The Purposeful Impoverishment of African Nations

by | Mar 13, 2022 |

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Africa is experiencing a type of technological colonialism, by some self-appointed do-gooders bullying Africans in order to deprive the continent of safe, inexpensive, and prolific energy. Some are finally starting to react against them. Will it be soon enough to allow the average African to rise to the standard of living we enjoy in the West?

Kelvin Kemm, a prominent nuclear engineer in South Africa, tells us what happens. European countries arrive in Africa and tell the citizens what they think is good for them, then threaten punitive economic measures if not done as they are told. African countries are instructed to cease using coal power and buy German wind turbines instead. In addition, they try and convince the Africans to start a new industry producing hydrogen though there are no buyers or realistic uses as an energy source. These fraudsters preach its vast potential, and some countries are buying this complete fraud.

Kemm spoke at a Green conference in Johannesburg where speakers from Switzerland, Germany, and France, amongst others, told the attendees that Africa must not be allowed to increase electricity production by more than 10%. Not 10% per year but 10% ever. A Swiss speaker told the audience that his country’s lifestyle should not be followed. They should show the world how to live in harmony with nature and not build a modern infrastructure. He went on to say that the world’s increasing total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) must be stopped, because growth in GDP was bad for the climate.

Kemm reported, that in private conversations with these horrible people thinking him a moron, that they explained if a farmer stops plowing the land with Oxen and gets a tractor, then diesel fuel must be produced and transported, spare parts must be made, the oil will drop on the ground from the tractor, tires will be required. This all means more industrialization, which is bad for the climate, all caring not a whit for the lives and health of the African communities. Kelvin pointed out that children will die if there are no medical and educational facilities. Kelvin recounted to me that their reply was that this is the price one must pay to save the planet.

A vivid example of these foreigners’ cruelty was the display of a system to provide light in the homes of African villages. It consisted of a wooden box containing two ordinary lead/acid motor car batteries. On top of the box was one old-style 60-watt incandescent light bulb, and a switch. The box was connected to a solar panel. The instructions were: carry the box and panel outside each day and place them in the sun. At night bring the box indoors and turn the switch on. The box was actually too heavy for the average single person to carry. The insult to the educated African audience was palpable.

Can the world really solve an energy problem in Africa? Co-author Terigi Ciccone, an energy expert who has worked in Africa, says these are two different questions. They need to be separated; the culture and the energy. The European interlopers and their cultural heirs prefer to combine the two for their economic advantage.

Africa needs electricity, affordable, reliable, and continuous energy, to break industrial barriers. This means that coal must be a mandatory first step. As a fuel, it is readily available, cheap, and requires minimal technology and capital investments. It is, after all, how the colonial west gained its economic and industrial dominance over the rest of the world in the last 150 years. But then it was dirty, filthy coal that gave us the power to mine, smelt, forge, and cast steel into the magical machinery of industrial nations.

From the forges, foundries, and mills, from Manchester to Pittsburgh, steel and the ability to forge it, cast it, and machine it, is what allowed the old west to leapfrog all other cultures and nations into the modern energy state. Happily, we have now learned to burn coal cleanly and healthily.

Yes, for decades, we turned our nations into ecological dumps in the process. We saw soot and filth in London, and Rivers catch fire in the US, unbreathable air in Seoul and Taipei. Most people purposely or unwittingly knew it had to be done to advance the human condition. So these countries built the foundation for our modern world and the health and prosperity it empowered. But in the past few decades, these colonial powers have prevented developing nations from using this same mechanism to advance their countries into the industrialized world. The UN and the World Bank charged to assist these nations are instead retarding their development through environmental scares, thus preventing them from competing for wealth and political influence.

Forcing African nations to build their future on unreliable and intermittent green energy, meaning wind and solar, is to deny them entry into the modern-industrialized world and to keep them in “their” place as serfs, and subservient to our needs. How can an emerging nation ever hope to compete if their only energy source is intermittent and unreliable wind and solar?

How can they keep their factories working 24 hours a day, their schools and hospitals open, and allow students to do homework at night when the sun is not shining, and the wind is not blowing?

In conclusion, European countries are bullying African countries and demanding that they run their lifestyles and GDP growth by their rules, values, and political wishes. They arrive with a superior attitude, and then act shocked when those nations do not kneel down in gratitude, thanking them for their superior wisdom and guidance. It is time for all of Africa to fight back.


Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute.

Terigi Ciccone is a painter, engineer, and science enthusiast and is the author of the book: A Hitchhikers Journey Through Climate Change.

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2 months ago

Thank you for this informative essay. Well done.

j. bell
j. bell
2 months ago

You conclude “European countries are bullying African countries and demanding that they run their lifestyles and GDP growth by their rules, values, and political wishes. They arrive with a superior attitude

That has been going on since the first Europeans began ‘exploring’ the African continent in the 1400s.   During the transatlantic slave trade, and during the late 1800s in the partition of Africa by the European nations, during decades of being colonized by Europeans. We find many Africans themselves taking on that ‘superiority’ airs even amongst their own fellow Africans.  Hello Nigeria.

Moreover, your article seems to be concerned with lack of modern infrastructure in parts of Africa, and the gullibility of many Africans regarding some dishonest/racist  Europeans intentions. Gyude Moore of African Business magazine sees three contemporaneous reinitiatives regarding improving African infrastructure, 

(1)   The US introduced Build Back Better World (B3W)
(2)   the European Union introduced Global Gateway
(3)  China Belt Road initiative as global financing programs to help improve African infrastructure. 
Moore assesses the United States Build Back Better program as it relates to Africa as follows.                           

                                                   “More troubling is B3W’s (US introduced Build Back Better World) apparent excision of hard physical infrastructure from its remit, with a focus on ‘climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality’..…..In Africa, which lags all other regions of the world in the availability of paved roads and electricity, that deficit is set to grow without a massive influx of hard infrastructure investment. At current rates, the minimum deficit of the road network will be 60,000km by 2040 and an additional 30,000km gap for the rail network.”—in the article, ‘America’s Build Back Better World must invest in hard infrastructure’, by Gyude Moore, 

And so until Build Back Better includes physical infrastructure in its help plan, parts of Africa continues to rely on the Chinese Belt Road Initiative, which makes them more debtor nations to China.

“China’s total loans to Africa during 2000-18 have been tune of $148 billion, mostly in large-scale infrastructure projects. During the past five years, around 66 per cent of the loan amount has been given for transportation and energy sectors, Economic Times has reliably gathered. Since 2010, the Chinese financial institutions have funded an average of 70 projects every year in Africa with an average value of $180 million, and among them the resource guarantee infrastructure financing has been focused on minerals and hydrocarbon rich African states including Zambia (copper), Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Algeria, Mozambique, Egypt, Sudan (Oil & Gas) South Africa and Tanzania (Gold), informed sources told ET.”, in the article, ‘Africa’s rising debt: Chinese loans to continent exceeds $140 billion’,  by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury,  Sep 23, 2021,

‘Large scale infrastructure’ projects, but do they help majority of Africans who subsist on a few hundred dollars a year, if that. Most African nations threw off the shackles of European colonialism in the 1950s and 1960s, but have failed to modernize their ‘inherited’ infrastructure. The money for Africa infrastructure improvement has been there, but also probably a lot of mismanagement/greed. The same mindset that helped put us Blacks on European slave ships for three hundred years, ‘selling one another out for self-aggrandizement’, appears to be still rampant in parts of Africa. We may lose the continent to China.  

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