Opinion: Is Barrow trying to Nkurunziza himself to an “erased” term?

Just as the news that the National Assembly and the Members of Parliament in The Gambia have voted down the draft constitution. This because one cause or one article would state that a President can only have two terms or 10 years in office. That was clearly not feasible for the current Head of State Adama Barrow.

Barrow, a man who was elected in 2017 and the man who took over power after dictator Yahya Jammeh who are living in exile. That happen after the ECOWAS and Senegal intervened. Barrow was even sworn-in Senegal and transported in by armed forces of Senegal to Gambia. That was a sign of international support of his candidacy and voice for change.

Alas, now he seems to following the footsteps of previous leaders in Gambia. Where they are willing to cling onto power. Until their demise is sealed and the arms have turned against them. Instead of leaving a memory of peace and of development. Instead, remember the looting, the corruption and the impunity in office. This from a President who has tried to clean up bureaucracy, have a commission into the previous administration and getting back stolen assets to the Republic.

Still, that man doesn’t want to be any different. There was supposed to only be an transition period onto January 2020. A period and a term, which Barrow already have served. He intends to hold elections in 2021. Meaning, that he gets a full term. While doing so, he intends to make that one “invalid” or “not count”.

That is just the late Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza did as well. While he did the deal after serving two terms. Deeming the first term not counting, as it was an “election” from Parliament and not from the public. The Constitutional Court made a verdict, which accepted this argument and that was the legal justification for Nkurunziza to have his third term in 2015.

Alas, Barrow is trying something similar. Using the transitional period and claiming it as non-starter. It wasn’t “official”. Even after he won and the coalition gave him power. This will be an insult to the contested elections of late 2016 and the intervention to get him in office in early 2017.

Still, this shows the greed of Barrow to be in power. As he intends to “erase” the first years in power. Therefore, ensure longevity and secure a prolonged stay in office. While, this man shouldn’t do that and become the same as his predecessor. Being a man who promised first three years, than a second term and then a third term. Because, if he does so… he is just lingering in office like Jammeh did. Maybe, not as brutal and despicable as his reign, but still a man who didn’t leave in peace.

Also, worrying that he doesn’t want to count the years he has already served. That proves that he has no real intention of leaving. At least, if he intends to make the current term as “invalid” or “not count”. 

Even, if the man said this in the start of his reign:

Gambia has changed forever. The people are fully conscious that they can put government in office as well as remove it. No government will ever be able to entrench itself against the will of the Gambian people. This is the lesson we must draw from the change that has been brought by the people” (Adama Barrow – ‘My Vision for Gambia’ 20.02.2017).

He should know perfectly well, that someone can overstay their welcome and that its the people who decide if your serving them or not. Still, he intends to stay now. That is why he has dismissed the Constitutional Draft and gotten the MPs to vote it down. This is a sign of what to come.

Barrow intends to following the program of the ones overstaying in office. He got no plan to leave or say “bye”. This man will find all the means to stay and never leave. If he was holding his words. He would have left already and secured a successor. Then he would have written himself as a legend of a sort. Someone who had the character to be in the highest office and step-down. That would be epic, but not a possibility.

Barrow have disappointed here. Proving himself to not be that different and let power corrupt himself. He is just another man high on power and wants another fix. Peace.

CEDEAO – Communique Final: Session Extraordinaire de la Conférence Des Chefs d’Etat Et De Gouvernement de la CEDEAO (Par Visioconférence, le 23 avril 2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (27.02.2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (21.02.2020)

World Bank working paper reveals astonishing amount of aid money to the African continent going directly into tax havens!

The World Bank working paper named ‘Elite Capture of Foreign Aid – Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts’, which was finally released yesterday is a devastating read. Not because of the facts in it, but because of the extent of the misuse and theft of aid money. The World Bank are now proving by small samples how much of their loans, grants and funds, which is given by donors to the WB, which happens to be moved to tax havens by the regimes that needs it. That is eating of the plate of the poorest and living lavish on others people’s dime.

Just in the Annex, the truth really comes forward, where it is only a small samples, but showing the distasteful enterprise still. Like from table one. You can see that a certain amount of African countries have taken out huge funds into havens deposits and non-haven deposits.

