I've spent the last several days trying to make sure I drink as much water as possible. I've never drank soft drinks much and I don't consume alcoholic beverages so as liquid drinks go its pretty much water and ice tea for me. Consequently, I get sick of water often so its a chore for me to force myself to drink it while here. One of the cheapest, most available, and safe ways to drink water in Ghana is by drinking the little plastic satchels of water that can be bought in packages or as individual packets by the aforementioned sales people on the streets. I've already drank more of these little satchels than I can count. So, since I'm drinking so many of them I decided to pay attention to where they come from. A company called Voltic produces all of the satchels I've seen and drank. After some quick research on them I've discovered they are a subsidiary of Cola Cola, Africa division. They have been so since 2016 when international Coke swooped up the company. Now, this company does about seven million USD in revenues in Ghana this year. And, they are aggressively expanding their dominance in water distribution outside of Accra into the more rural areas of the country.
There are a number of corporate stories like Voltic operating throughout Africa. There's Vodafone who along with a couple of other carriers serve as the Verizon of Africa. They reported several million customers throughout Africa in January of 2018 because they provide service in almost 150 countries worldwide, including everywhere I've been in Africa. Vodafone might seem connected to Africa, but they are a British company based in London, England. Then of course, there is the much talked about coltan industry. If you haven't heard yet, coltan is that mineral ore that must be dug out by hand. Once grounded into a powder, it can hold an electrical charge which makes it ideal to facilitate the transfer of digital technology. What you probably don't know is 80% of the available coltan reserves, meaning available mines to dig it out of, exist in the Congo, Central Africa today. Huge multi-national corporations like L.T.D. Limited in Britain, Cabot Corporation in the U.S., and Eagle Wings International in the U.S. oversee the extraction of this precious mineral from the Earth. I say precious because once these multi-nationals extract - or I should say plummet and steal - this resource from the Congo they process it for production to the familiar names you know and love like Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM, etc., so they can produce their cell phones, flat screen televisions, lap top computers, etc., that you are so excited to buy from them. Think about that for a moment. If they steal the resource from the Congo, exploiting the land and the mining workers, and then an African in Africa, Europe, the U.S. or Jamaica, or Canada, etc., buys an overpriced cell phone, isn't that double jeopardy exploitation? And, we won't even delve into how those corporate interests instigate and directly encourage all these little wars in the Congo you read about to protect their coltan production. You see, wars tend to keep prices down because people tend not to want to compete when they are in danger of getting their privates shot off. So their production costs remain low, but you still pay bloated retail for the stupid phone anyway, but none of that seems to discourage us from spending much of our awake life staring at it.
Meanwhile, getting back to that sales person on the street. You can drive down any street in the urban areas of Accra, Dakar, Banjul, Dar Es Saalam, Conakry, Bissau, Nairobi, etc., in Africa and you will see scores of people, primarily women, standing in between lanes in the street, literally risking their lives every second of every day, selling Voltic water, towels, cashews, candy bars, soap, dried plantains, eggs, anything they can develop to make enough to feed their families. These women will stand out there in the blazing hot sun with hundreds of flavored eggs on their heads. They will charge you the equivalent of about 30 cents per egg. Since rent in even the most basic living condition in an African city like Accra will require at least 300 CDs per month or about $75.00, which doesn't include utilities, food, transportation, diapers, etc.. That's a hell of a lot of eggs. Just writing that makes me mad as hell because no one will ever be able to convince me why its ok for Voltic, Vodafone, and all those coltan pirate companies to rob Africa of billions of dollars annually while our people who come from the land where that water, electrical waves, and coltan comes from get nothing except sore feet, tired knees, arthritis, and not even one step closer to making enough to rest for a day.
If that last paragraph makes any sense to you at all (if you are someone confused enough into believing in capitalism it won't make sense to you because you would look at these companies as opportunistic and creative which is either extremely ignorant, soulless, or both) then you already know why I'm here in Africa right now. You already know why I'm always talking about Africa. You already know why we're always talking about Africa. So, you better know why we are doing a lot more than just talking about Africa. We are organizing around how to completely take back everything from those pirates. Yes, this revolution will be bloody. Very bloody, but just stand on any street corner and watch our struggling, suffering people. Its already bloody. Why not organize and solve the problem once and for all? And for you folks who think those women are in the situation they are in because they haven't figured out how to be the next Vodafone which is what you are trying to do? This revolution I'm talking about is coming for you first. When that happens don't try and say you didn't know. There are warnings all around you, including right here, two or three times per week. You won't listen. You are going to join those sore losers from Cuba in Miami, or the ones from Vietnam in California, those driven out of Azania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc., who are crying about how the revolutions and/or struggles for justice pushed their families out of those countries. Notice how they seldom tell you what their families were doing in those countries? I would bet that 9 out of 10 times, their families should have been driven out, just like you will be driven out. Africa will belong to its people so those companies should foment chaos, charge high prices, make your heartless profits while you can because your day is coming and since your day is coming, that means our day is also coming. Hold on sistas. Your days of standing in those lanes are numbered.