The Great African Scandal

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 labourers 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.

16 Responses to “The Great African Scandal”


  • I surely will have thought Mr>Daniels will have been ” all over ” this one!!!

    The question is simply this:” Is national pride and love for one’s country and its people ” something one is born with or something which has to be taught and learned by a people?
    It seems to me that the State of Israel will never have allowed its citizens to be in this predicament???
    Nor the State of Sweden and Norway nor the State of Cuba during the Castro years…but is this what African freedom and democracy is all about ? Another day another dollar for who ?

  • I do not consider you intellectually capable of understanding my position with regards to events such as these. You have demonstrated that your cognition has not evolved beyond the concretized level. I wrote about the evolution of criminality and you went off on a rant about criminals today not being more smart than those of yesterday. Only someone locked into a concrete stage of cognitive development would conflate those two contexts. You saw the term evolve and you saw the term criminality, and like a child that has not yet learned that things exist even though they cannot be seen by the eyes, (asportation I think is the term), you waxed idiotically about criminals not being smarter than they were before. I have neither the time or the enthusiasm to become involved in those kinds of exchanges.

    Similarily on a DB where people come to vent periodically you jump to the conclusion that this represent the entirety of their lives, of what they do. Well it might be all that you do, but others are not as limited as you are. These are clear examples of an infantile mode of reasoning. Since you cannot see what they do then they are not doing anything, hence your silly queries and exertations. You really should be out on a ledge somewhere provide spectator enjoyment for those caught up in the tedium of everyday life. I bet they would be shouting in unision “jump, jump, not because they really wish to see you splatter yourself across the pavement below. Just because they wish to see if their suspicions are correct and there is an empty space where veins and synapses should be. Hey, still got your cape?

  • Mr.Daniels it is a pity that you are not allowed to see other people’s view of you just before you ” Hit ” the Submit button to scatter your momentous folly ( which you see as wisdom) upon the world of ” Cyber Space.”
    You claim to be so busy and all that but Mr.Daniel.it is not about being “busy” but it is about you and I and everyone who loves TNT and it great people placing our time and self selflessly above our own self interest and doing whatever we can to rid our country of the pack of racially elected con artist who have divided us as a people and used racial voting to stifle the best of the best of our Nation from having a real voice and real input in the running of our TNT .
    Your puerile attempts to marginalize what I write and force it to come under your style of “Dr .Politics” and gobble de gook and high sounding words and phrases and logical bull shall not devalue the truth and we can all see that when it comes to answering the hard questions you duck the questions and retreat to your very own little scholarly world of unreality and hairsplitting as you run like hell in reality from the Truth of the Hard questions!
    You invoke the name of Eric Williams and Caplideo and their wills but surely Eric Williams have to give an accounting to some honest historian one day ( we want it now ) or some one with the guts which you lack to ask the HARD questions.
    I am still the fearless TNT Republican.
    The only fight I ever ran from was when I ran from the battle to get more ammo and come back to carry on the fight.
    I am only afraid of not doing all I can for the upliftment of TNT and its people…what about you ???

  • A la contraire, you are the fearless Don Quixote. Because your disjopinted contributions are reminiscent of his penchant for charging at Windmills he imagined to be Knights. The good book warns people to beware of those who stand in the street, beat on their bossom, and ppray loudly so other might see them and equate their symbolism with substance. That is about what you do in here. Pound on your chest and extol your virtues as if such self praise is uinequivocal recommendations of personal worth.

    You introduce Eric Williams and Capildeo in the discussion as a means of impeaching the worth of the new Chief Justice. But true to form, with an apparent attention span that cannot accomodate much, you accuse me of invoking their names. Clearly you are unable to maintain consistent awareness of the context of your submissions.

    Stop patting yourself on the back, you will do yourself physical mischeif. You do not ask hard quesions, you generally ask assinine questions. You ask people to prove to you what they are doing to help T&T. That is stupidly presumptious. No one has any obligation to disclose their activites to a nut who adorns himself in an invisible cape and gives himself a num de plume. Get back on your ledge man.

