Spending Spree at Africa’s Expense

Africa is rich on natural resources but the struggle for the riches gets harder day by day. There is a rising demand among consumers in the West for products that contain African raw materials. The same applies for consumers in the rapidly growing markets in India and China. Meanwhile, many African countries only get poorer.

The riches of Africa can contribute to ensuring welfare and development, but instead the large demand fans the flames of the smoldering conflicts. Funds that could have been invested in voting booths and schoolbooks instead end up with arms manufacturers or in tax havens.

‘Spending Spree at Africa’s Expense’ is part of the theme ‘Out of Africa’ in which DanWatch focuses on those who make money off Africa’s natural riches, while the population misses out. What are the consequences for the population and the environment? Do governments and multinational corporations turn a blind eye? And finally, what are the possibilities in terms of converting the billions from the sale of natural resources into development that will benefit the local population?

NewsSpending Spree at Africa’s Expense

6. Jul 2017

Danwatch and IMS to develop new digital “clearing-house” platform with Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund

IMS and Danwatch, a Danish independent investigative media and research centre, have received a grant from Google to develop a new digital platform that links up local journalists in conflict zones with international media outlets, paving the way for their stories to reach a global audience

26. Jun 2017

Mass faintings afflict the women who sew our clothes

Clothing and shoes from brands like Bestseller, Nike, Puma, Asics, Vans and North Face are manufactured at textile factories in Cambodia, where garment workers faint by the hundreds every year. Doctors, experts and the women themselves blame exhaustion, malnutrition, overheating and panic.

30. Mar 2017

Activist receives death threats following Danwatch avocado investigation

The life of a Chilean activist was threatened last week as a result of his involvement in a Danwatch investigation into avocado production and water theft in Chile. “Absolutely reprehensible,” say supermarkets that have been buying avocados from Chile.

19. Mar 2017

Supermarket avocados take water from local communities

Avocado production in Chile is draining water resources to such a degree that local residents now lack water. In the area where most of Chile’s avocados are grown, a battle is being waged over water rights. At least one supermarket chain has indicated it will change its purchasing policy for avocados from this area.

15. Feb 2017

Rohingya testimony

Mass gang-rape, brutal beatings and killings – including of babies and young children. A new UN report documents horrifying assaults by Myanmar's security forces on the Muslim minority Rohingya in a sealed-off area in the northern Rakhine State. Danwatch photographer Shafiur Rahman has met some of the assaulted women who fled to Bangladesh.

31. Jan 2017

Europe’s Largest Pension Funds Heavily Invested in Illegal Israeli Settlements

Europe’s five largest pension funds have €7.5 billion invested in companies with business activities in and around illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is at odds with United Nations guidelines, clear warnings from 18 European countries, and undermines the two-state solution, experts warn.

31. Jan 2017

Companies with activities in or around illegal Israeli settlements

36 publicly traded companies with economic activities in or around settlements, checkpoints, the separation wall or involved in extraction of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories - with investments from the five largest European pension funds.

27. Oct 2016

Hydro boom sparks violent conflicts in Nepal

A state of emergency in Nepal has paved the way for green energy projects intended to relieve the country’s energy crisis. But following the approval of new hydroelectric power plants, conflicts have arisen between the government and local communities who feel their voices were not heard in the process, leading to several violent clashes between police and locals in 2016 alone.

13. Oct 2016

Maersk scraps ships at dangerous shipyards in India

Maersk has sent two ships to be recycled at a shipyard in India considered by experts to be dangerous. Cancer, mutilation and death caused by a lack of protective equipment threaten employees, according to occupational safety experts that have reviewed Danwatch’s documentation. Maersk concedes that there are problems.

3. Oct 2016

Google investors “deeply concerned” over human rights violations in Kenyan wind project

Google is preparing to acquire a large share in Kenya’s prestigious green-energy Lake Turkana Wind Power project, but the deal is mired in accusations of violations of indigenous peoples’ rights and a court case over illegal land acquisition. In a leaked letter obtained by Danwatch, Google investors say they are “deeply concerned”.