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An African Scandal?

Christian Aid presents An African Scandal? – a series of events addressing the issue of unfair trade and African poverty.

It will further explore the themes of the documentary, The Great African Scandal, made by theologian and academic Dr Robert Beckford which aired on Channel Four last year.

The first event takes place on 8 February at London South Bank University and will feature clips from the documentary and guest speakers. There will be four more events across the country and the programme presenter Dr Robert Beckford will lead panel discussions with questions from the audience.

Last year, with Christian Aid’s support, academic and theologian Dr. Robert Beckford travelled to Ghana to find out why, after 50 years of independence, a country so rich in natural resources remains trapped in poverty.

His journey exposed the scandal behind some of the rice, chocolate and gold sold on our high streets, and discovers how unfair economic policies are crippling farmers and locking their families into a life of deprivation.

Christian Aid’s trade campaign partners have focused on the rice sector in Ghana for many years.  Damaging conditions attached to World Bank and IMF loans have forced the country to open its markets to foreign produce and prevented the government from supporting its own farmers. 

Local farmers used to supply almost 50 per cent of their domestic market, but as rice imports have flooded in, especially from the USA, local rice farmers have seen their market share collapse.

Mohammed Adam Nashiru, a rice farmer from Botanga, Ghana said ‘We are being cheated…pushed to the wall’

Christian Aid has worked in Ghana since the 1970s and funds programmes through eight local partner organisations, some of which campaign on economic justice issues.

Dr Beckford said: ‘As a theologian, justice and the ongoing fight for change are central to my writing, teaching and film-making’. 

ENDS

For press information contact Julia Fairrie on +44 (0) 20 7523 2418 or email jfairrie@christian-aid.org

Notes to editors

1. For more information and to reserve your place at one of the events please call +44 (0) 20 7523 2048

2. Each event will include clips from the Channel 4 programme, a panel discussion with questions from the audience and special guest appearances. Dr Robert Beckford will participate in the events. Refreshments will be provided. Entry is Free.

3. Tour Dates:

  • London Friday 8 February 7pm

South Bank University Events Theatre, Keyworth Centre,
Keyworth Street, London SE1 6

  • Birmingham Wednesday 20 February, 7pm

The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, B6 4UU

  • Bristol Wednesday 27 February, 7pm

The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum,
Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, BS1 6QH

  • Manchester Wednesday 5 March 7pm

Zion Arts Centre, 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA

  • Liverpool Wednesday 12 March, 7pm

The Foundation of Art and Creative Technology
88 Wood Street, L1 4DQ

5. Christian Aid is an international development agency working in 50 countries with people of all religions and none.