A Start?

For the second time in a fortnight, I’m going to write an article whose subject matter I know too little about. Perhaps recognizing that fact is my entire message to my readership and makes it a prudent use of your time to read on.

Despite inaccurate rhetoric from the political right, white people, in particular older white men, still control America. Racism also plays a role. All that said our history largely ignores Africa as does the political zeitgeist. I, like most, am largely coming to you from a position of ignorance but am starting to pay attention and hope it is not already too late.

Last year the book Cobalt Red by Siddharth Kara was among the one hundred plus that I read. It dealt with the exploitation of mineral rich Africa. The country in particular that it concentrated on was the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the resource was cobalt. The story is much wider than just that country and that natural resources. Last week stories broke that the U.S. military was basically kicked out of Nigeria and Chad. That didn’t happen in or create a vacuum. China and Russia are moving in.

Africa, in particularly Northern and Central Africa, occupies a strategic military position relative to many of the world’s other hot spots. As previously stated, Africa is mineral rich, often it is the only or only economically viable sources of certain minerals.

Economically Africa is a huge, largely untapped market for goods and services. Much like India many of its denizens live in poverty but that is bound to change over time. The potential consumer class is huge.

While my (and probably your) ignorance is understandable this is a situation we cannot afford to ignore. This article will end up being one of my shortest of the year, but it could also end up among the most important. Pay attention now; when the horse has left the barn it will be much more expensive and possibly too late.

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