The Holy Father said from the Vatican last month that there is an exploitation of resources in Africa.
“Africa is unique, there is something we must denounce, there is a collective unconscious idea that says Africa is to be exploited, and history tells us this, with independence halfway,” the Pope said.
“They give them economic independence from the ground up, but they keep the subsoil to exploit; we see the exploitation of other countries taking their resources,” he noted without much details and references.
“We only see material wealth, which is why historically it has only been sought and exploited. Today, we see that many world powers are going there for plunder, it is true, and they do not see the intelligence, the greatness, the art of the people,” said the Holy Father.
Pope Francis gave his personal views on Africa at this time when he is setting to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan, the 2 African nations ravaged with conflicts for decades. DR Congo is rich in mineral resources which have fueled many years of fighting.
“South Sudan is a suffering community. Congo is suffering at this time due to armed conflict; that is why I am not going to Goma, since it is not possible due to the fighting,” he said.
“It is not that I am not going because I am afraid, but with this atmosphere and seeing what is happening, we have to take care of people.”
Production of weapons has been the biggest problem facing the world at this time, said the Pontiff.
Pope Francis will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to South Sudan from January 31 to February 5, 2023, for an apostolic journey that will bring him together with representatives from charitable organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and internally displaced persons in South Sudan.
He will also meet Presidents in those 2 African states and the heads of the Catholic Church, among representatives from various religious and humanitarian organizations.
Earlier reports from DR Congo said that Pope Francis will make the already announced an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace to DRC from January 31, 2023, to February 3 at the invitation of President Félix Tshisekedi.
DR Congo Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde said the pontiff’s arrival is “a comfort for the Congolese people.”
The Prime Minister asked all DRC citizens to “remain in an attitude of prayer” as they welcome the pope, especially at a time “when the DRC is going through all these security situations.”
He also asked the Congolese to re-launch the preparations for the visit which had been prepared a few months ago.
On February 1, the Holy Father will fly to Goma to meet victims of violence and the representatives of charities working with them.
The Pontiff has invited the faithful to pray for the Democratic Republic of Congo, as parts of the Central African nation endure violence ahead of his apostolic journey to this African country later this month.