What Are US Motives for Deploying Its Biolabs in Africa?
"The biggest advantage that the US would have is the fact that, first of all, it will transfer the risk of multiple compliance requirements in its own country and transfer it to the host country. It will also ensure freedom of action in terms of what it wants to do without fear of immediate repercussions. And it also reduces accountability," said Khanyile.
"One thing we cannot shy away from is that, the US has a vast military assets that are deployed in Africa and around the world. Therefore, in its efforts to strengthen its position and expand its global footprint, it will pursue initiatives like this for its own interest," said the expert.
"As we all know, the continent is a growing market and the center of many geopolitical interests of major powers. It has vast mineral resources that are relevant and critical to the sustenance of most countries. Therefore, anything that can help to stabilize the footprint will be of great interest to any of the world powers, including the United States," he emphasized.
"There are many risks that any country hosting such activities, including the US or any other country on African soil, will face because we all know that any laboratory work can go wrong in one way or another, especially when it comes to biological material. It could happen accidentally. [...] And besides that, there are a lot expenses associated with securing biological facilities, getting trained personnel with expertise and also making sure that no other unauthorized people have access to these materials," Khanyile revealed.
"There could be a leakage. These things can fall into wrong hands of terrorists. Criminal syndicates are always looking for some of these biological weapons in order to pursue their objectives," he stressed.
"Anything that is shrouded in secrecy, where there is limited or no access of whatever nature from the local scientists for purposes of research will then at face value be violating the provisions of the Biological Weapons Convention in the sense that it is no longer transparent and can never be guaranteed to be a peaceful whatsoever," said the expert.
"If a country in Africa decides to host a biological research laboratory from another country, they're actually setting themselves up for trouble. Because, it is possible that when such an accident happens, when there is a leakage or terrorist gets access to such material, the only country that is going to get affected is the host country and even the neighboring countries. So the country that is moving these things around is not necessarily going to be affected the way a host country would be", he underscored.