A few years ago the news out of Mozambique reflecting the domestic pricing of food commodities, the consternation in the western powers about the success of China's efforts in Africa's commodity markets, due to that states rapidly growing economy and consequence increase in world power, the land struggle, especially in southern Africa which perforce includes such key commodities as the platinum group, gold, uranium, coal, the disaster of western control of African commodity prices leading to the intensification of poverty and backwards development in Africa, with disastrous consequences for the people of Africa, as well as several other developments have highlighted the extreme importance of Africa's commodity wealth to the world and to the people of Africa.
As demonstrated in this table from Michigan State University education college showing a partial list of African commodities, Africa's commodity wealth is immense:
Note: They omitted to list the platinum group for South Africa. Platinum is a critical element in today's technology.
Country Agriculture Mineral ALGERIA wheat, oats, olives petroleum ANGOLA coffee, bananas, maize petroleum, diamonds BENIN coffee, cocoa, yams petroleum BOTSWANA maize, sorghum, livestock diamonds BURKINA FASO ground nuts, cotton, sorghum manganese, limestone BURUNDI coffee, cotton, maize gold CAMEROON coffee, cocoa, cassava petroleum, aluminum CAPE VERDE bananas, maize, fish salt CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC cassava, millet, cotton diamonds CHAD cotton, millet, sorghum uranium COMOROS vanilla, copra, bananas, fish ____ CONGO (Brazzaville) rice, groundnuts, maize petroleum, diamonds CONGO (Kinshasa) cassava, maize, coffee, rubber copper, diamonds, cobalt, gold, zinc COTE D'IVOIRE coffee, cocoa, timber, maize, rice petroleum, diamonds, manganese DJIBOUTI sheep, goats, fruit ____ EGYPT cotton, rice, maize, fruit petroleum, iron ore, phosphates EQUATORIAL GUINEA timber, coffee, rice, yams petroleum ERITREA sorghum, lentils, fish, livestock gold, potash, zinc ETHIOPIA coffee, tiv, pulses, livestock gold, , copper GABON cocoa, coffee, oil palm, cassava petroleum, manganese GAMBIA groundnuts, millet, sorghum, rice _____ GHANA cocoa, cassava, groundnuts, maize gold, bauxite, manganese GUINEA rice, coffee, pineapples, cassava bauxite, iron ore, uranium GUINEA-BISSAU rice, maize, cassava, fish bauxite, phosphates KENYA coffee, tea, maize, sugarcane, livestock limestone, soda ash, rubies LESOTHO livestock, maize, sorghum water (hydro) LIBERIA rubber, timber, rice, cassava iron ore, diamonds LIBYA wheat, olives, dates petroleum, gypsum MADAGASCAR coffee, vanilla, sugar, timber graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite MALAWI tobacco, tea, maize, cassava limestone MALI cotton, livestock, millet, rice gold, phosphates MAURITANIA fish, livestock, millet, rice iron ore, gypsum, copper MOROCCO wheat, barley, citrus, dates phosphates, iron ore, manganese MOZAMBIQUE cotton, cashew nuts, maize, cassava coal, titanium NAMIBIA millet, sorghum, livestock diamonds, copper, uranium, gold NIGER cotton, millet, sorghum, cassava uranium, coal, iron ore NIGERI A cocoa, groundnuts, palm oil, maize, sorghum petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore RWANDA coffee, tea, sorghum, beans, bananas gold, tin ore SAO TOME & PRINCIPE fish, palm kernels, bananas _______ SENEGAL cotton, groundnuts, sorghum, rice phosphates, iron ore SEYCHELLES coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, cassava ______ SIERRA LEONE rice, coffee, palm kernels diamonds, bauxite, iron ore SOMALIA bananas, sorghum, fruits, livestock uranium SOUTH AFRICA maize, wheat, sugar, fruits, livestock, poultry gold, diamonds, uranium, chromium SUDAN cotton, sorghum, millet petroleum, iron ore, copper SWAZILAND sugar, maize, fruits, timber asbestos, coal, clay TANZANIA coffee, tea, cotton, maize, cassava tin, phosphates, iron ore, diamonds TOGO coffee, cocoa, yams, cassava, maize phosphates, limestone TUNISIA olives, dates, citrus, wheat petroleum, phosphates, iron ore UGANDA coffee, tea, cassava, maize, bananas copper, cobalt WESTERN SAHARA fish, livestock phosphates, iron ore ZAMBIA maize, sorghum, groundnuts copper, cobalt, zinc, lead ZIMBABWE cotton, tobacco, maize, livestock coal, chromium ore, asbestos
However, the tragic facts are that this wealth is not a benefit for the Africans themselves, as the commodities of Africa are wholly controlled by the modern day subsystems of the exploiting countries and private concerns the vast majority of whom are in Europe and the Americas.
As Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said,
...all the stock exchanges in the world are pre-occupied with Africa's gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ores. Our capital flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from our shores. Africa provides more than 60 per cent of the world's gold. A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries the basic economic might of the foreign Powers comes from our continent.
"Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly half the population of the whole world..."
As two Nigerian scholars pointed out in an analysis done at Harvard U,
There is increasing recognition of the need to develop efficient, integrated and highly responsive marketing channels in Africa. This is particularly so given the underdeveloped structure and institutions in these economies.
Alas, this cannot happen in the absence of an Africa wide political system that is the tool of the people of Africa and not hostile, avaricious, and otherwise anti-African external forces in the neo-liberal economic constellation of states and private interests.
Then and only then will the astronomical prices, even as they currently fluctuate in many key sectors according to the whims of the external masters of Africa's new slavery and colonialism, be of value and utility to the mass African citizenry who like the majority of the people in 18th Century France starve to death while the elite classes celebrated with daily banquets and associated revelry.
Africa will not long suffer such insults and mass murders at the hands of these cruel and backward elements...as the recent reaction of the people in Mozambique to the soaring prices proved.
A luta continua, Africa Must Unite!
Pan-African Perspective is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
© 1997 - 2017 Pan-African Perspective. All rights reserved.