British mining contractors and companies are among those benefitting from the rich resources in Africa. It is estimated that the continent’s natural resources provide a net benefit of close to £45 billion annually to developed nations.
A study by War on Want, a campaign group, has identified 101 companies and corporations that are listed on the London Stock Exchange. These companies control resources in Africa that are worth a minimum of $1.05 trillion. The resources include 6.6 billion barrels of oil and 79.5 million ounces of gold.
Some of the holdings investigated by War on Want include Britain’s biggest corporate names, such as Rio Tinto and BP. Nearly 36 out of the 101 companies control mineral resources across sub-Saharan Africa over a land area that is much bigger than Germany.
The report claims that the profits generated by the companies are not being shared in a fair manner with the countries where oil, gold, diamond, platinum and coal are being extracted. The policy adopted by the British government is helping these corporations and mining contractors benefit.
While the rest of the world has been concentrating on China and how it has established a foothold in Africa, Britain has been stealthily getting access to the commodities in Africa and has managed to strengthen its hold. The campaigners accuse the British government and ministers of being complicit and claim that British and UK-based companies use the government to gain access to commodities from Ghana to South Africa. As a result, Britain is extracting more revenue from Africa than the aid and economic development that the continent is receiving.
The sub-Saharan Africa region receives close to £103 billion annually in loans, aid and foreign investment. However, the outflow in profits and lost taxes is equivalent to £148 billion a year.
The International Programmes Director for War on Want, Saranel Benjamin, stated that the African continent is witnessing a new colonial invasion that is as devastating as the one it experienced in the