Friday, November 4, 2011

Africa: To Cook a Continent - Destructive Extraction And the Climate Crisis in Africa

Pambazuka News
3 November 2011

Nnimmo Bassey


In an extract from his forthcoming book, Nnimmo Bassey provides a glimpse into the links between exploitative natural resource extraction, ecological destruction and conflict in Africa. 'What can Africa do? And once our peoples decide, can the rest of the world act in solidarity?' Bassey asks.

There are some in Africa who argue that having a valuable resource is not necessarily a curse. They say that nature's wealth is a blessing and that the curse happens only in relation to how resources are grabbed, owned, extracted and utilised. In other words, the curse is located firmly in the social structure of the world.

Let us start with a caveat about the word 'resource', which implies that nature's wealth is a bounty, ready for corporate robbery. But we as humans frame this dilemma of extraction incorrectly if we don't point out the intrinsic right of nature to survive on its own terms. Most importantly, we are part of Mother Earth, not apart from her. Her rights to exist and reproduce the conditions for all species' existence are not to be violated.

That said, everyone acknowledges that Africa is resource rich. That the continent has been a net supplier of energy and raw materials to the North is not in doubt. ..

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