  • Mr. Williamn, welcome to the abuse of the world’s greatest intellectual trapeze artist, Ruel Daniel. You are learning from experience, what those of us who have had the gall to disagree with Dr. Daniels’s warped views and call upon him to at least acknowledge reality, that he is, pardon the pun, a hard nut to crack.

    Dr. Daniels would defend the most heinous monster as long as it is not of Indian ethnicity. He can justify any atrocity, any indecency, any violation of human rights, any neocolonial rape and robbery of the natural resources of Africa, Trinidad, you name it. The elite of TnT, since independence, has never created any institutional framework for people’s input in government. Loook at the so-called crime debate. No citizen participation, This is a legacy of colonialism, whereby the “educated” hand down divine and enlightened laws and policies to their humble subjects.

    To Dr. Daniels, this is the best of all possible worlds. He wants this system to be perpetuated. Just like those he supports politically, whether they are right or wrong, he too cares nothing about the people of TnT.

  • I doubt that Williamn cares at all about the people of T&T! Anyone who is so callously racist is his views can’t seriously care about his fellow citizens. He is just anti-intellectual about it!

  • It seems to me that until the African decides to listen and take directions and advice and teachings on how to enjoy success in TNT from Indians,Syrians,Whites and success Africans they shall be doomed to the dominance and the insidious and nefarious influence of the PNM who has ” blinded the minds ” of the Poverty struck and lower and upper middle class Africans less the ” shining light of the great talents and capabilities of which they ,the Africans ,are capable of ” should shine into their minds and the are freed from the wicked ,oppressive and degenerative influence of the PNM.
    That is the fact jack!
    Eat it Mr.Daniels for you know it to be true and there is hope no matter what garbage and drivel you spout here …still there is hope because you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all the time and one day they shall arise and turn their wrath upon people like you who continue to support the deception of the African in TNT.

  • Please, I come from a long line of Africans who find ironic similarity between the white racists who advised us that we were ill-equipped to function or progress without their guidance, and that of Harry Willamn’s of Trinidad who says the same with respect to us being guided by Indians, Syrians et al. And Phil John’s agreements with these sentiments ought to be a pointer to anyone about his comments about me. I will not, for his or Harry Willamns’ or any racist’s egotistical benefit reduce my group to one absent the intellectual means and resources to do for themselves what others do every day.

    Harry Willamn and his endorser Phil John are examples of my observations vis a vis the impetus behind the attitudes and behaviours of those students in the South African incident. For them, black though that reject depencency that inverse proportionately benefits others is anathema. For them African Trinidadians should reject any notion that a black is capable of leading them or their country. No, as Harry Willamn with his invisible sheet and hood advises,we have to take directions for Indians, and Syrians et al. Boy, you do not know people until they open their mouths, and you do not know others until they open their ears to agree with the filth that emanates from that mouth.

    Phil John and Harry Willamn are birds of the same feather, cut from the same cloth. Their’s is not a pursuit of a developed land where all live in harmony and equality. Their’s is a nostalgic reaching back to a past they read of, dream of, but were born too late to enjoy. Me, their crticism is fodder for my activism. I do not expect applause from those whose notions of supremacy I challenge with my every word. Rather I take joy when their very words, as Harry Willamn’s quote, “It seems to me that until the African decides to listen and take directions and advice and teachings on how to enjoy success in TNT from Indians,Syrians,Whites and success Africans they shall be doomed to the dominance and the insidious and nefarious influence of the PNM who has ” blinded the minds”, and his pal’s Phil John’s endorsement, unequivocally coroborates my o0bservations.

  • What reality are you harping about Phil John. That the Chief Justice is responsible for criminality as Harry Willamn implies. Your noxious conflation of any blackman’s refusal to assume the role of dalit to your’s and Harry Willamn Brahmins might past muster with the ill-informed, but not veterans of the rooms where you spew your unadulterated filth. Both you and him champion the utterly imbecilic notion that black people are ill equipped to improve themselves, and expect to be patted on the back for those inane observations. And those who refuse to do so and call them for what they are have to be a racist who do not like Indians. As usual, the pattern of you prejudiced boors to change the identification of racism from someone who does not like Indians, to someone who some Indians do not like is poignantly apparent. You need to go back to the bottom houses where such views and observations evoke cheers and applause from a sympathetic choir.

