i newspaper: British companies leading new '£800bn scramble for Africa'

11 July 2016 - 7:15pm
War on Want in the news

War on Want in the i newspaper. Report by Cahal Milmo: British companies leading new “£800bn scramble for Africa” to control raw materials

British companies are at the forefront of a new “scramble for Africa” with the help of government which is seeing the continent lose as much as £45bn a year to the rich world, a study claims today.

Campaign group War on Want has pinpointed 101 corporations and companies listed on the London Stock Exchange who between them now control resources in Africa worth at least $1.05 trillion (£810bn), including 6.6bn barrels of oil and 79.5m ounces of gold. The figure is equivalent to the GDP of Mexico.

An investigation into the holdings, whose beneficiaries include some of Britain’s biggest corporate names such as Rio Tinto, BP and Jersey-based commodities giant Glencore, found that 36 of the 101 companies control mineral resources in sub-Saharan Africa across a land area larger than Germany.

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.

“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.” 

Read the report: The New Colonialism: Britain's scramble for Africa's energy and mineral resources

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