|Title||Conflict Minerals Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo|
|Date released (year)||2011|
|Keywords/tags||Minerals, mining, civil war, violence|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYqrflGpTRE
|Synopsis||The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world and thanks to an insanely complicated mix of politics, armed conflict, and corruption… it’s also one of the most under-reported. It also happens to be home to a nondescript black rock known as Coltan… a vital ingredient in the production of nearly every cell phone and computer on the planet. Without Coltan, our technology-driven lives would come to a screeching halt, and Congo has 80% of the world’s supply. Since the mid nineteen-nineties, armed groups have used these minerals to fund a series of fantastically complicated and horrifically violent wars.
Vice founder Suroosh Alvi travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo and makes one of the most grueling treks of his life to see first-hand where this so-called “conflict mineral” comes from and to meet some of the rebels involved in the seemingly never-ending conflict in Eastern Congo.
|Reviews/discussion||From the BBC: The Human Cost of Coltan Mining
It was midnight when Elise and her husband were woken by armed men in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Soldiers of DR Congo’s National Army burst into their shack, sent the husband into another room, and then raped the mother of five at gunpoint.
“They put their guns on my chest and said: ‘Don’t talk, don’t cry, don’t complain’… then they started to rape me,” she said.
The perpetrators were not the feared militia of the FDLR, who are currently the focus of a major military operation in South Kivu.
They were from the FARDC – the National Army that now controls this area in eastern DR Congo.
It is an area carpeted with minerals such as coltan and cassiterite, which are used in the production of consumer durables and gadgets sold in the rich world.
But people are now beginning to ask: what is the human cost of a mobile phone?
Scarred for life
In Shabunda territory, where Elise was attacked, there have been 112 rapes reported since April, when the military operation started.
These official figures are almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg, because most sexual crimes go unreported here.
Since 2006 there have been 2,883 recorded rapes in the Shabunda territory.
Many of the women have not only been sexually violated but physically scarred for life.
And Shabunda is just one territory out of eight in the province of South Kivu – a tiny pin-prick in this vast country.
“Sexual attacks peak when there’s fighting,” said Shabunda-based human rights activist Papy Bwalinga Kashama.
“The reason the military and militia are fighting is to control the mines,” he said.
Civilians get caught in the middle. Control the men with guns who guard and earn tax from the mines, he argued, and you reduce the terrible violations endured by women.
It may sound simplistic, but he has a point.
In the mining area of Nyabembe, rusting pieces of mining machinery poke out from a thick layer of grass.
They reflect a time in the mid-1970s, when commercial mining was carried out in this area – a two-and-a-half hour motorbike ride from the town of Lulingu.
Five years of civil war, followed by protracted skirmishes with the militia, saw those operations move out and freelance miners move in.
These men are now exposed to predatory militias and also the military who demand a cut from what they dig.
When they are not exacting local taxes, the gunmen move into the village and terrify the local population – stealing, killing and raping.
“They take what they want, even our women, and there is nothing we can do about it,” sighed Simon, a young teacher who has swapped his school books for a shovel, because it is the only way to make a living.
Blood on their hands?
Global electronics and metals giants now face uncomfortable questions: Are they inadvertently fuelling the conflict in eastern DR Congo? Are they buttressing a market by sourcing supplies from militarised zones (a practice that is not illegal but ethically questionable)?
“There is nowhere and no-one we won’t buy from,” said Masumbuko Moari, who represents middlemen who supply to the big exporters.
He laughed when I suggested they might have blood on their hands as a result of buying from the men with guns.
“That’s a political issue,” he said, and our conversation ended.
With mining being the only game in town, radical change is bound to be resisted.
And that is the argument that international purchasers of minerals use, to justify their trade: so many jobs depend on it.
During a recent visit to South Kivu, DR Congo’s Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito admitted to the BBC that there was a genuine problem about militarised mining.
“We want people and companies to be able to work in good conditions,” he said. “Once the environment improves, the army won’t be in a position to exploit the mines.
“It’s an abnormal situation at the moment because the government doesn’t have full control.”
