Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The richest continent

Financial Times:

There is enough gold, diamonds, copper and cobalt – among other minerals – to ensure the Democratic Republic of Congo’s emergence from among the world’s poorest and most broken societies. The same can be said of Guinea, in West Africa, which has the world’s largest bauxite reserves. Yet both countries fall woefully short when it comes to exploiting these assets for public gain.

Isn't it a misnomer to call African countries "poor" when their owners can all afford to live in Europe? After all, it's only Africans who are poor -- and since when has anyone counted them?

2 comments:

Montag said...

what do they mean "public gain"?

surely the extraction processes would create jobs, but aside from an exploitive wage, the labor force will surely work in complete alienation from whatever gain may come of the enterprise.

maybe i'm missing something and being too cynical. do they have some kind of public ownership scheme where citizens enjoy an automatic stake in any profitable land use/extraction activity?

JRB said...

They're talking about African governments striking equitable deals with foreign investors on resource extraction, with a view toward further development of the region.

In other words, economic growth, with whatever "public gains" are incidental to it, like transportation and infrastructure.