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the-looting-machineThe trade in oil, gas, gems, metals and rare earth minerals wreaks havoc in Africa. During the years when Brazil, India, China and the other "emerging markets" have transformed their economies, Africa's resource states remained tethered to the bottom of the industrial supply chain. While Africa accounts for about 30 per cent of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 14 per cent of the world's population, its share of global manufacturing stood in 2011 exactly where it stood in 2000: at 1 percent.

In his first book, The Looting Machine, Tom Burgis exposes the truth about the African development miracle: for the resource states, it's a mirage. The oil, copper, diamonds, gold and coltan deposits attract a global network of traders, bankers, corporate extractors and investors who combine with venal political cabals to loot the states' value. And the vagaries of resource-dependent economies could pitch Africa's new middle class back into destitution just as quickly as they climbed out of it. The ground beneath their feet is as precarious as a Congolese mine shaft; their prosperity could spill away like crude from a busted pipeline.



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from International Business Times..By Kathleen Caulderwood May 24, 2015 Though citizens of Africa’s biggest economy have been dealing with fuel shortages for weeks, the scarcity has finally spread to airlines, mobile providers and other big businesses. Arik Air Ltd., the country’s largest national airline grounded two-thirds of its flights Sunday, including runs to London and New York, due to the fuel shortages, Bloomberg reported. MTN, Nigeria’s largest phone provider warned the shortage could interrupt services. “MTN’s available reserves of fuel are running
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Tagged in: Economic Forecasts
from 22, 2015 On 21-22 May, the Eastern Partnership Summit brought together the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as part of the EU's commitment to pursue stronger but differentiated relations with these countries. Leaders from the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine met in Riga, Latvia for the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit. They discussed issues like trade, mobility, and reform, as part of the EU's commitment to pursue stronger but differentiated relations
from teleSUR..May 24, 2015 “The most important achievement of this government has been the decrease in poverty and inequality,” said President Correa. In his annual address to the nation Sunday, President Rafael Correa lauded the achievements and advances for workers during the previous year's administration despite the massive drop in oil prices. In response to the fall in the international price of oil – an important source of income for Ecuador – the government implemented measures to
from BBC News..By Vanessa BuschschluterBBC News, La Union, PanamaMay 24, 2015 "Peace is not a bad thing, but it's unlikely to solve our problems," says Director of Panama's Border Police, Frank Abrego. He is referring to the prospect of a peace deal between the Colombian government and left-wing rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Most of Panama's security problems originate south of its border, in Colombia. Colombia is one of the world's top three
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from BBC News..May 24, 2015 Ethiopians are voting for a new parliament in the first election since the death of long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 2012. The current parliament has only one opposition MP - and Mr Zenawi's successor Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to hold on to power. The opposition and human rights groups have accused the governing party of intimidation - a criticism it rejects. Observers from the African Union are monitoring the poll. Voting
from The EastAfrican..By BERNARD BUSUULWAMay 23, 2015 Improved tax revenues and stronger financial controls helped reduce Uganda’s domestic arrears during the first six months of 2014/15, with analysts optimistic about further declines as tax collections edge closer to official targets. Total domestic arrears fell by 9.6 per cent to Ush526 billion ($172.8 million) at the end of December 2014 compared with Ush582 billion ($191 million) recorded in June 2014, the latest IMF data shows. This translates into a
Tagged in: Tax Policy & Reform
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