When ‘helping’ Africa resembles grabbing its resources by George Monbiot


One of the stated purposes of the Conference of Berlin in 1884 was to save Africans from the slave trade. To discharge this grave responsibility, Europe’s powers discovered, to their undoubted distress, that they would have to extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa.  In doing so, they accidentally encountered the vast riches of that continent, which had not in any way figured in their calculations, and found themselves in astonished possession of land, gold, diamonds and ivory. They also discovered that they were able to enlist the labour of a large number of Africans, who, for humanitarian reasons, were best treated as slaves. Read more

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