DR Congo – Toxic Gas Threatens Communities

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Lake Kivu sees rising levels of noxious gases as concerns for the welfare of local communities grows.

DR Congo’s Lake Kivu, particularly the Gulf of Kabuno, in the eastern part of the country, is seeing increased seepage from underground carbon dioxide; according to the Ministry of Energy and Water, in 2008 the gas was around 25 metres below the surface but now it is around 12 metres.

One fisherman said, “If you leave the fishing net long inside the water, the gas destroys it, and if you go into the lake, the skin becomes white. That scares me,” reported Deutschewelle.

However other commentators have said that the situation has yet to be scientifically proven. Even though CO2 is nontoxic to humans, in large quantities it hinders the absorption of oxygen which can lead to death. Areas that could be affected include villagers around the Gulf of Kabuno, and the United Nations (UN) mission MONUSCO stationed nearby.

The Congolese government, despite not confirming the threat, has moved to implement as US$3 million project to remove the carbon dioxide from underneath the lake.

Engineers have installed a platform 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from shore with a pipe that extends down to the lakefloor. Project Manager at Limnological Engineering, Pierre Lebrun, said that then a special piece of equipment, a gas lift, pulls the water to the surface where the CO2 is separated off.

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However a large part of the problem is that underneath the lake are two active volcanoes, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira, so the pipes would have to remain in the lake to deal with the constant stream of the gas.

The lake also emits methane, although more on the Rwandan side than in DR Congo. The Rwandan authorities have sought to produce electricity from the methane emitted, and Kigali and Kinshasa are seeking to construct a shared methane power station.

Similarly the Congolese government wants to plant around 360 hectares of land with 560,000 eucalyptus trees, although there are concerns, as there are across much of the African continent, that quick growing non-native species such as eucalyptus are used as a quick fix for forest cover statistics.

There also remain concerns that efforts to pump out the gas will mean that the purified water will be pumped back into the lake, potentially dislodging the chemical nature of different water layers. Mathieu Yalire from Goma Volcanological Observatory said that “it would be a disaster if the remaining water would be in the bio-zone. That would destroy the ecosystem. The fish and other animals may no longer exist,” and this would have enormous consequences for the people who depend on fishing the lake as a livelihood.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin today:

Drought and Hunger Across Africa
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, No.2, Pp.21167A–21167B

SOMALIA: Drought Spells Disaster for Herders
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, No.2, Pp.21169B–21170A

WATER: Zimbabwe
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, No.1, Pp.21156A–21157C

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Uganda – Opposition Leader Accused of Treason

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As the President is inaugurated for a fifth term, the opposition stages a mock ceremony in protest.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been under house arrest since the Presidential elections earlier in February, in which he had disputed the results that declared President Yoweri Museveni the winner.

Besigye was arrested in Kampala on May 11th after managing to escape house arrest, staging a mock ceremony where he was sworn in as President; Lawyer Erias Lukwago said that he was then taken by security forces to the town of Moroto, around 400km away.

Lukwago commented that Besigye had been denied any legal representation and was charged with treason on May 13th; he was remanded in custody for a later court appearance on May 25th, reported Al Jazeera.

Besigye has been a long-standing opponent of Museveni and has been frequently jailed, put under house arrest and accused of numerous crimes. He was Museveni’s doctor in the 1980s war that brought him to power but has since run against him in four elections.

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Besigye election campaign from 2011 – CC

Museveni has been in power for three decades and was sworn in for a fifth term on May 12th after winning the February election with 61% of the vote. During the ceremony he criticised the International Criminal Court (ICC) which prompted a walkout by US and European Union (EU) diplomats.

The EU had called the atmosphere during the elections “intimidating” as the government banned live coverage of the protests, and also stated that the electoral body lacked independence and transparency.

Reports suggested that Besigye had managed to escape from 24 hour surveillance to make a surprise appearance in Kampala. The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) announced the alternative inauguration.

 A video emerged showing Besigye’s “swearing-in ceremony“; Besigye is seen walking up to a podium and signing an “oath of allegiance.” Besigye adds in the video that despite providing “incontrovertible evidence” showing that he won the election with 52% of the vote, the election process was not constitutional, reported the Observer.

Outgoing FDC opposition leader Philip Wafula Oguttu said, “we are casting doubt both at home and abroad on the legitimacy of Museveni’s presidency…they will see that this matter will have to be settled politically, not in Parliament or in court.”

