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How Africa Gets Robbed Of Billions Each Year

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Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth
Mapping Africa’s natural resources [Al Jazeera]

Africa is poor, but we can try to help its people. It’s a simple statement, repeated through a thousand images, newspaper stories and charity appeals each year, so that it takes on the weight of truth. When we read it, we reinforce assumptions and stories about Africa that we’ve heard throughout our lives. We reconfirm our image of Africa.

Try something different. Africa is rich, but we steal its wealth.

That’s the essence of a report (pdf) from several campaign groups released today. Based on a set of new figures, it finds that sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there’s money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid.

But there’s also $203bn leaving the continent. Some of this is direct, such as $68bn in mainly dodged taxes. Essentially multinational corporations “steal” much of this – legally – by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens. These so-called “illicit financial flows” amount to around 6.1 percent of the continent’s entire gross domestic product (GDP) – or three times what Africa receives in aid.

Then there’s the $30bn that these corporations “repatriate” – profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, or elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa.

There are also more indirect means by which we pull wealth out of Africa. Today’s report estimates that $29bn a year is being stolen from Africa in illegal logging, fishing and trade in wildlife. $36bn is owed to Africa as a result of the damage that climate change will cause to their societies and economies as they are unable to use fossil fuels to develop in the way that Europe did. Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others. Needless to say, the funds are not currently forthcoming.

In fact, even this assessment is enormously generous, because it assumes that all of the wealth flowing into Africa is benefitting the people of that continent. But loans to governments and the private sector (at more than $50bn) can turn into unpayable and odious debt.

Ghana is losing 30 per cent of its government revenue to debt repayments, paying loans which were often made speculatively, based on high commodity prices, and carrying whopping rates of interest. One particularly odious aluminium smelter in Mozambique, built with loans and aid money, is currently costing the country $30 for every $1 that the Mozambique government received.

British aid, which is used to set up private schools and health centres, can undermine the creation of decent public services, which is why such private schools are being closed down in Uganda and Kenya. Of course, some Africans have benefitted from this economy. There are now around 165,000 very rich Africans, with combined holdings of $860bn.

But, given the way the economy works, where do these people mainly keep their wealth?

In tax havens.

How Africa Gets Robbed

A 2014 estimate suggests that rich Africans were holding a massive $500bn in tax havens. Africa’s people are effectively robbed of wealth by an economy that enables a tiny minority of Africans to get rich by allowing wealth to flow out of Africa.

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Source: Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth | Corruption | Al Jazeera

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Here Is The Speech From The 2018 National Security Symposium In Rwanda That Has Everyone Talking

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Kenyan Professor P.L.O Lumumba is known for his thought provoking speeches so it comes as no surprise that he did not hold back his assessment of Africa’s predicament.

The three-day National Security Symposium opened at the Rwanda Defense Force Command and Staff College in Musanze District with contemporary security challenges in Africa on the agenda.

The symposium brings together 45 students from 10 countries namely: Czech Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

All participants hold ranks from Major to Lieutenant Colonel. Organised in collaboration with University of Rwanda, the symposium features academics, national security experts, researchers among others, and it is part of a one-year senior officers’ course offered at the college.

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Tanzania’s “Moral Decadence” Cyber Regulations Includes This Shocking Requirement

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Tanzania’s government has approved new internet regulations, giving itself unprecedented control over the internet. The government contends that the new Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018 will help to put a stop to the “moral decadence” caused by social media and internet in the country. Social media has also been described as a threat to national security by some policy makers in Tanzania.

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Is Tanzania's New Cyber Law A Step In The Right Direction?

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Below are some of the regulations

Blogging License Fees: With an application fee of 100,000 Tanzanian Shillings, an initial license fee of 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings and an annual license fee of 1,000,000 Tanzanian Shillings, Tanzanians have to pay up to $900 to operate a personal blog in the country.  The $930 blogging fee will likely be a barrier for many people in a country where, according to the World Bank in 2016, GDP per capita was just $878 a year. “Where are bloggers and online platforms going to get the money to pay such high charges?” asked Neville Meena of the Tanzania Editors Forum, who regards the law as a government attempt to “restrict access to information in Tanzania.”

Internet Content Regulations: The Tanzanian government has the right to revoke a permit if a site publishes content that is considered to be ‘indecent, obscene, hate speech, extreme violence or material that will offend or incite others, cause annoyance, threaten, or encourage or incite crime, or lead to public disorder’. Online content providers will also be required to remove ‘prohibited content’ within 12 hours or face fines not less than five million shillings ($2,210) or a year in prison. online platforms are required to bar anyone from posting anonymously or without being registered. “This is going to kill bloggers in Tanzania,” said Mike Mushi, one of the cofounders of the Jamii Forums news platform. “Most will lose advertisers since they are not legally registered,” he told RSF.

Mandatory Mobile Security: Tanzanians with mobile devices are required to secure it with a password or be fined. The fines can go up to 5 million Tanzanian shillings (aboug $2000)

Internet Cafés Surveillance: Internet cafés are required to have surveillance to record and archive activities inside their business premises.

Maxence Melo

Digital activist Maxence Melo is the founder of Jamii Forums, a Swahili-language whisteblowing and blogging site. He was charged in 2016 under a cybrercrimes law. The hashtag #FreeMaxenceMelo was launched after he was arrested.

“These regulations were supposed to uphold citizens’ rights to privacy, access to information and free expression,” Maxence Melo, the director of the Jamii Forums, the “Swahili Wikileaks,” told CNN. “We have completely lost our Freedom on the Cyberspace.”

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TAKE OUR POLL: Should This Employee Be Fired?

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We are often disgusted by Africans who do not respect their position or who take us for granted in their call of duty. So when South Africa’s Minister of Home-Affairs saw the following video making the rounds on Twitter of an employee in his area of responsibility this morning, he reacted with the following statement.

I was this morning informed about the video circulating on social media platforms, and have asked the Department of @HomeAffairsSA to investigate this matter and take swift action against the official. pic.twitter.com/ZwllSemEyZ

— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) March 14, 2018

Twitter Reaction

However, the Minister’s reaction was met with mixed responses. Some thought the lady should be fired, others thought otherwise. If you were in the Minister’s position, what will you do? Take our poll below and share your thoughts.

Fair enough but the president must also take action against you for playing candy crush on duty the official is motivated by you pic.twitter.com/wJrulfYDI5

thapelo moretsele (@TMoretsele) March 14, 2018

Mr Gigaba that lady must be fired,not even checking on the system whether passport is valid or not.. this are the people who make us your officials look bad

— lucky kunene (@KuneneLucky21) March 14, 2018

Now you know the things we have to deal with. Mind you the queue could be as long as the Nile river.

— Sam.Woko (@Samwoko) March 14, 2018

Don’t fire this lady, reprimand her for using her phone or impose any sanction equal to departmental policy on such acts. Don’t let social media run government.

— Phumlani Mzobe (@ButiPhumlani) March 14, 2018

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Should This South Africa Home Affairs Employee Be Fired For Prioritizing Facebook Over Her Job?

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