Sunday, June 12, 2005

We want to grab Africa's oil

Torcuil Crichton wrote in the Sunday Herald, 12 June 2005, that When it comes to Africa, Bush has more on his mind than aid.

What the US government wants from Africa:

1. oil from countries such as Nigeria and Gabon
2. raw materials such as managanese and cobalt
3. a market for American goods

Aid agencies such as Oxfam have pointed out that subsidies to US cotton farmers are helping to ruin Africa's cotton farmers.A T-shirt is sold in the UK for under £2.The T-shirt is not made with African cotton.The T-shirt is made with American cotton because subsidies make it artificially cheap.American cotton farmers receive $3.9bn (£2bn) a year in Government subsidies - three times the annual amount the US gives in aid to Africa.

As a proportion of national wealth only 0.16% of the US budget goes on aid. Less than 1% of the US aid budget goes to sub Saharan Africa.

A lot of the US aid funds go to Israel.

The United States normally only brings guns to Africa.

Torcuil Chriton points out that: 'the US bears a historical responsibility for numerous regional and tribal conflicts that have destabilised countries such as Angola, Liberia, Congo and Somalia.'

Reportedly the CIA murdered the Congo's Lumumba on the instructions of Eisenhower.

From Africa, America wants:

manganese, for steel,
cobalt, for chrome and alloys,
fluorspar and germanium for industrial diamonds

The African Growth and Opportunity Act, a trade agreement between the US and Africa, 'forces participants to remove subsides from their industries (while allowing the US to subsidise its own) and insists on privatisation of social services such as water even in countries that face drought.'

According to Crichton, "the over-riding American concern in Africa, as it is across the entire globe, is oil security. Oil, its extraction and supply, will always be the top priority for the US. The biggest returns, and the most important product out of Africa for the coming decades, will be petroleum. The returns are not for Africans though."

70% of Nigerians exist on a dollar a day. Western oil companies in Nigeria have made billions of dollars from oil.

At present 12% of US oil comes from Africa
By 2015, 25% of US oil will come from Africa.

The US wants military bases near the oil.

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