Following the Presidential inauguration on May 12th, the East African reported that attention has now shifted to constitutional reforms, and there have been suggestions that Museveni may remove the age limit to allow him to further extend his reign, after previously extending term limits to run in the February elections.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin today:

Uganda – Besigye House Arrest Lifted
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.4, Pp.20965A–20965B

UGANDA: Post-Election Fallout
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.3, Pp.20928B–20929A

UGANDA: Museveni Wins Fifth Term
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.2, Pp. 20879A–20880C

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Mozambique – Secret Debts

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International financial support for the national budget is suspended after revelations that the government failed to disclose substantial debts.

Recent findings have revealed that the government of Armando Guebuza, who was President from 2005-2015, managed to take on more than US$2 billion in secret debts, prompting an economic crisis in the country. The Group of 14 (G14) support donors suspended their contributions on May 4th and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also stated that it will not release any more funds aside from standby credit.

Following these decisions the Economic and Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane on May 4th announced the first cuts including a hiring freeze, although Maleiane guaranteed that health and education would not be affected. Total donor support amounts to $467m annually, around 12% of the state budget.

The debts were caused by at least three parastatal loans to companies in 2013, including the Mozambique Tuna Company (EMATUM) for $850m, Proindicus for maritime security at $622m and the Mozambique Asset Management (MAM) for $535m. In total an estimated $321m in debt repayments will be due in 2017, adding to other government debt; it is widely feared that there are further unrevealed debts.

The government has also admitted to secret loans to the Ministry of the Interior, including $221m between 2009-2014 for armoured vehicles and riot police equipment used in fighting against the Renamo rebel group, reported Mozambique News Reports.

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Ex-President Armando Guebuza

The Mozambican Debt Group (GMD) has claimed that the debt levels in the country are unsustainable, despite government claims to the contrary. In 2015 debt had reached 39.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), just 0.1% away from unsustainable levels above 40%, although the figures were calculated before these recent revelations. According to reports from state-owned AIM the debt now stood at 69% of GDP, although rating agency Fitch put the amount higher at 83% of GDP with the possibility of rising to over 100% by 2017.

The GMD warned that this level of debt would have adverse impacts of the poorest strata of the population, leading to a substantial reduction in public funds.

Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario had flown to Washington, United States, to meet the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde to confess the secret loans. An IMF statement read, “following a meeting held earlier this week…a technical team led by the Vice-Minister of Finance, Ms. Isaltina Lucas, worked intensively with the IMF Mozambique staff team.”

“Looking ahead, the Fund and Mozambique will continue to work together constructively to evaluate the macroeconomic implications of this disclosure of information and identify steps to consolidate financial stability, debt sustainability and enhance governance and oversight of public enterprises,” reported AllAfrica.

Workers have stated that they do not want to be forced to pay for the commercial debts, said General Secretary of the Organisation of Mozambican Workers Union (OTM) Alexandre Munguambe, speaking during May Day celebrations, reported AIM.

Already counted as one of the ten poorest countries in the world, Mozambique has been hit hard by falling commodity prices, ongoing drought and a recent flare up in violence between the ruling Frelimo party and the Renamo rebel group; these further debt burdens on the economy are likely to place increasing strain on the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin:

MOZAMBIQUE – EU: Budgetary Support
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, Issue.1, Pp.21129A.

MOZAMBIQUE: Budget 2016
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.12, Pp.21102c-21103A.

Mozambique – Interest Rates Raised (Free to Read)
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.11, Pp.21070C.

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Zambia – Xenophobic Violence

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Spate of ritual killings leads to retaliatory attacks directed largely at foreign nationals in the region.

On April 7th a murder was reported in the capital Lusaka’s Matero constituency, the body showing signs of mutilation, with the heart and genital area removed. This incident marked the sixth case in a growing number of suspected ritual murders, reported Zambia Reports.

Over a week later, on April 18th, security services claimed they had arrested four people in connection with the attacks, with reports suggesting they may have been found with body parts. President Edgar Lungu commented that the motivations were surely something outside of the national Christian religion, reported Zambia Reports.

On the same day, in protest against the killings, locals looted shops in Zingalume, George and Matero townships; residents accused foreigners of being behind the six killings in the Zingalume area. Police spokesperson Charity Chanda confirmed that houses and shops belonging to foreigners had been destroyed and looted, reported the Times of Zambia.

In Chawama residents took to the streets in protest demanding that the government facilitate the deportation of foreigners in the area, particularly Rwandan nationals who are widely accused of involvement.