The Congolese government faces international pressure to address military exploitation of DR Congo’s mines.
It claims to control 80% of the mines but if you are prepared to ride by motorbike for a few hours, or trek through the forests on foot, it is not hard to find mines in the hands of men with guns.
Under the wire
During US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to the country, grand statements were made to get the military out of the mines, but change requires clear political will.
“We have to destroy the commercial circus of the mines, by reasserting the control of the state,” said Mabolia Yenga, a mines trouble-shooter who advises DR Congo’s ministry of mines.
Commercialising the mining sector is not a magic bullet, but it might be a start if the big operators are closely watched.
Mr Yenga believes that for minerals like coltan and cassiterite, a process of certification to ensure the mining does not fund violence – such as with the Kimberley process for diamonds – is long overdue.
But such a process would require input from DR Congo’s neighbours, which act as transit points for illicit exports.
Neighbours such as Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda have long been accused of benefiting from DR Congo’s mines, operating “under the wire” and gaining from the country’s instability.
The Congolese government wants to invite mining companies back in and use the tax revenues from mining to rebuild this shattered country.
It is a hard message to sell to a population which has seen virtually no infrastructural growth from its mineral riches – simply war.
But it may be a small step to making mining more transparent in DR Congo. It may also help to ensure that some of the 1.8bn mobile phones in the world are a little “cleaner”.
An excellent book on this topic:
Michael Nest, 2011, Coltan. Wiley Press. http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745649313
A decade ago no one except geologists had heard of tantalum or ‘coltan’ – an obscure mineral that is an essential ingredient in mobile phones and laptops. Then, in 2000, reports began to leak out of Congo: of mines deep in the jungle where coltan was extracted in brutal conditions watched over by warlords. The United Nations sent a team to investigate, and its exposé of the relationship between violence and the exploitation of coltan and other natural resources contributed to a re-examination of scholarship on the motivations and strategies of armed groups.
The politics of coltan encompass rebel militias, transnational corporations, determined activists, Hollywood celebrities, the rise of China, and the latest iGadget. Drawing on Congolese and activist voices, Nest analyses the two issues that define coltan politics: the relationship between coltan and violence in the Congo, and contestation between activists and corporations to reshape the global tantalum supply chain. The way production and trade of coltan is organised creates opportunities for armed groups, but the Congo wars are not solely, or even primarily, about coltan or minerals generally. Nest argues the political significance of coltan lies not in its causal link to violence, but in activists’ skillful use of mobile phones as a symbol of how ordinary people and transnational corporations far from Africa are implicated in Congo’s coltan industry and therefore its conflict. Nest examines the challenges coltan initiatives face in an activist ‘marketplace’ crowded with competing justice issues, and identifies lessons from coltan initiatives for the geopolitics of global resources more generally.
|Links to other resources||Dena Montague (2002) Stolen Goods: Coltan and Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. SAIS Review 22.1 (2002) 103-118 [Access article in PDF]
Click here to help: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/Watch more VICE documentaries here: http://bit.ly/VICE-Presents
See Blood Coltan:https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/blood-coltan/
|Title||Colonialism in 10 Minutes: The Scramble For Africa|
|Director(s)||Jesse James Miller and Pete McCormack|
|Date released (year)||2006|
|Production company||Mindset Media|
|Keywords/tags||Colonialism, civil war, natural resources|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAJ7XmTFs4A
|Synopsis||An excerpt from the film Uganda Rising showing in a brief overview the utter decimation of Africa that took place via colonialism and the so-called “Scramble For Africa.”
For two decades, the Acholi people of Northern Uganda have been caught in a civil war between a rebel group whose main objective is inhumane terror and a government whose military response has often increased misery and suffering. Over 1.5 million people have been displaced into camps and over 25,000 children have been abducted to be used as soldiers and sex slaves.
And yet through it all, every day across Acholi-land something remarkable happens. Against a backdrop of dismal statistics, miniscule opportunity and unpredictable terror, in a part of Uganda forgotten by the world, children who have never known peace, face the day as if to live this way is normal, as if they still believe in the future. These children are the embodiment of resilience and hope. This film is the story of Uganda, her stolen children, and the fight to be free.
