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There isn’t a word in English strong enough to describe the plundering of Africa

(Wednesday/ Thursday blog)

In Monday’s blog, I mentioned that Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s president, is the owner of a rather attractive £13m property in London. But £13m is mere small change for Isabel dos Santos who has mysteriously amassed an estimated $2.3 billion fortune by the still young age of 47 in the form of large shares in Angola’s key industries, including cement, banking, telecoms, and diamonds while over 90% of sh*t-hole Angola’s population live in poverty-stricken misery. (Why one person would need $2.3bn is beyond me. After all, how many luxury homes, yachts etc can one person use?)

Let’s just play around with some figures. If the Angolan president’s daughter has managed to amass a modest $2.3bn fortune, I imagine her loving dad will have even more – say $10bn. Then there will be all the other members of the ruling elite. What shall we estimate for them? How about $100bn+ all stolen from the country and poured into offshore bank accounts? The population of basket-case impoverished Angola is around 30 million and rising fast. That $100bn or so could have made a vast improvement in Angola’s roads, railways, power supplies, schools, hospitals, universities, clean water, decent housing, creating jobs etc. But instead, that $100bn+ is hidden away in offshore bank accounts or being used to buy luxury properties abroad while Angola’s 30 million population live short, excrement-filled lives.

Meanwhile, over in equally repellent Equatorial Guinea, the president’s son managed to buy a $35m Malibu mansion on his relatively modest official salary of $48,000 a year. I’ll let you do the maths.

We have words like ‘corruption‘, ‘looting‘ and ‘kleptocracy’. But they aren’t strong enough to describe what’s happening in Angola and Equatorial Guinea and most of the world’s other sh*t-holes. In all these countries, the ruling elites take everything for themselves – mines, oil reserves, banks, property, businesses. Everything that can make money is simply taken over by a member of the ruling elites, usually using companies set up by Western lawyers and accountants in offshore tax havens, and virtually nothing ever gets reinvested back into the country.

I once met a journalist who was married to an Egyptian. She explained that the family had a cement business in Egypt. They could easily have expanded their business and provided jobs for more people. But they didn’t dare. Why not? Because if some predatory politician or bureaucrat noticed their business was doing well, the predator would probably have a family member arrested on fake charges and only release them if the family transferred ownership of the cement business to the predator. Thus the family made sure their business just ticked over providing them with a very modest income so they wouldn’t attract the attention of some utterly corrupt establishment predator.

The only word that comes close to describing what is happening in over half the world’s countries is ‘plundering’. But even that doesn’t describe the massive scale of theft that is going on. One international research body estimated that Africa’s rulers steal three times as much from their countries each year than their countries receive in foreign aid and foreign investment. So, if we could just cut African corruption by say 50% (still allowing African leaders to steal billions each year) we could stop all foreign aid and the continent would still be richer.

Another researcher estimated that $5trn or $10trn or $20trn of African money may have been stolen over the last few decades and used to buy luxury properties, cars, art, yachts and god only knows what else around the world.

So, what’s the point of today’s blog? The point is that Africa has never needed any Western aid or charity money, does not now need any Western aid or charity money and will not ever need any Western aid or charity money. What Africa needs is Africa’s money – the trillions that have been plundered by Africa’s rulers and stashed abroad.

If Oxfam or Save the Children or Unicef really cared about Africans, they would be lobbying Western governments to crack down on the banks, lawyers and accountants facilitating the tsunami of money pouring out of Africa. But we don’t hear a peep of protest from our leading charities about the blatant plundering of Africa. Instead they bleat and whine about how we must give and give and give and give to keep the charities’ staff in the luxury lifestyles they have been accustomed to at our expense – renting houses full of cheap servants in the most expensive parts of African capitals, being driven around like royalty in fleets of 4WDs and, of course, endless availability of sex with those they are supposed to be helping.

Our lying, deceitful, self-serving charities know exactly what is happening in Africa. But they say nothing that would cause us to question our endless giving. Any money you give to any charity working in Africa is money down the drain. Stop wasting your money on Africa.

And here, for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, is a YouTube video a reader made for me about the plunder of Africa:

7 comments to There isn’t a word in English strong enough to describe the plundering of Africa

  • Ian J

    Welcome back David – you are one of the few people who tells the truth about Africa and its ‘charities’. I just wonder who set the example for these African leaders/thieves to follow?

  • William Boreham

    I have given my life to try to alleviate the sufferings of Africa. There is something that all white men who have lived here like I, must learn and know:

    That these individuals are a sub race. They have neither the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any function of our civilisation. I have given my life to try to bring them the advantages which our civilisation has to offer, but I have become well aware that we must retain this status: the superior and they the inferior. For whenever a white man seeks to live amongst them as equals, they will either destroy him or devour him. And they will destroy all his work. Let white men from anywhere in the world, who would come to Africa, remember that you must continually retain this status; you he master and they the inferior, like children that you need to help or teach. Never fraternise with them as equals. Never accept them as your social equals or they will devour you. They will destroy you.

    Dr Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize Winner 1951.
    (“African Notebook” 1939.

  • A Thorpe

    The corrupt rulers are robbing the countries of any wealth they can create and this is why there is no investment either internally (as the Egyptian case shows) or externally since investors will lose everything. Africa needs investment to create jobs and wealth. It is an asset rich country and should be doing well. It also needs cheap energy which the climate crisis mob are preventing.

    The African rulers need to be more subtle and make do with less. Look at the wealth that Blair has somehow created. Corruption is not obvious here, but look at the Crossrail fiasco and HS2 and airport capacity. Our rulers have nothing to be proud about.

    Charities are the same everywhere. They are completely unaccountable, with overpaid executives. All state input to charities in the UK should end. Charities should depend on private donations not on our taxes.

  • leila

    In early December I spoke to a school friend who remains in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She says the generals under Manangagwa (Mugabe’s successor and no different to him) have stolen absolutely everything. There is nothing left she said. For the first time she is thinking of leaving for Australia where most of her family live post Zim.

  • Obviously, international action has to be taken to sort out the tax havens in order to stop the flow of money out of the corrupt countries.

    People in the first world should be as insistent of that being brought about by their governments as they are about saving the planet from climate change.

    Because the African population is rising at an unsustainable rate both for Africa itself and for the rest of the world. Their insurance is having as many children as possible.

  • Greta THUNNY

    Two dozen Australians in the state of New South Wales have been arrested since early November for intentionally setting fires.

    https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1215097871181262849

  • The reason that the flow of money from the third-world to the tax havens is not being stopped must be because countries, such as the USA and UK, are also Kleptocracies. The first-world kleptocracies are draining the third-world klepocracies.

    Kleptocracy: a government with corrupt leaders that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political powers. Typically, this system involves embezzlement of funds at the expense of the wider population.

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