Jun 20, 2011
Last week, Hillary Clinton, while visiting Zambia said, “We saw that during colonial times, it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave. And when you leave, you don’t leave much behind for the people who are there. We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa.” And then Clinton accused China of carrying out this “new” colonization.
What bloody hypocrisy!
The U.S. is still the leader of the “new colonialism,” finding new ways to loot Africa’ riches. Recently, this has been done through grabbing land. According to the World Bank, in 2009 alone, nearly 60 million hectares in Africa – an area the size of France– have been bought or leased by foreign companies. A California firm investigated and found, a “majority of these deals belong to Western firms, wealthy U.S. and European individuals, and investment funds with ties to major banks, such as Goldman Sachs and JP MorganChase.”
In one instance, a Texas investment firm, Nile Trading and Development, paid $25,000 to lease 400,000 hectares of land in Sudan for 49 years! The lease allows this U.S. firm to exploit all natural resources, including oil and timber.
Such deals force people off the land, adding to the already mass starvation in Africa. For example, in Tanzania a U.S. corporation AgriSol Energy got a contract worth 700 million dollars to speculate on land in two locations. But there are refugee settlements in the two locations, holding up to 162,000 people who have been farming these lands for more than 40 years. Before the project starts, these settlements will be closed and the people will be forced out.
The Western countries colonized Africa beginning in the 19th century. Africans have never been free from the grip of this looting. And the U.S. concerns today are, by far, the biggest culprits among the colonizers.