The report explains this about the table one: “The table shows the 22 countries in our main sample and presents summary statistics for the main variables in our analysis. The sample includes all countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are equivalent to at least 2 percent of annual GDP on average. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Burkina Faso 32 88
Burundi 103 19
Eritrea 8 11
Ethiopia 64 155
Ghana 76 446
Guinea-Bissau 8 16
Madagascar 193 232
Malawi 31 82
Mali 27 133
Mauritania 32 150
Mozambique 40 161
Niger 29 79
Rwanda 149 41
Sao Tome and Principe 4 8
Sierra Leone 32 82
Tanzania 145 437
Uganda 73 188
Zambia 117 306

When you add into the A6 Table of the modestly aid-dependent countries. You see yet more African countries, where the money a flowing out of the coffers. Where surely not all aid is going where its supposed too.

The report explains table A6 like this: “The table shows the 24 countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are between 1% and 2% of annual GDP on average. is the average of the 24 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. WB aid disbursements is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Benin 42 96
Cape Verde 14 20
Central African Republic 18 53
Chad 11 91
Comoros 7 27
Democratic Republic of Congo 910 93
Cote d’Ivoire 387 787
Gambia 24 82
Guinea 54 114
Kenya 1277 1784
Lesotho 11 28
Senegal 253 487
Togo 82 146

Without going into deep technicalities of these operations, neither how the World Bank came through these numbers. We can see there is a staggering amount of funds that disappear and goes missing. Which was supposed to go to development or directly to support the state functions. Which happens to end up in tax-havens, surely by someone closely associated with the state or heads of state. Since, these sorts of amounts couldn’t have left the nations without the approval of the executive or head of state.

We can also clearly see, that some aid is directly feeding the rich and keeping tax-havens alive. Giving them financial stimulus and also covering the expenses of the elites in the respective places. There is certainly a mismanagement and a need for more oversight from the World Bank. But also more mechanisms to stop the misuse of aid. If it is supposed to help and not just create a very vastly elite in the nation in question. Because, with this sort of operations, they have clearly achieved that. Peace.

Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government: Communique (09.02.2020)

Ghana: Declaration by the Government of the Republic of Ghana on the Adoption of the ‘ECO’ by UEMOA (28.12.2019)

Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine: Communique de Presse de la Session Extraordinaire du Conseil des Ministres de l’Union (27.12.2019)

Opinion: The ECO seems like halfbaked CFA

By my reckoning, the rebranding of Central African Franc (CFA), which was the relic of the colonial French rule in Western African states. During the last few 48 hours, there is news of a new currency, which has implications, but also imperfections.

The ones praising this move is naive. The reason is simple, Emmanuel Macron or the French is still not giving way to power nor influence. They are still having their hand in the cookie jar. They are still involved with the inner-works of the financial sphere of the former colonies. They are maybe stopping the control directly from the National Bank of the French.

This move is to ease the pain of the past, but still the French and the European Union will have their stakes in it. As the pegged currency will be accordingly traded towards the Euro. A Euro, which the French has influence over in the EU. Therefore, the former colonies and the ones accepting this “ECO” Currency are accepting control from Paris and Brussels still.

They are maybe done with the regulations of CFA and the banking system as known today. But the ECO will be measured after the Euro. This is all a condition, that still benefits the former colonizer. If it wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have accepted it. Not like the French wants to loose influence nor the ability to easy trade with former colonizes. Why do you think most of the cars in Tunisia is French and not a random Skoda?

With that in mind, the ECOWAS was not launching this, but Macron was. Therefore, the whole thing seems like ploy to leave one relic behind, hoping people would be so happy that they don’t look into the mechanisms of the new currency. Not like the French would ever drop influence nor their strong hand over Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal & Togo. All of these will still be semi-controlled by Paris.

I have a hard time believing the intent of the French is to give way. No, this is just a shift to extend their power and find new measures to secure it. By remaking the former currency and the monetary union these nations have. Not like they are suddenly creating their own or having 8 separate ones. If they did that, then it might been significant. Where the own national banks, together with Ministry of Finance would make and ensure the safety of own national currency accordingly and necessary for their own Republic.

To remake and rename, only questions the motives behind the move. Other, than trying to clean the dirt of your hands and call it good days work. After years of questioning the currency and the stranglehold of these Republics. By having appointed men in their National Banks and having their gold in Paris.

I lack faith, but I am also very cynical about it. I’m not easily buying into it. I am hopefully wrong. Until the measures, until the mechanisms are all out and the proof of a vital change. It just seems like a small ploy to trigger hope for a difference, when its really just a new name and the same landlord over it. Its still the same farm and the same output, but the master just renamed the land differently. Peace.