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Africa Still in the Crosshairs as Land Grabs Intensify


#1

Africa Still in the Crosshairs as Land Grabs Intensify

Timothy Wise

On October 12, the government of Mozambique quietly announced that it would close its Agriculture Promotion Centre (CEPAGRI), the agency created in 2006 to promote large-scale foreign investment in the country’s agricultural sector. In a terse statement, government spokesman Mouzinho Saide gave no reason for the closure, saying only that its functions would be subsumed under a different agency in the Ministry of Agriculture.


#3

Not to mention the Gates Foundation paving the way for Monsanto and other monopolists to plunder the continent.


#4

10 thumbs up if I could. This exactly why Africom created. It just Imperialism and a resource grab, nothing more.


#5

Monsanto's genetically modified seeds (and Roundup weed killer) are a threat to the whole world, but Africa with it's weak governments is particularly vulnerable. I don't know why the Gates Foundation is involved, but they are:


#6

I know why.

Like the Walton's and Monsanto, the Gates' fortune is based on monopoly. The foundation is expanding the Gates monopoly, the Monsanto monopoly and working toward a charter school monopoly.

Although not all foundations are devious, the foundation model is one of the best rackets oligarchs have ever had.


#7

Great article, Timothy Wise. I live in Mozambique, and I carefully follow the grabbing of African land and introduction of genetically modified crops to Africa. It is a serious issue, I am therefore pleased with your inputs and the work of many others who highlight this fundamental problem.

Africa has always been the playgrounds for the European/American elite and their need for cheap resources. First via colonialism and slavery, then as neo-colonialism and economic development, now it is grabbing of land, water, forests and foreign investment! Besides, as highlighted by @tomjohnson, it is also part of a US defense strategy to "promote regional security, stability, and prosperity."

Had Africa and her resources been left alone in the first place, its people would never had to face all the horrible consequences and the crises they now must carry on their shoulders. These are sad times.

Well-considered and perceptive comments as always from @tomjohnson, @SuspiraDeProfundis, @raydelcamino, and @Ponytail. Thank you all. And the best of luck for the election day; you most certainly need it!


#8

Okay, I just did a little web browsing on the topic: The private Gates foundation is (supposedly) non-profit and tax exempt. That means that a significant portion of the money donated to the foundation by Bill Gates would otherwise go into the public coffers as tax revenue. In essence, the U.S. government is paying Bill Gates a subsidy to go do whatever he wants in Africa. No democracy, negligible accountability.......the foundation system is an invitation to the super-rich to have a disproportional effect on the world, subsidized by public funding (i.e., welfare for the rich). And the foundation system is easily distorted for personal gain -- The Clinton foundation is a salient example.......


#9

On top of the "foundation system" bolstering corporate influence while diminishing popular influence recall 1986 tax "reform" that limited tax deductions for charitable contributions only to taxpayers who itemize, and businesses, whereas prior to 1986 anybody filing a tax return could claim charitable deductions as long as their net income on the return remained in the black.

The Democrats continue to brag about "bipartisan 1986 tax reform and one of Obama's highest second term priorities was tax reform in the spirit of 1986 until delays in pushing TPP, TTIP and TISA through hampered the tax reform effort.

1986 tax reform also reduced the range of deductions available to non corporate taxpayers, so a smaller percentage of taxpayers have qualified or found it viable to itemize during the past three decades, thereby shifting a huge majority of deductible charitable contributions away from the 99% and to the 1%, their corporations and foundations.


#11

Dear @tomjohnson, Thanks for your comments. Indeed, times are in general hard for all, specifically for Africans. It seems to me that there is a doom over Africa; people here commonly get the worst part of the "deal."

I do understand that you want "out" :slight_smile: I left Denmark when I was still young because I could just not fit in with the competition, the materialism, or in the role I was supposed to play in my family, at my work and among my so called friends. I found it the wrong place for my soul, even though I am a pure-bread Dane. So I went to Africa worked in development for many, many years. It was a relief at first. Yet, I came to realize, as it often is, that the "monkey" comes along. The real problem is not the geographical place or what you do, but the system within which you live and work.

Everywhere, we have to deal with what I call patriarchal values. It has become global and it is the foundation of our governments, the political system, the economic system, all institutions, the knowledge system, and family values. It is a system where masculine yang energies are prioritized and preferred, while feminine yin energies are dismissed and marginalized. The ideal would be a dynamic tension between yin and yang, but in a Patriarchy the focus is on yang alone. This causes imbalance, dis-harmony and eventually the crises that the world is faced with. The victims are the manifestations of yin mainly women, poor people, colored people, children, animals and nature (society and nature). Yet, later on, of course also yang manifestations will feel the harm since the two in reality are in a united whole, one cannot exist without the other.

Hence, all types of economic development where ever you are in the world are part and parcel of the problem. All is based on dominating society and exploiting nature causing suffering and crises in the process. One cannot opt "out" from the patriarchal system. Instead we have a huge challenge ahead of us: we must change the system where ever we are, in which ever way we can. I trust the only peaceful way "out" is to add all the yin one can, in the situation one exists. One person lives here, another lives there. It is equally good. We can all cooperate rather than compete, we can all optimize rather than maximize, we can all care about the whole rather than focus on the parts, we can all embrace community rather than hail the individual, one can care about relations rather than being egoistic, and we must end dominating society and exploiting nature for profit, we need to preserve all Mother Earth's resources.

Thus thinking and dealing holistic, including the feminine and masculine in an optimal balance, that is what I have come to believe is the solution to all global crises, and that is what I work on and try to be part of. I write about it, contemplate about it, try to find ideas for practical solution to the systemic problem that humanity on this planet has. The politicians are of no help at all; whatever nationality they are wound up in their economic, reductionist and dualist thinking focusing on the masculine. They cannot understand that the very system they defend is the problem; it can never be repaired, whoever is in charge. It is based on flawed thinking and values.

Well, those are my thoughts on opting "out." We really cannot opt out of Patriarchy, we will have to change it as from where we are at.

Apart from that it is not easy to live in Africa. The problems people feel in both USA and Europe are many-fold on this continent. Yes of course, if you are rich, life is easy, you can have house-servants, a beautiful garden, a swimming pool and of course the sunshine is lovely. Wealth also makes the same difference in USA and Europe. Patriarchy's only value is money. But the majority of the African people are poor. They do not get enough food, education, medical assistance, and care so they die young from completely preventable causes. Development has only made things worse. As this article clearly tells: the only survival strategy for poor people is to grow their healthy local food on their land; they subsist from that. However, the elite also wants this final survival resource. There is no end to Patriarchy's exploitation of society and nature for maximizing quantities of individual profit.

I cope here due to my long experience and likely my resistant spirit. I have learned to adapt to adversities, becoming stronger by it, but it has not been easy. I cannot recommend it to anybody. Yet again, life is a school, we need to learn and grow - nobody promised it would be pure enjoyment:) Now I have my home here. I am married here. I spend my time studying, thinking and writing on Patriarchy, activities I love doing. I have no income. However, I live within a very limited budget and I do not need to take part in materialism. I feel good about that. I plan one day to return home to my roots and eventually end my Earthly life where it began. Hopefully by then, Patriarchy has ended due to our common efforts, and more balanced values are in the process of developing, ending our global crises and making the quality of life much better for societies and nature worldwide.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe