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Saturday, April 17, 2021

African oligarchs and their global networks of corruption

 Is the American Ruling Class importing the African Way?  

If you are beginning to feel that members of the American Ruling Class - the Democrats in power, the business oligarchs, the press as the mouthpieces of the Democrat Party, Big Academia, the Silicon Valley rulers of social media - are busy setting up a one-party state where the ballot box can now be stuffed with impunity, look to Africa where the Ruling Class doesn't have to worry about the poor serfs that live a life of poverty and oppression.  

Edgar Lungu - Zambia

"As Africans, we do things the African way. "  Kleptocrats and oligarchs rule these countries and the political elite have done business with them for decades.

"We have to pay bribes here, it's the African way" they say.

Going deep into the belly of government circles in countries where the majority of citizens are desperately poor and discover how international business partners assist presidents, ministers, and governing party bureaucrats convert political power into personal wealth. 

 Africa’s political elites have built the same wealth plundering structures as the colonialists

The story of corruption in Africa is not new: tens of millions of dollars missing from Kenya’s ministry of health; billions in mining exports never reaching government coffers in the DR Congo; and cabinet members in Nigeria using bribes received in exchange for lucrative government contracts to buy condos in New York and Paris. Corruption is so endemic in Africa that even presidents have publicly expressed their helplessness in fighting the vice.

Yet, a new transnational report shows the systemic nature in which African oligarchs break down existing governance structures in order to loot national wealth. The investigation, carried by the African Investigative Publishing Collective (AIPC) in partnership with Africa Uncensored and ZAM magazine, shows how clientelism and favoritism have badly impacted the state budgets and economies in seven African nations.

The Looting Machine Warlords, Ologarchs, Corporations Smugglers and the Theft of Africa's wealth.

As global demand for Africa’s resources rises, a handful of Africans are becoming legitimately rich but the vast majority, like the continent as a whole, is being fleeced. Outsiders tend to think of Africa as a great drain of philanthropy. But look more closely at the resource industry and the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world looks rather different. In 2010, fuel and mineral exports from Africa were worth 333 billion, more than seven times the value of the aid that went in the opposite direction. But who received the money? For every Frenchwoman who dies in childbirth, 100 die in Niger alone, the former French colony whose uranium fuels France’s nuclear reactors. In petro-states like Angola three-quarters of government revenue comes from oil. The government is not funded by the people, and as result it is not beholden to them. A score of African countries whose economies depend on resources are rentier states; their people are largely serfs. The resource curse is not merely some unfortunate economic phenomenon, the product of an intangible force. What is happening in Africa’s resource states is systematic looting. Like its victims, its beneficiaries have names.

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