Dr. Samori Swygert: Is Africa for sale?

wpwpwpwpsDr. Samori Swygert:  Is Africa for sale?

Africa, THE MOTHER LAND, has been the “cradle of civilization”, and is still the placenta of global economics.  Africa is revered as the continent where life first started, and the birthplace of math, science, spirituality, and philosophy.  However, the allure and fascination with this continent among foreign nations is the abundance of wealth and resources it contains.

Historically speaking, Africa has been the target of conquest and domination.  This statement is best illustrated, and supported by the usurpation of land, and slaughter of the Zulu tribe of South Africa by the European Voortrekkers, King Leopold of Belgium, and Cecil Rhodes.  I will go in depth about these endeavors in a part 2 follow up to this post, because it’s too lengthy.

Let’s fast forward into the 20th and 21st centuries. First, to gain perspective of extent and enormity, 1 metric ton equals 2,204 pounds, and 1 standard ton equals 2,000 pounds.  March 1st 1984, the New York Times published an article that detailed a discussion with Clive Knobbs, the Vice President of the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg.  Knobbs said that gold production would peak at 792 tons per year by the end of the decade.  He reported that South Africa had produced 750 tons of gold in the previous year, and that production would drop to 560 tons of gold by 2005.  Keep in mind this was in 1984.1

In Zambia, Africa, companies are now repairing the railroad lines to ship copper to South African ports for export.  Zambia is the continent’s largest producer of copper.  According to an article in Bloomberg news, they want to upgrade 746 miles of railway.  Copper is used for pipes, wires, and cables.  They are projecting output to reach 1.1 million metric tons of copper annually by 2015.   In 1975 Zambia produced 6 million tons of copper.  The deterioration of the railways accounted for a decrease in exportation.  In 2009 exportation declined to 690,000 tons of copper from Zambia.  Currently in 2013, Zambia Railways has increased the number of trains for transport to 68, and thus project 1.1 million tons of copper for export.  The majority of the mines in Zambia are Chinese owned.2

In Nairobi, Kenya, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Radar Technologies International discovered enormous water aquifers.  The report revealed that a minimum reserve of about 66 Trillion gallons of water resides below Kenya.  They also reported that precipitation in Kenya and Uganda replenishes them with approximately 898 billion gallons of water annually.  They have so far discovered 5 aquifers.  The Lotikipi Basin Aquifer is approximately the size of Rhode Island, another is named; Lodwar Basin Aquifer.  The other three are still being prospected.   Kenya, the United Nations, and Japan are in talks about how to use this for irrigation for the Kenyan people and other uses (other uses?).3

The Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa is pregnant with Tin, Tungsten, and Tantalum.  These three metals are used in the manufacturing of smart phones, digital cameras, and laptops.  These metals are being exported in a manner reminiscent to Blood Diamonds.  The drive to procure these metals caused U.S. lawmakers to introduce acts similar to the Kimberley process for diamonds.  The name of the acts are; The Congo Conflict Minerals Act, The Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act, and The Dodd-Frank Law.  These acts mandate that major electronics corporations like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Nintendo and others disclose the specific mines they receive their Gold, Tin, Tungsten, and Tantalum from.4 The Congo has also quadrupled their gold output over that last 5 years, and has produced 26 metric tons of gold in 2012 alone.

Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Kinshasa was previously named Leopoldville, after the violent Belgium conqueror King Leopold.  Currently Kinshasa and Zambia have some of the largest Cobalt mines, and China is prospecting these Cobalt sites for mining and extraction.  According to the 2011 United States Geological Survey, between 2009 and 2013, more than 100,000 tons of cobalt is being extracted per year.  Cobalt is one of the most unique and necessary metals of our time.  Cobalt has unique strength and thermal stability, and is thus used as alloy in turbines, batteries of cell phones, laptops, electric and hybrid car batteries, and munitions.5

Lastly, the United States has established drone bases in West Africa, North Africa, and East Africa under AFRICOM (Africa Command arm under the Pentagon).  The U.S. military operations expands into Niger, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and has opened a drone base in the Seychelles off the African coast to conduct further East African surveillance.  Furthermore, President Obama has pledged $7 Billion over the next 5 years to 8 countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique).  The ultimate goal in accordance with the International Energy Agency is to have universal electricity access to the Sub-Saharan region by 2030.  The final price tag is estimated to be $300 Billion.6

Moreover, The Gates Foundation has formulated, and executed a vaccination campaign in Africa.  Their goal is to eradicate Polio, by using satellite photography and GPS to find all their targeted villages and dispense oral Polio vaccines to the people.7   Bill Gates has pledged $1.8 Billion by 2018 to accomplish this campaign, and his subsequent campaign will be to target Malaria in a similar protocol.  Bill Gates has also partnered with Monsanto (purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock) and other biotech giants to map, sequence, and analyze the genomes of African fruits, vegetables, and plants.  The aim is to battle malnutrition, famine and address concerns about agricultural sustainability in the African continent.

