Actually, a remarkable fact shows Theresa May leads the Western theft of Africa’s wealth

Theresa May and president of South Africa
Support us and go ad-free

The prime minister is currently on a three-day trip to three African nations – South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya – to promote post-Brexit trade. The media establishment will have us believe that Theresa May and the UK government help African nations. This is done through presenting statistics about UK aid and investment in isolation from the bigger picture. For example, the BBC reports that May has now:

pledged £4bn in support for African economies, to create jobs for young people.

She also pledged a “fundamental shift” in aid spending to focus on long-term economic and security challenges rather than short-term poverty reduction.

The remarkable fact

Contrary to such presentations, May’s government facilitates Western plunder of Africa’s wealth. In 2012, developing countries including those in Africa, lost $700bn through ‘trade misinvoicing‘. That’s five times the aid receipts developing countries received that year. Trade misinvoicing takes money out of these countries and hoards it in tax havens.

And where are these havens? Well, May’s government allows the largest network of tax havens through its overseas territories, facilitating a lot of this capital flight. Half of the 240,000 tax-dodging shell companies revealed in the Panama Papers were registered in the British Virgin Islands alone, for example.

It gets worse

Add such capital flight to repayments on debt and Western profit extraction, and the picture is staggering. Net resource outflows from developing countries end up totalling about $3tn per year, which is 24 times the amount they receive in aid.

As anthropologist and author Jason Hickel summarises:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

What this means is that the usual development narrative has it backwards. Aid is effectively flowing in reverse. Rich countries aren’t developing poor countries; poor countries are developing rich ones.

In 2016, the Conservative government spent £13.4bn on overseas aid, with 51% going to countries in Africa. That only serves to reverse reality and paint Africa as indebted to Western nations like the UK, rather than the other way around.

May is actually in Africa to facilitate more Western plundering of the continent post-Brexit. As usual, she’s helping no one but the shareholders of multinational corporations.

Get Involved!

– Read more Canary articles on Africa. And see more international reporting from us at The Canary Global.

Featured image via Channel 4/ YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed