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Archive for the tag “Namibia”

Communique of the Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – (24.04.2018)

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The Commonwealth is made for the UK’s own Interests: One proof, Johnson’s well-wished for Trade Declaration!

The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.”Frantz Fanon

The true value and who runs it is proven when the former head of the Commonwealth for decades has been Queen Elisabeth II, which of yesterday put the mantle of leadership to her son Prince Charles of Wales. The Statement from ‘ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 – Leaders’ Statement’ said: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall​ be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales” (Commonwealth, 20.04.2018).

We can also know the perspective the Great Britain has for the organization, as Boris Johnson wrote so clearly in March 2018: “The good news is that when we leave the EU, we will regain the power to sign free trade agreements with our Commonwealth friends, allowing the UK to make the most of thriving markets. Brexit will give us the ability to open a new era of friendship with countries across the world. A key theme of the London summit will be how to boost trade within the Commonwealth. We’ll also discuss how to improve security co-operation and take joint action to protect the world’s oceans, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth includes island states in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean” (Boris Johnson – ‘Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain: article by Boris Johnson’ 12.03.2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)).

It shows that the United Kingdom own problems and issues is key for the Summit. The others are more a circus that the old empire can play into it. That happen and the Commonwealth Declaration on the 20th April 2018 named ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ part of it says: “We, the Heads of Government representing member countries of the Commonwealth and one third of the world’s population recognise international trade and investment

as an engine for generating inclusive and participative economic growth and a means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (…) “In particular, we recognise the importance of the multilateral trading system in ensuring the integration of small, vulnerable and least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific into the world economy, and welcome initiatives which will support greater and more effective participation of these countries in international trade” (…) “To promote the realisation of these goals, we hereby launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment. This Agenda will be guided by the principles that: co-operation should be pragmatic and practical, leading to credible results; take into account regional integration initiatives; take into account the needs of small and vulnerable economies and least developed countries; avoid duplication with initiatives where other organisations are already working; add value in areas of engagement; and adopt a progressive approach towards a long term vision for closer trade and investment ties. It should also recognise the vital role of the private sector in delivering the 2030 Agenda and facilitating the promotion of the blue and green economy” (Commonwealth – ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ 20.04.2018).

We can see that Boris Johnson’s goals for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) appeared on the last day, yesterday, as this declaration is to anticipate the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work on this now. To make sure the former Colonies are more connected. Not only to themselves through trade, but also to the United Kingdom. This is to give the United Kingdom bigger trade and partners through the use of the former colonies. To look at it differently, is to be naive. The other agreements is to make the public perception positive, but this here was to grease the wheels of United Kingdom, who are soon losing the trade-agreements through the membership of European Union, because of their silly decision to leave the Union.

We can see that the Commonwealth all benefits the United Kingdom and the others just has a place multi-nationally to be represented, though a loose organization, that isn’t to formal. But is a place to make them look better and get exposure through the perspective of their former colonial master. That is why they still has the inter-connected ministry FCO. It is a reason why even Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organization was petitions the Department for International Development (DFID), so the former colony could have funds to hold Presidential Candidate National Television Debate before the General Election later in the year.

Well, that was a sidetrack, but very fitting. Because, the Commonwealth, still seems like a UK based organization, where it is all because of the mercy of the UK. The Commonwealth communiques, declarations and the meetings is because of UK leaders. Not because of the Kenyan President wanted it or the Indian one wanted some. We know there are someone even questioning it, the Bangladesh PM has been stating this today:

LONDON, April 21, 2018 (BSS)- Seeking inclusion of representative from Asia in the High Level Group to review the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday suggested making the Group more representative with inclusion of member states of different regions. “We value the knowledge and expertise of the Secretariat for furthering work of the Commonwealth. However, we believe that views of the member states through appropriate representation, is equally important,” she said” (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha – ‘PM suggests making CW high-level group more representative’ 21.04.2018).

This is what I started it, and it is made like this because the Commonwealth are made for the needs of United Kingdom, then the second interests. That is why the head of the Commonwealth has to be the Royalty of the UK. Now it is the Prince of Wales, which was nudged in by the Queen. The same happen to Prince Harry, who was appointed by the Queen to become the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We can see that the Commonwealth is a UK enterprise. The view can be seen that way, the way the Royal family has key roles and that the FCO is involved. Therefore, the meetings and statements coming from Boris Johnson with everyone he could. Making photo-ups with anyone he could during the CHOGM.

