Menu Expand
Looting Africa

Looting Africa

Patrick Bond


Additional Information

Book Details


Despite the rhetoric, the people of Sub-Saharan Africa are become poorer. From Tony Blair's Africa Commission and the Make Poverty History campaign to the Hong Kong WTO meeting, Africa's gains have been mainly limited to public relations. The central problems remain exploitative debt and financial relationships with the North, phantom aid, unfair trade, distorted investment and the continent's brain/skills drain. Moreover, capitalism in most African countries has witnessed the emergence of excessively powerful ruling elites with incomes derived from financial-parasitical accumulation. Without overstressing the 'mistakes' of such elites, this book contextualises Africa's wealth outflow within a stagnant but volatile world economy.
'Patrick Bond's book provides a solid theoretical, empirical, and analytical framework showing and proving that the processes of looting the African continent, which started with the slave trade, have continued to this day'. Professor Issa Shivji, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 'A brilliant analysis and timely expose of the rapacious forces ranged against Africans today.' John Pilger ‘An important contribution to the political analysis of the continent, as viewed on the inside.' ComAfrica, Brazil 'This is a sophisticated book for a non-specialist audience, filled with rage at the self-serving drivel that passes for analysis of Africa in the mainstream and the deaths it is responsible for.' Ken Olende, Socialist Review
Patrick Bond, a political economist, is research professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Development Studies in Durban where he directs the Centre for Civil Society ( He is also visiting professor at York University Department of Political Science in Toronto and Gyeongsang National University Institute of Social Sciences in South Korea. He previously taught at the University of the Witwatersrand Graduate School of Public and Development Management, Yokohama National University Department of Economics and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents v
Figures and Tables vi
Preface and Acknowledgements vii
Notes xvi
1. Poor Africa: Two views 1
Racism, inequality, patriarchy, anthropomorphism \r 5
The structure of this book\r 8
Notes 9
2. Uneven and Combined Development: Neoliberalism, stagnation and financial volatility 11
Global stagnation, volatility and crisis displacement\r 14
New rounds of global financial volatility? 21
Draining the South 24
Notes 27
3. Financial Inflows and Outflows: Phantom aid, debt peonage, capital flight 31
Aid ebbs, flows and phantoms 32
Debt repayment squeeze 38
Debt relief smoke and mirrors 40
Nigeria scammed 46
Financial portfolio (dis)investment and capital flight 49
Financial liberalization's false promises 51
Notes 52
4. Unequal Exchange Revisited: Trade, investment, wealth depletion 55
Trade traps 56
Commodity export dependency and falling terms of trade\r 58
Rural inequality and perverse subsidies\r 64
Investment, production and exploitation 71
FDI and natural resource depletion 74
Accounting for nature 77
Foreign investment in privatization 82
Foreign investment, tax fraud and transfer pricing\r 84
Production, transport and the ecological debt\r 85
Labout migration as resource depletion\r 89
Notes 91
5. Global Apartheid’s African Agents: Home-grown neoliberalism, repression, failed reform 95
African neoliberalism derailed? 98
Elite opportunities lost 100
Global governance gimmicks at the Bretton Woods institutions 105
UN Security Council obstinacy 107
Notes 108
6. Militarism and Looming Subimperialism in Africa: Washington, London, Pretoria 111
Washington's reach 114
South Africa's subimperial functions 119
Pretoria's world leadership? 123
Staking claims through NEPAD 125
Johannesburg business interests 128
Notes 131
7. Civil Society Resistance: Two views 136
A major distraction gimmick 138
Reparations from - and closure of - global financial institutions 141
Programmes to end the looting 149
From space to network to state? 152
Conclusion: from looting to liberation 158
Notes 161
Index 165