On April 19th the East African stated that as many as 200 people had been arrested in Lusaka during the protests. The most affected areas include George, Lilanda, Chunga and Zingalume in the west, and parts of Matero, Chaisa, Kabanana, Mandevu and Chipata in the north.

By April 20th as many as 62 shops had been looted and the figure of arrestees in connection to the violence had risen to 256.

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Lusaka

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Ms Laura Lo Castro said, “we would like to urge Zambians to continue maintaining the unblemished high reputation, respected by the international community, of being hospitable to foreigners, including refugees,” reported the Herald.

Around 20 Rwandan nationals had approached the Rwandan High Commission in Lusaka for protection after the spate of xenophobic attacks, claimed Rwandan New Times.

The Rwanda High Commission’s interventions advised Rwandans in Lusaka that once threatened they should go to the nearest Police Station for safety but remain alert and avoid unnecessary movements; advising nationals to strictly abide and observe the national laws of the host country.

According to the Times of Zambia the recent levels of xenophobic violence are some of the worst since independence, with violence against Rwandans, Lebanese and Chinese residents on the rise. Analysts have also suggested that foreigners are usually engaged in business in Lusaka and have a higher financial status than many locals; the protests and riots were reportedly more common in the shanty towns than middle and higher class neighbourhoods.

According to the Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs Seraphine Mukantabana, there are over 10,000 Rwandan refugees in Zambia, mainly those who fled the 1994 Genocide. The Rwandan government has been attempting to lure some of those refugees back, by demonstrating the progress the country has made.

However, a majority of Rwandans in Zambia remain there for “economic reasons” with over 6,500 Rwandans running businesses in the capital Lusaka, reported the East African. On April 24th 13 Rwandans were flown out of Zambia after loosing property and lifetime savings in the attacks.

Charge d’Affaires at the High Commission of Rwanda in Zambia, Abel Buhungu, said on April 24th that the situation had calmed slightly as security forces were deployed in restive suburbs.

Find out more in the African Research Bulletin:

Zambia – Politician Arrested
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.3, Pp.20930B

ZAMBIA: Election Date
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.1, Pp.20851A–20851C

SOUTH AFRICA: Xenophobic Violence
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.52, Issue.4, Pp.20524C–20526A

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Nigeria – Privatisation Concerns

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As the government pushes forward with wide-ranging privatisation measures, rights groups remain apprehensive. 

Wide ranging privatisation measures are taking place in Nigeria, particularly within the water and power sectors, in a bid to ease pressure on already scarce resources and funds. However, according to one commentator, from the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) , the privatisation of the power sector was leading to the casualisation of the workforce, job insecurity, unemployment, and an increased cost of living.

“To date, companies in the power sector have adopted all manners of anti-labour practices, including denial of salaries and sacking without fair hearing,” the source said, reported the Daily Trust.

Earlier, on March 22nd, the Daily Trust also reported that three years after the privatisation of the sector was begun, a number of conflicts over employee settlements have yet to be resolved. Meetings were held in 2013 between the government and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE). While around 90% of workers stated they did received payments, many, including most from the Enugu Distribution Company, said they had yet to see anything.

In Lagos, rights groups, including Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), have expressed concerns over the drive towards public private partnerships (PPPs) for water concessions in the state. The group had launched a campaign in 2014, entitled ‘Our Water, Our Right‘.

“As we have said time and again, the failure of the Lagos State government to open up on the controversial water PPP gives room for us to suspect that something is in the offing and the people are deliberately being kept in the dark,” said Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Director at ERA/FoEN.

“Worse is the fact that the Lagos State government is toying with a failed model of PPP that the World Bank private arm – International Finance Corporation (IFC)  advised it to embark upon even with documented failures in Manila and Nagpur, in the Philippines and India respectively,” said Oluwafemi cited by the Premium Times.

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Source – Nigeria Electricity

A United States (US) lawmaker, Gwen Moore – a representative for Wisconsin -, and also a member of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee, penned a letter to the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, which stated that the Bank and its finance arm the IFC had inadequately considered the conflicts of interest it had created upon taking stakes in water corporations.

“I am increasingly uneasy with water resource privatisation in developing countries and do not believe that the current ring-fencing policies separating the investment and advising functions of the IFC are adequate‎.”

“I would respectfully urge the World Bank and IFC to cease promoting and funding privatisation of water resources, including so-called PPPs in the water sector, until there has been a robust outside evaluation of the IFC’s conflicts policy and practices”; Moore said that the trends of water privatisation indicated an “improper mingling” of the World Bank and IFC advisory and investment functions.

