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Countdown to 100$ oil (6) - and the loser is.... Africa

by Jerome a Paris Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 at 07:42:36 AM EST

Rising cost of oil counters Africa debt relief

The debt deal agreed by Group of Eight finance ministers last month, is set to save sub-Saharan African nations about $1bn (€840m) a year. But International Energy Agency officials believe the rise in crude prices will cost the region an additional $10.5bn a year in oil imports.

Agency officials estimate the oil import bill of sub-Saharan Africa will double to about $20bn on the back of crude prices of more than $55 a barrel. As a result, the increase in oil costs “is going to be greater than the debt relief given to sub-Saharan countries this year”, said Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA.

The countries of sub-Saharan Africa are among the world's poorest. They depend heavily on imported oil and use it inefficiently. Mr Birol said the region required 80 per cent more oil than a developed country to produce the same unit of gross domestic product.

But hey, Blair got his headlines.

Previous countdown diaries:
Countdown to 100$ oil (5) - OPEC inexorably raises floor price
Countdown to 100$ oil (4) - WSJ wingnuts vs China
Countdown to 100$ oil (3) - industry is beginning to suffer
Countdown to 100$ oil (2) - the views of the elites on peak oil
Countdown to 100$ oil (1)

I strongly urge everyone to read Amy Goodman's book called "The Exception to the Rulers".  I am half way through it and I have learned so much from it. The Third chapter is called "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship". As I was reading it, I as trying to figure out a way to get by without a car. I always thought most of Africa's problems were due to diseases such as Malaria and Aids (which is a huge problem) but the corruption brought on by Oil and other companies is unbelievable. The Africans are really being taken advantage of. It is just mind numbing how countries in Africa with a huge amount of natural resources are not spreading the wealth amongst its people but being stripped by rich greedy people that are not even from Africa. These people should be in JAIL!!!  

I don't understand why any country in Africa should have to pay so much for importing fees. Why can't they buy oil from other countries in Africa that produce oil?  

by Hausfrau on Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 at 10:22:54 AM EST
I agree, Hausfrau. But many, possibly most, of the rich greedy people are from Africa. See, for instance, my recent post on Nigeria.

Corruption and lousy governance are without doubt the greatest immediate obstacles to development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It may not be PC to say so, but it's the truth.

Of course, many Western governments and corporations are deeply implicated in this, so there is plenty of guilt to go around.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 at 01:39:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Africa loses in the petro game all around.  Millions of ordinary Africans rely on kerosene for basic lighting and cooking, and the price is being driven up by Western overconsumption and peak oil;  Africa is also the continent most heavily impacted by climate change so far, with possible severe reduction of food producing capacity.  The inefficiency w/which African nations -- impoverished partly by Western looting and partly by the selfishness of native elites (cultivated and groomed by Western looters, let it be said) -- use fossil fuel only stimulates more fossil burning which in turn stimulates more climate change... lose/lose/lose.

Enough of the woes of Africa can be laid at the feet of Anglo invaders/looters that I would say reparations are due on a massive scale.  However, strict oversight would be needed to prevent those reparations from merely enriching the Mugabes of the continent and their Western cronies and controllers...  a tough riddle to solve.  Massive reform, populist uprising, redrawing of jiggered borders to reduce ethnic tensions... fair trade, stopping the resource looting... many actions on many fronts would be needed to stop the endless chain reaction of tragedy.  Even the new multiracial government of SA has fallen prey to the Washington Consensus neolib line.  It's hard to see much hope on that horizon.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 at 02:39:16 PM EST
http://www.boomantribune.com/?op=displaystory;sid=2005/7/2/92022/91933 (over at Booman Tribune)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 3rd, 2005 at 03:26:29 AM EST

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