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This article appears in the February 18, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Africa Briefs

Kenya, Gabon Abstain from UNSC Vote To Discuss Russian ‘Threat’

Kenya and Gabon were among the members of the UN Security Council who declined to support the U.S. call for a meeting of the UNSC on Jan. 31. The U.S. claimed that Russian troops at the Ukraine border posed a threat of invasion. The request for the meeting, as a procedural motion, was not subject to veto by permanent UNSC members. Russia and China voted against, while India, Kenya, and Gabon abstained. On the strength of 10 of the 15 members voting in favor (including Ghana), the meeting went ahead.

Kenya’s Ambassador Martin Kimani stated, according to Capital News, Nairobi, “We did so [abstained] to reflect our conviction that the main issue in contention here is the impasse between NATO and the Russian Federation. We believe that it is imminently solvable and that the diplomatic steps underway already show promise.”

Ambassador Kimani said that the position taken by Kenya is best suited to protect international peace and security, according to Capital News Feb. 1.

An eminent Nigerian saw the issue differently. Owei Lakemfa, author and former secretary general of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), wrote, in a Premium Times (Abuja) opinion column Feb. 4: “The U.S. and its European allies have … choked the media with a poorly dramatized soap opera about Russia on the verge of ‘invading’ Ukraine…. America is sending more troops … it is Russia, not Ukraine, that should brace up for attack.”

Mantashe: Ignore Poverty To Fix Climate Change, and We Will Face a Revolt

South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, told investors Jan. 25 that the energy transition had to be thought of not only in the context of climate change, but also of persisting energy poverty. He was addressing the North West Mining and Energy Investment Conference in Rustenburg, Tuesday, Jan. 25. Thirteen percent of South Africans still have no access to electricity, he said. If South Africa addressed climate change by becoming a low-carbon economy while ignoring energy poverty, the country would “face a revolt.” “Our people want to access energy, affordable, sustainable, dependable energy,” he said, “then can we talk about how do we clean it.” For this reason, nuclear power is also needed, he said.

Because coal is abundant in South Africa, instead of moving away from coal-fired electricity generation, coal has to be used to navigate South Africa’s energy transition, Mantashe said.

North West Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape, in addressing the conference, supported the Minister’s thinking and called for a “new patriotism,” saying we cannot be passive in the presence of suffering.

“Exploration is needed to determine where new mineral reserves are located,” Mantashe said. He warned of a “loud” anti-development movement that was emerging in South Africa. “Their theme is that they will kill investment through the courts and they are funded heavily by foreign entities.”

In December, a court halted by interdict the further seismic exploration for oil by Shell on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, an action that had been sought by environmentalist extremists. Australian geoscience company Searcher now faces a similar legal challenge on the western coast.

One British Operation To Obstruct South African Development Exposed

In an interview with City Press (Johannesburg) Jan. 23, South African Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe charged that an operation is being run against South Africa’s development and against his department—the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)—which is being led by the UK Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). The foundation is the “philanthropic” arm of the prestigious TCI hedge fund run by billionaire Sir Christopher Hohn, KCMG. The money “is channeled to an institution based in the University of Cape Town,” Mantashe said, “which funds a number of projects including aspects of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other civil society groups to destabilize the work of the Department.” He said the DMRE had obtained a detailed report from the CSIR, “which we got hold of and that outlines those details.” The operation uses the hashtag #UprootTheDMRE and is supported by “predominantly white liberal media,” he said.

The liberal media instantly obliged Mantashe by putting on a performance—in four-part harmony—of offended innocence and bafflement, while calling Mantashe a mental case.

It turns out that CIFF gave $675,000 supposedly to “support reforms and climate-linked financing to facilitate the just energy transition” in South Africa. Its partners in the project are the University of Cape Town and Meridian Economics, whose managing director is Grové Steyn, a notorious, deep-green freak. TCI has also funded the UK-based sabotage organization, Extinction Rebellion (XR).