We will clearly see the Commonwealth Secretariat work on the Declaration, especially now that the UK is gearing up for the Brexit and leaving the Union. They need new secure trading partners and what better, than using the informal body of Commonwealth to get trade with. That is what even Johnson has been writing and proves his ideas. That is why he has been so diplomatic and kind with words. Because some of the nations and state leaders he has meet these days, he has written in the past ill-words of their republics and their kind. Therefore, we know he has sudden swift change of interests. That interests being the benefit of London and not of the former colonies.

The Commonwealth seems more like a savior and needed trade-partners right now, because of the problems coming with the loss of the EU membership. FCO and Commonwealth member-states with this declaration are opening for negotiations. Something that Johnson has been hoping for all along. Since he wanted that and hoped that CHOGM would deliver. However, it did that in some respect with the Declaration.

Seemingly again the Commonwealth is made for the benefit of the UK and their needed gains. If it was otherwise, than the Bangladesh PM wouldn’t asked for what she did after the CHOGM. That proves the problems within the Commonwealth Secretariat and with the Declaration itself. Since in that one in question isn’t mentioned even directly in the declaration.

Hope I am wrong, but as long the British Royalty is running it and is the heads of it. Their interests will be in line of London, not being for all the members of the Commonwealth. To think otherwise to be naive. Peace.

“Africa’s best-kept secret is Namibia. I personally welcome you.” (21.09.2017)

By Dr. Hage Geingob, President of Namibia.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 21, 2017 – Many African nations aspire to attract foreign investment and hope to create environments to facilitate the flow of people and capital. Namibia has the great advantage of being one of the most attractive destinations for investors and offering stability, social justice, a government focused on good governance and transparency, gender equality, respect for the environment, improved quality of life, and one of the most beautiful landscapes and unspoiled coastlines in the world.

If you haven’t already heard much about Namibia it is mostly likely because our nation is peaceful and our national culture is characterized by our quiet determination and our modest nature. We don’t make a lot of noise, but as President of Namibia I do want to personally invite interested business leaders and investors to come see for yourselves. Our desire to diversify our economy and achieve greater inclusive growth is captured in our Harambee Prosperity Plan that I would like to share with you.

In the context of competition in an emerging Africa, the case for Namibia is compelling. I am in New York this week to address the United Nations General Assembly. I spoke of the challenges of middle-income countries. I referred to Namibia’s economic development blueprint and our vision for youth employment, our strong support for the Paris Agreement on climate change, and our steadfast belief in the United Nations’ role in fostering prevention and mediation for sustaining peace in the world.

But, above all, all Namibians wish the world to know that we are proud of our nation – as large as France but with only 2.4 million inhabitants – and we are open for welcoming a family of investors and visitors who embrace our values and wish to become part of our growing success story.

Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

RSA: Confidential for External Proactive use only – Barloworld Equipment clears dispute with OCM (27.10.2016)

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South Africa: SADC EPA agreement with the EU takes effect today (10.10.2016)

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A look into how the American and British Companies defied the embargo and UN sanctions against the South African Apartheid Government in the 1970s and 1980s

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This here will be about how American and British interest we’re in the draconian Apartheid regime in South Africa in 1970s and 1980s. I been looking into how businesses at the time went through hoops and not caring about the United Nations Sanctions and resolution 418 of 4th November 1977 states this:

Determines, having regard to the policies and acts of the South African Government, that the acquisition by South Africa of arms and related material constitutes, a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security; Decides that all States shall cease forthwith  any provisions to South Africa of arms and related materiel of all types, including the sale of transfer of weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, para military police equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and shall cease as well the provision of all types of equipment and supplies and grants of licensing arrangements for the manufacture of the aforementioned” (UN, 1977).

