Stealing Africa – concerning Zambian copper

Pope Benedict’s prayer intention for March
“May respect for nature grow with the awareness that all creation is God’s work entrusted to human responsibility!”
Care for creation is particularly important in Zambia which is one of the greatest producers of copper in the world. A documentary concerning Zambian copper was aired recently on ZNBC TV. It is entitled “Stealing Africa”.  Lasting only 28 minutes it is well worth seeing and can be viewed on You Tube by typing Stealing Africainto your search engine.
“Stealing Africa” brings out in a dramatic form what the Pope is asking us to pray over: while the copper extracted in Zambia is highly valuable most of the profits go overseas leaving ordinary Zambians impoverished. The same could be applied to other countries in Africa including Malawi. In addition it raises questions about the ethics of the mining companies and their lack of care of the environment and the secrecy about the levels pollution caused by their extractive activities.
Care for the environment which is God’s gift to us is central to our faith as Christians. Ensuring a just tax system is in place and that the monies thus collected do in fact go to benefit the poor of Zambia is also central to our Christian faith.
Such issue call for our prayer and Christian prophetic action!
Charles Searson, SJ
National Secretary for AP for Zambia and Malawi