New report: British companies leading new ‘scramble for Africa’ worth $1 trillion

11 July 2016 - 7:00pm
Press release

British companies, aided and abetted by the UK government, are at the forefront of a new ‘scramble for Africa’, according to a new report published today by War on Want.

The report, The New Colonialism: Britain’s scramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources, reveals that as many as 101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the majority of which are British, have mining operations in Africa and control resources worth in excess of $1 trillion.

British companies now control Africa’s key mineral resources of gold, platinum, diamonds, copper, oil, gas and coal, and the UK government is using its power and influence to give these companies increasing access to the continent’s wealth.

Saranel Benjamin, International Programmes Director at War on Want, said:

“The African continent is today facing a new colonial invasion, no less devastating in scale and impact than the one it suffered during the nineteenth century. 

“It’s a scandal that Africa’s wealth in natural resources is being seized by foreign, private interests, whose operations are leaving a devastating trail of social, environmental and human rights abuses in their wake.

“For too long, British companies have been at the forefront of the plunder, yet rather than rein in these companies, successive UK governments are actively championing them through trade, investment and tax policies. It is time British companies and the UK government were held to account.”

War on Want supports the call, by mining affected communities in sub-Saharan Africa, for mining revenues to stay in the countries where they are mined; for raw materials to be processed in the countries where they are mined; and for governments to act to protect the rights of people affected by the extractives industry rather than protecting companies’ profits.


Notes to editors

For further information or interviews, contact Ross Hemingway on +44 7983 550728

The new War on Want report, The New Colonialism: Britain’s scramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources can be downloaded here.


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