Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Please enter your mobile phone number or email address
By pressing "Send link", you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth Kindle Edition
About the Author
Tom Burgis won a fellowship at the Financial Times in 2006, and has worked on the paper ever since. He has reported from London, Brussels, South America and Africa, writing on the privation and conflict that accompanies the resource trade.
His work has appeared in the Telegraph, the Independent, the Observer, the New Statesman, the Big Issue and Open Democracy, and in 2010 he was shortlisted for ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ at the British Press Awards.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘Revealing … Explains lucidly how the oil and mineral bonanza subverts societies … particularly acute in analysing how multinationals connive in this institutionalised theft … This intelligent book should give us all pause for thought when we fill our cars with petrol’ Sunday Times
‘A powerful case, through anecdote and evidence, that the dirty trade in raw materials serves individuals’ own enrichment’ The Times
‘[Burgis] presents a lively portrait of the rapacious “looting machine” … a rich collage of examples showing the links between corrupt companies and African elites’ Economist
‘A great scrapbook of exploitation. Burgis has the good sense not to present it in an alarmist way, but with an understatement that is far more powerful … [it] is in part a means of self-exoneration, a way of making amends to those he ultimately could not help … He has done a service to some of the world’s poorest people’ Financial Times
‘Excellent. Burgis ensures that we don’t stop wondering who does what in Africa and how we are all party to what Western “investors” are up to. The post-colonial corruption and rape of African resource to the benefit of western consumption is still alive and horribly well’ Jon Snow
‘Burgis has managed to uncover a system responsible for the wholesale looting of Africa’s mineral resources for the benefit of oligarchic and state interests around the world. Burgis, a gifted young journalist, has tracked down all these characters across some of Africa’s most dangerous hotspots and beyond. Vivid, eye-popping and even at times very funny’ Misha Glenny, author of ‘McMafia’
‘Makes an important case colourfully, convincingly and at times courageously as he confronts some of those involved in the pillaging’ Observer
‘[An] excellent, finely reported book … The great value lies in its fresh detail, storytelling and the characters Burgis introduces. Crammed with colour and lively investigative reporting’ Literary Review
‘[A] major contribution’ TLS--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00ME1M8XU
- Publisher : William Collins (26 February 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 2110 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #84,992 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from India
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
His thesis is that the resource curse of oil, gas and mineral riches leads to corruption, ethnic violence and extreme poverty rates. The economies of any country with resource riches become distorted as their overvalued currencies emasculate other industries in the country. It is called the Dutch Disease, as experienced by Holland in 1977. As the value of local currency goes up, imports become cheaper undercutting homegrown enterprises. For example the strength of the Nigerian currency due to its oil wealth led to the undercutting and demise of the Nigerian textile industry by cheap imported Chinese garments.
Tom Burgis argues that the resource industry is hardwired for corruption. Kleptocracy, or government by theft, thrives. The revenues from licensing oil and minerals are called economic rent and do not make for good management. Pots of money are at the disposal of those who control the state. The contract between rulers and ruled breaks down because the ruling class does not need to tax the people to fund the government so has no need for their consent.
Tom Burgis is particularly enlightening about the approach and role of the Chinese. Good guanxi requires cultivation of personal ties that carry as much force as any written contract. Not to return a personal favour is a grave social transgression. When applied to politics and business guanxi can become indistinguishable from corruption or nepotism. Tom Burgis’s description of Sam Pa, a Chinese businessman, spy, arms trader who was instrumental in huge Chinese investment in China’s trade with Africa with cheap loans to fund infrastructure repaid in oil or minerals is an example of the grey area between investment and corruption.
But Tom Burgis is fair about the dilemma of the African business men and politicians. There are obligations on successful people for their family and community and the lines between, nepotism, corruption and survival are close. Fall off the looting machine and the consequences can be dire – your house can burn and you and your family can be crushed.
A thought provoking read. It does not make me stop supplying spill control equipment to the Nigerian delta even though I can be accused of complicity in the corruption. Isolation from the issues by European companies is not the solution.
The subject matter is of huge significance, the author's passion is matched by his meticulous research. But... The author ain't no writer. The narrative is incredibly dense and poorly structured. It's like being harrangued by an academic.
A big shame as the author has attempted to bring the story of Africa's ongoing exploitation up to date in the 21st century describing the latest rapacious plunderer of Africa's resources into focus; China.
Unfortunately that focus is not particularly sharp!
However, what this book does do is provide specific details of HOW this is happening- naming key people and corporations and explaining shady business deals that have taken place over the years. This can seem overwhelming to read as these deals are purposely made complicated to ensure that the people involved can make vast sums of money either illegally and/or unethically and their wrongdoings cannot be traced backed to them.
The chapters are quite long, but it is an interesting read. Well worth it if you want to better understand how corruption works in Africa.