The environmental crisis, global capital, colonization, war, and destruction all meet head on in Africa in general, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in particular...and those of us, like you and me, just aren't doing a hell of a lot about any of it. Not really.
It is obvious that the Developed countries and global capital are doing all they can to re-enter and control as much of Africa as possible, as quickly as possible right now. They want the resources mostly. They desperately want the resources and they don't much care how much damage they do or who is in the way. Africa has a large quantity of natural resources including oil, diamonds, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum and cocoa beans, but also woods and tropical fruits. Much of its natural resources are undiscovered or barely harnessed. Global Capital in the form of the developed countries (and the so called developing countries) are making sure the value from these resources are heading their way and doing nothing for the people of Africa themselves.
For more than two decades the United States and western based capital has been increasingly escalating military and economic penetration of Africa.
As Abayomi Azikiwe writes at Pambazuka News:
The presence of U.S. military and intelligence forces in Africa is designed to bolster the strategic mineral and territorial interests of Wall Street. Africa is now supplying greater amounts of oil, natural gas and other essential minerals to economic interests of the ruling class.
With the growing role of the People’s Republic of China on the continent, Washington and Wall Street are concerned that they will lose their post-World War II advantage in Africa. Hence due to the declining economic influence of the U.S., the capitalist are relying more on aggressive military and intelligence operations to undermine Africa’s long term interests which are more in line with other continental states as well as other geo-political regions of the world including Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Garikai Chengu writes at Systemic Capital.com,
....Africa is a paradox that underscores the ongoing power of financial imperialism. She is spectacularly rich, yet the natural capital that is extracted from above and below her children’s feet continues to enrich, not Africans, but the people who facilitate Africa’s impoverishment: Western capitalists.
...Neo-liberalism is unquestionably the greatest cancer spreading across the African continent. Neo-liberalism is the promotion of a combination of counter-developmental economic policies, such as privatisation, austerity and structural adjustment that put the interests of foreign capital over local labour.
Meanwhile, highlighting the fact that we are talking about GLOBAL capital here is the fact that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are surely not hapless innocents in all this. The question always being is it the State, is it Capital, who the hell is it.
Patrick Bond puts it this way at Links:
The BRICS agenda of relegitimising neoliberalism not only reinforces North American power, of course. In each case, the BRICS countries’ control of their hinterlands for the sake of regional capitalist hegemony was another impressive feature of sub-imperialism, especially in South Africa’s case....
...South African, US, European, Australian and Canadian firms have been joined by major firms from China, India and Brazil in the region. Their work has mainly built upon colonial infrastructural foundations – road, rail, pipeline and port expansion – for the sake of minerals, petroleum and gas extraction. BRICS appears entirely consistent with facilitating this activity, especially through the proposed BRICS Bank...
...The eco-destructive, consumerist-centric, over-financialised, climate-frying maldevelopment model throughout the BRICS works very well for corporate and parastatal profits, especially for Western capital, but is generating repeated crises for the majority of its people and for the planet.
The media likes to portray Africa as a continent surviving on the handouts of the West. The exact opposite is more the case. As Garikai Chengu explains,
...it is the West that is reliant on African handouts. These handouts come in many and varied forms. They include illicit flows of resources, the profits of which invariably find their way into the West’s banking sector via strings of tax havens (as thoroughly documented in Nicholas Shaxson’s Poisoned Wells). Another is the mechanism of debt-extortion whereby banks lend money to military rulers (often helped to power by Western governments, such as the Congo’s former President Mobutu), who then keep the money for themselves (often in a private account with the lending bank), leaving the country paying exorbitant interest on an exponentially growing debt.
...Recent research by Leonce Ndikumana and James K Boyce found that up to 80 cents in every borrowed dollar fled the borrower nation in ‘capital flight’ within a year, never having been invested in the country at all; whilst meanwhile $20billion per year is drained from Africa in ‘debt servicing’ on these, essentially fraudulent, ‘loans’.
Think none of this has a direct effect on internal wars, on environmental collapse, on the very lives today of the people of Africa. Hopefully, you are smart enough to think no such thing.
Meanwhile I direct you to this interesting article from Ceasefire.