101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are said to be in control of an identified $1.05 trillion worth of resources in Africa. These companies have mining operations in over 37 countries on the continent and 59 are incorporated in the United Kingdom while 12 are incorporated in British tax havens. The rest are mainly domiciled in London in spite of being incorporated elsewhere. This is not even the worst news; the British government is enabling the exploitation using its political gravitas to pressure African countries into adopting policies that are favorable for British interests. It is a deplorable replay of colonialism.
Some Appalling Numbers
War on Want says the major companies holding resources in Africa include Anglo-Irish corporation Tullow Oil which controls 307 million barrels of oil in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa while Shell has licenses controlling 691 million barrels mainly in Nigeria. The continent’s diamonds, on the other hand, are controlled by just two LSE listed companies: Anglo American and Petra Diamonds. Anglo American through De Beers controls at least 316 million carats of diamonds through its African operations while Petra Diamonds controls 309 million carats.
Why Should You Care?
This is not just business, it is colonialism. The British government is facilitating for this scramble for African resources and the current wave is only a continuation of its foreign policy goals since 1945.
A 1968 Foreign Office report says Britain should bend energies to help produce a world economic climate in which its external trade, its income from invisibles and balance of payments can prosper. The key was said to be freer global trade.
In 1970, the message was even more explicit as the country identified Southern Africa among the regions where Britain had to protect its interests as it was one of the regions many raw materials derive.
Britain’s High Level Prosperity Partnerships of 2013 have also been seen to be enablers for British companies to access raw materials. It focuses on strengthening economic ties with Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania but four of these countries are developing new oil or gas fields.
War on Want has a full report with comprehensive lists of companies listed on the LSE that control resources in Africa. Some numbers may have changed as the report was published in 2016.