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Stealing Africa

In: Other Topics

Submitted By parocha0526
Words 1176
Pages 5
Pablo Arocha
Professor Aleman
10 November 2015
1424609
Stealing Africa. Director Christoffer Guldbrandsen. 2012.
Stealing Africa is a unique film that clearly calls into question whether or not multinational corporations are strategically taking all of the resources out of Africa. Christoffer Guldbrandsen clearly indicates how Africa has been a victim of multinational corporations, and that immediate change must occur. The film does an excellent job in illuminating the macro level issues that are occurring as a result of the exploitation that has occurred in Africa. Specifically, the copper belt in Africa, represents an essential commodity in the global community. All of the copper mines in Africa are owned my multinational corporations, and this is being used to manipulate revenues and taxes that should be paid to these host nations. Stealing Africa is a power film that demonstrates the level of exploitation that is occurring in Africa by the multinational corporations, and how this must be addressed by the global community. The paradox that is presented in the film, is based upon inequality that is occurring in terms of wealth and overall long term awareness that is thus present. On one end the country has the some of the highest natural resources in the world, yet is one of the poorer countries in the region. The film did an excellent job in showing how there is over ten times amount of revenue going out of Africa, comparative to the amount of foreign aid and income coming in. The film talks about how the price of copper has quadrupled over the past decade, yet the foreign investors that are in this region paid virtually nothing on the increase in profit that was present and occurred. This in many ways has become indicative of the paradoxical issue that has arose, and the precise problems that seem to be present and thus occurring. For many manipulative reasons, these countries are not receiving a proper return on investment for their specific activities that are present. This is a process that is truly negative, and an issue that shows how the continent is being viewed as a cheap supplier in which immense profits can be generated. This is very concerning, as it clearly suggests that these companies are in real trouble, and that associated change must be present on an immediate level. The reality is that the exploitation is not bettering the condition of the governments, the people, or the standard of living that exists in these regions. The film talks about how the profits are transferred and artificially deflated, in order to lower the cost of taxes. This creates an environment where the cost of the copper is lowered creating less tax revenue that can be attained in these developing countries. Besides the economic costs, there are clearly immense environmental costs that are present and occurring as well. Specifically, acid spills have contaminated the water supplies of local towns, and a lack of environmental controls have effected health quality. This is a major issue that once again has disenfranchised the populace, and have further propagated the issue of inequality. The film clearly shows the negative impact and inequality that these companies have created. Another major issues that is occurring, is based upon the pollution that these plants cause. The film talks about how there is a clear lack of oversight that is present and exists, and this is something that is necessary to create needed change. The emissions from these factories, have also created many respiratory issues that have occurred around the facilities. This is creating major issues that is exceeding international standards, and have a cyclical effect. Specifically, this is something that can create acid rain which effects vegetation based standards. The reality is that the emission levels have never been released, which causes speculation in terms of external oversight. This has created an environment that has affected the oversight and placed the burden on the populace. The major issue that seems to have occurred, has been based upon the privatization of the copper mines that have occurred in 2008 in Zambia. This allowed all of the cooper mines to be sold to individuals outside of the country. The reality is that the government no longer was able to control these mines, which ended up causing a loss of internal control. This was the precedent that allowed the exploitation to begin, creating the underlying issues and problems that began to occur. The major issues that seems to be present, is that there is a lack of these companies that are willing to pay the clear amount of taxes that are present. Zambia is getting just a fraction back of the revenue that has been generated. There has been a limited amount of taxes that have been paid on profits. The film shows the reality that these companies have figured out the mechanisms to be able to lower the tax rates. This creates an environment where there is an under reporting, as well as manipulation of processes. The external auditors talk about the application of transfer pricing, to reduce the tax bill at in the host country. This seems to be the major ideological issue that is present in the process. Specifically, it indicates how there are clear problems in terms of functionality and macro level growth that exist in the process. This shows how these companies have manipulated reported revenues, and lower their tax obligation in these host nations. It is a macro level issue that clearly limits the level of growth and effective action that has the ability to occur and be present. The film does an excellent job in terms of showing how the people in African nations are the ones that are suffering. Commodity trading is a global affair, but the human component is something that is clearly lost in the process. The natural resources of Africa have made the investors as well as many developed nations truly rich. This has created an issue that has been very problematic, that has limited the progression of an entire populace. The film does a very good job in being able to convey this perspective, and show the damage that this has caused. The large multinational corporations, clearly are not looking out for the needs of the people. This is the main points and perspective that is brought out in the film. It shows how exploitation has literally stripped and in many ways stolen the natural resources of Africa. The director’s argument in the film, is that there is a lack of oversight that is present, and this is something that is leading to exploitation. The film clearly was able to convey this perspective, and also showed the multiple issues and problems that have been occurring. These issues are indicative of the immediate need for change, and the precise strategies that can be used to create this change. The argument was clearly articulated through the application of GDP numbers, tax revenues, and the disproportionate amount of wealth that is exported comparative to what is retained in these developing countries.…...

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