Why are these oligarchs so concerned about African "corruption"?

by Kit

Early this morning (Friday the 16th) this opinion piece appeared on The Guardian.
It is about corruption in Africa, how it should not be tolerated and what we (the West) should do about it. It is written by a man called Anton Du Plessis, from the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, but more on them later. He headlines:

Corruption in Africa violates human rights. Why do we tolerate it?

Of course, when he says “we”, he doesn’t mean us. You and I – We don’t “tolerate” African corruption, for it is not in our power to do anything about such things. You know who does tolerate African corruption? Billionaires, oligarchs and corporate monopolies. People like Bill Gates who, if you observe the above picture, “sponsored” the appearance of this article through his foundation.
People like George Soros, whose Open Society Foundation is a “project donor” for the NGO that Anton Du Plessis runs. As is The National Endowment for Democracy. As is the Ford Foundation. And USAID. And Hanns Seidel Foundation. As is the World Bank. It’s a fairly predictable list of people and NGOs who have a long history of not just “tolerating” corruption but encouraging and instigating it.
And you know why? Because corruption is easy. Corruption is just buying things, and when you can conjure up as much imaginary money as you want buying things is by far, BY FAR, the easiest solution. If they could get everything they wanted by just “tolerating” other people’s corruption they would, if they could buy their way out of any quandary, they would. If they could have bought Allende or Castro or Chavez…they would have. If they could buy Putin the way they bought Yeltsin they would have done it years ago. Corruption is the ink-stamp that gets you into the fanciest night clubs in the world. Tolerate it? They create it. They plant it, watch it grow, and harvest a rich crop.
So why this article? Why is the director of a Soros-funded, World Bank-backed NGO writing a stinging polemic on “African corruption”?

NOTE: It is, perhaps, interesting that he only ever talks in continental terms. Never once does he highlight a specific nation, or talk in terms of national sovereignty at all. You could take that as an insight into their mindset.

Clearly it’s not about poverty – the article links to a report from Oxfam about wealth inequality – but if that truly bothered George Soros, Bill Gates or the World Bank the world would be in a much better state than it currently is.
Obviously it’s not about “peace and security” – the article claims that corruption is driving disenfranchised Nigerians into joining Boko Haram – but, again, if peace and security were the aims of the dozen or so governments who pump funding into the ISS, then Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine would all be safer places to live right about now.
And evidently it’s not about tax evasion – the article cites a three-year-old report on seven-year-old data about £10bn of tax revenue going “missing” from Africa every year. Firstly, this is not that much, Africa is a continent of 54 nations and over 1.1 billion people, and yet it is apparently losing less than half the total “tax gap” of the UK alone (£34bn in 2015). Secondly, again, George Soros or Bill Gates (or any of their ilk) calling people out on tax evasion and/or fraud might be the most blatant case of Pot-on-Kettle name-calling I’ve ever come across. Doubly ironic, when you consider half the “foundations” that bear a billionaires name were likely set-up to take advantage of tax loopholes in the first place.
So what’s the real issue here? Whose corruption should we no longer tolerate?
The clue might be in the list of national governments that form the “partnership forum” of the ISS. Luxembourg is there, as is Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and…of course…the United States of America.
An interesting list. Tellingly, not a single African national government. A lot of EU members. A lot of NATO members. But no Russia, no Iran….and no China.
China have a lot of money in Africa. A lot of money, a lot of resources, a lot of investment and a lot of influence. For years now the USA has been trying to undermine this.
For example: Sudan.
As of 2010 Sudan had the 17th fastest growing economy in the world (in spite of biting US sanctions), this was mainly thanks to the largest oil deposits in sub-Saharan Africa. China was Sudan’s biggest trade partner, owning 40% of Sudan’s Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, as well as trading in arms, technology and construction.
In 2011, South Sudan declared itself independent, taking with it (totally coincidentally) 80% of Sudan’s oil fields. The newly formed country was described in the following terms, by the New York Times:

South Sudan is in many ways an American creation, carved out of war-torn Sudan in a referendum largely orchestrated by the United States, its fragile institutions nurtured with billions of dollars in American aid.

It was a quite blatant attempt to undermine Chinese power in Africa…and it failed. The Chinese swooped in to South Sudan to take control of the oil deals after the “revolution”, a move that America has since gone to great lengths to disrupt.
Interestingly, the Chinese are viewed favourably in South Sudan, possibly reaping rewards for their famous “non-interference”:

Southern Sudanese hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal noted that China was seen positively by Sudanese and Africans due to its non-interference policy, only doing business, saying- “The Chinese don’t influence our politics, They don’t comment on it, and what they want, they pay for — sometimes double the amount. This tends to make all Africans happy — from the dictators to the democrats, There isn’t a party in Africa that doesn’t like them. Even if you’re a rebel movement and you say to them you can secure gold, the Chinese will simply say they want to buy it. The only foreign policy advice I heard from China was when they said to Sudan, ‘Don’t go back to war.’ That’s all they said. They didn’t push anything else.”

This is not to suggest that China are idealists seeking to make the world a fairer place, but rather have refined the US-led Corporatocracy’s own techniques. They have polished the concept of an economic empire by removing the implicit military threats and tinge of old-style British Empire missionary conquest.
To China, buying is not just the easiest solution, but the only solution. And what “we” can no longer tolerate, rather than corruption in Africa, is being out-bid.


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Categories: Africa, China, featured, Kit, On Guardian