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Business & Economics in Africa

Black Gold

After oil, coffee is the most actively traded commodity in the world with $80 billion in retail sales. But for every $3 cup of coffee, a coffee farmer receives only 3 cents. Most of the money goes to the middlemen, especially the four giant conglomerates which control the coffee market. Tracing the path of the coffee consumed each day to the farmers who produce the beans, Black Gold asks us to 'wake up and smell the coffee', to face the unjust conditions under which our favorite drink is produced and to decide what we can do about it.

East Africa, Pathway to Growth

Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda are overcoming the legacy of central planning and charting a course from poverty to prosperity. Taking control of their own destiny, these countries have embarked on a voyage of economic recovery which depends on peace, political stability and commitment to reform, and the support of the international community, in which the International Monetary Fund is crucial. 1999. 47 min.

End of the Rainbow

Examines the cultural, economic and environmental impact of a transnational gold mining operation on a remote farming community in northeastern Guinea. Our two guides, the village chief and the head engineer of the mine, illustrate in telling detail the contrasting lifestyles and worldviews of global corporations and local, pre-industrial societies. Always in the background is the military regime of president Lansana Conte, in power since 1984, which granted the concession to the company.

The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-use and Abuse to Africa

Exposes the ugly underbelly of what is thought to be an escalating global trade in toxic, obsolete, discarded computers and other e-scrap collected in North America and Europe and sent to developing countries by waste brokers and so-called recyclers.

Tumaini: Stories of Hope and Change

Shot on location in the slums of Nairobi, documents the work of the Kenya Voluntary Women's Rehabilitation Centre, a grassroots agency that reaches out to provide support and economic alternatives to Nairobi's sex workers. The film profiles several women who have received small loans from the agency who are attempting to begin new lives by developing a small business. Produced, directed and edited by Tom Furtwangler. 2003. 29 min.