    Neither you or Harry Williamn are authorized to lecture me on anything about Africa. Your concern only erupt when you set out to pimp the sufferings of my people for your political partisanships. I do not belong to the school who will lap up the facetious exclamations that come from you and the Harry Willamns about the plight of Africans. Like I said, they only excite your radar when you wish to use them to bash some other blackman or some other black political organization nearer to home.

    You two must believe that because you have not evolved from the putrid 19th century racist ideology, other might not have evolved sufficiently to recognize it. Stick a fork in it man. It walks and quacks like a duck. It aint a frigging swan.

  • One thing I am sure about is that neither of you two would be as acerbic in your condemnation of Government’s inaction if Panday had won the elections. Your attempts to mask the true motivations behind your tirades are yransparenty obvious. The physical image of the leader of the nation is the kind of anathema that evokes convulsions in you. The manifestations are concealed behind a farcical concern for the well being of Africans, behind a farcical concern over crime.

    When you learn to be balanced in your scrutiny of T&T leadership when they are in power, regardless of the group they belong to, you will have earned the moral authority to pelt stones at others. Until then you are just disillussioned psycophants venting their anger at having to live under someone you were nurtured to consider your inferior. You guys are racist brigands masquerading as objective patriots, nothing less.

  • You are now resorting to nefarious lies to make birds of a feather arguments concerning anyone who disagrees with your outlandish brand of racial ideology. You could never attribute to me, anywhere, a belief that espouses racial superiority of one group over another. You are here confusing me with your point of view. I have a well-documented history of militance in opposing, struggling, leading protests and public demonstrations against those who preach the type of racist garbage you pollute this blog with on a daily basis.

    You keeep harping on this Panday would have been given a pass, more or less, if he were the PM and conditions were as they are at this moment. How could you even be this openly brazen and dishonest with regard to my position? I have maintained all along that Manning and Panday serve the same interests that I oppose and neither in my view can be effective in solving the pressing needs and concerns of the working and poor people of TnT. The situation in TnT requires new initiatives that stem from peoples’ empowerment. The crisis must be solved from the bottom up and not rely on solutions handed down from the top. This would be so regardless of who happened to be in office at this time.

    You are the one with some type of fetish for Manning on the basis that he is being opposed or criticised because he is African. No. He is being questioned because he has not done a single act to address the main concerns of even those who were his constituents in the last elections.

    The government, even the blind could see, has done nothing since Parliament reconvened. You sound more and more like someone caught up in a cult of personality and a hero worshipper. I believe that’s why you are living in your own fantasy world which is out of touch with the realities of daily life of the people of TnT.

  • I almost forgot, Dr. Daniels. I was probably involved with the anti-colonial and national liberation struggles and traveling back and forth to Africa long before you knew wher to locate this continent on a map.

  • I was born African and educated about its history when you were being taught that black people were dalits. The white slave masters who ripped our ancestors way from their homeland also figured they knew more about us than we do about ourselves. It is not surprising that the same kind of hubris inundates your reasoning.

    I do not give a hoot about your claims. I know that no African will accept the notion that they have to be taught by others postulated by the idiot Willamn and endorsed by you. The psychology you guys bring to the reasoning table vis a vis interacting with Africans is little different than that of the Christian missionaries who took a Christian message to continent where Christianity existed while they were still worshipping multiple deities.

  • It is time you men, going back and forth on the African issue listen to reason, and read.
    I have previously recommended “A Day The Life Of Africa” which is hard to come by, and Basil Davidson’s Africa In History, recently re-issued. The latter looks at African history since pre-Christian times, through the upsurgence of Islam to colonialism and modern times.

