Sunday, June 12, 2011

African Colonialism 2.0 Revisited

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently warned of a "new colonialism" in Africa in the form of foreign investments:
Clinton said that African leaders must ensure that foreign projects are sustainable and benefit all their citizens, not only elites. A day earlier, she cautioned that China's massive investments and business interests in Africa need to be closely watched so that the African people are not taken advantage of.

"It is easy, and we saw that during colonial times, it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave," Clinton said. "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."
I've written about this before here and mentioned the United States' own involvement in a link on Friday's post.

Pretty much anyone with lots of wealth and ambition to keep growing it - be they from China, the United States, Europe, or any of the oil-producing OPEC countries - will probably continue to buy up African land for food and natural resource production, and give nothing but scraps (if anything) to the people that live there.

I agree that long-term investments that contribute to local economies will help Africa in the long run.

However, I wish I could believe that the United States government will ever crack down on its own well-funded institutions' land-grabs across the continent.

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