So with that in mind, we can see how businesses of United States and Britain started and worked as subsidiaries in South Africa during the Apartheid, where the instances of FORD Motors and Leyland Vehicles we’re produced and used by the Police under the worst atrocities of a regime who used their laws, security agencies to harass the majority; while keeping the minority rulers and their economic incentive intact by any means. So that big business and other ones defied the Sanctions and even collaborated with necessary arms, cars and other procurement for the totalitarian state; shows how far the Corporation goes for profit and serve even governments who has no quarrel with prosecuting innocent citizens. Therefore the history of these corporations and their dealings should come to light and be questioned. As business today does the same under regimes that are totalitarian and militaristic with the favor of elite and harassing the opposition. That is why we can see at the tactics of the 1970s and 1980s and see how they might be used today.

So with that introduction take a look at my findings and hope you find it interesting.

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How to start the discussion:

“Johannesburg Star (South African daily), Nov. 26, 1977, at 15. See also 1978 Hearings, supra note 13, at 846 (statement of John Gaetsewe, General Secretary of the banned South African Congress of Trade Unions) (“The ending of foreign investment in South Africa … is a means of undermining the power of the apartheid regime. Foreign investment is a pillar of the whole system which maintains the virtual slavery of the Black workers in South Africa.”); Christian Sci. Monitor, Feb. 21, 1984, at 25 (statement by Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela)” (Hopkins, 1985).

Some money earned by the SADF at the time:

“According to official SADF accounts, the money that would have been recouped from the sale of ivory would flow back into funding the Unita rebels. However, Breytenbach knew that in the year 1986/1987 alone, the SADF’s assistance to Unita through military intelligence totalled R400 million (ZAR2005=R2,5 billion) and this excluded the supply of almost all Unita’s hardware and fuel. It is therefore unlikely that this was the reason behind the SADF’s interest in ivory smuggling. It is more likely that the potential for self-enrichment that this presented to SADF officers was enormous. General Chris Thirion, Former Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, agrees and suspects that Savimbi was in fact over-funded at the time” (Van Vuren, 2006).

Africa 1963-64

How much RSA used on Military Equipment during Apartheid in the 1980s:

“According to evidence presented to the UN Security Council arms embargo committee in 1984, out of its annual total arms procurement budget of some R1.62 billion over R900 million was to be spent on arms purchases from overseas” (…)”This R900 million is spent on the procurement of arms directly by the regime from overseas and via the private sector. No official figures are published about how much is actually spent on direct imports of armaments. However, it can be estimated from figures contained in an in-depth survey by the Johannesburg Sunday Times in July 1982 that imports from overseas were 15 per cent of defence spending which then stood at R3,320 million per annum” (AAM, 1985).

How that happen:

“Those breaches of the arms embargo which have been exposed have also revealed the myth of South Africa’s self-sufficiency. Equipment smuggled into South Africa include weapons such as machine guns, rifles and pistols as well as spares and components for them. In a trial at the Old Bailey, London, in October 1982, the Court was informed that South African efforts to produce components for pre-war machine guns had not been successful. This points to the serious deficiencies in the quality and reliability of even minor items manufactured in South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Export of R.J. Electronics International:

“Britain’s refusal to strictly implement the UN arms embargo and its continuing military collaboration in various fields are not totally surprising since much of this arises out of its traditional relationship with South Africa” (…)”They failed to re-appear in Court on 22 October 1984 and the following weekend gave a press conference. At it, Colonel Botha disclosed that they had operated as undercover agents for five years and “had saved the country at least R5 million on purchases of vital equipment”. Metelerkamp claimed he was only a consultant to Kentron and was the Managing Director of R J Electronics International. However, it emerged that he had been employed by Kentron up to a month prior to his arrest, and R J Electronics International was “a company used to purchase illicit arms” (AAM, 1985).

Other Examples:

“One cargo of FN rifles was initially exported by air to Red Baron Ltd at an address in Zurich before being forwarded to South Africa. This company, however, was not Swiss, but registered in England. Its directors were Mr Trinkler and two others who had also been directors of Kuehne and Nagel in Britain” (…)”The most controversial case was that of the British Aerospace naval reconaissance aircraft, the Coastguarder. In Hay 1984 it was disclosed that British Aerospace had been approached by the South African Government and that initial discussions had taken place concerning the purchase of eight aircraft. These were to replace the Shackleton aircraft which were having to be phased out. The South African authorities had sought to evade the arms embargo by forming a Coastguard service as a civilian authority through which the order for the aircraft would be placed. Repeated efforts to secure from the Government an undertaking that the Coastguarder would not be granted licence for export to South Africa met with the response that “it would not be proper for me to offer a definitive view now on the hypothetical question on the issue of a licence for the export of an aircraft such as the Coastguarder to South Africa” (AAM, 1985).

