By Chris Welzenbach | 5 October 2016
COUNTER PUNCH — Jean-Paul Pougala’s April 14, 2011 piece in Pambazuka News titled “The Lies Behind the West’s War on Libya” describes how Africa first developed its own transcontinental communications system by purchasing a telecommunications satellite on December 26, 2007: the African Development Bank ponied up $50 million toward the nearly $400 million cost of the orbiter and the West African Development Bank added $27 million more. Libya contributed $300 million, which made the purchase possible. Pougala writes that when it was up and running, the new system was “connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting, and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching.”
After 14 years of foot-dragging by the IMF and the World Bank, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s generosity allowed for this one-time purchase that spared the nations of Africa a $500 million annual lease payment for access to a telecom satellite and euchred Western banks out of potential billions in loans and interest. At this time, Gaddafi was also seeking to establish a trans-African banking system based on gold to free the continent from its financial bondage to the IMF and the World Bank—which would gravely harm both predatory entities.
Since 2003, Gaddafi had worked hard to repair his reputation for financing terrorism by renouncing any future support for terrorist organizations and by establishing a fund to compensate victims of Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772, each destroyed by acts of terror believed to have been financed by Libya. On December 10, 2007 Gaddafi traveled to France for a pow-wow with then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
During their December 11, 2007 meeting at the Elysee Palace, Gaddafi and Sarkozy signed some $15 billion worth of contracts for military hardware and a nuclear power station, but matters other than trade were also on the agenda. In a March 12, 2012 report, the French investigative journalism consortium Mediapart stated: “According to information contained in a confidential report prepared by a recognised French expert on terrorism and terrorist financing, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign received up to 50 million euros in secret funds from the regime of the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.” Documents released by Mediapart on September 11, 2016 confirm that the financial relationship between Gaddafi and Sarkozy dates back to December 10, 2006. […]