A common misconception is that post-colonial Africa has been a failure and its natural resources are squandered by incompetent or corrupt African despots. Not quite.
What we do have is ethnic-African bank managers dressed up as presidents and prime ministers. The natural and human resources of the largest of the earth’s continents are today plundered more than at any time in the history of the Dark Continent.
Recent research reveals that companies listed on the London Stock Exchange control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s resources. These key resources are just five in number; oil, gold, diamonds, coal and platinum. There are many other forms of natural and human resource exploitation.
Recently research reveals that 101 companies, most of them British registered but not necessarily British owned, control $305billion worth of platinum, $276billion worth of oil and $216billion worth of coal at current market prices.
Mark Curtis, the report’s author, says “the ‘scramble for Africa’ is proceeding apace. The result is that African governments have largely handed over their treasure to the great corporations of the Western alliances.’
Tanzania’s gold, Zambia’s copper, South Africa’s platinum and coal and Botswana’s diamonds are dominated by London-listed companies. Corporate slave drivers own mines or hold mineral licences in 37 African countries. The corporations of the West control vast swathes of African territory. Their concessions cover a staggering 1.03million square kilometres on the Dark Continent.
African territory controlled by London-based corporations is more than four times the size of the United Kingdom. With remarkable chutzpah, an appropriate term in the circumstances, the People’s Republic of China has been much chastised for their interest in Africa’s resources.
Many African governments depend on mineral resources for tax revenues. However, the extent of foreign ownership means that most tax wealth is milked along with the mineral resources wealth of Africa.
African governments themselves are minority shareholders in the West’s mining operations. Corruption among the political elite is endemic and the source of the corruption is in London’s Square Mile and Wall Street. Company tax payments are minimal due to low tax rates while governments often provide companies with generous incentives such as corporation tax holidays.
Corporation slave owners are able to avoid paying taxes by their use of tax havens. Of the 101 London-listed companies, 25 are actually incorporated in tax havens. These fiscal hideouts are mostly to be found lurking in the colonised British Virgin Islands.
It is estimated that Africa loses around $35billion a year in illicit financial outflow of the continent. Africa loses a further $46billion a year in multinational company profits taken from their operations in Africa.
British registered companies’ play an increasingly dominant role in Africa. This form of modern slavery is facilitated by both Conservative and Labour governments; given the nod by Britain’s royalty and aristocracy.
Whitehall has long been a fierce advocate of ‘liberalised’ trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies. London is largely opposed to African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to foreign investment. Yet, such policies adopted by nations in East Asia are successful and to a larger extent their peoples benefited.
British corporation and banking sectors do not challenge the use of tax havens by multinational companies using tax havens. The harsh truth is that the global infrastructure of tax havens is largely a British creation.
British governments permit corporations to self-regulate which again has a negative impact on human values and rights. As an entity the combined corporations stand in the way of internationally legally binding curbs against human rights abuse.
Recent research calculated the financial wellbeing of sub-Saharan Africa. Its purpose was to discover whether Africa is being helped or exploited by the rest of the world. The findings were abysmal.
It found that only $134billion flows into Africa annually, mainly in the form of high interest loans, foreign investment and recoverable aid. However, $192 billion is extracted, mainly in profits made by foreign companies and tax dodging scams. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58billion a year.
The outcome is that Africa, potentially the world’s richest continent in terms of natural resources, is the poorest territory on earth. Modern Africa has been Bolshevised as was Imperial Russian from 1922. The same corporations that invested in Stalin’s Five Year Plans and the Gulag slave plantations now control Africa’s resources. Instead of Trotsky’s White Negroes we have Africa’s ethnic slaves.
Corporate London’s policy to keep corporate taxes low means Africans are reduced to an existence on a par or worse than they endured during the American era of cotton plantations. As a consequence of corporation slavery sub-Saharan Africans become refugees and flood Europe to escape their harsh conditions.
by Michael Walsh
Follow Mark Curtis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markcurtis30
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