Resource-related conflict and the climate crisis fuelling Poverty African

By Ndatenda Njanike (Press and Communications Officer)

GROUPS across Africa vying for control of and access to resources have sparked violent internal disputes and the climate crisis has impoverished the continent.

According to a report published this month by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) reviewed that most of Africa’s resource-rich nations are afflicted by resource-related wars, and only a select few elites are profiting from resource extraction.

“Competition for resources has led to internal violent conflicts caused by groups fighting for control of and access to resources, forcing local people to migrate to safer areas or become otherwise displaced to pave the way for foreign investors.

“In most parts of Africa, foreign investors are leaving a trail of environmental degradation. Resources from Africa are being fed into Global North industries, which in turn are causing a rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Hence the link between military industries, environmental degradation, conflicts, and the climate crisis must not be ignored.

“While huge sums of money are invested in militarism, less is being done in relation to climate adaptation.

“The climate crisis is contributing to bloody, violent conflicts in most African countries over access and control of the few available resources.

According to the African Progress Panel’s 2013 assessment, the poorest of the poor are frequently found in some of Africa’s most resource-rich nations, including Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that “resource funds have often fuelled corruption and conflict in Africa, the funds have distorted economies and propped up undemocratic leaders, with the complicity of outside actors and the private sector.” Kofi Annan made this observation during a speech at the World Economic Forum on May 10, 2013.1

 Africa loses more money through trade mispricing ($38.4 billion annually) and other illicit flows ($25 billion annually), according to the Africa Progress Panel report, than it does through aid and foreign direct investment. 

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