Africa's poor: Condemned to death and disease,"
Socialist Worker, July 18, 2003.
73 David Cronin, "African countries
fight EU for survival," IPS, May 22, 2007.
74 Gavin Capps, "Redesigning the
Debt Trap," International Socialism 107, June 27, 2005, http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=
75 Henning Melber, "The new scramble
for Africa's resources," _Pambazuka News, February 8, 2007.
76 The full declaration can be found at
77 "China in Africa," Financial
Times, April 26, 2007.
78 See "African Oil: A priority for
U. S. national security and African development," Institute
for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, Washington, D.C.,
79 Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright,
"Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
On Fiscal Year 2000 budget, February 24, 1999, Washington, D.C.,
as released by the Office of the Spokesman U.S. Department of
80 Bond, Looting Africa, 76.
81 John Prendergast and Colin Thomas-Jensen,
"Blowing the Horn," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007.
82 Nick Dearden, "Bush does Somalia:
The war on terror hits Africa," Counterpunch, December 30/31,
84 F. William Engdahl, "China and
U.S.A in new cold war over Africa's oil riches."
85 Paul Taylor, "EU experts fear
U.S. could spark Somalia war," Reuters, November 21, 2006.
86 Amelie Bottllier-Depois, "New
EU strategy targets Horn of Africa instability," AFP, October
87 David Whitehouse, "Massacre in
Somalia: Ethiopian occupiers carry out U.S. policy in the Horn
of Africa," International Socialist Review 53, May-June 2007.
88 John Prendergast and Colin Thomas-Jensen,
"Blowing the horn," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007.
89 Carl Bloice, "Somalia: the hidden
war for oil," Black Commentator, May 2, 2007.
92 Interview with Salim Lone, Democracy
Now! January 9, 2007.
93 "Routinely targeted: Attacks on
civilians in Somalia," Amnesty International, May 6, 2008,
1. Typically, this report condemns all sides equally, though it
places more emphasis on the depredations of the Ethiopian occupiers.
94 "Aid workers with guns,"
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, March 4, 2007.
95 Bloice, "Somalia: The hidden war
96 Berrigan, "The new military frontier:
97 Dixon, "Africa-where the next
U.S. oil wars will be."
98 Endgahl, "China and U.S.A in new
cold war over Africa's oil riches."
99 "U.S. hires military contractor
to support peacekeeping mission in Somalia," Associated Press,
March 7, 2007.
101 Eric S. Margolis, "The five-way
contest for oil sources in Africa and Asia," Gulf Times,
March 19, 2007.
102 John Bellamy Foster, "A warning
to Africa: The new U.S. imperial grand strategy," Monthly
Review, June 2006.
103 Ike Okonta, "Nigeria-danger signs
on democracy road," Pambazuka News, April 10, 2007.
104 Interview with John Ghazvinian, Democracy
Now!, May 24, 2007.
105 Walden Bello, "Beijing's turbo-charged
diplomacy sparks debate in Africa."
106 Thomas Pearmain, "U.S. boosts
Navy to protect Gulf of Guinea oil interests; China woos Africa
at banking conference," Global Insight, May 22, 2007
107 See Peter Binns, "Revolution
and state capitalism in the Third Word," International Socialism
25, Autumn 1984.
108 Cf. Leo Zeilig, ed. Class Struggle
and Resistance in Africa (London: New Clarion Press, 2002), 24-25.
109 Bond, Looting Africa, 144.
110 Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, 161-63.
111 Deborah Kelly, "Nigerian protesters
leave Shell oil hub," International Oil Daily, May 17, 2007.
112 Peter Kemp "Exxon Rapped on Chad-Cameroon
Pipeline as Oil Revenues Surge," Oil Daily, July 26, 2007.
113 Quoted in Bond, Looting Africa, 76.
114 Patrick Bond and Masimba Manyanya,
Zimbabwe's Plunge: _Exhausted Nationalism, Neoliberalism and the
Search for Social _Justice (Natal: Merlin Press/University of
Natal Press/Weaver Press, 2003), 90.
115 David Whitehouse, "General strike
targets privatization plan," Socialist Worker, September
116 "Ten years after the fall of
apartheid: Interview with Patrick Bond," Socialist Worker,
May 7, 2004