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This article appears in the January 7, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Africa Briefs

Greens Demand Apartheid and Colonialism —South African Energy Minister

South African Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe let loose on the imperial green juggernaut deployed against his country in a press conference Dec. 9. He has seen his nation’s vast coal resources threatened with shut-down—when President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a “Just Transition” promotional statement during the Glasgow COP26—and subsequent attempts in South Africa to explore for an offshore natural gas field are now being met by frenzied cries from hysterical greens.

Shell Oil is proposing a simple seismic survey of a possible gas field off South Africa’s eastern coast—dubbed the “wild coast” by environmentalists—complaints against which have recently risen to a fevered pitch.

After reviewing the science of seismic exploration and new precautions to mitigate accidental harm to sea life by surveyors, Mantashe turned to the growing hysteria: “I cannot help but ask myself,” he said, “Are these objections meant to ensure the status quo remains in Africa, in general, and South Africa in particular? That is, the status quo with regard to energy poverty, high unemployment, high debt-to-GDP ratio at country level, and economies that are not growing and, in some cases, jobless economic growth. Could it be possible that this is an extreme, pure love for the environment—or an unrelenting campaign to ensure that Africa and South Africa do not see the investment inflows they need?”

Mantashe added, “South Africa deserves the opportunity to capitalize on its natural resources including oil and gas, as these resources have been proven to be game changers elsewhere. We consider the objections to these developments as apartheid and colonialism of a special type, masqueraded as a great interest for environmental protection.” [emphasis added] He referred to South Africa’s ongoing work to protect nature. “We therefore appeal to all objectors to ... allow South Africa to exploit its natural resources for the benefit of its citizens.”

Senegal’s New Coal-Fired Power Plant Is a Thumb in the Eye of Prince Charles

The coal-fired Sendou power plant in Senegal—twice halted by local activists—was successfully recommissioned in the first week of December, and is now, even at only 125 MW, the largest baseload power plant in the country, and it provides the least expensive energy. Undertaken in 2008 by a Swedish-led consortium, construction of the plant ground to a halt in 2015, in one of the first successful attacks against its funders. Construction was yet again halted in 2018, and the greens thought it was dead. Completion was accomplished with funding from Barak Fund Management based in Mauritius. South African engineers participated as consultants.

South Africa Invites BRICS Cooperation on COVID Research

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Dec. 10 that he has invited scientists from South Africa and the four other BRICS countries to pool their resources to combat the COVID pandemic. With an initial mission of genomic sequencing and tracking of variants, they will also “share information on laboratory, clinical and epidemiological experiences … [to] better prepare for future manifestations of the disease,” he said.

The day before, President Ramaphosa had spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and “an agreement was reached to send a group of Russian virologists, epidemiologists, researchers and doctors, as well as a sanitary-epidemiological laboratory and other medical equipment, to South Africa in the very near future.”

South Africa is currently the host of the BRICS Vaccine Research Center.

The Immuno-Suppressed May Breed New COVID Variants

Scientists at the University of Freiburg, Germany say that “immuno-compromised patients could be a source for the emergence of potentially harmful SARS-CoV-2 variants.” A study led by scientists at the university’s Institute of Virology, published in the journal Nature Communications, November 4, states that the origin of the alpha, beta, and gamma variants of COVID-19 “remains unclear, but long-term-[COVID]-infected, immuno-compromised individuals are a likely source, allowing prolonged viral replication and unhindered adaption to the host.”

They studied in great detail a single, immuno-suppressed kidney transplant recipient who remained positive for COVID-19 for more than 145 days, and identified “several mutations in the viral genome late in infection.”

They recommend: “Because these globally emerging viruses show a clear escape from vaccine-induced humoral immunity, our findings might be important for the redesign of future vaccines by introducing combinations of mutations into the spike gene that might broaden the specificity of the antiviral immune response.” The study has attracted much attention.

