BusinessWeek: As BusinessWeek reports this week, global investors are snapping up thousands of acres of farmland in Africa. Money from everywhere—from Saudi Arabia to Wall Street-backed funds—is pouring in. Why the sudden focus on Africa?Back at my think-tank office today, I read some crazy conspiracy stuff about Tim Geithner:
Jim Rogers: The gigantic acreage in Africa has been underfarmed because there is not much infrastructure, not much machinery, not much expertise, not much fertilizer. I think the world is going to have huge food problems in the next few years. Other people seem to see that, too, so they’re buying up farmland. You can either buy it or lease it. It’s very, very cheap, it’s incredibly fertile, and it hasn’t been overexploited. And if you take in some expertise and some machinery and some fertilizer, you should make a lot of money. The labor’s cheap, everything’s cheap.
BusinessWeek: So you think Africa is a good investment opportunity?
Jim Rogers: I think it’s a fantastic investor opportunity. Now there are over 50 countries in Africa, so we can’t make too gross a generalization. But I mean, in the Congo, you don’t even have to plant anything. You just sit by the road long enough, something will grow. Yes, I am very, very optimistic.
BusinessWeek: What’s your outlook for commodities in 2010?
Jim Rogers: I’m not smart enough to know. But I will say that if the world economy gets better, then commodities will be one of the best places to be because of the shortages that are developing. If the world economy does not get better, commodities will still be the place to be because governments are printing all this money.
BusinessWeek: Tim Geithner has been under attack lately. How’s he doing?
Jim Rogers: Listen, I have been a critic for years. Geithner should never have been appointed to anything. He’s been wrong about just about everything for 15 years.
BusinessWeek: Do you think he’ll lose his job?
Jim Rogers: Of course he’s going to lose his job, because as Mr. Obama realizes that Geithner doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s going to look for somebody else because he doesn’t want to take the heat himself. So he’s going to look to blame somebody, and the obvious person is Geithner.
At about 3.00pm New York time on Tuesday 15th December 2009, the Secretary of the United States Treasury, Mr Timothy Geithner, was again confronted by enforcement personnel – from among the large and heavily armed contingent of Chinese police, Interpol officers, MI-6 operatives and Swiss enforcers acting for the injured plaintiffs, the Chinese parties and the British Monarchical Power, who are engaged in enforcing the World Court’s Writ of Execution and Lien(s) on the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve System.And I also read some confirmed news about Congo, land of exceptional fertility, land where women and girls are brutally raped and murdered, along with their men. Because the land might be really fertile but the people -- evidently they have to go:
MICHELLE FAULYou can read more about it here.
December 15, 2009
JOHANNESBURG — A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented “vicious and widespread” attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said.
“For every rebel combatant disarmed, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses have been burned and destroyed and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes,” British-based organization Oxfam said.
Human Rights Watch said it documented the killings of 732 civilians between January and September by the Congolese army and troops from neighboring Rwanda fighting alongside it. In the same period, it counted 701 civilians killed by the rebels they are fighting.
“Some victims were tied together before their throats were, according to one witness, ’slit like chickens.’ The majority of the victims were women, children, and the elderly,” the group said.
More than 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls were registered at health centers during that nine-month period, nearly double that of 2008 and likely representing only a fraction of the total.
Human Rights Watch said that the 19,000 peacekeepers in Congo – the biggest U.N. force in the world – must “immediately cease all support to the current military operation” until it can ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law. The group also called for the U.N. to find “a new approach to protect civilians.”
“The U.N. peacekeepers are being put in an appalling situation where they are supporting an army that is attacking its own population,” it said.
The women massacred in Maguindanao Philippines received similar treatment.
Human Rights Watch recommended the immediate creation and deployment of a civilian protection expert group that would put forward specific measures to improve strategies to protect civilians in eastern Congo. Alan Doss, special representative of the secretary-general in Congo, will address the Security Council on December 16. The Security Council is scheduled to vote on a renewal of the mandate of MONUC, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, on December 21.
...Over the first nine months of 2009, the UN recorded over 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls across North and South Kivu in eastern Congo, nearly surpassing the figures recorded during all of last year, and probably representing only a fraction of the total. Most of the women and girls were gang raped, some so violently that they later died. Many women and girls were held as sex slaves by both the Congolese army and the FDLR for weeks or months at a time; they were raped repeatedly and some were mutilated and then killed by machete or shot in the vagina.
The members of the convoy, along with people believed to be just passing through, were later found murdered, mutilated, some bearing signs of torture and rape. Most were buried with their vehicles in Ampatuan tow. Ginalyn bore gunshot wounds in the mouth; her vagina was slashed four times before it too was shot; her legs were sawed off.What does this mean, this hatred toward women? Where does this urge to utterly destroy women, to destroy their fertility, to destroy life itself come from? It is not enough to kill women, apparently. It must be done with brutal emphasis on the hatred for what women symbolize: LIFE.
But the land....the land is so fertile. And with all those wonderful buried treasures, minerals, gold, diamonds.....
Africa is an investor's dream. If it weren't for all the people who live there. The people pose a problem. They must go. This is how it's done.