Uganda Rising is a feature-length documentary solely produced by Mindset Foundation (formerly Mindset Media Society). Shooting for the production began in 2004 and completed in April 2006. Uganda Rising had its world premiere at the 2006 HotDocs International Film Festival on May 14th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The film has since been invited to participate in many prestigious film festivals such as Hollywood International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Paris International Human Rights Film Festival. The film was the recipient of many Best Documentary awards at festivals such as the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Wt Os International
The Colonization of Africa
Ehiedu E. G. Iweriebor – Hunter College
Between the 1870s and 1900, Africa faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization. At the same time, African societies put up various forms of resistance against the attempt to colonize their countries and impose foreign domination. By the early twentieth century, however, much of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, had been colonized by European powers.
The European imperialist push into Africa was motivated by three main factors, economic, political, and social. It developed in the nineteenth century following the collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition and suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist Industrial Revolution. The imperatives of capitalist industrialization—including the demand for assured sources of raw materials, the search for guaranteed markets and profitable investment outlets—spurred the European scramble and the partition and eventual conquest of Africa. Thus the primary motivation for European intrusion was economic.
|Links to other resources||World Bank Refuses to Stop Funding African Land Grabs, October 8, 2012, African Globe. Source: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/world-bank-refuses-stop-funding-african-land-grabs
Thomas Pakenham (1992) The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. See: http://www.amazon.com/Scramble-Africa-Conquest-Continent-1876-1912/dp/0380719991
|Title||BBC’s Welcome to Lagos|
|Date released (year)||2010|
|Keywords/tags||Toxic waste, poverty, violence|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHKLIpz9F5c
|Synopsis||First 10 minutes of the Part 1 of the documentary.
Three part observational documentary series which explores life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria
|Reviews/discussion||Economy: Nigeria is Africa’s leading oil producer; more than half of its people live in poverty(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13949550)
From the program editor’s blog:
First stop was the city’s main dump site, Olusosun. This definitely isn’t on the tourist trail of Lagos, but then Lagos doesn’t have much of a tourist industry at the moment. Some 5,000 people work on the dump, and we were immediately struck by how organised and efficient everything was.
As well as all the scavengers working behind the dump trucks, grabbing anything and everything they could to re-sell to the re-processing factories, there were shops, bars, restaurants, a mosque, a barbers, and even a cinema.
The longer we hung out on the dump (it very soon became one of our favourite places to film, because the people were all so friendly there) the more astonishing it became. It turned out that the scavengers even had their own form of democratically elected chairman, who sorted out any arguments or disagreements.
The dump became symbolic of everything we were trying to achieve in the films. It looks at first sight like a rough, lawless, dangerous place, and most people in this country will be horrified to see people working there.
But in actual fact, through the eyes of the people who actually DO work there, it’s a well-organised place where there’s good money to be earned. Decent, honest people choose to work there, preferring a life of grime to a life of crime. Some of them are university graduates.
They are proud of the fact that they earn an honest living, and are making a better life for themselves and their families through sheer determination and hard work.
We realised the scavengers were people to be admired rather than pitied, and it changed our whole perspective on the place. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, so why should we feel sorry for them? We decided that the films should celebrate their resourcefulness, and challenge our audience’s views of what poverty is.
After the dump we went to Makoko, an extraordinary floating slum, where everyone travels round in boats. Some people call it Lagos’s version of Venice.
There’s 100,000 people living on houses built on stilts, and after a week or so of drifting around in boats, stopping at people’s houses and talking to them, we stumbled across Mr Chubbey, who went on to become the star of programme two.
He has 18 children to look after, and is always on the look out for some scheme or another which will help him make more money. He’s like a character from Only Fools And Horses, buying selling, wheeling and dealing, doing dodgy deals and getting by on his charm and his luck. All that’s missing is the camel skin coat.
The last film is set on a beach right in the heart of the swankiest part of town. It sounds idyllic – white sands, clear blue Atlantic waters, baking hot sunny days – and in many ways it is.
