The Great African Scandal

The Great African ScandalAcademic Robert Beckford visits Ghana to investigate the hidden costs of rice, chocolate and gold.

And why, 50 years after independence, a country so rich in natural resources is one of the poorest in the world.

He discovers child laborers farming cocoa instead of attending school and asks if the activities of multinationals, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have actually made the country's problems worse.

Watch the full documentary now

Ratings: 7.67/10from 12 users.

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40 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Yeldarb

    Ghana had one party socialist government almost the entire time after independence. Not sure why this socialist failure isn't considered the primary reason for the state of Ghana today. Nah let's blame the IMF....

  2. Ashley

    Last thing to examine is COINTELPRO as well as many others similar stationed all across the world. As well as the use of money to intentionally corrupt nations of color leaders by threatening their lives and their families lives. Know the truth!

  3. Ashley

    The IMF bank is used to keep nations in poverty, not to develop them!

  4. Ashley

    All I can say is that Propaganda is the most effective way to get people to believe what ever the people who wrote the history books what them to believe. I am disgusted with the display of bigotry, racism, and stereotyping on this comments page. I am black, I am intelligent, and I care about people. I am sorry that I try to put not only the U.S' history, but also world history in it's proper context through thorough research and analysis. I am not going to discuss history or the intentional distortion of that history. but please believe me the majority of the people making comments on this page need to read and learn the truth about the set up of society and all of its complex parts including race and economic wealth distribution across the world. learn about the IMF, WTO, NAFTA, the UN, corporations roles, politician corruption, the CIA insurgencies, the murdering of leaders for the people across the world, watch the Hit man documentary, military involvement in areas of poverty and violent uprisings, the par-tides, the destruction of cultures as well as nations and their history to the point that their existence are wiped from history only to be told by the descendants of that culture and finally realize that the News stories are told to reinforce the stereotypes and publicity is given to and completely fabricated to ensure the continuing of these ideas. There are many more that i don't even know about as well as others i didn't express. The last thing i will say is who was present when history was written and who holds the power today and you'll get your answer to why things are the way they are today. Peace and Love to all the truth-seekers and lovers of compassion and understanding!

    1. Botna

      LOL the par-tides!!!!

  5. Manfruss

    The problems are complex. Anyone says, it's all Western Civilization, or it's just because they're African, are grossly over simplifying.

    The solutions to our planets problems will require empathy, understanding, and the desire to reduce our greed.

    "We see amongst us men who are overburdened with
    riches on the one hand, and on the other those unfortunate
    ones who starve with nothing; those who possess
    several stately palaces, and those who have not where
    to lay their head. Some we find with numerous courses
    of costly and dainty food; whilst others can scarce find
    sufficient crusts to keep them alive. Whilst some are
    clothed in velvets, furs and fine linen, others have insufficient,
    poor and thin garments with which to
    protect them from the cold.

    "This condition of affairs is wrong, and must be
    remedied. Now the remedy must be carefully undertaken.
    It cannot be done by bringing to pass absolute
    equality between men.

    "A financier with colossal wealth should not exist
    whilst near him is a poor man in dire necessity. When
    we see poverty allowed to reach a condition of starvation
    it is a sure sign that somewhere we shall find
    tyranny. Men must bestir themselves in this matter,
    and no longer delay in altering conditions which bring
    the misery of grinding poverty to a very large number
    of the people. The rich must give of their abundance,
    they must soften their hearts and cultivate a compassionate
    intelligence, taking thought for those sad
    ones who are suffering from lack of the very necessities
    of life." ~ Abdu'l-Baha

  6. Herald

    Well China is Africas' new friend and is busy helping Africa build roads and other forms of infrastructure. The West is afraid/jealous because of the speed in which Africa and China are becoming soul mates. Actually India too and Brazil have been paying attention and are keen to join China in befriending Africa.
    So what if China is doing it for the mineral resources, isnt that what Europe and USA and Canada have been taking for more than 50 years and Africa is just getting poorer? Notice the way African economies have been growing steadily in the last 7 years due to Chinese investments.
    China is giving African governments money to pay off Western debts and become trully free of the West. Isnt that something? China's technology + hunger for resouces meets African ownership of resources and hunger for investments and technology transfer in a perfect fit.
    Hilary Clinton has been to Africa several times talking about Chinese colonization of Africa hahaha the hypocrisy is amazing. Anybody with eyes should open them up and see, China is fixing Africa.
    Gadaffi had to be removed so that China could not get Libyas oil and only the blind believe that the revolt to remove him was people driven; it was an EU thing.
    Speaking of EU, isnt that place is falling apart. Greece, then Italy then Portugal then Spain... Bob Marley sang "you can fool some people sometimes, but you cant fool all the people all the times."