Shell Corporation working with the Regime:

The South Africans agreed and supplied a cash advance that allowed the traders to purchase a tanker, shipping company and the required insurance. The tanker docked in Kuwait and filled its tanks with oil owned by Shell. The oil was registered for delivery in France. However, en route to Europe from the Gulf the tanker stopped in Durban and off-loaded almost all of its oil crude oil—almost 180,000 tonnes—with the South Africans paying the difference between the purchase price and the fees it had advanced for the purchase of the tanker. The Salem was then filled up with water in order to create the impression that it was still laden with oil. Off the coast of West Africa (Senegal), at one of the deepest points of the Atlantic, the ship was scuttled and the crew, who were prepared for the evacuation, were conveniently ‘rescued’. They had hoped to make an extra $24 million off the insurance claim for the lost oil. Following investigations by the insurance company the main perpetrators were prosecuted. The biggest loser next to Shell was South Africa, asit agreed to pay the Dutch multinational US$30 million (ZAR2005=R436 million) in an out-of-court settlement. Shell was left to carry a remaining loss of US$20 million. The use of corrupt middlemen had cost South Africa almost half a billion rand. There was no prosecution in South Africa of the officials at the SFF who had authorised South Africa’s procurement of a full tanker of oil from three novice (criminal) entrepreneurs” (Van Vuren, 2006).

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British Subsidiaries in South Africa:

“Many of these subsidiaries are British. They include Leyland (Landrovers and Trucks); ICI (through its 40 per cent holding in AECI) (Ammunition and Explosives); Trafalgar House (through Cementation Engineering) (artillery shells); ICL (Computers); GEC including Marconis (Military Communications Equipment); Lontho (aircraft franchises); Plessey (Military Communications Equipment); BP and Shell (oil and other petroleum products for the military and police)” (…)”An impression of the full extent of the role of British subsidiaries in South Africa in undermining the arms embargo can be obtained from studying Appendix C. This is a list of British companies with subsidiaries in South Africa which are also known to be engaged in the manufacture of military and related equipment” (AAM, 1985).

British Mercenaries:

“British mercenaries, some recruited. originally for the forces of the illegal Smith regime, are serving in a number of South African Defence Force units, including the infamous “32 Battallion” operating out of Namibia into Angola. A British mercenary was killed in the South African commando raid on the residence of South African refugees in Maputo, Mozambique, in January 1981” (AAM, 1985).

“British Government policy so far has been to grant permission for Officers to serve in the South African Defence Forces.” (…)”This was explained by Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine, in a letter to the Rt Hon Denis Healey:

“An Officer is required to resign his commission before joining the forces of a country that does not owe allegiance to the Crown, and if he did not do so then the commission would be removed. As you will appreciate, this is the only power that we can exercise over an officer who has already retired from the Services. Guidance is given to officers about these procedures before they retire, but no specific recommendations are made about which countries’ Armed Forces an officer should join; nor do I believe that it would be right to do so.” (AAM, 1985).

GM ZA Apartheid

American Businesses under Apartheid:

Approximately 350 of the most prominent companies in the United States, including more than half of the Fortune 500’s top one hundred firms, operate subsidiaries in South Africa [18]. Another 6000 do business there through sales agents and distributers [19]. The United States holds fifty-seven percent of all foreign holdings on the Johannesburg stock exchange, including gold mines, mining houses, platinum mines, and diamonds [20]. The State Department estimated that U.S. direct investment amounted to $2.3 billion in 1983, down from the $2.8 billion calculated by the South African Institute of Race Relations for 1982 [21]. Other estimates put overall American investment, including loans and gold stocks, at $14 billion [22]” (…)”rcent [25]. U.S. exports to South Africa, however, grew from approximately R1.2 billion in 1979 to R2.7 billion in 1981 [26]. As a result, the United States emerged as the Republic’s largest trading partner [27]. Apart from its quantitative impact, U.S. business investment has a qualitative impact disproportionate to its financial value” (…)”John Purcell of Goodyear concurred, asserting that economic pressures will not encourage nonviolent social change in South Africa; rather, this will be brought about by “economic growth, expanded contact with the outside, and time” ((Hopkins, 1985)

