Could it be a coincidence that the same region which has been described as “the new frontier for oil and gas exploration” is also the subject of a massive viral web campaign by a US charity which supports military intervention?
Invisible Children calls for “US military advisers [to] support the Ugandan army until Kony has been captured and the LRA has been completely disarmed. They need to follow through all the way and finish what they have started.”
In April 2011 United Press International reported:
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is reported to be tightening his grip on the East African country’s emerging oil sector in a region that seems set to become the new frontier for oil and gas exploration.
The centerpiece of Uganda’s nascent oil industry is the Lake Albert field that holds at least 2.5 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates go as high as 6 billion barrels.
But whatever the total, Lake Albert, lying in the center of Africa between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the biggest discovery in sub-Saharan Africa in two decades.
That underlines the potential of East Africa, long considered an oil industry backwater, as a hot energy zone to rival the continent’s resource-rich western and northern regions despite its notoriously corrupt and often violent politics.
Visit United Press International to read the article in full.
For the real background to Kony 2012, we thoroughly recommend the fantastic photo-account on Imgur.
For those who want to delve deeper, Pluto Press also has a number of recent books which show the bitter legacy of imperialism and resource exploitation in Africa, and the rich history of African struggles for self-determination…
The Scramble for African Oil: Oppression, Corruption and War for Control of Africa’s Natural Resources, Douglas A. Yates
Oppression, Corruption and War for Control of Africa’s Natural Resources
Douglas A. Yates
Shows how Western control of Africa’s oil has fed corruption and undermined democracy, and how Africans have resisted the theft of their resources.
“Essential reading for anyone seeking an understanding of the ‘resource curse’, the global exploitation of Africa’s resources and the troubled state of African politics. Drawing on a detailed knowledge of the region, Douglas Yates does a remarkable job of exposing the predatory forces responsible for the continuing impoverishment of Africa’s oil states – while also celebrating those heroic African figures who have resisted the onslaught.” – Professor Michael T. Klare, Hampshire College, Massachusetts and author of Resource Wars
“Yates brilliantly scales the walls of the oil fortress in Africa and shines a light into the complex politics – local, national and global – of the oil and gas industry and offers some insight into possible routes out of the swamp of failed oil-development.” – Professor Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley
Flammable Societies: Studies on the Socio-Economics of Oil and Gas, Edited by John-Andrew McNeish and Owen Logan
Studies on the Socio-economics of Oil and Gas
Edited by John-Andrew McNeish and Owen Logan
Critical assessment of the impact of the oil and gas industry on socio-economic development across the world. Draws on original research.
“In their important book, McNeish and Logan take issue with conventional wisdom by reading the varied experiences of petro-states in the northern and southern hemispheres against one another to explode the overly simplified sense of good and bad oil governance. At the heart of these empirically rich and conceptually innovative contributions is a sensitivity to the intersection of petro-state power with territoriality and forms of sovereignty, a heady mix of forces which can produce inflammable political outcomes. Flammable Societies unsettles the field of oil studies by fusing visual, textual, historical and ethnographic approaches into a powerful whole. A path-breaking book.” – Michael Watts, Class of 63 Professor, University of California, Berkeley
“This collection offers fresh insights into the social relations of communities in which oil and gas are produced – from Scotland to Russia and Nigeria – and of resistance to oil-fuelled power. It challenges lazy, catch-all concepts about oil-producing economies and raises the standard of academic debate.” – Simon Pirani, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and author of Change in Putin’s Russia
When the State Fails: Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War, Edited by Tunde Zack-Williams
Studies on Intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War
Edited by Tunde Zack-Williams
Was western intervention in Sierra Leone a genuine case of humanitarianism? An informed and critical collection of essays which assesses this claim.
“This volume by Sierra Leonean academics offers wide-ranging insights on the causes and dynamics of the Sierra Leone conflict. It provides valuable information on security sector reform and the role of external actors in peace building.” – Yusuf Bangura, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
“This work fills a very important niche in our perception of the era of the civil war in Sierra Leone and its aftermath. Policy makers, those interested in development studies and scholars in general should pay keen attention to it.” – Magbaily Fyle, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University
Reclaiming the Nation: The Return of the National Question in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Edited by Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros
The Return of the National Question in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Edited by Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros
Compares the trajectories of states and societies in Africa, Asia and Latin America under neoliberalism.
“This book is about the new nationalist resurgence [against neo-liberalism]. It is the work of a committed and engaged scholarship, one which does not pretend to be neutral in the struggle between imperialism and the working people. It is most welcome and should be read by our scholars and activists of the tri-continent.” – Professor Issa Shivji, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
“This collaborative approach to revisiting the national question in the South has assembled a stellar group of scholars working and studying in Africa, Asia and Latin America… This book provides essential clues to understand the present nature of the state in the periphery and to re-connect the South through all its dimensions. “ – Professor Gladys Lechini, National University of Rosario, Argentina
Mining in Africa: Regulation and Development, Edited by Bonnie Campbell
Regulation and Development
Edited by Bonnie Campbell
Shows how Western regulatory framework prevents Africa’s mineral wealth from contributing to African economic development