Last month a plane that crashed in Congo and on board were Australian mining executives from Sundance Resources. The purpose of their visit was to take a look at the expansion of their operations in West Africa. An entire board taking the time to travel to West Africa is sign that there is something there worth Billions. One very big question is how much of that money stays in Africa?
All over Africa, you will find foreign based companies with a strong presence in whatever sector they do business in. Yes, they may be providing jobs for people in the regions in which they operating. But, how does that compare to the amount of money that they are making that does not stay in Africa?
In some cases, the governments of African nations are to blame. They may for example get a few millions dollars of investment from Africa’s new colonial powers China. What the Chinese get in return may be mining concessions which could make them Billions. In some cases the government officials try and do whatever they can to make it look like they are trying to gain control of sectors that are in chaos (such as the hotly debated diamonds from Chiadzwa). They will say they want to be able regulate it for everyone’s benefit when in actual fact it is for the benefit of a select few. This kind of greed is a completely different story all together.
When it comes to multinational corporations that are owned and operated by entities outside of Africa, is there a need for them? Can’t we do it ourselves? Out of Africa’s population of an estimated 850 million there has to be groups of people who can do what the multinationals are doing. Why can’t we be the ones to have control of our resources which after extraction we sell on at a price we set? Could the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act in Zimbabwe really be a way of getting what is really ours back in our hands? Some say it is just a way of Zanu PF keeping a grip on things and something that will sink the economy.
Why can’t we do it ourselves and be the ones to benefit from our riches?
Is Africa in such a bad state that those who are able to get their foot into the door are just exploiting the chaos?