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Ford sold cars to the Apartheid regime:

“Ford Directed and Controlled its South African Policies from the United States, Exported Equipment from the United States, and Acted to Circumvent the United States Sanctions Regime: (New York Southern Cout Case, P: 65, 2014)

“Thus, despite the tightening of U.S. trade sanctions in February 1978, Ford U.S. still announced a “large infusion[] of capital into its South African subsidiary. Ford injected $8 million for upkeep and retooling” (New York Southern Court Case, P: 67, 2014).

“Ford support was significant: “[B]etween 1973 and 1977 [Ford] sold 128 cars and 683 trucks directly to the South African Ministry of Defense and 646 cars and 1,473 trucks to the South African police. Ford sold at least 1,582 F series U.S.-origin trucks to the police” (…)”Despite the prohibitions, Ford continued to supply vehicles to the South African security forces with the purpose of facilitating apartheid crimes. Ford denied that its continued sales to the South African security forces ran counter to the U.S. prohibitions, on the basis that the vehicles did not contain parts or technical data of U.S. origin” (…)”Notably, into the 1980s, Ford sold vehicles that did not need to be “converted” by the apartheid government for military or police use but were already specialized before leaving the plant in South Africa” (…)”Ford built a limited number of XR6 model Cortinas known as “interceptors” that were sold almost exclusively to the police. The XR6 was special because it had three Weber model double carburetors, as opposed to all other Cortinas that had only one double carburetor” (…)”Ford knew that the normal market for these vehicles was the security forces. The vehicles were deliberately pre-equipped with armor and military fixtures and designed for easy modification by the security forces to add additional defensive and offensive features” (…)”By making profits which they knew could only come from their encouragement of the security forces’ illicit operations through the sale of vehicles, parts, designs, and services, Ford acquired a stake in the criminal enterprise that was the apartheid regime” (New York Southern Case, P: 71-77, 2014).

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Leyland under Apartheid:

“The British government now virtually owns British Leyland and therefore controls the company’s operations in South Africa. Yet it has done little in practice to press for the rights of black workers to organize through trade unions, or for the recognition of the unions for collective bargaining purposes” (…)”The South African “branch” is Leyland’s biggest operation in the world outside of the U.K. At present it is the 8th largest car manufacturer (holding approximately 5% of the market) and the 7th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer (holding approximately 5,5% of the market) in South Africa. Despite the depressed condition of the South African Market it sold 1959 vehicles in January-February of 1977 alone” (…)”B.L.S.A. has massive contracts with the South African state. It is one of the chief suppliers of the South African Defense Force, providing not only trucks and landrovers (which form the backbone of anti-guerrilla operations) but also armored personnel carriers. Of course, the figures for these contracts are never made public” (…)”For example, in June 1976 it was announced that B.L.S.A. had won a £1.9millon order for 250 trucks from the Cape Provincial Authority” (…)”As Leyland itself have argued , It “must conform, it not entirely” to South African government and established wishes” (Coventry Anti-Apartheid, 1977).

This here is not easy to finish up as the implications of this deals and arrangement used to support a government that oppressed and detained the majority. This Apartheid government did it all openly and with a clear message that the white minority should rule, while the rest should serve them.

In that context these businesses earned good amount of cash and profits for their stakeholders and their shareholders. While their products and procured services by the state we’re used to oppress majority of people in South Africa. We can surely see the amount of money and how this have affected the society and given way for the government of the time to continue with the process of detaining and harassing the majority of South Africans. This could not have happen if there wasn’t a helping hand from businesses and their subsidiaries. This here is just a brief look into it.

Certainly this should be studied even more and become clear evidence of how heartbreaking it is to know how certain businesses and people owning them will profit on suffering of fellow human beings. That is why I myself shed a light on it, to show the extent of disobedience of the UN Resolution and also what these corporations does in regimes that harassing and oppressing fellow citizens for their background, creed, tribe etc. It’s just ghastly and makes my tummy vomit. But that is just me, hope you got some indication of how they did their business and served the Apartheid government. Peace.

