This is a fascinating series of articles about Canadian mining companies operating in Africa. I thought I would share, but I'm not sure this is the right forum, though I guess I am raising it as a matter of Canadian public interest/politics/activism.
I recently considered playing with investing in a solar power initiative. I read the company news etc and learned ... the next coming thing is using sapphires as more efficient semi-conductors for solar panels, instead of icky silicon. Then I read more and learned that the sapphires would be mined in Madagascar, and it appears that Madagascar has promised the mining company that centuries old local community hand-mining operations and gem-trading would be stopped by government "security".
Another Indigenous community being stripped of their ability to be self-sustaining on their land, enclosure (ie theft) of their common land, dispossession, genocide ... while the profits mostly flow out of the country and some to their government, no doubt to pay for more 'security' against the local people, who are just trying to earn a living.
Ok, well ... so much for investing in or using solar!
Canada is a demon of mining worldwide. We are not 'nice guys'.
[url=http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=19456]Africa files: Special issue on Canadian role in mining [/url]
Canada’s engagement with Africa is frequently seen as ‘progressive’ or perhaps anodyne. But the reality is murkier. Published jointly by Pambazuka News and AfricaFiles, this special issue features:
- an overview on why Canada became a super power in mining investments,
- why Canadian Stock Exchanges are a global centre for risky investments,
- the extent of Canadian involvement, and
- an examination of a new, adapted diplomacy for new situations.
The issue includes case studies from the DR Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, as well as a report on Canadian civil society efforts to get regulations passed by the government to make company activities more favourable to African peoples’ interests.
[url=http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=19456][b]Canada in Africa: The mining superpower[/b][/url]
In 2001, Canadian companies had operations in 24 African countries, a figure that had risen to 35 by 2007. And 91% of Canadian investments were concentrated in eight countries, with the order of countries’ importance being the following: South Africa (25.6%), D R Congo (17.8%), Madagascar (13.8%), Zambia (9.9%), Tanzania (9.5%), Ghana (6.5%), Burkina Faso (4.7%), and Mauritania (3%). It remains to be seen whether Chinese investment projects in the region will threaten Canada’s position of overall dominance. DN
Evans Rubara documents the extent to which mining companies operate with impunity in Tanzania, an impunity giving rise to sustained abuse of local people’s rights and wholesale stealing of national resources.
(Bold added.) This is how we Canadians sustain our standard of living, the same way we did/do at home, by abusing Indigenous land, resources and people worldwide.
And some of them, pushed off the land to make way for Canadian corporate mining, no doubt come here as refugees from the "security" forces of 'their' governments, to seek a better life ... here ...?
It's really convoluted but the bottom line is Canada and Canadians benefit from unsustainable, dangerous and destructive and deadly mining practices at home and world wide.
I'd like to give a shout out to MiningWatch.ca for the excellent work they do worldwide in opposing the effects of mining on people and the environment, even though the major media try to ignore them:
I guess I wonder if there isn't more we can do.