The U.S. dollar printing press is burning up under the Biden administration, with the President throwing money around like he’s the Oprah of the free world.
But, this time, instead of well-to-do college graduates or Ukraine, it’s the continent of Africa that will receive cash prizes from the United States.
Biden pledges U.S. taxpayers will pay South Africa $8 billion to shut down their coal power plants pic.twitter.com/p030ccAjTV
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 14, 2022
Naturally, the song the Biden administration is singing is that our investment in the vast continent is about renewable energy and elevating a valuable international partner that should be seen as an equal to the United States. But, unfortunately, the reality is quite a bit different.
Like a child stuck between two divorced parents, African leaders found themselves in the uncomfortable and insulting position of listening to President Biden tell them how special they are and try to buy their love in the hopes that they will rethink their partnerships with China.
But, as usual, our reactive foreign policy will cost the taxpayer billions and do little to help anybody, except maybe China.
It’s Only Money
This week President Biden promised a cumulative of about $55 billion over the next three years to the continent of Africa, chump change in comparison to our investment in Ukraine, but still quite the Christmas check if you ask me. However, it was an announcement related explicitly to South Africa that caught a fair amount of criticism.
President Biden announced:
“Today’s announcement joined a portfolio of partnership for global infrastructure investment projects already underway in Africa. Including mobilizing $8 billion in public and private finance to help South Africa replace coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources.”
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Keep in mind that South Africa is the third largest economy in Africa, behind Egypt and Nigeria. In addition, President Biden continued to list out other investments across the continent:
“…develop cutting edge energy solutions like clean hydrogen, a deal worth $2 billion to build solar energy projects in Angola, $600 million high speed communications cables that will connect Southeast Asia to Europe via Egypt and the Horn of Africa…”
So why the push to cozy up to Africa, particularly when plenty of these African countries can fund their own projects?
As South Africa considers sacking their president for not being able to explain cash stolen from his house, a number of Nigerians are asking us to elect as president a man who kept money for drug dealers. To these Nigerians, your destiny will know no peace for your wickedness.
— Dr Ayo Sogunro (@ayosogunro) December 2, 2022
Stuck In The Middle
Say what you want about China, but you can’t deny their foreign policy and international strategic maneuvering are impressive. For example, over the last few years, China has dumped close to $700 billion into infrastructure loans in Africa.
Why the interest in Africa? Just as Africa was known for its diamonds, its also highly sought after for its minerals, specifically cobalt and lithium.
For China, that means cornering the market on minerals used in the coveted batteries everyone needs, particularly our country, to power everything from our phones to our war machines. For the Biden administration, that means stripping Africa of the materials needed to build all those electric vehicles they want to force us all to purchase.
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The investment in Africa has also enabled China to build its first overseas military installation in Djibouti in 2017, and they have their eyes set on a second base in Equatorial Guinea.
China has already extended its global reach economically and politically, and now that they have started stretching its military reach into Africa, that will undoubtedly have future repercussions for the United States and the world at large.
Since the money will likely not go to providing the same level of energy, they will go backwards. This is a terrible use of US Taxpayer dollars and will harm the people of South Africa who need energy for safety and economic growth. https://t.co/2w8Wt6Jwph
— Ruth Peterson (@RuthAPeterson) December 15, 2022
We Just Want To Be Friends
Suppose you listen to what the President said to the African leaders this week.
In that case, you’d almost believe that our pledge to invest in their countries isn’t about China but our desire to treat them as equals. According to the President, the goal “is not to create political obligation or foster independence” but to do our part to help Africa “succeed.”
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Copying a page from his domestic policy speeches, the President promised:
“The United States is all in on Africa’s future. Together we want to build a future of opportunity where no one, no one is left behind.”
He even went so far as to do what Democrat leaders tend to do best and apologize for how terrible our country is, harkening back to the past:
“We remember the stolen men and women and children who were brought to our shores in chains, subjected to unimaginable cruelty – my nation’s original sin was that period.”
Curious if the African countries view their ancestor’s role in selling their men, women, and children into slavery as their original sin. It brings up an interesting follow-up question: are the African nations ready to be considered on par with the United States?
“Washington—especially Congress—continues to be dominated by Cold War thinking that views Africa almost entirely through the lens of security and geopolitical rivalry with Russia and China,” QI Non-Resident Fellow @samar42 tells @democracynow. pic.twitter.com/9SkQW22COx
— Quincy Institute (@QuincyInst) December 13, 2022
Africa isn’t necessarily known for its civility, democracies, or advancement in human rights. It’s known for government corruption, with South Africa, in particular, making international news not that long ago.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa narrowly dodged an impeachment over a scandal dubbed ‘FarmGate.’ Allegedly he had neglected to disclose to authorities after his farm was robbed that anywhere from $4 million to $8 million in U.S. cash was snatched that he had stored in his sofa.
There is nothing suspect there at all; utterly normal behavior for an African leader. But unfortunately, the continent has also become a welcome location for terrorist organizations to set up training and planning camps.
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The two most notable groups are Boko Haram in west Africa and Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa. No doubt, two groups that have also benefited from China’s ongoing investment in Africa.
So while the Biden administration never backs off of an opportunity to accuse its own citizens of racism, extremism, and violence, it has no problems sending your taxpayer dollars to countries that welcome terrorists, steal from their own people, and in many ways still participate in the original sin our President apologized for.
Thank you, China, for making the US remember Africa is a continent
America, stop speaking China would have announced 5 Dams and 60 railways by now.
Ndi green pic.twitter.com/xsDro4KGxj
— Kalu Aja (@FinPlanKaluAja1) December 15, 2022
I don’t believe any of the African leaders here this week for the summit think they are being used as anything other than cold war pawns between us and China. But, unfortunately, our interest is typically too much too late.
The Chinese infrastructure investments have included spreading Huawei communications far and wide, a company that came under fire in our own country for posing a significant national security risk. As the deputy assistant secretary for African affairs, Chidi Blyden, explains:
“China’s Huawei network, which is very robust across the continent, makes it hard for us to be able to work with African partners who may adopt some of these systems.”
But, thanks to the cover story of climate change, our country has thrown money at other countries in an attempt to build up our international presence and their dependence on us. For example, at the G20 summit, we pledged to partner with the United Kingdom in sending $10 billion to Indonesia to transition their country to renewable energy.
And we also bought into sending part of the $15.5 billion to Vietnam for the same. The world is starting to look more and more like the board game Risk; who will end up winning? Doubtful it will be Africa or any other countries we pretend to care about.
Construction of the China-aided headquarters of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to be completed late this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The building will become one of the best-equipped centres for disease control in Africa. pic.twitter.com/2mzpMaHTJF
— Chinese Embassy in Tanzania (@ChineseEmbTZ) December 14, 2022
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