Uranium and Cold War Policy towards Africa?

Discussion in 'History After 1900' started by Delta Force, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Delta Force

    Delta Force Administrator
    Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 9, 2017
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    In the 1940s and 1950s Shinkolobwe Uranium Mine contained almost half of the world's known uranium resources and at a very high grade. Shinkolobwe is located in the Katanga Province of the Congo, and its attempt to secede from the Congo following its independence from Belgium triggered the Katanga Crisis in the 1960s, during which many European interests intervened in favor of Katanga (some argue even they even pushed for the secession) in order to preserve their access to minerals.

    South Africa and its colony of Southwest Africa (Namibia) also had some of the largest uranium reserves in the world, and many nations maintained close relations with them for years after the implementation of Apartheid.

    How large a role did uranium play in Cold War policy towards Africa? If the nuclear arms race had continued or nuclear energy had grown more during the Cold War could there have been more extensive interest and even intervention in Africa, perhaps with South Africa becoming a major Western ally on par with Imperial Iran and Western interventions in the region to maintain uranium production?

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