But it is also home to 1,000 or so squatters, who have built homes on the sand because they have nowhere else to go. After a couple of trips, walking along the sands, explaining what we were doing to the inquisitive children, we met Esther, a sparky, intelligent, beautiful young woman who had been staying on the beach for the last six years.
She lived with her husband Segun in a little house which they had built themselves out of scrap wood, cardboard and old tarpaulins. It probably cost them about £80.
But when Esther and her husband started to have problems in their marriage, and it looked like they were going to split up, they used to have terrible arguments about who was going to get the house – every bit as vicious as they would be if they were living in a mansion in Beverley Hills.
We realised then that all our characters, wherever they lived, however extreme their working environment, went through all of the same things which we do in the West – love, heartbreak, marriages, births, deaths etc. It’s just that they live on a different scale to us, in the slums of the fastest growing city in the world, and with no money. This forces them to be more resourceful, energetic, and optimistic than most people in the West.
And yes, they may be terribly poor, but that doesn’t stop them being human and, if the films have succeeded, then I hope they’ve succeeded in showing that.
|Links to other resources||Watts, M. (ed) (2008) Curse of the black gold: 50 years of oil in the Niger Delta. New York: Powerhouse.
The Curse of Black Gold film
|Title||Ancient Khoisan (San) Tribe|
|Date released (year)||2012|
|Keywords/tags||Land and people|
|Link to film||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1NamQj-E9I
|Synopsis||Independent Documentary “Bushman’s Secret” By Rehad Desai.
Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan’s struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to survive as they once did hunting and gathering, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever.
One plant could make all the difference. Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company. It now stands to decide the fate of the Khomani San.
Bushman’s Secret features breathtaking footage of the Kalahari landscape, and exposes us to a world where modernity collides with ancient ways, at a time when each has, strangely, come to rely on the other.
Evicted from their ancestral lands, forced to abandon their native languages, and left to fend for themselves in a state of brutal poverty on the fringes of South African society, the Bushmen now face further exploitation, since the hoodia cactus (a source of food and medicinal healing) is being taken from their remaining lands by the conglomerate Unilever for use as a dubious weight loss product (ironically, Unilever also claims to be the “world’s largest ice cream manufacturer,” surely a contributing factor to obesity). Despite an agreement signed with the South African government for profits from the harvesting of hoodia, the Bushmen have yet to enjoy any financial returns. Bushman’s Secret serves up a shameful indictment of contemporary South African government, which would sooner kowtow to multinational corporate demands than provide basic services for its own people. Highly recommended.
|Reviews/discussion||Oppression of Khoikhoi
The hunger for land is a central theme of southern African history from the 17th century onwards. It generated conflict, sparked off wars and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
The first Europeans in southern Africa confined themselves at first to the western part of the region, centring their activities on the Cape of Good Hope. Here the Dutch East India Company was established in 1652. Gradually the Dutch colony expanded north and east, displacing, in the first instance, the oldest known inhabitants of this region, the Khoikhoi (referred to by the Dutch as ‘hottentots’).
The Khoikhoi were part of a larger group called the Khoisan, spread across southern Africa, sharing much of the same language. The San branch were hunter gatherers; the Khoikhoi were herdsmen. As a whole, the Khoisan needed large amounts of land in order to hunt and graze their cattle. The Dutch refused to recognise their traditional grazing and hunting rights.
The Dutch both stole and bought cattle off the Khoikhoi. In 1659, the Khoikhoi fought the Dutch over grazing land south of able Bay and lost. Soon the Khoikhoi way of life disintegrated.
The Dutch, who came to be known as Afrikaners (as well as Boers, which means farmers) started to expand their activities. They cultivated land and hunted across large distances. Subsequently, they acquired the title of Trekboers, when they embarked on long journeys or treks to get away from British officialdom in the Cape Colony.
