13 - 16 May 2013
Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 13 May: Lord Patten – Chairman of the BBC Trust
Almost three hundred million people across the world consume BBC content every week. But does the BBC deserve your trust? After going through a prolonged internal crisis marked by serious internal failings HARDtalk speaks to the ultimate overseer of the BBC, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten. He insists it's the best broadcaster in the world. Stephen Sackur asks if you should believe him.
Tuesday 14 May: Potash of Gold
As the world’s population swells, so does the demand for food. That means the race is on to find more fertilizer to improve the yield and quality of plants grown on farms everywhere. Globally, more than 200 potash mines are in the planning stages, spurred on by a jump in the price of the valuable fertilizer. The key ingredient in potash is potassium, one of three vital nutrients that all plants need. There are big deposits in Canada, in Russia, and along the North Sea coast in northern England, where one company wants to build a new mine that would supply the world market for decades. There's just one snag: the planned new mine would be in a protected area, the North York Moors National Park, where industrial developments are normally prohibited. Locals are taking sides for and against, in a dispute that has global implications. Peter Day reports.
Wednesday 15 May: Egypt's Challenge (Part 3 of 6)
President Mubarak’s crony capitalism was one of the driving forces of the revolution – but, inequality, corruption and bureaucracy appear to have continued unhindered. While the economy was already in the doldrums, since the revolution things have become markedly worse. In the third programme in this series, Egypt’s Challenge, Shaimaa Khalil examines the state of Egypt’s economy two years after its revolution. Then people were calling for bread, freedom and social justice – have those demands been met? Shaimaa discovers that insecurity on the streets and political instability have frightened off investors. She also looks at how the unofficial, illegal economy has so far prevented complete economic collapse and, with the help of economists, looks at the mysterious role played by the military in Egypt’s economy.
Thursday 16 May: Return to Takoradi Oil City
Two and a half years ago, oil started flowing from Ghana’s first commercial offshore oilfield. Shortly after the taps were turned on, Rob Walker visited the hub for the new industry: the once sleepy port of Takoradi. He found a mixture of ambition and uncertainty in a rapidly expanding boomtown. Rob now returns to Takoradi to meet people he met last time and find out whether their dreams have been realized.