Reference:

Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘How Britian Arms Apartheid – A memorandum for presentation to her Majesty’s Government’ (1985)

Coventry Anti-Apartheid Movement – ‘Leyland in Britain and in South Africa’ (1977)

Hopkins, Sheila M. – ‘AN ANALYSIS OF U.S.-SOUTH AFRICAN RELATIONS IN THE 1980s: HAS ENGAGEMENT BEEN CONSTRUCTIVE?’ (1985) – Journal of Comparative Business and Capital Market Law 7 (1985) 89-115, North Holland

United States, New York Southern Court: Case 1:02-md-01499-SAS Document 280-1 Filed 08/08/14

Van Vuren, Hennie – ‘Apartheid grand corruption – Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994’ (2006)

Press Release: Kenya must review Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius (02.11.2015)

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(Nairobi, November 2, 2015) – Kenya is teetering on the brink of financial meltdown with the implosion of at least two private commercial banks in the last few months and signing of loophole-ridden double taxation agreements with tax havens Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Tax havens are countries or states that position themselves as low tax jurisdictions allowing companies and rich individuals to hide their wealth without paying appropriate taxes where they actually make their profits or wealth. Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) in October 2014 sued the Government of Kenya (specifically the Cabinet Secretary to the Treasury, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Attorney-General) challenging the constitutionality of the Kenya/Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed in Port Louis, Mauritius on May 11, 2012 and as contained in Legal Notice 59 published in the Kenya Gazette of May 23, 2014.

The Agreement significantly undermines Kenya’s ability to raise domestic revenue to underpin the country’s development by opening up loopholes for multinational companies operating in the country and super- rich individuals to shift profits abroad through Mauritius to avoid paying appropriate taxes. For example, provisions under Article 11 of the Agreement relating to interest limit Kenya’s withholding tax to 10 per cent whereas the Kenyan domestic rate currently stands at 15 per cent. This will significantly affect the tax base of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The Agreement also sharply contravenes Articles 10 and 201 of the Constitution and is inconsistent with the principles of good governance, sustainability and accountability. The Agreement is open to abuse and this could endanger the growth and development of Kenya.

Three main reliefs sought by TJN-A are: that the High Court declares the government’s failure or neglect to subject the Kenya-Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to ratification in line with the Treaty Making and Ratification Act 2012 as a contravention of Articles 10 (a), (c) and (d) and 201 of the Constitution of Kenya.

That the Court directs the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury to immediately withdraw Legal Notice 59 of 2014 and commence the process of ratification in conformity with the provisions of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act 2012.  And award cost of the petition with interest against the Government of Kenya. The case came up for mention at the Nairobi High Court today, November 2, 2015. The court will fix a date for hearing the case on November 9, 2015. Speaking at a press briefing earlier today, the Executive Director of TJN-A, Alvin Mosioma said “there is need for public participation in the process of ratification of double tax agreements…double tax agreements kill the competitive edge of local firms”. 2 Senator Hassan Omar of Mombasa County who also addressed the press said Kenya’s “Parliament needs to appreciate its responsibility in safeguarding the public’s interests,” adding that “the reason people steal is because there is complicity and people are aware of it”. Provisions under Article 12 of the Agreement which relates to royalties also restrict at- source withholding tax to half (10 per cent) of Kenya domestic rate of 20 per cent. This will significantly weaken Kenya’s ability to raise revenue to finance its development. Additionally provisions under Article 20 of the Agreement reserves all taxation of “other income” not dealt with in specific Articles to the residence state.

This effectively reduces withholding tax to zero per cent on services, management fees, insurance commissions among others, whereas Kenyan domestic withholding tax rate currently stands at 20 per cent. This is a major gap that will lead to massive revenue leakages. The Agreement is neither United Nations nor OECD compliant and it also fails to address the issue of disposal of shares in companies. The Agreement effectively reserves under Article 13.4 all taxation of capital gains from selling shares in companies to Mauritius where the effective Capital Gains Tax is zero per cent. Under the Agreement foreign investors in Kenya can acquire Kenyan companies through Mauritius holding companies and Kenya cannot tax any of the gains when they sell these businesses again. This is open to abuse. Similarly, domestic Kenyan investors can dodge Kenyan taxes by round-tripping their investments illicitly through Mauritian shell companies. Kenyan companies can also easily avoid Kenyan taxes in dividends paid to foreign investors through devices like share buy-backs therefore deny the government of development funds.

