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.

 

Latest news

Brexit begins: What will it mean for Economic Justice?

30 March 2017 - 11:30am

Article 50 has been triggered and the countdown to Brexit has begun. Formal negotiations on how the UK will leave the European Union will now start. The implications are wide-ranging, and there are many unknowns, not least in terms of how far the UK’s future economy will serve economic justice. War on Want's Owen Espley reflects on the key issues at the heart of the UK’s future.

Read more

Brexit begins: War on Want’s fight for justice and human rights continues

29 March 2017 - 12:45pm

War on Want has always stood for human rights, internationalism, justice and solidarity. Now, with the starting gun fired on Brexit talks, we must be ready to fight for these values.

Read more

Join the conversation

El Salvador bans metal mining nationwide due to concerns over damaging environmental impact #waterjusticehttps://t.co/A7IKb3sx2O 1 hour 40 min ago
On Yom el Ard (Land Day), Palestinian students & allies in the UK assert their right to protest. #DontPunishProtesthttps://t.co/bfgKqLJsWA 12 hours 34 min ago
Support the rights of students to campaign for justice and protest human rights abuse! #DontPunishProtest #BDShttps://t.co/BFv6ne1XbE 17 hours 34 min ago