  7. veteran173

    Do you notice a pattern: African countries were doing wee, then they demanded self rule and achieved it: congratulations you are now responsible for your own welfare. But, as a Black minister (Dr. Manning) clearly points out "Blacks are incapable of forming a society". So now all of these African countries that have great resources are starving because as Dr. James Watson says they are not intelligent enough to provide for themselves. Yet Billions of dollars are sent to Africa (in spite of the fact that the continent is rich in resources) and the people are still starving, have no technology etc. Yet they still blame the west. I say you wanted independence you have it: it comes with the responsibility to take care of yourself and get off world welfare.. We should end ALL foreign aid to Africa.

    1. sknb

      Horrid. You lack all empathy.

    2. a secret i

      No, I agree with him, we should end aid but not for the reasons he states.

      If aid is cut off, greedy politicians and elites will have to find a new source of income. Since it's best to have an educated workforce because they're more productive, the government is eventually going to implement better educational programs to suit its needs. The people will eventually realize the corruption that used to go on, but by then authority would've already changed hands and there'd be no one to blame so they'd chalk it up to bad times.The corruption continues, not b/c ppl are selfish per se but mostly b/c they're looking out for their own self-intrest and most people aren't charitable in any case. The GDP goes up but so does the income disparity as small advantages get passed down to generations and become full blown wealth gaps. If this happens to all of Africa, then slowly but surely the idea that blacks are s*upid and depraved goes away. You can't very well call someone dumb with their millions glaring in your face. This of course won't happen overnight, we're talking at the very least 100 years here

      People, as people tend to do, start making assumptions about the new image of Africa that they think they see, and that they think means something. They see this shining example of progress and inevitably start comparing it to either a newly minted ('new' in historical terms) poor country or one that never made it out of the metaphorical 'slums'. The facts get skewed to suite a host of persons' needs that eventually lead to misdirected aid. After this goes on for a while, people will begin to wonder why their money (b/c money can solve ALL problems -_-) isn't having any effect (as measured over a 10-20 yr period b/c yes, people like immediate results).

      Meanwhile Africa forgets where it came from and many never learn of the corruption and the countless civil wars that used to happen and the dazzling promises greed can hold. Then investments come, the currency is stable and Africa is the new Europe. They forget, oh how they forget, what happens when you give a select few control and trust of a nation and an economy. They forget in the face of a new innocence that only a history of passivity and money can achieve, that men and women, people of all color and classes and creeds do what they want to do when others turn a blind eye to their reckless selfish ways because they believe people will do what is right for others and not just themselves. They believe in ideals that only a handful of persons have ever displayed and some only as a farce. They take this and say, 'Here! If they can do it, so can everyone else!'. It's used as an example that humans all have the potential to become great and all others who aren't seen to be trying as failures.

      They forget the difference between what people can do, what they will probably do and what they have done. But i'm wasting my time. People won't remember because it's just so easy to forget and blame others for our problems.

      ~The Occasionally Disillusioned Dreamer

  8. ObamaATL

    People must be complete retards not to see whats going on in Africa. Africa as a continent is the richest land as far as resources are concerned. They in fact should be the richest nations of them all. But the corrupt Euro nations (including America) does not allow this to happen. Let's get serious here and stop acting like colonialism was 100's of years ago... Um, most of the African nations gained independence in the 70's for Christ sake. European nations (including America) does Africa very wrong. From starting fake wars, to holding sanctions on trade, to purposely putting diseases throughout the land as a form of population control (AIDS is a man made disease). Not only that but the propaganda put in the minds of the world that Africans have no history, and are some kind of savage people... It's really sickening. Even in America the same crap goes on, the C.I.A puts drugs into black communities.... They burned Black Wallstreet Tulsa, Oklahoma... But why didn't they burn china town? It's things like this I am talking about...People act like blacks have never tried to move up in society, but whenever they tried Europeans destroyed it somehow. This is coming from a PROUD Middle Eastern man... I'm not brainwashed, I know the evils of the Caucasians... Jealousy derived from 6,000 yeas ago+ when Africans were the richest in the world.... Europeans are still angry about it... They wont even tell you African history... But I digress. I live in America and can't wait until I move back to Saudi Arabia, caucasians are a disgusting people.

