Former UN Secretary-General Calls for Public Disclosure of Corporate Ownership Information
2013 Africa Progress Report Features GFI Research, Highlights Devastating Impact of Tax Haven Secrecy, Phantom Firms on Development
Forthcoming Joint Report from AfDB and GFI Released May 29th to Examine Economic Toll of IFFs on Africa
May 18, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC (Global Financial Integrity) – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) lauded former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Africa Progress Panel (APP), which he chairs, for highlighting the devastating impact that illicit financial outflows have on economic development and poverty alleviation across the continent in the 2013 Africa Progress Report published today. The APP report cites GFI’s research on illicit financial flows and calls upon the G8 to require full, public disclosure of the beneficial ownership information of all corporate entities within the next year. Read more…
May 14, 2013 (Libya Herald) — An empty boat used by sub-Saharan migrants hoping to reach European shores retrieved by the Libyan Coastguard this morning suggests that more lives have been lost at sea.
The 15-foot Zodiac inflatable dinghy, empty apart from personal possessions and identification documents, was found drifting some eight miles off the coast of Tripoli.
“A boat this size would often carry 80-90 people,” a Libyan Coastguard official told the Libya Herald today. “We suspect that those on board may have died because we have found mobile phones, passports and money.”
Tragically, among the provisions, there was a large, opened tin of baby formula milk. Personal items, such as a bottle of perfume, make-up, family photographs and a quantity of clothing were also found in the dinghy. Read more…
April 8, 2013 (The Southern Times) — The growing need for food and environmentally friendly fuels in developed countries has seen a rise in demand for agricultural land and an increase in land purchases in developing nations.
Most of the countries are drawn from the Asian Tigers and the rich nations in the Gulf region.
Last year, Oxfam revealed that the World Bank had tripled its lending for land deals (mostly in Africa) in the last decade to more than US$8 billion, adding an area the size of London was being sold to foreign investors every sixth day.
The NGO said this development was, however, undermining efforts by most African states to ensure food security. Read more…
By: Mustafa al-Labbad Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon)
March 25, 2013 (Al-Monitor) — In the coming years, Egypt and Ethiopia may be forced to fight a “water war” because Ethiopia’s ambitions contradict Egypt’s historical and legal rights in the Nile waters. Ethiopia can only be deterred by the regional and international balance of powers, which in recent years has favored Ethiopia.
For any Egyptian government, Egypt’s water share and securing the Nile’s headwaters are the top national security priorities, irrespective of the Egyptian government’s ideology or domestic policies. This fact is dictated by geography. For thousands of years, Egyptian rulers have been aware how important water is for Egypt. Water is the lifeline of Egypt (97.5% of Egypt is barren desert). Egyptian rulers have always used any means to defend their country’s historic rights to the Nile waters. As Greek historian Herodotus said, “Egypt is the gift of the Nile.” Egyptian civilization, which is one of history’s greatest civilizations, depends on the Nile. To illustrate the Nile’s importance, we should remember that Egypt is the largest desert oasis in the world. Life in Egypt is concentrated on the river banks where 90 million people live. In short, any Egyptian government should have one eye on the Horn of Africa — on Ethiopia, where the source of the Nile lies — and another eye on the Sinai Peninsula and the Levant, and the balance of power there. History has shown that most of Egypt’s invaders entered through that door. Read more…
- Drone operations centre could be used for attacks in Middle East and Africa
- US Airforce assassination programme investigated by United Nations
- Company maintaining drone equipment has established base in Lincolnshire
- US staff requested to work at RAF Waddington on drone called the Predator
By ROBERT VERKAIK, MAIL ON SUNDAY SECURITY EDITOR
An RAF base in Britain is being used by America in its controversial drone warfare campaign, it was claimed last night.
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the United States has established a drone ‘operations centre’ in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside which could be used to co-ordinate attacks in the Middle East and Africa.
Last night, the revelation sparked claims of British complicity in the US Airforce (USAF) assassination programme which is being investigated by the United Nations.
One document requests US security-cleared staff to work at RAF Waddington on a USAF drone called the Predator. The weapon has killed hundreds of people in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
A second document describes a role for a communications technician at the same base ‘supporting 24/7 operations of critical real-time USAF/ANG [Air National Guard] mission operations’. Read more…
March 24, 2013, BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Rebels who invaded the capital two months after signing a peace agreement overthrew Central African Republic’s president of a decade on Sunday, as fighters seized the presidential palace and declared him the country’s former leader.
The rebels pushed further into the heart of the city, where they seized the presidential palace, according to witnesses and an adviser to longtime President Francois Bozize. Hours later they could be seen traveling in trucks through the town.
Former colonial power France confirmed the developments, issuing a statement that said French President Francois Hollande “has taken note of the departure of President Francois Bozize.”
“Central African Republic has just opened a new page in its history,” said a communique signed by Justin Kombo Moustapha, secretary-general of the alliance of rebel groups known as Seleka.
“The political committee of the Seleka coalition, made up of Central Africans of all kinds, calls on the population to remain calm and to prepare to welcome the revolutionary forces of Seleka,” it said.
Central African Republic, a nation of 4.5 million that has long been wracked by rebellions and power grabs. The president himself took power in 2003 following a rebellion, and his tenure has been marked by conflict with myriad armed groups. Read more…
February 27, 2013, KHARTOUM (Sudan Tribune) – A senior Saudi Arabian official unleashed a barrage of attack against Ethiopia saying that the Horn of Africa nation is posing a threat to the Nile water rights of Egypt and Sudan.
