No Picture

WikiLeaks Africa: Corruption, cocaine and chaos

Source: Pambazuka News

Shell’s infiltration of the Nigerian government, cocaine trafficking through Ghana and Kenya’s strategy for dealing with the chaos in Somalia are among the topics this week’s selection of bloggers are talking about, following WikiLeaks’ release of US diplomatic cables on Africa.

Naijablog comments on WikiLeaks revelations about the infiltration of the Nigerian government by Shell:

‘From a Nigerian perspective, we find little we didn’t already know, save for details that add some fiscal spice to the talk in the beer parlour: the actual amounts a smuggler-thug kingpin charges for allowing uninterrupted passage of a container from Niger into Katsina; the price of a former (now disgraced) Attorney General’s ink. The bigger picture remains unchanged and is known to all. The history of post-independence Nigeria is intimately connected with Shell. Nigeria and Shell are twins someone forgot to separate at birth. No one is at all shocked to hear of the former head of Sub-Saharan operations Ann Pickard’s boast that the company has infiltrated government to the core. There’s little point Shell trying to deny it at this stage. It might be better to go legit and create a Ministry of Shell Affairs. All other multinationals are at least one tier below Shell in terms of their complicity with official misappropriation: Julius Berger, Pfizer, Halliburton, Siemens and so on. Again, the diplomatic cables do little more than reassure and refine our cynicism. Quite how Berger has escaped the diplo-gossip relatively unblemished so far is a minor miracle. Perhaps in the next few days of releases another national laptop recall will be circulated. read more