In March many women marched in Lagos against the proposed plans to privatise the Lagos public water works, reported the Premium Times.

In the airline sector, the former Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Managing Director Richard Aisuebeogun has urged the federal government to privatise the 22 federal airports under the auspices of the agency. He claimed that privatisation would enhance income generation and boost efficiency.

Aisuebeogun explained that the airports should be encouraged to look to aeronautical revenues to make them “more business minded, rather just being operations…we need to encourage private investments to cone into the airports and develop it in terms of non-aeronautical activities, so that the unviable airports will become Strategic Business Units (SBUs).”

In recent years there has been great demand for the privatisation of air facilities, due to scarce resources and demand in other sectors, particularly education, health, road and rail infrastructure, reported This Day.

According to campaigns and advocacy group Global Justice Now, there are serious concerns not only with the increasing informalisation, casualisation and increasing precariousness of the workforce engendered under privatisation, but also the huge amounts of money that are being directed at the move, which some have said is doomed to failure. According to the report the United Kingdom (UK) has contributed £50m towards the privatisation of Nigeria’s energy sector.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

NIGERIA: Rising Hopes, Falling Revenues
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.4, Pp.20811A–20812B

POWER: General
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.2, Pp.20727A–20729C

Nigeria’s Forgotten Crisis
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.51, Issue.11, Pp.20634A–20634B

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Sudan – Darfur Referendum

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Voting will determine whether Darfur’s states are to be unified or kept as separate entities, although many boycott proceedings.

On April 13th voting concluded in a three-day referendum to decide as to whether to keep the current state divisions or to unite the Darfur area into one semi-autonomous administration; the vote was said to involve around 1.4m citizens and more than 500 voting centres in 18 localities, although many opposition groups did not participate and accused the government of rigging.

The referendum had been condemned by the United States (US), claiming it would undermine the peace process. According to the US government, due to the ongoing conflict in Darfur, the insecurity would mean that many would be unable to participate in the vote.

According to the Sudan News Agency (SNA) around 2500 observers participated in overseeing the vote. Chairman of the National Group for Civil Society Organisations, Ibrahim Shaglawi, said that they provided logistical support across Darfur during the referendum, and affirmed the neutrality of all observers.

A united Darfur has long been the aim of the rebels fighting the Sudanese state but they have largely denounced this referendum as unfair. The referendum was initially supposed to take place in 2011 following the Doha Agreement, signed between the Sudanese government and rebel groups.

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However analysts have stated that the result is likely to favour the current five-state system, as this reportedly gives Khartoum greater control.

Since January there have been reports of heavy fighting in the Jebel Marra region, and according to some analysts, the government, by holding this referendum, just wants to show the rest of the world that nothing untoward is happening.

“You have this picture being painted that Darfur is coming together,” said Ahmed Soliman, a political analyst from the UK-based Chatham House, reported by RFI.

Akshaya Kumar, deputy United Nations (UN) Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said “there’s been reports of gender-based violence mass rapes…and on top of all that, you have a dire humanitarian crisis, millions who still live in camps, further displaced. And people who are now being displaced,” reported RFI.

Many local leaders and activists called for a boycott of the vote, calling for people to stay at home and not to recognise the results. In North Darfur, activist Zahra Abdelnaim said that “the government has already identified the outcome of the referendum in advance.”

Religious leader Sheikh Younis Matar described the referendum as “aiming to turn the ownership of the province over to new settlers bought from West Africa”. A development expert and consultant, El Walid Adam Musa Madibo said that it “aims to divide Darfur and legalise tribalism,” reported Radio Dabanga.

On April 13th, one man was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) for drawing offensive caricatures mocking the lack of turnout in the voting process. On April the 12th two people were detained protesting in Khartoum, while on April 11th, three students were detained at El Fasher University, reported Radio Dabanga.

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Zam Zam IDP camp, Darfur CC 2007

In 1994 the Sudanese government decided to split Darfur into three states, fuelling unrest that eventually led to fighting, with many rebels from the Fur tribe, the largest tribe in the Darfur region, claiming that the split into states helped the central government enact greater control.

In 2003 the conflict in Darfur began when largely non-Arab tribes rose against the Arab-led government under current President Omar al-Bashir. According to the UN more than 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur, 4.4m need assistance and more than 2.5m have been displaced.

