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Published 13th May 2016

Vol 57 No 10


Secret security debts devastate economy

Mozambique Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Mozambique Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

As officials count the rising cost of the hidden debts, President Nyusi faces awkward questions from investors and donors

As Mozambique's mountain of dubious debts tops US$2 billion, there are growing calls for a forensic audit and an international police probe into the officials and entities involved in this massive fraud. The deals and loans arranged under President Armando Guebuza, and largely kept secret under his successor Filipe Nyusi, mean that Mozambicans now face the prospect of penury under the yoke of debt repayments on an epic scale. The role of the banks involved in the deals, whose terms were far above market rates, is also attracting regulatory interest and criticism.


Perils of the pipeline

Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

Uganda's decision to export oil through Tanzania undermines Kenya's status as regional kingpin

The shape of East Africa's future as an oil producer became clearer on 23 April with the announcement that Uganda's crude oil pipeline would go through Tanzania. The move alters th...

Sable's rich seam of bribes

A mining company sought to open doors throughout West Africa with bribes, a huge leak of internal emails shows

Senior politicians in the governments of Guinea and Liberia took bribes from the publicly quoted British company Sable Mining Africa Limited to facilitate access to valuable mining...



The big problem with the Anti-Corruption Summit organised by British Prime Minister David Cameron on 12 May was that no one could agree on what it was for. It invited Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari, Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and
The big problem with the Anti-Corruption Summit organised by British Prime Minister David Cameron on 12 May was that no one could agree on what it was for. It invited Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari, Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, as well as United States' Secretary of State John Kerry, but not the leaders of Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil or China, who all preside over chronic corruption problems.

Cameron's critics accused him of trying to divert attention from the embarrassing revelations that his family had benefited from offshore banking arranged by Mossack Fonseca, the Panama law firm whose computer files have been hacked and distributed to sundry journalists. In fact, Cameron's conference was planned long before the Panama Papers were published in April but the revelations have reinforced demands for more surveillance and tougher regulation. As Transparency International said at a conference organised by the Commonwealth on 11 May, with tax havens based in its overseas territories and crown dependencies, Britain is widely seen as providing a warehouse for corrupt assets.

Next month, Britain is to become the first major economy to make public the beneficial owners of companies registered in its territories but the list will not include all the secrecy jurisdictions and dependencies, such as the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, let alone the British Virgin Islands.
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Counties at the crossroads

After three years of devolution, the jury is still out on whether it hasn't merely created more opportunities for corruption

In late April, new county governors broadcast their successes as they celebrated three years of devolved government at a three-day celebration in Meru County. Yet through the jubil...

US comes to struggling Amisom's aid

The African Union member countries are at odds, leaving US air power – and some propaganda – to make up for military failures

The international coalition against Al Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen has been relying recently on a war of words – as well as United States drones and Special Forces – to keep u...

Power without responsibility

Familiar faces line up in the new power-sharing government. Will local and international pressure hold it to account?

South Sudan's new post-civil war government, the Transitional Government of National Unity, looks like a return to the status quo ante, before over two years of ruthless fighting e...

Missing men mar Déby’s win

The President’s deeply-flawed re-election attracted little foreign comment but a storm is now brewing over the disappearance of up to 60 soldiers

With President Idriss Déby Itno dominating the political scene and tightly controlling an election process to prevent effective monitoring by civil society, his outright victory in...


Sahel on the Rhine

France and Germany are using a joint visit by their foreign ministers to Mali and Niger last week to send a message about deeper European military, as well as political, collaborat...

Biya's time added on

The fast-approaching presidential elections in France and the United States have given President Paul Biya's close circle cause for concern. Biya, 83, who has ruled for 32 years, i...

Avengers assemble

As sabotage attacks and pipeline breakdowns in the Delta take as much as 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), the shadowy Niger Delta Avengers group claims it has launched a new militant...