this page created: Sunday 5 February 2017
Shadow War in the Sahara — What's Up Films
18 October 2016
‘War on terror’ or competition for natural resources? A look at the US and French military presence in Africa. Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard of the 21st century. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. But despite its position and resources, conflict and chaos have spread throughout the continent. At the heart of this turmoil is a strategic territory: the Sahel.
Rwanda's Untold Story — This World, BBC
4 October 2014
Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, This World reveals evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late 20th century. The current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion. Now there are increasing questions about the role of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the 20 years since. The film investigates evidence of Kagame's role in the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994 and questions his claims to have ended the genocide.
It also examines claims of war crimes committed by Kagame's forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegations of human rights abuses in today's Rwanda. Former close associates from within Kagame's inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda's economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda's president.
South Africa's Dirty Cops — Dispatches, Channel 4
16 July 2013
Dispatches examines allegations that South Africa's police have become a brutal and corrupt force. Explored are the fears that under the African National Congress party — synonymous with Nelson Mandela and the struggle for freedom — the rainbow nation's police force have become to increasingly mirror the actions of its apartheid predecessor.
stream Channel 4
Apartheid Did Not Die (1998) — John Pilger & Alan Lowery
16 July 2013
An analysis of South Africa's democratic regime. This film asks why apartheid continues by other means.
Uranium Rush: African resource grab behind Mali mission? — Russia Today
31 January 2013
The US has confirmed that the terrorists behind the recent deadly hostage-taking in Algeria got their weapons from Libya. The attack was staged in response to France's intervention in Mali. RT's Maria Finoshina looks at why French troops are there at all.
Admin Aids French Bombing of Mali After US-Trained Forces Join Rebels in Uranium-Rich Region — Democracy Now
31 January 2013
The United States has backed the offensive by helping transport French troops and making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft. It is aiding a fight against Malian forces that it once helped train, only to see them defect and join the Islamist rebellion.
stream Democracy Now!
The Great Land Rush — Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat, Normal Life Pictures and Steps International
7 December 2012
75 percent of Mali's population are farmers, but rich land-hungry nations like China and Saudi Arabia are leasing Mali's land in order to turn large areas into agri-business farms. Many Malian peasants do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. Tackling questions such as food sovereignty, land ownership and how development is sold to Africa, this film asks who owns Africa.
stream BBC iPlayer
Fuelling Poverty (2012) — Ishaya Bako
3 December 2012
Documentary Featurette about the culture of greed and corruption in Nigeria, articulated through the Fuel Subsidy Scam of 2011.
Stealing Africa — Guldbrandsen Film and Steps International
27 November 2012
Ruschlikon is a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. There is so much money in the public coffers that the mayor can't spend it all, largely thanks to the contribution from one resident — Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of commodities giant Glencore. However, Glencore's copper mines in Zambia don't generate similar tax windfalls for Zambians. The country has the third largest copper reserves in the world, but 60 per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day and 80 per cent are unemployed. Christoffer Guldbrandsen investigates the dark heart of the tax system employed by multi-nationals and asks how much profit is fair.
stream BBC iPlayer
Where Has Your Aid Money Gone? — Dispatches, Channel 4
27 November 2012
Jonathan Miller travels to Rwanda to investigate what British taxes have paid for, and to ask what our government has achieved with the influence our aid supposedly buys us. David Cameron personally backs increasing aid to Rwanda. The Conservatives have a particularly close relationship with the architect of Rwanda's success, President Paul Kagame. But Dispatches has found that Kagame has established a repressive regime with a worrying disregard for human rights. Is British aid to Rwanda helping create Africa's next tyrant?
Call for Jersey to block $100m DR Congo ‘vulture’ debt — Greg Palast
19 November 2011
Charities are calling for Britain's Privy Council to block an American speculator from taking $100m (£62.86m) from the Democratic Republic of Congo. more »
The Scramble for Africa — Aljazeera
7 September 2010
50 years ago, independence in Africa was supposed to usher in an era of prosperity and an end to the colonial scramble for resources. But why didn't it? more »
‘Vultures’ prey on Liberia's debt — Greg Palast, BBC
9 March 2010
Some vultures have feathers, but some have fancy offices and huge homes. Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa.