The two main rebel groups fighting in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), have accused the government of rigging the vote to keep Darfur split into several states, reported Reuters.

Al-Bashir himself, continues to rule in Sudan despite an 2009 indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges of mass killing, rape and pillage against civilians in Darfur.

The vote is one step in a long and drawn out peace process that was originally negotiated in Doha; rebels have for many years requested more regional powers. However the recent upsurge in violence and widespread allegations of vote fraud, suggest that the peace process is a long way from being concluded.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

SUDAN: Darfur Fighting Continues
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.53, Issue.3, Pp.20942C–20943B

SUDAN: Peace Talks End without Deal
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.52, Issue.11, Pp.20797C–20798A

SUDAN: Further Attempts at Dialogue
Political, Social & Cultural Series
Vol.52, Issue.10, Pp.20762A–20762B

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Africa – ‘Panama Papers’

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As global reverberations are felt following unprecedented leaks, some of the most pressing concerns are in Africa.

A number of high profile African leaders and businessmen have been named in the recent ‘Panama Papers‘ leak involving the Panama-based firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing the global scale of tax avoidance and evasion; top officials from at least 15 African countries have been named.

The leaks have added to the calls, made in an African Union (AU) and UN Economic Commission for Africa report in 2015 that African money kept in foreign banks should be repatriated to the continent. At a conference in 2015, former South African President Thabo Mbeki said that Africa was loosing US$50 billion through illicit cash flows, more than double the Official Development Assistance (ODA) the continent receives, although a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) put the amount higher at $150bn, reported Deutschewelle.

The information released in the leaks strongly correlates with findings of the report and confirms the existence of a network of offshore accounts and investment vehicles, driving tax avoidance and evasion. According to a report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, it is an undeniable fact that these illicit financial flows deserve our full attention continentally and globally.

“There are illicit funds from Africa in European banks. We started discussions with the European Union (EU) some years ago to bring back these funds. We find it morally and economically good for the banks to send the funds back,” said the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

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In July 2015, at the UN Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African nations led the G77 bloc of developing countries who offered to forego international aid if western countries closed tax loopholes and shut down tax havens, reported the Daily Maverick.

The leaks are not entirely new revelations as many in Africa have been pushing for the global tax system to be overhauled, pointing to the billions that is lost from the continent each year. However it is the scale of the networks of financial secrecy, essentially set up to be unaccountable, that is becoming clear, and the intricate and murky connections between world leaders and businessmen.

Journalists have yet to make their way through but a tiny fraction of the 11-million documents and the high profile and politically connected nature of the African individuals implicated, seems to indicate that more are yet to come.

The leak was obtained from Mossack Fonesca by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung who worked in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and around 106 worldwide news organisations. Mossack Fonseca is a leading creator of shell companies, corporate entities that are used to hide asset ownership. The leaked internal files contain information on 214,488 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.

A full breakdown of findings from the ICIJ are available here.

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African Public Officials Implicated – ICIJ

Country Level Findings

Botswana

The President of the Court of Appeals, Justice Ian Kirby, has been named in the leaked files, being said to hold shares in up to five offshore companies mainly in the UK, although he has insisted that all of these are legal. Much of Botswana’s wealth comes from diamond mining, and has been noted to have checks and balances in place to avoid illicit flows of wealth. However, commentators said that it was a worrying sign that many wealthy people in Botswana were considering to invest offshore, reported Deutschewelle.

DR Congo

A leading financial institution with close connections to the gold mining industry, Rawbank, has been implicated in the leaks, which show that the Rawji family, the shareholders of the bank, make extensive use of tax havens and shell companies, maintaining a web of offshore structures such as Khazana Holdings and Hurricane Investments in the British Virgin Islands, Pix Business and Trading Mamu Investments in Panama, and many more. Each of the entities are connected to many other shell companies, which lead to a complex and illusory network of financial connections. There have been concerns that with Dubai’s rise as a gold buyer, a destination for around 70% of DR Congo’s gold, coupled with its financial secrecy, illicit financial flows are growing, reported the Daily Vox.

Jaynet Desiree Kabila Kyungu – twin sister of President Joseph Kabila – considered one of the most influential people in the country, owns a media company together with a Congolese businessman, who were both co-heads of an offshore company in the South Pacific, said to have shares in mobile telecoms operators in DR Congo, reported Deutschewelle.