Charges of Kabila Embezzlement Are Part of Anti-China Operation

On Nov. 19, 2021, exclusive financial publication Barron’s heralded
charges first aired by
Mediapart, accusing former Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) president Joseph Kabila and co-conspirators of embezzling $138 million during his time in office, 2001-2019. The truth of the charges is yet to be determined, but their basis is highly suspect, originating from documents leaked to the French NGO Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (French acronym PPLAAF), which lists the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation as donors. The charges are ultimately aimed at breaking China’s hold on extensive mining interests in DR Congo.

The charges against Kabila are based on the leak of 3.5 million documents (“Africa’s largest leak”) to PPLAAF sometime in 2021 by two, as yet unidentified, “top executives” of the Franco-Gabonese BGFI Bank’s DR Congo subsidiary. PPLAAF then turned them over to another Soros/NED-partnered group, The Sentry, for analysis. The Sentry released its report Nov. 28, which highlighted what it dubbed “The Chinese Holdup.” It claimed two major Chinese construction companies involved in building China’s infrastructure outreach Belt and Road Initiative—China Railway Group and Sinohydro—were co-conspirators in the Kabila-era fraud. The timing of the report’s release—on the eve of the FOCAC (Forum On China-Africa Cooperation) conference in Senegal—was designed for maximum negative impact. The report was given headline coverage by Barron’s, and a week later, by Bloomberg.

The South African Daily Maverick ran an extensive article on the Sentry report on Dec. 6, and on Dec. 7, the New York Times ran a sequel, circulated on the Press News Agency platform.

Arrests of many senior officials in the Kabila camp in recent months may be part of the anti-China operation.

AFRICOM Fans Its ‘China Seeks Naval Base on Atlantic’ Propaganda

Reports that China seeks a naval base on the Atlantic coast of Africa have been getting louder in the past 12 months. The reports, with strong confrontational overtones, have their origin solely within the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a widely circulated Jan. 27 column by Daniel Volman, Executive Director of the African Security Research Project in Washington, D.C.

According to Volman’s report, the first surfacing of this wholly unsubstantiated claim was in Congressional testimony of Africa Command (AFRICOM) leader Gen. Stephen Townsend on April 22, 2021. In response to questioning by Senator Thomas Tillis, Townsend stated, “The most significant threat from China would be to gain a militarily useful naval facility on the Atlantic coast of Africa.” The Nov. 3, 2021 annual report to Congress, again without evidence, mentioned six possible locations on the Indian Ocean and Angola on the Atlantic.

A Dec. 5 Wall Street Journal article quoting unnamed “secret intelligence” sources “suggest[ing that] China intends to establish its first permanent military presence on the Atlantic Ocean,” specifically in Equatorial Guinea, got wide circulation.

On Feb. 3, after a three-day meeting of 36 African chiefs of staff in Rome, AFRICOM’s Townsend again told the press that “China’s role in the world” was discussed and that “The Chinese, I think, aspire to have a naval base in [the Gulf of Guinea].”

This unsolicited comment from a normally tight-lipped military intelligence professional is truly remarkable.

The Pentagon acknowledges having 29 bases in Africa.

African Union Kicks Off Year of Nutrition, AfDB Provides $1 Billion

The executive plenary of the African Union, in Addis Ababa Feb. 2-3, declared 2022 the Year of Nutrition, in conjunction with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Facility for African Food Security and Nutrition, and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development. For the AfDB’s part, its President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, claimed the bank “will mobilize $1 billion to support the delivery of climate resilient technologies to 40 million farmers and produce 100 million metric tons of food to feed 200 million people,” adding, “this will reduce the number of people facing hunger in Africa by 80%.”

The AfDB launched its TAAT program (Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation) in 2018, through which new, proven varieties suited to hot and dry regions are distributed and their use is taught. Its focus is on wheat, maize, rice, sorghum/millet, cassava, high-iron bean, orange-flesh sweet potato, aquaculture, and small livestock. TAAT also supports the spread of irrigation technologies. In a promotional video showing TAAT’s success in Ethiopia and Sudan, a farmer exclaims that her increased income will allow her, someday, to buy a tractor.

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