Protesters call for ‘an end to oil colonialism’ in Africa
Protesters gathered outside a London hotel on Wednesday to call for an end to “oil colonialism” across Africa, where oil and gas resource heavyweights met with African delegates to hammer out new deals.
The two-day Africa Energy Summit, held at the £351-a-night Mayfair Hotel, turned sour when a group of coalition activists including Extinction Rebellion Africa and African Rising hung banners outside the hotel’s porch and lobby while playing audio against new oil deals by African activists.
Protesters also reportedly stuck to the doors of Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen restaurant, leading to the cancellation of the planned gala.
Campaign groups are calling on rich countries to stop taking the natural resources of gas and oil that the African continent has boasted about for years amid warnings that it would leave already poor countries in survival mode after years of colonialism .
African countries like Nigeria, Benin and Gambia are just some of the few countries that are expected to go into debt if a new oil deal is struck.
Rob Callender, member of Jubilee for Climate, said: “Oil companies must leave Africa, as our partners on the continent have said. They are calling on rich countries like the UK to cancel the debt which is like a knee on the neck forcing governments to extract anything and everything just to pay off obscene levels of unjust debt leaving nothing for the guy development that benefits the people.
“If the UK was serious about enabling Africa to grow, it would cancel debt, which it can and which would allow African states to invest in the continent’s huge renewable energy potential – a source much more resilient energy in most communities”.
“Debt repayments for 44 African countries amounted to $75 billion in 2019, far more than the amount of public finance needed to fight climate change. Rather than imposing this colonial hangover, governments in the Global North should meet their loss and damage commitments to this part of the world – least responsible for climate change – an issue shamefully set aside at COP26. hosted by the UK.
As the cost of living crisis grips the UK, the much-anticipated conference was buoyed by oil giants like Shell and Schlumberger, which are believed to have made record profits in the last quarter as fuel prices soar. arrow for millions.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected a proposed windfall tax on oil companies at a time when they continue to expand in African countries.
The continent is set to be hardest hit by developments in the West following a report by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) which showed that the use of fossil fuels could displace Africa’s population over the next eight years, according to Extinction Rebellion.
Cathy Allen, member of Extinction Rebellion Global Support, said: “Africa has only contributed 2% of global emissions to date, while almost half of the continent does not have access to electricity. Yet the impacts of climate change across the continent are already brutal. How can we sit back and watch these gambling games in Mayfair?
“What’s happening here are unregulated oil companies signing new off-take oil deals with indebted African countries who have to deal not only with pollution from oil exploration in their countries, but also with the effects oil exploration – drought, floods, food insecurity, displacement and conflict This is not a conference, it is a crime scene disguised as a party.