Globe exploits Africa

Special edition of ROB to focus on dark continent

May 9th, 2010 | By Coco Cabrera | Category: News

To coincide with the Globe and Mail’s special Bono-and-other-guy-edited “Africa” edition, the paper’s Report on Business section will be dedicated to the commercial exploitation of that continent.

The special segment will explore: opportunities in agricultural and strip mining practices that are prohibited in the first world; the attraction of a large and extremely low-wage work force bereft of labour standards; the advantages of dealing with unpredictable dictatorships; and other specifically regional attractions.

“Say you’re a Canadian junior mining player looking for an African stake.  You might tend to stay away from places run by loopy tyrants on the mistaken assumption that unpredictable is bad for business.  But not only do a lot of these places have no regulations, some offer the chance to make up your own,” says business journalist, Larry Bowman.  This is just one of a long list of mistakes Bowman thinks are keeping Canadian firms from truly draining Africa’s resources.  “How often have I seen greenhorns come in and bribe dozens of  low level functionaries when all they had to do was deliver one sack of money to the President and another to the head of the army.”

Armies and insurgencies present a huge opportunity for Canadian business, through the sale of either materiel or supplies. “Africa has a lot of conflicts,” says Canadian arms manufacturer, Peter Truskett. “When people are killing on that scale, an arms manufacturer would be stupid to miss out.”

“Because of the fear of sexually transmitted disease, sex tourism isn’t nearly as big as it could be,” says Brenda Maclaren of Hot Vacations. “The sex trade remains an essentially neighbourhood business.  But this is a continent full of beautiful warm places, obviously resorts staffed by certified clean, poorly paid locals are an opportunity that cannot be missed.”

“The goddamn Chinese are all over Africa like ants at a picnic,”  offered an unnamed Government trade official. “It was European colonialism that laid the ground work. For us to walk away now would be a terrible waste.  It’s great that Bonzo and that other guy are explaining Africa in the Globe and Mail, but they’ve already made their money. Let’s spread the wealth around to some other white people.”

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