Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Canadian tax-payers' complicity in the looting of Tanzania

If you're a regular reader of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs' feel-good press releases about the wonderful things we are doing for the people of Tanzania, you will no doubt be acquainted with programs such as this.

We have many such "help" programs afoot in the Dark Continent, and mostly they seem to hinge on supporting "sustainable development" via the offices of either big ag or the "extractive industries".

The first assumes that the natives of Africa are too stupid to feed themselves, although all the evidence seems to suggest they succeeded in doing exactly that for many thousands of years before enlightened Westerners turned up to help them.

The second assumes that the recipients of our "help" are too stupid to realize that "sustainable development" and "extractive industries" are mutually exclusive fields. Mining and energy companies are in Tanzania or anywhere else to get at the loot, not to provide social services.

The fact that they occasionally succeed in bamboozling the Canadian taxpayer into subsidizing some so-called social programs while they're busy extracting the loot changes nothing.

Which explains why, after everything we've done for Tanzania, it is still possible to read headlines like this; Deadly clashes continue at African Barrick gold mine.

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