“The [Grand] Renaissance dam has its capacity of flood waters reaching more than 70 billion cubic meters of water, and is located at an altitude of 700 meters and if it collapsed then Khartoum will drown completely and the impact will even reach the Aswan Dam,” the Saudi deputy defense minister Khalid Bin Sultan said at the meetings of the Arab Water Council in Cairo.
“Egypt is the most affected party from the Ethiopian Renaissance dam because they have no alternative water source compared to other Nile Basin countries and the establishment of the dam 12 kilometers from the Sudanese border is for political plotting rather than for economic gain and constitutes a threat to Egyptian and Sudanese national security “the Saudi official said. Read more…
By Helen Epstein
February 26, 2013 (The New York Review of Books) — America’s new drone base in the West African city of Niamey, Niger, announced by the White House on Friday, further expands our counter-terrorism activity in Africa. It’s also consistent with the militaristic emphasis of the Obama administration’s engagement with the continent. This may help contain the spread of jihadist violence in specific cases, but by failing to address persistent abuses of human rights by our African military allies, America is also undermining its own development investments that are intended to lift millions of people out of poverty and ensure the continent’s peace, stability, and economic growth.
The administration’s neglect of human rights in Africa is a great disappointment, since the president began his first term by laying out ambitious new goals for the continent. Read more…
February 20, 2013 (ORIGINS Current Events in Historical Perspective) – Egypt and Sudan are utterly dependent on the waters of the Nile River. Over the past century both of these desert countries have built several dams and reservoirs, hoping to limit the ravages of droughts and floods which have so defined their histories. Now Ethiopia, one of eight upriver states and the source of most of the Nile waters, is building the largest dam in Africa. Located on the Blue Nile twenty five miles from the Ethiopian border with Sudan, the Grand Renaissance Dam begins a new chapter in the long, bellicose history of debate on the ownership of the Nile waters, and its effects for the entire region could be profound.
For more on the recent history of Africa, please see these articles on Politics in Senegal, the Darfur Conflict, Piracy in Somalia, Violence and Politics in Kenya, Women in Zimbabwe, and Sport in South Africa.
On water and environmental issues, readers may also want to see these Origins articles: World Water Crisis; The Changing Arctic; Climate Change and Human Population; Global Food Crisis; and Over-Fishing. Read more…
Team Burkina Faso
February 6, 2013, DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Nigeria closed in on its first title in nearly two decades by easily advancing to the final of the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday, setting up a matchup with a surprising Burkina Faso team looking to lift the trophy for the first time. Read more…
16 January 2013 (UN News Centre) – A record 107,500 African refugees and migrants made the dangerous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2012 – the largest influx into Yemen since 2006 when the United Nations refugee agency began compiling these statistics.
“Despite economic and security difficulties, Yemen has continued to receive and host a record number of people fleeing the Horn of Africa in search of safety, protection and better economic conditions,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.
The previous record high was in 2011, when more than 103,000 people arrived in Yemen by sea, the agency noted. Eight of every ten arrivals last year were Ethiopian nationals (over 84,000 arrivals), while Somali refugees constituted the rest. Many migrants use Yemen as a transit stop en route to other Gulf States. Read more…
By Joel Brinkley
December 20, 2012 (Lake Tahoe News) — Most of the world’s dictators share a common fear, and it’s not of the United States, NATO, the United Nations or any outside entity. No, the force that most threatens them is social media.
Originally designed as enhanced online chat forums for young Americans, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the rest have spread around the world and are now being used as cudgels against authoritarian leaders in places like Vietnam, Russia, Belarus and Bahrain. In those states and so many others, the leaders are attacking tweeters and bloggers as if they were armed revolutionaries. And the repression is spreading.
In India a few days ago, a 21-year-old medical student posted a mildly critical comment about a Hindu political figure who’d just died. Within 24 hours, police arrested her and a friend who had “liked” the student’s Facebook post and charged them with engaging in hateful, offensive speech – this in one of the world’s strongest democracies. (Police let them go a few days later.) Read more…
Kenyans Dominate Most Influential Africans List of 100 People; Only Tirunesh Dibaba is in the list from Ethiopia
December 18, 2012 (All Africa) — Kenya has produced 10 of the 100 most influential Africans in the just released December issue of the New African magazine.
The 100 were chosen on the basis of what they did, said and also due to their increasing global influence with a special emphasis on those that have made mostly a positive difference this year.
According to the magazine, putting together a list of a 100 people from a continent of 54 countries was not an easy task due to the existence of more inspirational figures than the continent is generally credited for.
The politics category saw Ahmed Isaack Hassan, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission, whose objective is to oversee a free and fair election in 2013, named alongside Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Ghana’s Kofi Annan and Gambia’s ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda among others.
Hassan was termed as a safe pair of hands having served on the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission from the year 2000 to 2005 and as a legal consultant in the constitution-making process in Somalia. Read more…
How the possible-next Secretary of State helped the U.S. continue a Cold War-style approach to the continent — and aided a new generation of dictators in the process.
December 5, 2012 (The Atlantic) — There is another way to think about the prospective nomination of Susan Rice for secretary of state.
It is one that is immeasurably more consequential than the Washington-centered and highly politicized controversy over her role in explaining the September 11 attack on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi.
It is a way of thinking that looks at what kind of power the United States has been over the last 20 years, and it asks probingly about what kind of role it will play in the thick of this present century.
In any discussion of Susan Rice’s career, there is no escaping Africa. It is the place where she cut her teeth and built her essential record as a diplomat and national security official. Although there has been nary a hint of this in the fuss about Benghazi, I would go further still and say that one would be hard pressed to find anyone in American government who has played a larger and more sustained role in shaping Washington’s diplomacy toward that continent over the last two decades. Read more…