Ghana’s Scamming Bulge

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I found this interesting video about what happens when you have electronic junkyards in poor third world developing countries. In this case we have the issue of the computer junkyard in Ghana creating a totally new subculture called Sakawa boys, which means anything that has to deal with fraud over the internet. Since all the computer parts come to these junkyards, it is relatively easy to create a new computer get on the internet and start internet scams. One of the main reason why these internet scams have become so important in Ghana is because there is a lack of employment in Ghana and many young men find that it is really easy to make some money in this way. The two main ways that these scams work is 1. by passing as a fake girl and tricking men on the internet to send you money and the other 2. is by sending mass emails to pay for some fake investment. However, what is truly interesting is this new form of hybridization between western use of the internet and old african practices or as the man in the video states : “It is the merging of a 21st century technology and perhaps an old age african practice”. Meaning that the way sakawa works is that in order to ensure that your internet scams works, many young boys go to juju or some other traditional african priest and ask the gods to help them out. As a result, this whole issue of the sakawa has created a new subculture that includes a specific kind of fashion, lifestyle, shows and movies etc. It was even stated in the short documentary that sakawa has become more important than even rap. The film end on a sad note by stating that these issues are going to become more dangerous has unemployment increases and these sakawa boys become more desperate in trying to make money.

For more info, watch the documentary above.

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