    1. Peter Azura

      Jesus love you and He is the only way please repent and accept Him and five ur life to Him so as to escape the condemnation that leads to hell. All this things will pass away the only permanent thing is that which the LORD does and His kingdom is coming please give your life to ensure that u make it. the cross is the place where you begin, it is the place where all ur sins were paid for by the LORD pls accept it and keep on walking by obeying the words of JESUS CHRIST who is LORD and also LOVE. pls dont be offended this is a massage of love and peace God bless you

    2. veteran173

      We can hardly wait for you to go back to Saudi Arabia. Why is it that America gives millions of dollars in aid not only to Africa but also many Muslim countries: while as rich as the Arab states are they do not send aid not even to Muslim countries.

    3. SanctifyMe196

      As a white American anti-christian non atheist who knows the UN and World Bank, not to mention the IMF and European Union, are intent on enslaving us all in the end (and that 'end' is quickly approaching), I would urge all here not to repeat the mistakes of the West. That is, I remember a time not very long ago when whites lumped all blacks together like they were dumb animals (see commentary above by Veteran 173 as a prime example of 'the world according to a bigot'). While I must agree that most white folk are too self-concerned to give a hoot as to the true evil we have come to embody, and most people in privileged nations live in dream and are willing to kill everything on the planet rather than face ourselves in the mirror, we aren't all heathen, ya know.
      Personally, I don't see most individuals as inherently 'bad' as much as that most of us come into the world blind and never learn how to see. I am not aware of white people being jealous of blacks or middle eastern peoples, or Chinese, etc. Are you kidding? Whites are way to egotistical for that to even come into play. What I do see is unbridled greed that for the past 1500yrs has been unleashed by the hand of religious ideology; an ideology that teaches us that God gave man the world to do with as he pleases, to dominate and conquer nature and any one who is 'not us,' for we (jews, christians, and moslems alike) are God's chosen people, and in the last days one way or another 'we' will be rescued from our own mess, everyone else goes to the hell we think 'they' deserve, and the planet may dissolve for all 'we' care. 'We' are not responsible for this imperfect mess. 'They' are!
      Newsflash: Anyone who thinks their way, their prophet, their laws-are inherently superior to any one or any thing else in Creation is dangerously delusional. This is the kind of thinking that makes slavery okay, or taking people's land from them 'okay.' It's not okay. And it doesn't matter what color you are or where you live,the people who are driving this madness to its inevitable conclusion don't care about that anymore. Right now they are busy using all that bank bailout money to dig in. World oil peaked in 2008 and that's the true source of the recent madness. soon all anyone will care about is where they can eat without being eaten. See you guys on the flip-side of insanity.

    4. sknb

      Please don't be racist. I said the same thing to guy insulting black people. It's not fair....I don't understand how you could possibly say all white people are alike...I taught many Saudi Arabians and would never say they were all alike. They had some similar beliefs and viewpoints but they were varied as individuals. We all have a unique humanity and saying that a whole race is one thing has caused so much violence and seem smarter than that...

    5. Kuntao Kunaya

      I hear you Obama. You make sense. But if we look at countries like Israel who just formed in 1948 have done so much as to be right in Americas face in both humanity and technology, and then look at Japan who in 30 or 40 years also built themselves back up from the ashes, and I could give you dozens more examples, Africa seems to be the only Continent that cant get out of its own way. Even our Jesse Jackson said "No people on earth have done more to destry each other than black people." That said, we cant wait for America and Europe to change. We must change. So what is it we must change, my friend?

    6. Lisa Thomas

      America has given blacks freedom and what do they do with it? They murder each other. It isn't the whites killing them, they kill each other. You don't even know African history because if you did you'd know that Saudi Arabia was the biggest slave trader of all time. They treated Africans horribly, castrating all the men and using the women strictly for sex. If any of them became pregnant after being raped their children were killed. Go back to Saudi Arabia but I'd suggest you do your research before you open your mouth again. Yes, the west had slaves but they also realized the error of their ways and fought to have them freed. Many whites died for black freedom, which is more than what any black man has ever done for anyone, including their own race.

