US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the US is interested in Africa’s natural resources. Kerry said that the US and the continent of Africa are “Natural Partners” because of its abundant resources and their “know-how for economic development”.
The Associated Press reported what Kerry said to members of the Addis Ababa diplomatic corps and the Young Africa leader network following his visit to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. He said:
Africa has the natural resources, capacity and the know-how for economic development, Kerry said, adding that the U.S. is the continent’s “natural partner.” He said that over the next three years, 37 of the 54 African nations will hold national elections with millions of voters going to the polls. And he called on Africans to combat the political corruption that the African Union says has cost the people of Africa tens of billions of dollars
The report said that
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted crises in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic and urged Africans to demand stability and financial development.”
Well obviously it does not include a handful of dictatorships Washington has supported over the years including Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. He is also known as “the country’s God” according to a report conducted by BBC in 2003. The state-controlled radio program had announced to the public that “He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, and who gives him this strength,” a presidential aide announced on the show” according to the report. Obiang is a staunch US ally and Africa’s longest ruling dictator since 1979 after he executed his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema. Obiang was actually trained in Spain under the fascist leadership of Francisco Franco. Equatorial Guinea’s oil exports and corruption has made the Obiang family one of the wealthiest families on the African continent. In 2008, the US Department of State’s own human rights report stated the following concerning Equatorial Guinea:
limited ability of citizens to change their government; increased reports of unlawful killings by security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; systematic torture of prisoners and detainees by security forces; life threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, and incommunicado detention; harassment and deportation of foreign residents with limited due process; judicial corruption and lack of due process; restrictions on the right to privacy; restrictions on freedom of speech and of the press; restrictions on the rights of assembly, association, and movement; government corruption; violence and discrimination against women; suspected trafficking in persons; discrimination against ethnic minorities; and restrictions on labor rights
Equatorial Guinea is an example. It has natural resources and a government that is friendly to Washington and its corporate interests. The speech made by Kerry mentioned countries that lacked security and democratic values for its people as he said that the US was “ready to help increase its ties with Africa, but nations across the continent need to take stronger steps to ensure security and democracy for its people”. He did not mention Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Rwanda or Ethiopia. All are whom supported by Washington. “And he called on Africans to combat the political corruption that the African Union says has cost the people of Africa tens of billions of dollars” According to the AP report. Kerry also said
“That money could build new schools and hospitals, new roads and bridges, new pipes and power lines. That’s why it’s a responsibility for citizens in Africa and in all nations to demand that public money is providing services for all, not lining the pockets of a few”
Just like President Teodoro Obiang. It is no secret that Africa has an enormous amount of resources including oil, copper, gold and silver. The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is expanding its presence in Africa to counter not only China, but Brazil, India and Russia. According to a document published by AFRICOM during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with General David M. Rodriquez on March 6th 2014, confirmed Washington’s strategy concerning Africa:
Africa is increasingly important for our European allies, who are directly affected by the rising economic and political influence of some African countries, as well as the symptoms of instability emanating from other countries. Many European Allies view Africa as the source of their greatest external security threats, including terrorism, illegal immigration, human smuggling and trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking. Our support to allies in addressing mutual security challenges in Africa may influence their willingness and ability to help shoulder the burden in future conflicts in other areas in the world. The African continents energy and strategic mineral reserves are also of growing significance to China, India, and other countries in the broader Indian Ocean basin. Africa’s increasing importance to allies and emerging powers, including China, India and Brazil, provides opportunities to reinforce U.S. security objectives in other regions through our engagement on the continent. While most African countries prefer to partner with the United States across all sectors, many will partner with any country that can increase their security and prosperity. We should be deliberate in determining where we leave gaps others may fill
Africa is Washington’s next colonial project. Expanding AFRICOM and more drone bases will be the norm. Will Africa’s leadership allow Washington and it European partners (who colonized Africa for centuries) to dominate their continent? That is a hard question to answer, especially when leaders such as Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang who became wealthy at the expense of his people.