stream BBC iPlayer
Simon Mann's African Coup: Black Beach — Christopher Olgiati
2 December 2009
A failed coup attempt... a British mercenary in a grim African prison... a dictator accused by the West of torture... and beneath it all, a spectacular underwater oil reserve that the world's major powers would love to get their hands on. Storyville's penetrating look at the mysterious goings on in Equatorial Guinea, a tiny West African nation newly rich from oil and infamous for corruption. This film sheds light on the uncomfortable realities of oil politics in the 21st century. more »
America's New Frontline — Rageh Omaar, Aljazeera
11 October 2009
The US is bound by shared history to Africa — a history that has been a source of much pain and conflict. Recently, however, there have been two significant developments which may define the relationship between the US and Africa for decades to come. The first is a legacy of the Bush administration — a brand new military command for Africa — called Africom. The second is the election of Barack Obama, a man with African roots, as US president. In a two-part series Rageh Omaar travels to the US and through East and West Africa to investigate the American strategy for the continent.
Blood Coltan (2008) — Tac Presse Productions
23 June 2008
This is a story about the real costs of our need to stay in touch. Mobile phones have hidden tariffs with unimaginable human consequences: rape, murder and illegal slave labour.
Rebels in the Pipeline — Current TV
31 May 2008
Current's Mariana van Zeller travels to one of the most unstable regions in the world — Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta. She investigates what's behind the growing number of kidnappings and attacks in Africa's largest oil producer and the US's fifth largest energy supplier.
The Great African Scandal — Robert Beckford & Ken Kirby
24 September 2007
Beckford undertakes a hard-hitting, emotional journey to Ghana in Africa to discover the hidden costs of three high-street goods: rice, chocolate and gold. He looks at whether the activities of multinationals, as well as the World Bank and IMF, have actually made countries such as Ghana worse off.
White King, Red Rubber, Black Death — Peter Bate
5 April 2007
Documentary about 19th century King Leopold II of Belgium, who personally owned one million square miles of Central Africa — the Congo Free State, which suffered the most oppressive form of colonisation Africa has ever known. As many as 10 million Africans died in his quest for wealth as Leopold turned an area 80 times the size of Belgium into a vast, highly profitable labour camp harvesting wild rubber for a new, industrial rubber-hungry world.
Oil Prospects: Scramble for Oil in Darfur — Aljazeera
10 March 2007
It's not often you see a news report covering the real reasons for the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Chinese and American oil companies are scrambling to extract this region's rich oil reserves.
‘Vulture Funds’ threat to developing world — Greg Palast, BBC
15 February 2007
Vulture funds are companies which buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply, when it is about to be written off, and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest — which might be ten times what they paid for it. Filmed for BBC Newsnight.
stream BBC RealMedia
Here's an update to the above report, filmed for Newsnight and featured on Democracy Now.
stream Democracy Now!
Blood Diamonds (2007) — A&E Television Networks
7 February 2007
This documentary examines Africa's most brutal civil wars, revealing the role played by the illicit diamond trade in funding conflicts in Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Looks at the bloody history of the diamond industry and the virtual monopoly De Beers has, enabling it to create artificial scarcity.
Africa: US Oil's New Target (2005) — Helmut Grosse, WDR
3 February 2007
America has set its sights on Africa, which, according to a White House national energy policy document, is predicted to be — together with Latin America — “one of the fastest growing sources of oil and gas” for the future American market. But in the global hunt for oil, America has to compete with an increasingly successful and aggressive major competitor: China.
stream (five parts) YouTube
Pandora's Box: Black Power (1992) — Adam Curtis, BBC
15 August 2006
A look at how former Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah set Africa ablaze with his vision of a new industrial and scientific age. At the heart of his dream was to be the huge Volta dam, generating enough power to transform West Africa into an advanced utopia. It brought with it dangerous forces Nkrumah couldn't control, and he slowly watched his metropolis of science sink into corruption and debt.
Thatcher and the Coup that Failed — Alex Millar
25 January 2005
This film uncovers the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea, meeting the key players and dishing the dirt that no-one else knows. It tells the inside story of international power play, oil-fuelled greed, men with guns and the son of the former British Prime Minister.
Stealing a Nation (2004) — John Pilger
8 November 2004
Documentary that reveals the shocking, almost incredible story of the expulsion of the population of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean by British governments in order to make way for an American military base, from which Iraq and Afghanistan have been attacked. Supporting archive of BBC news stories.
The Diamond Life — Guerrilla News Network
30 December 2002
Gems and carnage in Sierra Leone. GNN's inaugural NewsVideo, The Diamond Life, puts the spotlight on the brutal atrocities committed by the Sierra Leone rebel forces (Revolutionary United Front) and the international diamond cartels, who have been willing to pay almost any price to maintain the artificial value of their gems.
stream Internet Archive