The Khoikhoi often ended up as slaves, either working in the Cape Colony, or as farm labourers for the Dutch. The final blow came to them in 1713 when they fell victim to a small pox epidemic brought on a Dutch ship. The descendants of the Khoikhoi and San can be found in the deserts of Botswana and Namibia today.
|Links to other resources||http://khoisan.org
Nancy J. Jacobs (2003) Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History, Cambridge university Press.
|Title||Africa: States of independence – the scramble for Africa|
|Date released (year)||2010
|Link to film||http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/2010/08/2010831112927318164.html|
|Synopsis||Seventeen African nations gained their independence in 1960, but the dreams of the independence era were short-lived.
This film tells the story of some of those countries – stories of mass exploitation, of the ecstasy of independence and of how – with liberation – a new, covert scramble for resources was born.
|Reviews/discussion||Whether in bustling cities or remote villages, the 1880s and 1890s were years of terrifying upheaval for Africans. Fleet upon fleet of foreign soldiers armed with new weaponry – and a sense of entitlement – descended, seemingly overnight.
In the space of just 20 years, 90 per cent of Africa was brought under European occupation. Europe had captured a continent.
Europe was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution. The advent of the machine was transforming the cities there into the workshop of the world – a workshop in need of raw materials. It was the dawn of industrial-scale production, modern capitalist economies and mass international trade. And in this new industrial era the value of Africa rocketed – not only for its materials and as a strategic trade route, but also as a market for the goods Europe now produced in bulk.
But the scramble for Africa was not just about economics. Colonialism had become the fast-track to political supremacy in Europe. Rival European powers convened in the German capital and in February 1885 signed the Act of Berlin – an agreement to abolish slavery and allow free trade. The act also drew new borders on the map of Africa, awarding territory to each European power – thus legalising the scramble for Africa.
But with the Second World War – which saw the peak of Europe’s dependency on African troops – a powerful genie was released from a bottle – African nationalism. The tipping point came on February 3, 1960, when Harold Macmillan, the British prime minister, gave his ‘wind of change’ speech. Within 10 months, Britain had surrendered two key African territories and France 14. The rate of decolonisation when it arrived was breathtaking.
Seventeen African nations gained their independence in 1960, but the dreams of the independence era were short-lived. Africa … states of independence tells the story of some of those countries – stories of mass exploitation, of the ecstasy of independence and of how – with liberation – a new, covert scramble for resources was born.
BRICS bloc’s rising ‘sub-imperialism’
Is this the latest threat to Africa?
2012-11-29, Issue 608
Like Berlin in 1884-85, the BRICS Durban summit is expected to carve up Africa more efficiently, unburdened – now as then – by what will be derided as ‘Western’ concerns about democracy and human rights.
The heads of state of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) network of governments are coming to Durban, South Africa, in four months, meeting on March 26-27 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Africa’s largest venue. Given their recent performance, it is reasonable to expect another “1%” summit, wreaking socioeconomic and ecological havoc. And that means it is time for the first BRICS countersummit, to critique top-down “sub-imperialist” bloc formation, and to offer bottom-up alternatives.
After all, we have had some bad experiences at the Durban ICC.
In 2001, in spite of demands by 10,000 protesters, the United Nations World Conference Against Racism refused to grapple with reparations for slavery and colonialism or with apartheid-Israel’s racism against Palestinians (hence Tel Aviv’s current ethnic cleansing of Gaza goes unpunished).
The African Union got off to a bad start here, with its 2002 launch, due to reliance on the neoliberal New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) promoted by Pretoria.
The 2003 World Economic Forum’s African regional meeting hastened governments’ supplication to multinational corporate interests in spite of protests.
In 2011, Durban’s UN COP17 climate summit – better known as the ‘Conference of Polluters’ – featured Washington’s sabotage, with no new emissions cuts and an attempted revival of the non-solution called ‘carbon trading’, also called ‘the privatisation of the air’.
Like Berlin in 1884-85, the BRICS Durban summit is expected to carve up Africa more efficiently, unburdened – now as then – by what will be derided as “Western” concerns about democracy and human rights. Reading between the lines, its resolutions will:
– support favoured corporations’ extraction and land-grab strategies;
– worsen Africa’s retail-driven deindustrialisation (South Africa’s Shoprite and Makro – soon to be run by Walmart – are already notorious in many capital cities for importing even simple products that could be supplied locally);
– revive failed projects such as Nepad; and
– confirm the financing of both land grabbing and the extension of neocolonial infrastructure through a new ‘BRICS Development Bank’, likely to be based just north of Johannesburg where the Development Bank of Southern Africa already does so much damage following Washington’s script.
