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Africa’s Natural Resources: Blessing or Curse?

Africa’s Natural Resources: Blessing or Curse?

All too often, African countries that are rich in natural resources are plagued by political and commercial corruption, social inequality and the instability that results from systems that fail to meet the basic rights of its people. A continent that is rich in natural resources like oil, gas, diamonds and other extractive resources, is made poor by the human errors that are fed by greed.

In Uganda, where oil was recently discovered, groups like Global Rights Alert are fighting to make sure the country is adequately compensated for this precious resource, the money from which can help fight poverty and disease, as well as help the country develop economically.

To help ensure that oil and gas companies don’t take advantage of Africa’s natural resources and that countries like Uganda are paid the money they deserve for the sale of their oil, we need transparency — meaning we need laws that require big oil, gas and other extractive companies to say how much they’re paying developing countries for their resources.

Momentum is building behind this idea. The U.S. passed a law requiring companies to publish what they pay foreign governments and France’s President Sarkozy expressed support for similar laws in the EU.

Next month, a major international conference will take place on this issue and a supportive statement from UK Chancellor George Osborne would greatly help the chances of transparency laws spreading throughout the EU.

Sign the petition asking Chancellor Osborne to publicly support transparency. It’s time that we ensure the money for Africa’s natural resources is directed into the right pockets, and not padding transnational corporate greed.

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74 comments

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6:58AM PST on Mar 3, 2011

thanks for the post.

11:18PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

It is heartening to know that some people do recognise how much their countries have exploited Africa's resources and their people. Let's call it greed and a lack of ethics - their mines are run not observing the standards they would operate under elsewhere. Arms are traded so that tribes can fight one another while they make a profit at home. This has been going on for centuries and Africans seldom benefit from foreign involvement. Now it's China's turn..... trouble's brewing...

10:02PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

You only have to look at Nigeria and Sudan to see how wrong it can go when western nations exploit African oil. And now China is getting in on the act.

10:01PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

I hope the people of Uganda benefit from this discovery --although I'm not too hopeful. After the oil companies make as much profit as they can and government officials get their share of the profit, the small amount of money that actually trickles down to the general population probably won't make a big difference in their lives. Consideration also needs to be given to the effect that drilling will have on their environment. Let's face it, if an oil spill the magnitude of the one that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico occurred in Uganda's Lake Albert, would it get the same attention as it did in the US? It would have devestating effects in an underdeveloped country. That's why oversight is absolutely essential.

8:51PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

thanks for sharing.

2:07PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

Carmen P, Ugandans don't have much left in the way of traditional beliefs after more than 40 years of civil war. Child soldiers grew up, had children, died. their children became child solders. and so on. for generations.

When will petition sites, governments, churches, whoever counts start agitating and organising against COUNTRIES WHO FUND ONGOING WARS IN AFRICA FOR GAIN?

They are responsible for a depth of human suffering that they will burn in hell for - just as those percieved to be against the ruling junta, or who are just in the way, are burned inside their own huts - but those responsible will burn for all eternity. I so like that vision!!!

In the meantime, too many people are suffering. I wish you could hear me sing that - or hear a Somalian sing it, or a Ugandan, and hear the pain!

Africa is bleeding, and the wealthy nations promote and encourage it to bleed on so they can pillage Africa's resources at little cost to themselves.

1:57PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

Noted. Thank you.

1:32PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

No having An American food distributor or any basic business would not corrupt the Tribal Ugandans, but how are we to help if their spirituality is dictating how they live do you chose to live in your tribe if you were born into a tribe in Uganda or if you were born in Uganda would you flee to the nearest city and assume and live your life in a more contemporary time? I do not know the answers if I was born there, i definately know when i see celebs go over there the children are excited to see other people who are different and perhaps if america invests little businesses there it would bring prosperity, happyness and feed new technology and perhaps teachings of Democracy or simply Freedom. Money is money where ever it is earned. Why not help Uganda women and men who have families in this way? Carmen

12:04PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

noted :0

11:57AM PST on Mar 1, 2011

¿Que gobernantes son los más corruptos: los africanos que fueron incapaces de detenerse a pensar en sus pueblos o los norteamericanos que tienen invertido millones en esas tierras y piensan con esas leyes, esclavizar aún más a una nación?. La respuesta es ambos.

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