The provision is very similar to the Capital Gains Tax Article in the India-Mauritius treaty which has proved very controversial costing India an estimated US$600 million a year in revenues as a result of tax avoidance and illicit round-tripping by Indian business executives driving the Government of India to initiate steps to renegotiate its agreement with Mauritius. Under the definition of ‘bilateral treaty’ in Section 2 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act an ‘agreement’ such as the one between Kenya and Mauritius and which is the subject matter of this legal case, is a treaty subject to the Act and therefore requires that the Cabinet Secretary to the Treasury in consultation with the Attorney General, submit to the Cabinet the treaty, together with a memorandum outlining, inter alia – 1. Policy and legislative considerations, 2. Financial implications 3. Implications on matters relating to counties, 4. The views of the public on the ratification of the treaty.

Mauritius presently has tax treaties with 13 African countries namely Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Apart from Kenya, Mauritius also has signed Double Taxation Agreements with Congo, Zambia and Nigeria. Currently Mauritius is negotiating DTAs with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania. Unlike Mauritius’ DTA with Uganda and Nigeria, for example, which have specific provisions for withholding tax for management/technical services fees, Kenya failed to negotiate any such provisions. 

In a related development, the Government of Kenya has signed an equally harmful Double Tax Agreement with United Arab Emirates and Qatar – both of which are tax havens – in which Kenya further deems its right to tax as unnecessary in a bid to attract investment from these two countries. These agreements will deepen Kenya’s current cash crunch by allowing the further erosion of the country’s tax base. – END.

ABOUT TJN-A: Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) is a Pan-African initiative and a member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. It is a network of 29 members in 16 African countries. TJN-A collaborates closely with these member organisations in tax justice 3 advocacy at the national and regional levels. TJN-A seeks to promote socially just and progressive taxation systems in Africa, advocating for pro-poor tax policies and the strengthening of tax systems to promote domestic resource mobilisation. TJN-A aims to challenge harmful tax policies and practices that favour the wealthy and aggravate and perpetuate inequality. For further enquiries, please email Kwesi Obeng at kobeng@taxjusticeafrica.net (+254 726 804 400) and/or Michelle Mbuthia at mmbuthia@taxjusticeafrica.net (+254 724 994 796).

Declaration of African Countries represented at the Nairobi +30 Meeting, Held in Nairobi Kenya, at the Kenyatta International Convention Center – 13th August 2015

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Press Release: Western Union Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Africa (28.07.2015)

WU Africa AD

ACCRA, Ghana–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Western Union Company (NYSE:WU, a leader in global payment services, today celebrated its 20th anniversary in Africa. With over 34,000 locations and connections to millions of bank accounts and mobile wallets in more than 50 countries and territories, across Africa, the Western Union network serves millions of senders and receivers with a choice of 120 currencies.

To celebrate this special milestone, Western Union’s President for Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, Jean Claude Farah, in addition to Aida Diarra, Western Union’s Regional Vice President and Head of Africa and other members of the Africa leadership team visited the first agent location at ADB (Agricultural Development Bank) that offered Western Union money transfer services for the first time in Africa in 1995. The WU leadership team also visited Ecobank head office in Accra and marked the occasion with the launch of the Account Based Money Transfer services through ATM in Ghana.

The Western Union 20th Anniversary celebration in Ghana in Africa, coincides with a speech made by President Barack Obama at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is quoted saying:

“Today, Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Africa’s middle class is projected to grow to more than one billion consumers. With hundreds of millions of mobile phones, surging access to the Internet, Africans are beginning to leapfrog old technologies into new prosperity. Africa is on the move, a new Africa is emerging.”

Western Union is committed to the expansion and development of its pan-African network which provides a critical link to the ever growing African Diaspora living and working in countries around the world.

