Friday, April 25, 2008

Asian slaves in Africa ?

Before I left Africa, I had always heard of a racket involving Indians. They were rumoured to import their own people in thousands and making them work in their industries in Africa for very little.

With the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade agreement with America, many Asian investors were lured to open up industries in Africa so they could access the American market tax free. Afew tried to use Africans in these industries but this quickly backfired for an African on his own soil is hard to exploit labor wise since civil unrest can be started at the drop of a hat.

So some resorted to exploiting their own people and now the stories are coming to light. However we can't completely blame the need to access American markets for this slavery, rumors existed before AGOA, its the intensity of the practise that may have changed.

By Chris Kiwawulo
& Gladys Kalibbala

SOME Asian businessmen in Uganda have been implicated in a slave trade-like scam. They lure workers from Asia, mostly from India and Pakistan, with promises of good pay. Upon arrival, however, they seize their passports and exploit them shamelessly, forcing them to work long hours with little or no pay.

When the workers start complaining, their employers alert Immigration, which arrests them and deports them as illegal immigrants. They then import a new group of workers and the cycle continues.

Full Story