Before 2016, a region with over 186 000 people (what is now called the SPEDU region) mostly relied on the BCL copper-nickel mine in Selebi Phikwe. By any standard, the closure of the mine – which led 11 former workers to commit suicide, was a tragedy. However, that was not how a Canadian think tank viewed the issue. In that same year, the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies adjudged ranked Botswana to be Africa’s “best mining jurisdiction” in a global survey of mining companies.
The Fraser Institute was playing a deceptive game that the west and its institutions have long played. Last year, the Institute collaborated with a United States think tank (Cato Institute) in the publication of the Human Freedom Index 2023 which provides “a comprehensive measure of freedom for a large number of jurisdictions around the world.” Among those jurisdictions are Botswana and Israel – the latter being of interest on account of what is currently happening in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of Gaza Strip.
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