    7. Blah

      Ha saudi arabia where they still behead people and women have no rights, ignorant fool, all races EVER have practised war and slavery to some degree. Im from New Zealand, the native people here and in australia practised warfare, slavery, cannibalism etc. The middle eastern, north african and chinese empires were built on slavery, genocide and conquest like all empires. You are being rascist against europeans and are failing to see any of the positive things european and american civilisation has brought because of your blind hatred and warped bias from all the propaganda you obviously read. The problems are universal not confined to one race or people.

  9. Robbie Watt

    Ggg's racist comments are explicit and I also take offence. But the more significant racism is the implicit unstated assumption that the living conditions of poor Ghanaians are acceptable because of their place of birth. Robert Beckford rejects this and quite rightly. Robert applies the same value to Ghanaians he has just met as he would to his neighbours in the UK. All credit to him for breaking down our arbitrary distinctions and for speaking so directly.

    The problems Africa faces are complex and solutions are not easy - perhaps the documentary was a bit fast with some of its critique, without really looking into details of policy - but this video highlights the scandal and, in my view, points in the right directions for a resolution.

  10. debbye

    i am offended that in this day, anyone could say the "blacks being generally intellectually inferior" to anyone! [unless you are watching these docs while on holiday from StormFront]

  11. ggg

    "People need to see that Africa is not a crisis that is created within, but rather one created by the rich outsiders."

    Only fools will "see" this. Sub-Sahara's backwardness goes back for a few thousand years. It can not be attributed to slavery or colonialism. It is nothing more than the result of blacks being generally intellectually inferior to all other major racial classifications.

    1. TheDan1981

      It seems that its you who is the intellectually inferior one if you believe that bull shit. Those people are in the position there in because of the neo-colonial/neo-liberal policies of western governments and their paymasters in multinational corporations. If you can justify the degradation and oppression of young children and entire continents with a dumbass comment like that then you should just crawl back under whatever rock you came from.

    2. sknb

      Can you post this comment again in response to Veteran173? He needs to hear it.

  12. ggg

    It's one of the poorest in the world for the same reason most predominately black nations are among the poorest in the world: because its a predominately black nation. The correlation between the percentage of a nation or city that is black and virtually every sociological ill that can be measured is so consistent that it requires absolute willful ignorance to deny it being causal.

    1. Guest

      Of course it's not casual...inheritance of colonialism with all it implies, nothing more and nothing less.

    2. veteran173

      You are quite correct. It is obvious that blacks are not capable of forming a productive society: not in the USA, not in Africa. No matter how much aid is given to them they just don't have the abilities. It has been pointed out many times by educated people not just by whites either. Listen to the Reverend Manning a black pastor when he compares for instance what happened with the disasters in Haiti and New Orleans (Katrina) and the earthquake in Japan. The blacks vandalized, raped (women and children), and assaulted each other. While when similar disasters strike non-blacks (Asians or Whites) they band together and help each other. Dr. James Watson a renowned scientists has also pointed to the lack of intelligence among Africans as one of the reasons Africans are so poor while the continent is rich. Look at what the Arab states did once they discovered oil they prospered greatly. Blacks are a prime example of stunted evolution. It is not just their low IQs, but their lack of moral fiber as evidenced not by their skin color but by their behavior, violent, selfish, inconsiderate, lazy, with a total lack of taking responsibility for their own actions. Everything is blamed on whites they have no accountability for their own behavior.

    3. sknb

      I'm sorry, someone has to point out the hate filled racism you just spouted.

    4. Johnny Supreme

      Then please explain my existence. I am black and I pay my fair share of taxes. I have good credit. My IQ is 186 (you can think I'm making it up but when I took the test it came as a surprise to me). When I was in high school I'll admit that I didn't do as well as I should but I tested well and received a 2021 on my SAT without much effort. Now that I have matured I work harder than anyone I know (more than anyone I know, black or white). I got married 3 yrs ago and had two sons 'in' wed lock. I work in insurance and I received 4 promotions in 3 years so I assume that means I'm good at my job. I am going back to school for marketing. I am learning programming (C++) on my own. I never committed a crime. I have never been to jail. I never attacked or raped anyone and I try to help people when I can. My whole family is like me (not everyone is 'as' smart but all of us are law abiding citizens). Please explain us. When you group all black people together you seem to leave people like us out of your equation. It isn't fair to people like us. By the way, I always take accountability for my own actions. All sides involved need to be held accountable for their actions, Africans and Caucasians.