Take Home Message

Honestly, I’m somewhat skeptical and cynical about the various foreign endeavors into the African continent.  I’m also aware of the malfeasance and corruption that goes on inside some of the African nations.  However, I see a silent reincarnation of imperialism and colonialism happening under the guise of philanthropy, humanitarianism, and benevolence.  Terms like “sustainability” and “infrastructure” cater to receptive ears, because the continent does need these improvements.  However, with the vast amounts in exports of raw material, African people are still impoverished in many nations, but the multinational companies are getting filthy rich.  The lifestyles of the African people has not been ameliorated or improved from the wealth they possess.  I also have my own concerns about biotech industries and the African people, but that will be discussed in a future post. Africans in America and abroad should return to the continent, and show the people how to use the materials that are exported.  The continent can then competitively manufacture the same products for retail in global commerce as China, and own the resources.


  1. http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/01/business/south-africa-gold-view.html
  2. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-14/rail-revival-is-lifeline-to-biggest-africa-copper-mines-freight.html
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/world/africa/aquifers-discovered-in-drought-ridden-kenya.html?_r=0
  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-ranganathan/tin-tantalum-and-tungsten_b_255982.html
  5. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5084/
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/opinion/powering-africa.html
  7. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/bill-gates-congress-91090.html


13 Responses to Dr. Samori Swygert: Is Africa for sale?

  1. WOOOW .. thanks for the info, i always heard about the resources in africa but this put a new spin on it, never knew it was that deep, and drones in north,east, and west africa???? whats really good with that??? …. will share this and thanks for the references.

  2. We must know the meaning of “Armageddon” to understand what is going on in Africa, and even the middle East and their connections with China & Russia.

    My opinion is that Africa unfortunately will continue to be raped due to the lack of mass uprising of the people against the puppet governments of their respective nations as well as the border & militia wars and coups which rages throughout the region on a daily basis.

    Although China has become the chief investor nation of the African continent and AFRICOM has placed itself there mainly for that reason, Chinese businesd objectives in reality are no more different from the European ones of 400 years ago.

    With China’s interests, as well as Russian, Brazilian, Iranian, Emirates, Saudi Arabian being these Nation’s priority in terms of their reliance on African resources which help to build and maintain their infrastructure and technological industries there exists a growing polarising view forming fast among these countries regarding the west’s drive and pursuance of its global aims and objectives.

    If these countries stay diplomatically p*issed off with American foreign policy then that sentiment can arguably become a recipe for disaster and the knock-on effect would ultimately involve Africa.

    The Bill Gates of this world and their nefarious eugenic programs are more borne out of an idea that seeks to destroy African populations in order to pave the way for corporate business to come in an flourish in and across the African continent.
    However, simultaneously a war is raging across Africa and ultimately Bill Gates and his cohorts will not be successful in their endeavours because ‘Armageddon’, I.e. the south east Asian, South/Latin American, middle eastern and Russian nations engaging with the belligerent America and her western allies.

    The African people only have one solution; to rise up against their corrupt governments and take charge of their economies by taking them out of the hands of western corporate entities for themselves.

    Until then Africa will continue to suffer.

  3. I see many problems with this overall post.

    Is it really a surprise that African leaders are complicit in much that is terrible that occurs in Africa ? African leaders have been complicit since the days of overt slavery, when they were selling not just prisoners but sometimes their own people to the white (and Arab) slavers.

    Paul Theroux, one of the most respected travel writers around (the term does not do him justice) has been writing his very keen travel observations for decades. Wanting to have one absolutely great book as his final opus, he selected the project of writing about Africa as he saw it during a trip from South to North. He stopped halfway through the project. He gave up because the corruption he observed among Africans so sickened him that he decided not to go on. He was only halfway throuigh his trip from South to North.

    I am NOT suggesting that the European countries don’t have an enormous amount of corruption. We do. And it is just as disgusting as the African variety, though usually a little more concealed. I am suggesting, however, that it wouldn’t be wise for Africans to blame Europeans for all the corruption around them because there is more than enough for much to stick on their own African walls.

