Yves Engler

The Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold’s African subsidiary, Acacia Mining, is embroiled in a major political conflict in Tanzania. With growing evidence of its failure to pay royalties and tax, Acacia has been condemned by President Magufuli, had its exports restricted and slapped with a massive tax bill. Barrick enjoys considerable government backing.

Proactive Investros

In Zambia, as with elsewhere in Africa, Canada’s mining industry, foreign policy and neoliberalism overlap tightly. It is a subject Canadians ought to pay attention to if they want their country to be a force for good in the world.

Global Affairs Canada

Imagine if the media only reported the good news that governments and corporations wanted you to see, hear and read about. Unfortunately, that is not far from the reality of reporting about Canada’s role internationally.

Wiki

Celebrated Canadian soldier William Grant Stairs helped King Leopold II of Belgium conquer the resource-rich Katanga region of the Congo. Known for his heartless brutality, Stairs headed a heavily armed mission that swelled to 2,000. The goal of the expedition was to extend Leopold’s authority over Katanga to get a piece of the copper, ivory and gold trade.

Northern Miner

Banro operates in a region that has seen incredible violence over the past two decades and the secretive company has been accused of fuelling the conflict. In 1996 Banro paid $3.5 million for 47 mining concessions that covered more than one million hectares of land in Congo’s North and South Kivu.

JON WARREN/WORLD VISION

The mass killings in Rwandan in 1994 are often invoked inside and outside the country for ulterior purposes. In Canada, the story is part of developing a “do-gooder” foreign policy mythology designed to lull the nation into backing interventionist policies. More generally, a highly simplistic account of Rwanda ‘94 has repeatedly been invoked to justify liberal imperialism, particularly the responsibility to protect doctrine.

Africamission-mafr.org

For more than a century Canadians have gone abroad to do “good” in poorer parts of the world. Whether they spurred positive change or simply became foreign agents should be of interest to international non-governmental organizations.

OAU

Friday, February 24 is the anniversary of the 1966 coup against leading Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah. Canada played a key role. Following the coup, the Canadian High Commissioner in Accra C.E. McGaughey, wrote that “a wonderful thing has happened for the West in Ghana and Canada has played a worthy part.”

Canada DOND

Canada’s announcement that it intends to send 600 troops on a peacekeeping mission in Africa has elicited little enlightened discussion about Ottawa’s history in the continent. In addition to Canadian extensive mining interests, the country has a growing military footprint in Africa over the past decade - working closely with the new United States’ Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Canada’s position towards the African liberation struggles of the 1970s and 1980s should influence how people view deploying troops to the continent today. This history – and the media’s distortion of it – suggests the need for healthy dose of skepticism towards Ottawa’s intentions.

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