US launches the new grab for Africa!


PRESIDENT Obama has hailed the ‘new Africa that is emerging’, as US imperialism seeks to re-grab Africa after its destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriyah. It is is seeking to restore order in Africa and evict China which has filled the gap left by Libya in providing cheap loans and carrying out massive civil construction projects.

On the last day of his three day summit in Washington DC, with 40 African leaders, the talks covered US security concerns and the corruption that is rife amongst the US allies in the region.

US companies played their part in the summit, pledging $37bn (£33bn) in investment in Africa – not a particularly massive investment – and most probably a bribe to the various African bourgeois leaderships to toe the US line.

Closing the summit, Obama said the leaders had held ‘genuine discussions’ and pledged to hold another gathering.

He pledged that the aid was not just for the moment saying: ‘I’ll strongly encourage my successor to carry on this work because Africans must know they will always have a strong partner in the United States of America.’

He described the summit as an ‘extraordinary event’ and continued to announce major support for African peace-keeping forces plus a new security co-operation with the USA, ie American intervention if necessary.

Obama pledged to help countries build ‘rapid response forces’ to intervene in conflicts and to spend $110m (£65m) a year over next three to five years building these forces in Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

A further $65m (£38m) is to be spent over the next three to five years helping Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia build up their their security forces.

On the question of aid to countries whose human rights records are more than doubtful, Obama said: ‘We find that in some cases, engaging a country that generally is a good partner but is not performing optimally when it comes to all the various categories of human rights, that we can be effective in working with them on certain areas and criticising them and trying to elicit improvements in other areas.’

He was telling them that US human rights criticisms were not to be taken seriously and would not be a barrier to investment and military cooperation.

During the three-day summit, Obama discussed how the US was shifting its support for Africa away from humanitarian aid and towards equal economic partnerships, i.e. into super-exploitation of the working class and the poor, in a partnership with the African bourgeois regimes.

The immediate task that the US faces is evicting China from Africa. China’s annual trade with Africa is about $200 billion, about twice the volume of US-Africa trade.

Obama was not alone at the summit. He was accompanied by former New York mayor Bloomberg.

‘We need to explain to Americans the opportunity’ of trade with Africa, Bloomberg said Sunday on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’.

Bloomberg helped organise a series of events for US businesses at the summit while US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker promised at least $900 million in deals would be signed.

Immediately ahead, the US faces the task of imposing a military dictatorship onto Libya, where the militias that it placed into power after the murder of Colonel Gadaffi have become obstacles to exploiting Libya’s vast oil wealth.

They will have to be dealt with, no doubt with the assistance of the Egyptian army.

However, in Nigeria and South Africa there are very powerful sections of the working class and trade unions who will not allow US capital to super-exploit them.

The ongoing struggles of the South African miners and engineers in the AMCU and NUMSA trade unions shows that the African working class is marching to socialism and does not want capitalism, even with a black face. US imperialism faces a very rough ride in Africa. Its economic and military interventions will have the effect of speeding up the development of the African socialist revolution.