The question is whether in exchange for the Durban summit amplifying such destructive tendencies, which appears certain, can those few of Africa’s elites who may be invited leverage any greater influence in world economic management via the BRICS? With South Africa’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s regular critiques of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), there is certainly potential for BRICS to “talk left” about the global-governance democracy deficit.
But watch the ‘walk right’ carefully. In the vote for World Bank president earlier this year, for example, Pretoria’s choice was hard-core Washington ideologue Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister who with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde catalysed the Occupy movement’s near revolution in January, with a removal of petrol subsidies. Brasilia chose the moderate economist Jose Antonio Ocampo and Moscow backed Washington’s choice: Jim Yong Kim.
This was a repeat of the prior year’s fiasco in the race for IMF managing director, won by Lagarde in spite of ongoing corruption investigations against her by French courts, because the Third World was divided and conquered. BRICS appeared in both cases as incompetent, unable to even agree on a sole candidate, much less win their case in Washington.
Yet in July, BRICS treasuries sent US$100 billion in new capital to the IMF, which was seeking new systems of bail-out for banks exposed in Europe. South Africa’s contribution was only $2 billion, a huge sum for Gordhan to muster against local trade union opposition. Explaining the South African contribution – initially he said it would be only one tenth as large – Gordhan told Moneyweb last year that it was on condition that the IMF became more “nasty” [sic] to desperate European borrowers, as if the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish poor and working people were not suffering enough.
And the result of this BRICS intervention is that China gains IMF voting power, but Africa actually loses a substantial fraction of its share. Even Gordhan admitted at last month’s Tokyo meeting of the IMF and world Bank that it is likely “the vast majority of emerging and developing countries will lose quota shares – an outcome that will perpetuate the democratic deficit.” And given “the crisis of legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness of the IMF”, it “is simply untenable” that Africa only has two seats for its 45 member countries.
Likewise, South Africa’s role in Africa has been “nasty”, as confirmed when Nepad was deemed “philosophically spot on” by lead US State Department Africa official Walter Kansteiner in 2003, and foisted privatisation of even basic services on the continent. In a telling incident this year, the Johannesburg parastatal firm Rand Water was forced to leave Ghana after failing – with a Dutch for-profit partner (Aqua Vitens) – to improve Accra’s water supply, as also happened in Maputo, Mozambique, (Saur from Paris) and Dar es Salaam (Biwater from London) in Tanzania.
As a matter of principle, BRICS appears hell bent on promoting the further commodification of life, at a time when the greatest victory won by ordinary Africans in the last decade is under attack: the winning of the Treatment Action Campaign’s demand for affordable access to AIDS medicines, via India’s cheap generic versions of drugs. A decade ago, they cost $10,000 per person per year and only a tiny fraction of desperate people received the medicines. Now, more than 1.5 million South Africans – and millions more in the rest of Africa – get treatment, thus raising the South Africa’s average life expectancy from 52 in 2004 to 60 today, according to reliable statistics released this month.
However, in recent months, Obama has put an intense squeeze on India to cut back on generic medicine R&D and production, as well as making deep cuts in his own government’s aid commitment to fund African healthcare. In Durban, the city that is home to the most HIV+ people in the world, Obama’s move resulted in this year’s closure of AIDS public treatment centres at three crucial sites. One was the city’s McCord Hospital, which ironically was a long-standing ally of the NGO Partners in Health, whose cofounder was Obama’s pick for World Bank president, Jim Kim.
|Links to other resources||Thomas Pakenham (1992) The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. See: http://www.amazon.com/Scramble-Africa-Conquest-Continent-1876-1912/dp/0380719991
World Bank Refuses to Stop Funding African Land Grabs, October 8, 2012, African Globe. Source: http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/world-bank-refuses-stop-funding-african-land-grabs