Here is a typical story of tens of thousands of African refugees seeking survival and better life. It is from an Ethiopian teacher his name is “Abdirizak Mohamed Mohamoud” as it was posted on IRIN (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) on 22 November 2011.
Before you read the story
For all those Africans who are trapped with poverty they must realize that Western and Arab countries, including the USA and European countries are not the solution but they are behind the problems that created Africa and World poverty; corruption; and armed conflicts.
Behind every great fortune, there must be a crime, or more. Western and Arab countries devastated Africa before and they are continuing their pillage. Look at Congo; Ghana; Nigeria; Libya; Ivory Coast;…….. and all other African countries.
Why there are poverty; conflicts; and corruption? The answer is obvious. It is because Western countries on both sides of the Atlantic and Arab countries are succeeding in getting African best natural and human resources cheap while they sell their products at exorbitant prices for long time.
The mineral industry of Africa is one of the largest mineral industries in the world. Africa is the second biggest continent, with 30 million km² of land, which implies large quantities of resources. For many African countries, mineral exploration and production constitute significant parts of their economies and remain keys to future economic growth. Africa is richly endowed with mineral reserves and ranks first or second in quantity of world reserves of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond, phosphate rock, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium. Gold mining is Africa’s main mining resource.
The Central African Mining and Exploration Company (CAMEC), one of Africa’s primary mining enterprises, is criticized for its unregulated environmental impact and minimal social stewardship. In the Spring of 2009, retired British cricket player Phil Edmonds’ assets were seized by the United Kingdom’s government due to CAMEC’s illicit association with self-appointed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. CAMEC recently sold 95.4% of its shares to the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. It is currently under restructuring and is no longer trading under the CAMEC brand.
African mineral reserves rank 1st or 2nd for bauxite, cobalt, diamonds, phosphate rocks, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium. Many other minerals are also present in quantity. The 2005 share of world production from African soil is the following : bauxite 9%; aluminium 5%; chromite 44%; cobalt 57%; copper 5%; gold 21%; iron ore 4%; steel 2%; lead (Pb) 3%; manganese 39%; zinc 2%; cement 4%; natural diamond 46%; graphite 2%; phosphate rock 31%; coal 5%; mineral fuels (including coal) & petroleum 13%; uranium 16%.
Key producers as of 2005, strategic African minerals and key producers were:
Diamonds: 46% of the world, divided as: Botswana 35%; Congo (Kinshasa) 34%; South Africa 17%; Angola, 8%.
Gold: 21% of the world, divided as: South Africa 56%; Ghana, 13%; Tanzania, 10%; and Mali, 8%.
Uranium: 16% of the world, divided as: Namibia 46%; Niger 44%; South Africa less than 10%.
Bauxite (for aluminium): 9% of the world, divided as: Guinea 95%; Ghana 5%.
Steel: 2% of the world, divided as: South Africa 54%; Egypt 32%; Libya 7%; Algeria 6%.
Aluminium: 5% of the world, divided as: South Africa 48%; Mozambique 32%; Egypt 14%.
Copper (mine/refined): 5%/ of the world, divided as : Zambia 65%/77%; South Africa 15%/19% ; Congo (Kinshasa) 13%/0%; Egypt 0%/3%.
Platinum/Palladium: 62% of the world, divided as:South Africa 97%/96%.
Coal: 5% of the world, divided as: South Africa 99%
As for agricultural produce, take Ivory Coast cocoa for example and compare the prices of cocoa and those of chocolates. Or take the prices of cotton and textiles.
The same injustices apply in human resources. They get our best minds and labor and Africa gets in return the worst of their people.
A Story of An African Refugee
[Abdirizak Mohamed Mohamoud, 30, returned to his home village of Lafaisa, in the Jijiga zone of eastern Ethiopia, six months ago, after his attempt to reach Europe and a better life turned into an ordeal. He talked to IRIN, as well as a roomful of curious neighbours and friends, about his experiences as a migrant in Libya.
“I wasn’t satisfied with life here. I was a teacher, but I wasn’t earning enough to support my family. I had friends who had gone to Libya and then to Italy, but I only got as far as Libya.
“I crossed the border of Ethiopia into Sudan; then I crossed the Sahara in a lorry with 160 other people. All of the others were from Somalia – I was the only Ethiopian. One lorry broke down, then another came and took us the rest of the way.
“I paid the driver US$1,000 – money I got from all of my family and friends – but when we arrived in Libya, the driver wanted another $1,200 and held all of us hostage in his home on a big farm for two days.
“He gave me a cell phone and told me to call my family to get the money. He only got money from 10 individuals, even though he tortured us with electric shocks. I told my mother to send money but before it came, the Libyan police came and arrested all of us, including the driver.
“We were taken to a prison in Benghazi where there were about 900 Africans – Nigerians, Somalis, Eritreans and Congolese. After three months we thought we were going to die there. Some were tortured and some tried to kill themselves. We broke out by force, overwhelming the guards, and escaped, but some local people caught me and returned me to the jail. I spent one more month there before they transferred me to a Tripoli prison, where I spent two months.
“Then they transferred me again to a place called Katron, near the border with Niger, in the Sahara. I was there for a month with 320 Somali people before we escaped again. I found some people from Chad in Katron and stayed with them for 15 days and called my family to send money. My brother sent $300 to someone he knows in Tripoli, but that money paid only for me to be smuggled from Katron to Tripoli.
“I worked as a porter in Tripoli for 18 months, just to save money to get home. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was so afraid of being robbed; the only safe place to sleep was on graves. I managed to save $700 and pooled my savings with 14 friends to pay a smuggler to take us through Niger and into Chad. We left just before the uprising [in Libya] started.
“In Chad, people were dying of hunger and UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] refused to help us because they were busy helping the local people who were starving. We went on to Darfur in Sudan and UNHCR flew us to Khartoum and then to the Ethiopian border. I was very happy to get home after two years and two months.
“By the time I got back, one of my sisters had already left for Saudi [Arabia] to work as a housemaid. If I had got back in time, I would have told her not to go.
“I’m an example for my village – if I had succeeded, all the others would have gone. I don’t have a job now, I’m surviving by Allah, but even if I got a visa for Europe or the United States, I wouldn’t go – I’m dying here.”].
Africa is very rich if it can only stop the West and the Arabs from exploiting its resources and undervalue their prices to make themselves filthy rich and enjoy their unsustainable and immoral ways of life.
More data on the mineral resources of Africa are at these links: