Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 17 April 1931 (Africa during the Great Depression): The Great Depression brought an end to the colonial construction boom in Africa, forcing the indefinite postponement of such projects as the Cape to Cairo Railway. The nation of Liberia was especially badly hit when it was revealed that its government was involved in large-scale slavery—albeit in many cases on Western-run plantations—leading to a scandal and debt crisis which briefly threatened the country’s independence (Liberian slavery scandal).