Canada in Africa – 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation: A Conversation with Yves Engler

Global Research News Hour Episode 131

Canada in Africa is a haunting chronicle of the bloodletting, destabilization and pillaging of Africa by agents and governments of Canada.

This should be required reading for every human with a conscience.” -Nnimmo Bassey, winner of the Right Livelihood Award and author of To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa. As quoted in Yves Engler’s book Canada in Africa




Length (59:09)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Canada is typically portrayed, domestically and abroad, as a force for good in Africa and the rest of the world.

On its website, the government of Canada boasts of promoting “democracy, governance, human rights and the rule of law,” enhancing “African peace and security,” and  “supporting international development initiatives.”

Do these sentiments reflect reality?

Yves Engler would seem to disagree. He is a Montreal based political analyst and the author of several books on Canadian foreign policy, including The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (2009), The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy (2012), and his latest, Canada In Africa — 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation (2015).

In this last volume, Engler details how successive Canadian companies and governments have been implicated in undermining the sovereignty, welfare and rights of the African people to the benefit of wealthy Canadian interests. Canadian involvement in Africa has included:

  • Profiting from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade
  • Assisting in the European colonization of Africa
  • Supporting and promoting neoliberal “structural adjustment” program schemes which encourage privatization and benefit Canadian companies
  • Brokering Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs) with Burkino Faso and other countries which undermine popular control of domestic economic development to the benefit of Canadian mining companies
  • Tax evasion by companies operating in African countries
  • Supporting the overthrow of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lamumba
  • Canadian Mining companies carrying out hazardous activities in Tanzania and elsewhere while intimidating and abusing the local population through the security personnel they employ.
  • Support for the 2006 US-Ethiopian invasion of Somalia

Yves Engler went on a book tour in September of 2015. The following video captures his September 29 talk at the University of Winnipeg. (Footage courtesy of Video-grapher Paul Graham

During this week’s Global Research News Hour, Yves Engler expands on these critiques of Canadian foreign policy in Africa. As well, he comments on the recent political turmoil brewing in Haiti, and provides his perspective on what changes, if any, have resulted from the replacement of the reviled Harper government with the much more popular Trudeau government.




Length (59:09)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)


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Articles by: Michael Welch and Yves Engler

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