Is Africa Now Supposed to Feed and Fuel Europe?
The African Union held an Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit May 25-28 in Equatorial Guinea to address the life-threatening crises in many parts of the continent. AU Chairman Macky Sall, who is also President of Senegal, pointed out that there are 113 million Africans in extreme need of assistance this year, including 48 million people displaced.
AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat gave a speech on May 25, celebrated yearly as “Africa Day” to observe the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity. He noted that “Africa has become the collateral victim of a distant conflict, that between Russia and Ukraine…. By profoundly upsetting the fragile global geopolitical and geostrategic balance, it has also cast a harsh light on the structural fragility of our economies. The most emblematic sign of these fragilities is the food crisis following the climatic disorders, the health crisis of COVID-19, amplified today by the conflict in Ukraine. This crisis is characterized by a shrinking world supply of agricultural products and a soaring inflation of food prices.”
(In parentheses, most African nations, to their merit, recently refused to back the various UN resolutions condemning Russia that were proposed by the United States and the “global NATO” bloc. In addition, they have not forgotten how the EU deliberately hoarded COVID-19 vaccines for themselves, while both Russia and China provided their own vaccines freely to Africa.)
The European Council’s summit of May 31 was supposed to be dedicated to dealing with the food crisis worldwide, but ended up, as expected, dumping the blame for the entire problem on Russia. The tone had been set by Ursula von der Leyen in her address to the Davos meeting May 24. There, she claimed that “the Kremlin’s army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery” in Ukraine and blockading “Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds” in the Black Sea. Those accusations were promptly refuted by Russian officials, who pointed rather to the effect of the financial sanctions imposed on Russia by the west. In addition, many have noted the irony that the West seems to have no problem shipping tons of military equipment into Ukraine, but for some reason are unable to transport food and farm products out…
As for Africa, besides offering those nations no serious perspectives for development, the EU is taking cynicism to new heights. Thus, German Chancellor Scholz recently completed a visit to Senegal, with the primary aim of… securing energy supplies for Europe coming from Africa. As the website of the European Council on Foreign Relations put it in an article on the Chancellor’s trip “Africa holds the key to Europe’s economic resilience, especially as Europe continues to decouple from Russia.” In addition to exporting raw materials, the article notes, Africa should become a source of renewable energy for the EU and provide “a critical steppping-stone” toward carbon neutrality!
Concrete programs to deal with the rapid spread of famine in the world and to stop price inflation have been worked out over the years by the LaRouche movement and the Schiller Institute. Nations could collaborate in setting up the mechanisms needed to direct credit and inputs to quickly expand agricultural production in targeted locations, and then take longer-term measures to expand the infrastructure and the means of production everywhere. But that would mean the end of the oh-so-profitable speculative casino.