    Here is one very troubling paragraph I see above, broken into sentences and comments:

    “The Bill Gates of this world and their nefarious eugenic programs are more borne out of an idea that seeks to destroy African populations in order to pave the way for corporate business to come in an flourish in and across the African continent.” The author of this nonsense wouldn’t recognize charity and good intentions if ten tons of them fell out of the sky and landed on the ground in front of him. If you think Bill Gates is engaged in eugenics, you are simply out of touch with reality. What is one of the greatest scourges of Africa ? Malaria. The Gates Foundation is attempting to eliminate it. Think how much Africa would benefit by getting rid of this problem. I don’t suggest that Gates is another Jesus Christ, but I would suggest that if Jesus Christ arrived on the doorstep of many Africans, those who say such terrible things about Gates would probably try to stone Him to death.

    “However, simultaneously a war is raging across Africa and ultimately Bill Gates and his cohorts will not be successful in their endeavors because ‘Armageddon’, I.e. the south east Asian, South/Latin American, middle eastern and Russian nations engaging with the belligerent America and her western allies.”

    This last paragraph above is simply rant and nonsense.

    Africa has been at the mercy of colonial powers for explicable reasons. If you want to know why, just read a book called “Guns, Germs and Steel.” You will never again look at your own history in the same way.

    You Africans are corrupt. So are we Westerners. We are all the same. The malady we suffer from is called “human nature.” Despite your/our desire to consider ourselves different from the other, we are all the same.

  4. Richard Goodman

    Your pomposity is somewhat interesting to me but not one of surprise as we know that this characteristic is in accord with your nature.

    I think your corrupted African leaders parity to European corruption point is valid to some degree, however if you cared to look more profoundly into what I wrote you would have found that I did not apportion more of the blame onto the European than I did to African leaders.

    With regards to corruption one can choose to equate or assign culpability to either side of the spectrum however if I were to find a flaw in the way a group conventionally conduct themselves would it be right for me to compound the flaw by manipulating it to ny benefit, would I be conducting myself in a responsible manner, wouldn’t such behaviour be irresponsible at the very least?

    It can indeed be irresponsible to blame whites solely for the corruption in Africa however African Americans, contrary to popular belief, aren’t stupid enough to do so on a whole, and what I also derive from your commentary is a tone of presumption as though conventional thought among AAs are predicated on irrationality, conspiracy and conjecture.

    With concern to your point on malaria; were Africans dying of this, or any other type of illness or contagion in mass numbers BEFORE Europeans ever reached the African continent??
    Please find me the proof of us dying in considerable numbers based on the aforementioned paragraph which compelled Europeans to start inoculating Africans.

    To deem a certain part of my post as “..simply (a) rant and nonsense” would only be credible if you proved beyond certainty that what I have written, even in general, is patently false, so in that regard I await your response.

    If you purport to be a man of a certain stature or even disposition you would know that the meaning of ‘Armageddon’ is neither ethereal or abstract and it most definitely can be placed in context with the subject matter of Africa’s current plight.

    However its quite clear to me that you are not adept to spiritual matters and how they relate to terrestrial matters, so I would suggest that you seek further clarity on such matters overall as they obviously transcend your reasoning at this current statge.

    ‘Goodman’, if “We are all the same” then the transatlantic slave trade and my people’s enslavement in the west thereafter would never have occured as it was precisely established and conducted on the premise of difference in natures between us and yourselves as whites, and the “malady” you speak of is, by way of principle, not to be fostered for the sake of selfish needs and objectives.

    Just like in your culture there is an element of romanticism attached to your people’s teaching of history the same can be applied to us, however just as there are pragmatists among your people there are certainly many of the same calibre in mine.

    Its interesting that your Paul Theroux “..gave up” up his ‘fact-finding’ mission due to being “sickened” by the level of corruption among Africans…what, to return to the west where there’s even more corruption which exists almost stealthily??

    I guess Theroux was divinely engendered to gauge the level of morality among Africans and judge accordingly, and then come to the conclusion that there are some forms of corruption which are more tolerable than others! SMH
    Once again, I’m not surprised by that kind of sentiment as we’ve (Black people) have seen and experienced such before, and we continue to do so!

    We See You!

  5. Pingback: Dr. Samori Swygert: How China Is Poised For Global Economic Domination | Kulture Kritic

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