Dr. Benjamin Davido, a French infectious disease specialist and COVID crisis referral physician at the Raymond-Poincaré Hospital in Garches, Paris, explained in the French daily 20 Minutes, “In these people with compromised immune systems, the virus can remain in the body for months. During this period of replication, the virus will analyze the weakened immune system and modify itself to bypass it, and that’s how mutations are born. Because the virus is not attacked by the immune system, it is a mutagenic situation.”

On a larger scale, South Africa, for example, “is one of the countries most affected by HIV in the world,” Dr. Davido explained. “HIV weakens immunity, which is why variants of concern are emerging” in such countries.

Voices from Africa Continue To Rise Against COP26 Extinction Edicts

Now, two months after the November COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the imperialist reality of the climate change edicts continues to be exposed in Africa.

From Nigeria, businessman and economist Tope Fasua issued a strong denunciation of climate colonialism and climate shock therapy titled, “Climate Agenda: Will Black Africa Be Forever Dependent?” in the Premium Times (Abuja) Dec. 8. Fasua faults his contemporaries for accepting the denial of industrialization and the depopulation implicit in the climate change edicts. Says Fasua, “we should consolidate our friendship with China, Turkey, and whichever nations show us some respect and have some genuine interest in our progress.”

Fasua formed his own party to run for President in 2019.

From South Africa, Rhodes Scholar John Kane-Berman, policy fellow of the Institute of Race Relations, wrote on “The Injustice of ‘Climate Justice’,” on Politicsweb Dec. 13. Like Fasua, he chastises his countrymen for their willingness to accept servitude: “South Africans have long berated the iniquities of imperialism, but it seems that we are happy to comply with Western eco-imperialism. The policies that rich green governments wish to inflict upon developing countries, South Africa included, will do far more harm than the travel ban that has caused such an outcry.” “Climate justice,” he says, is nothing more than “a nice term for a set of arrogant, economically damaging, cynical, cruel, and inhuman policies.”

Big Push To Uproot China from DR Congo Mining, Especially Cobalt

Since the November COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, there has been an upshift in intensity of the drive to remove China from its very strong position as the world’s leading miner of cobalt, the must-have ingredient for electric car batteries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) possesses two-thirds of the world’s cobalt; Australia follows with 25%.

The drive has been intensifying for more than a year. DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi announced May 2021 that DR Congo was re-examining all of its international mining contracts, ostensibly to discover any hidden clauses enabling corruption. Tony Blair is reportedly closely involved through his Institute for Global Change.

Africa News announced Dec. 4 that President Tshisekedi has replaced the entire board of Gécamines—the company that controls the world’s largest deposit of cobalt—including its president, Albert Yuma.

Chinese companies are now being accused of abusing the workers in the mines. France’s Platform to Protect Whistle-Blowers in Africa (PPLAAF) put out a report about six months ago and Bloomberg News Dec. 4 claimed it was valid. A British NGO, Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), has its own investigation.

The New York Times Dec. 7 named the bottom feeders scrounging around Kinshasa—including Erik Prince—looking for a piece of the cobalt green. (And vying for the honor of abusing the mineworkers themselves.)

Biden Names Whitman for Ambassador to Kenya, Upgrading Its Standing

President Biden nominated the well-connected multi-billionaire Meg Whitman to be ambassador to Kenya on Dec. 8. The nomination of this political mover and shaker as ambassador to Kenya signals an upgrade by the U.S. of its relationship with Kenya and points to Kenya as an anchor for U.S. diplomacy for the continent. In October 2021, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was invited to the White House, the only African head of state so far invited by the Biden administration.

Whitman rose to prominence as CEO of online retailer eBay. She oversaw its IPO in 2002 and left the company a multi-billionaire in 2008. She was briefly a board member of Goldman Sachs. Whitman has been the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and is a board member of Procter & Gamble and General Motors. She is now a billionaire five times over.

Whitman won the Republican nomination for California governor in the 2008 election, but lost to Jerry Brown. She supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020.

Hearings for Whitman’s confirmation have not yet been set.

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