      A black man who doesn’t blame all his problems on anyone.

    5. shaun dalton

      PAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. Man, why do people lie so much, why? An IQ of 186 means you have superior intelligence, higher than even Stephen Hawkings (though he doesn't agree with IQ tests anyway and has not done one, his is suggested to be around 160). Just from reading your first sentence you have already discredited yourself as a total spouter of bs.

    6. Kuntao Kunaya

      Veteran, I must admit because you are talking about certain people as a whole group, and the statisitics behind it, what you say cannot be debated. Please, please keep on spreading the word on this. African-Americans are not even embarrasses that they say they are the first people on earth, yet they have accomplished caparatively nothing. And as you say when bad things happen to each other, they exploit each other and rape, kill and murder as in Katrina. Even now, with 10s of thousands of Africa American gangbangers killing each other, middle class blacks either blame whites for it, or they dont blame the whites for it and keep their mouth shut and the lower class thinks all blacks agreew ti them. But what is aweful is that whether lower class or middle class...not one black person in my 50 years on earth did I ever hear of any black family giving to african charities or better yet, plan a way to help them in any way or worse yet, even plan a way to take a vacation where they came from. Black Americans dont even care about their own people. At least 90%(or is it 99.9%)of aide to Africa, comes from America and white countries. Why arent American blacks protesting about this? It was written that most African youth cannot name two African countries. What is this telling us? I'd love to form a foundation, that gives names and addresses of ONLY black middle and upper class Americans, and provide free stamps for them to write to "their people" for help. And then in 2 years see ho much they raised! Thank you for sharing this info.

    7. Kuntao Kunaya

      Yet.....when I hear that parents sometimes "rent out" there children for a bicycle or sewing machine it does break my heart. Sot eh old saw is true.."It is the people closest to you who will betray you first."

  13. klarke pentoa


  14. AndyA

    You are right.There needs to be some reverse technology applied to the situation.

  15. Faith

    You guys don't really know what's going on in Africa.First of all,most of the African presidents are too corrupted,they don't care about their own people.Second of all,before any corporations or companies settle in a country,they first have to make a deal with the leader of the country,since those leaders thinks about their own stomachs,that's why the rest of the people are neglected,and no one can even realize how much money those leaders got,and they own a lot of goods,their children go to study in western countries'schools while the rest of the people can't even afford schooling for their children.THIS ALL CORRUPTION.Same with SLAVERY,don't just blame on white men,the reason slavery started was because some black men got corrupted and start selling or betraying their own people,white men were only the profiters.THE BETRAYER ALWAYS COMES FROM WITHIN.

  16. AndyA

    That's pretty sad that they don't take care of their people any better than that. People can do a lot for themselves if they have education, the money is there some where. Maybe what they can do is get the corporations, companies, IMF to help create a community foundation for housing an education since they are holding that money bag.

    1. veteran173

      They wanted to rule themselves: be careful what you wish for you might get it.

  17. Rahma

    This short film was real an eye opener. People need to see that Africa is not a crisis that is created within, but rather one created by the rich outsiders. Stop treating Africa as a hand out, JUST GIVE THEM THEIR FAIR TRADE; Imagine WHAT THAT CAN DO FOR THEM. BUT AGAIN INODER FOR THOSE WESTERN COURTIES TO BOOM THE THIRD WORLD COUNTIES NEED TO BE NIGGERS.THAT'S CAPITALISM FOR YOU. I PERSONNEL DO WANT TO BORN THOSE AMARICAN RICES. The journalist had heart and I felt your pain brother. May Allah help us.

  18. Steve

    Its an outrage!

  19. dbjohn

    All children everywhere belong in school. Will we ever put people before money? I'm afraid not.

  20. Orchid

    definitely eye opening...especially since I'm Ghanaian. I had an idea of what was going's good to know that the problem is being identified.