Egypt

The son of the overthrown President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was named; Pan World Investments INC, owned by his son Alaa Mubarak, was managed by Credit Suisse in the British Virgin Islands. After the toppling of Mubarak authorities asked Mossack Fonseca to freeze Pan World’s assets, although it is claimed that this was never fully implemented, reported Aswat Masriya.

Ghana

Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufour ‘s eldest son, John Addo Kufour, allegedly controlled a bank account in Panama worth US$75,000. They appointed Mossack Fonseca, to manage the fund, reported Deutschewelle.

Guinea

Mamadie Toure, widow of Guinea’s late president, Lansana Conte, was allegedly granted the power of attorney to Matinda Partners and Co Ltd, a British Virgin Islands company, in November 2006. Authorities in the US claimed that Toure received $5.3 million to help a mining company win a mining concession from President Conte just before he died in 2008, reported Deutschewelle.

Kenya

The company which recently bought a controlling stake in the Raila Odinga’s molasses plant in Kisumu – Energem Resources Inc – has been linked to many dubious diamond mining companies in West and Southern Africa and tax havens in the British Virgin Islands.

Kalpana Rawal, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice was implicated in several business deals linked to two companies based in British Virgin Islands. The documents revealed Rawal’s involvement in real estate in the UK through offshore companies. Kenya’s constitution bars public servants from owning a bank account outside the country, reported Deutschewelle.

Separately, a Danish national, who has previously been accused of land grabbing in Kajiado Country, has been accused of running Avon Developments Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands, reported the Daily Nation.

Namibia

The leaks have revealed details about the Sicilian Mafia’s business network between Italians and Namibian businessman Zacky Nujoma, the youngest son of founding President Sam Nujoma. According to reports even though much of the criminal syndicate is imprisoned, the empire – with connections to Namibia, Italy and South Africa – has used financial secrecy companies in the British Virgin Islands, reported the Namibian.

Nigeria

Former Delta State governor, James Ibori, who has already been implicated for embezzling up to $75m in London property, has been named in the leak, leading to concerns that the true amount involved could be much higher.

Senate Bukola Saraki, said to be the third most powerful person in the country, has been named as failing to declare offshore assets in his wife’s name.

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and his half-brother Sayyu Dantata, have also been linked to Mossack Fonseca’s shell companies. The two are said to have repeatedly bought and sold shares in 13 companies, mainly in the Seychelles, reported Deutschewelle.

Theophilus Danjuma, a retired army general and former defence minister, is one of Nigeria’s richest people, due to ownership of one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocs. The leaks exposed another of his companies – Eastcoast Investments Inc – which he incorporated in Nassau, in the Bahamas, reported the Premium Times.

South Africa

President Jacob Zuma’s nephew Clive Khulubuse has been mentioned in the leaks, as being authorised to represent the offshore company Caprikat Limited, which purchased oil blocks in the DR Congo. According to reports the leak showed that he did not directly benefit from the deal which “deepens the mystery as to what he was doing there. The question arises why would they use him and what benefits would he have gained from that?” Sam Sole, from the investigative team at South African newspaper the Mail & Guardian said.

Zimbabwe

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called for an investigation after the Panama Papers brought to light links between two wealthy Zimbabwean business men, and the Zimbabwean regime. Billy Rautenbach and John Bredenkamp were named as engaging in widespread tax avoidance and externalising huge sums of money outside the country. PDP spokesman Jacob Mafume said “Bredenkamp is an arms dealer and mining tycoon while Rautenbach is the owner of GreenFuels and is involved in diamond mining”, both well known funders of the ZANU-PF ruling regime.

“As a result of the controversial links between Rautenbach and Zanu PF, major shareholders in fuel retail companies such as Sakunda and Redan have been elbowed out of business as the Zanu PF cartel has moved in to create a total monopoly in the fuel sector and thus keep consumers hostage to high fuel prices…What concerns us at the PDP is that the Panama Papers are being released when Mugabe in February said over $15 billion of proceeds from diamond mining remained unaccounted for,” Mafume added, reported New Zimbabwe.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

KENYA: Graft-Tainted Ministers Sacked (Free to Access)
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.11, Pp.21059B–21060B

Transparency International: “Endemic Corruption” Plagues Most of Africa
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.51, Issue.11, Pp.20627B–20627C

TANZANIA: Illicit Outflows Report
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.51, Issue.5, Pp.20413C–20414B

NIGERIA: Illicit Oil Proceeds Laundered
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.50, Issue.9, Pp.20119A–20120C

AFRICA: Illicit Financial Flows
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.49, Issue.2, Pp.19449C–19450C

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