Africa is a land filled with a wide amount of valuable mineral and human resources, which, unfortunately has led to continuous exploitation from various corporations, specifically within the United States.
According to Mathaba.net, it’s not just diamonds being taken and used like others believe! It’s other precious resources being stolen such as oil, natural gas, coltan, and cobalt, as well as labor from African citizens, without proper financial investment or care back into the land. This leads to the continual deterioration of the land and people.
Emira Woods, director of Foreign Policy in Focus for the Institute for Policy Studies, said that this exploitation is a “modern day slavery.” She said in an interview, “The corporations use the labor and land, the people pay the price. It is exploitation and makes you think about a 500 year history of exploitation of the African continent from its people during the days of slavery and now its resources. Very few people—those that have—getting more, those that don’t being exploited. That has been the process.” Woods used an example tire company Firestone, who has used child labor to take rubber from Liberia, without paying proper taxes to the government.
The United States uses multiple resources from the continent. In fact, Africa has officially surpassed the Middle East as the greatest supplier of oil to the United States. Over 80 percent of the coltan used by electronic companies like Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Sony, comes from the continent. Additionally, 80 percent of the cobalt used in lithium ion batteries, comes from Africa as well. However, the people receive very little benefit for these valuable resources, leaving a good majority of the country and people in terrible conditions.
There needs to be serious change in U.S. policy when it comes to Africa, so that the continent and its people can thrive as they should.