Segments in this Video

Challenging Greed (03:46)


When Glencore profits produced a surplus for the Swiss town of Rüschlikon, the mayor reduced taxes by 7%. A citizen proposal to donate 2% to African communities impacted by Glencore's operations was vetoed during a town meeting.

Stealing Africa (01:46)

Zambian copper mines are owned by multinational corporations that have extracted $29 billion over the past decade—while the country is ranked among the 20 poorest. Experts explain the issue in terms of global inequality.

African Resource Exploitation (02:49)

Zambian President Michael Sata and Vice President Guy Scott discuss the loss of public funds through foreign mining companies. Scott insists he is putting national interests first, despite being white.

Understanding Transfer Pricing (02:03)

World market copper prices are determined on the London Metal Exchange. Despite a recent boom, foreign investors pay virtually no profit taxes in Zambia. Experts explain how multinationals use subsidiaries as tax havens.

Glencore's Commodity Profits (02:06)

The secretive Swiss corporation controls Zambia's Mopani Copper Mine through a 73% stake; all extracts are sold internally. Chair Simon Murray claims the company invests hundreds of millions in the country's poverty reduction.

Mopani's Environmental Record (03:40)

Zambian Vice President Scott visits Glencore's subsidiary mine; operations are temporarily suspended due to pollution concerns. Water contamination and sulfur dioxide emissions cause ongoing local health problems.

Hiding Copper Mining Pollution (03:34)

Independent tests show that Mopani's sulfur dioxide emissions exceed WHO levels, but a representative insists that they adhere to the Zambian Environmental Management Agency standards. Glencore refuses to share emissions data.

Indicting Glencore (03:29)

Public prosecutor Morris Weinberg describes bringing CEO Marc Rich to justice for tax fraud and trading weapons for oil with Iran in the early '80s.

Privatizing Zambian Copper Mines (02:13)

In 2000, the state operated ZCCM was sold to foreign investors under President Chiluba. Civil prosecutor Michael Sullivan describes evidence of his corruption.

Zambian Privatization Rationale (04:33)

Plagued with corruption and high national debt, the country was under pressure from the IMF and World Bank to sell its copper resources. Low prices put foreign investors at an advantage; ZCCM sold for $627million but it now produces billions annually.

Addressing Zambian Unemployment (04:20)

Privatization and booming copper prices have revitalized the Zambian mining sector—but more than 64% live in poverty. Vice President Scott meets with Chinese investors in an attempt to create jobs and calls for greater taxation of multinational corporations.

Attempt to Increase Mining Taxation (04:49)

Concerned that Zambia was suffering a net loss from copper extraction; donor countries conducted a financial investigation. 2008 profit tax legislation was met with corporate resistance and the incoming Banda government conceded to foreign pressure.

Multinational Accounting Loopholes (02:49)

Experts discuss how sophisticated financial mechanisms deprive African countries of profit taxes and fair commodity export prices—while developing nations lack the expertise to address them.

Buying a Presidential Pardon (03:33)

Former Glencore CEO Marc Rich became the most wanted white collar criminal in the U.S. Switzerland gave him protection, and he used financial resources to persuade Clinton to waive his prison sentence.

Operating above the Law (02:30)

From exile in Switzerland, Glencore CEO Marc Rich groomed Ivan Glasenberg as his successor and paid $150 million to the U.S. government to close his tax fraud case. Meanwhile, the company continued to engage in illegal activity.

Glencore's Ongoing Illegal Activity (01:55)

Chairman Simon Murray claims the corporation operates above board but employees were charged with bribing an EU official in 2012.

Tax Fraud in Zambia (04:44)

A 2011 independent audit of Glencore's subsidiary Mopani Mine showed copper price manipulation and insufficient tax payments. The company rejects the report's findings and refuses to cooperate with an OECD complaint; Glasenberg declines to be interviewed.

Inequality through Global Markets (02:54)

The Zambian government is working to increase tax revenue from its copper mines to help reduce poverty. Meanwhile, Glencore offered the world's largest IPO in 2011 and a proposed merger with mining giant Xstrata would double its size.

Credits: Stealing Africa: How Much Profit is Fair?—Why Poverty? (00:35)

Credits: Stealing Africa: How Much Profit is Fair?—Why Poverty?

"Sea Gypsies" (05:20)

Government fishing restrictions along the Malay-Filipino border force Indanina and her family to abandon their self-sufficient lifestyle for urban poverty. After two years, she has started a business but misses her island, which will be turned into a resort.

Credits: "Sea Gypsies" (00:17)

Credits: "Sea Gypsies"

"Coal Boy: Mind the Gap" (04:26)

Miners risk death daily in Jaintia Hills, Northeast India. A young man dreams of leaving for a better life in a Western country.

Credits: "Coal Boy: Mind the Gap" (00:13)

Credits: "Coal Boy: Mind the Gap"

"The Barrel" (04:26)

Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, is South America's largest oil field, extracting 2.6 million barrels daily. Local fishing families struggle to survive on $150 per month; Luis David and village boys race in boats fashioned from oil barrels.

Credits: "The Barrel" (00:17)

Credits: "The Barrel"

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Stealing Africa: How Much Profit is Fair?—Why Poverty?

Part of the Series : Why Poverty?
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Rüschlikon is a sleepy Swiss village where unemployment is low and social problems rare. The town’s good fortune was recently cemented by the arrival of Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of a multinational corporation with extensive holdings in Zambian copper mines. Glasenberg made nearly ten billion dollars when his company went public in 2011; receipt of his taxes so overwhelmed public coffers that the mayor gave all of Rüschlikon tax breaks. Less fortunate though were the Zambians, most of whom still live on less than one dollar a day. Based on research into public documents, this program examines the tax system that allows foreign investors to grow rich while Zambia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A part of the series Why Poverty? (Portions with English subtitles, 57 minutes + 16 minutes of bonus material)

Length: 74 minutes

Item#: BVL55242

ISBN: 978-0-81608-762-4

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

72nd Annual Peabody Award winner

Related Resources

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.