    It is interesting to note that westerners worked hard to destroy what was African, in order to promote their own economic self interest. Racism was and is part of that. Current internal turmoil is part of that legacy. Tribalism is exploited by colonialists with attache cases and laptops. Some of them look African.

    Just as we now have thousands of Trinbagoian children who care nothing for their own history or origins, but want the latest hi-tech items, so we now have African children who know or care nothing for their own history, just give them a cell phone, a laptop and the latest designer anything. Example: I have a python skin bag, given by an African friend, that probably cost four dollars, the same,bag, with a designer buckle, sells for a thousand dollars. Now which do you think the young African woman wants to carry? African politicians are the same. They stock away money in the billions in European banks, which gladly hold it for them, making millions in the process, and resist every attempt at accounting to the peoplewhen these crooks are ousted from power. What Africa needs is fifteen Catros in the oil , gold and diamond rich areas. But, the west would fight that tooth and claw, because they still see Africa as a paradise where they can rest from the White Man’s Burden, by making the African a beast of burden in his own country. The fight over Zimbabwe, which Mugabe is winning is exactly about that. Get information. get the facts. Get real.

    Our children in Trindad and Tobago are NOT pissing blood because of our oil refineries, nor proposed smelter plants. In the gold fields of Ghana, they are. That has been documented. The gold fields are not owned by Ghanains.

  • When anyone postulates and endorses the notion that, quote, “Africans in Trinidad have to listen and take directions and advice on how to become successful from Indians, Syrians et al, that person is prostituting the most blatant and obvious racist stereotype imaginable. And they would have to kick me off this blog for me to maintain silence or accomodate this kind of nonsense. Especially when the persons with this world view are beating on their chests and flaunting their objectivity while accusing me of racist rhetoric.

    Robert Mugabe, like Kwame NKruma and Patrice Lumumbu, is experiencing what Carter G Woodson referenced in his work “The Mis-Education of the Negro”. To wit, that popularity security, social acceptance by outsiders, is not compatible with representation of Africans as a people. Mugabe makes no apology for it, and none of us should. I do give a rats patudi what emanets from the pie holes of the quote, “nattering nabobs of negativity” and antipathy. Like Bob Marley sang, “stiff necked fools will deny you for simplicity”. I work feverishly towards the vision of witnessing “how good and pleasant it will be to see the unification of Africans”. And I make no apology whatsoever for this.

  • Poor,poor,little Ruel!
    Ruel Daniels …what a pity!
    With all the so education which you purport to have etc it is manifest that there is in your “Psyche” a great Chasm between wisdom and education!
    Racism is not a bridge with which you can cross that great divide between education and wisdom!
    Kamal Mohammed ,a former coconut vendor,became a Minister of health in TNT and a very powerful ( and crooked PNM hack and henchman)a position you have yet to achieve with all your education because whatever Kamal was you have to admit in his very own evil way he was damn smarter than you because of his “common sense!” even though miss used!
    You see he had the ability to learn from anyone who could teach him what he wanted to learn and he badly wanted to learn how to escape being a ” coconut vendor ” and get rich and powerful so he learnt from the best of the best in that game regardless of race.
    You ,yourself,are lacking the wisdom to lead the African out of the abject poverty with which they are saddled in TNT because you have not the wisdom to know that if you want to become successful in a particular endeavor you find the successful people in that endeavor and learn from them if they will teach you!
    After all ,Mr.Daniels,the African in the ghetto seemed to have learnt well from the US Movies how to “gun down” one another and sell drugs to their own people and further increase the poverty and misery of the African in TNT but you shall prefer them to go down the tubes before they sit at the feet of a successful Indian ,white or Syrian and learn how to be successful at business,land ownership,educational excellence,professional excellence,academic success etc …because of RACE?
    You must be kidding and way out on your flipping ledge looking deep into your ” African Soul” and seeing the world through your racial eyes where you think every other race is out to get you! What a distorted dis connect to reality in TNT! Where the hell do you people come from?
    My gosh…what a nut!

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