“More than 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, contributing billions of USD in remittances to their families and communities back home every year1”, said Jean Claude Farah. “We are very humbled to play a role in helping them move their money as they seek to elevate their economic status, meet emergency needs, support healthcare requirements, contribute to the education of future generations and in many instances build their own small businesses. By moving money for better for 20 years Western is enabling a world of possibilities for Africa and in Africa.”

Aida Diarra added, “Through the work we do we also enable economic activity and job creation. Currently over 155,000 Front Line Associates (FLAs) are employed in our agent network on the African continent. Western Union invests in training these FLAs developing their business, technical and compliance skills.”

In addition to the socio-economic impact that remittances enable, the company also supports philanthropic activities in Africa via the Western Union Foundation which has a long history of giving back to communities across the African continent. It supports organizations that promote economic opportunity and growth for individuals, families and entire communities throughout the region. Since its creation, the Western Union Foundation has committed to $8.703 million in grants and donations to 158 NGOs in more than 40 countries across Africa.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.WesternUnion.com.

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1 IFAD, 2009

WU-G

Western Union Press Contact:
Khalid Baddou, +212 522 42 84 02
Khalid.Baddou@westernunion.com

Discussion: Top ten % usage of GDP on Armies in the African nations – discussing the main use of those armies.

(Angolian Army picture from EUCom)

This is little piece will be about the irony of how we spend our money. It will also address how the ten African countries spend their money.

List of Top ten African countries with highest military spending with % of GDP:

1. Eritrea – 6.30%

2. Burundi – 5.90%

3. Mauritania – 5.50%

4. Madagascar – 5.10%

5. Morocco – 4.80%

6. Algeria – 4.30%

7. Guinea-Bissau – 4.30%

8. Sudan – 4.20%

9. Zimbabwe – 3.80%

10. Namibia – 3.70%

(Source: Daily Monitor Uganda)

Number 1: Eritrea

Isaias Afewerki the Eritrean president, who has run the country since 1993.That after being the boss of the independence against Ethiopia. So that he is paranoid of the big brother in Addis Adeba isn’t surprising at all, especially since there is still border conflicts between them. Also Afeweki isn’t famous for neither democratic rulings nor elections so a dictator or totalitarian leadership style sure need some more then meagerly coins to suppress its citizens.

Number 2: Burundi

Pierre Nkurunziza the Burundian president has been in charge since 2005. He is of for his third term and not careering about limits to the stay power. So I am sure that he needs some forces to keep his company to continue to be commander and chief. In 2010 most parties boycotted the elections which gave Nkurunziza a second term. Also, Pierre is famously having a regime that is interrogating, harassing and tales about ghosting journalist. That Human Rights Watch has addressed with a lot of instances. They have parts of the army in Somalia as AMISOM; the forces of Nkurunziza aren’t just to tangle his own citizens. Some do other stuff also it seems.

Number 3: Mauritania  

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz the Mauritanian president who has been that since 2009. After the election the man hasn’t been the most popular president. The unemployed youth isn’t supporting him anymore. I am sure it’s helps to become the Chairman of AU in 2014. The most embarrassing moment in his own career was while in France in 2012: That he was shot in the stomach and had to go to the hospital in Paris. Mauritania has had issues with the military groups that comes from Northern Mail, so that has to one of many reasons why the country is using such much resources on the army!

Number 4: Madagascar

Hery Rajaonarimampianina 25. January of 2014 he became the president of this island republic. He took over after the famous DJ Andry Rajoelina who took over in the coup of 2009. So that the army has monies to spend to keep things in order is understandable. The army has proven to be a bit unstable, especially in 2012 when there was a mutiny at an army-base outside of the airport in the capitol of Antananarivo. That is when the army used it force and shut the mutiny down. Also the same year the military forces used aggressive means to shut down teacher strikes in 2012. So what is up next for them in Madagascar and Mr Rajaonarimampianina doing with it…? Time will tell.

Number 5: Morocco

Abdelilah Benkirane was appointed by the Moroccan King in 29. November 2011. Morocco has reasons to be armed up – first is the control over Western Sahara and the citizens there who is struggling for their independence. Secondly is the armed race between Morocco and Algeria. Morocco has been a part of the peace mission in Kosovo until 2014. Where the forces will do missions now is something I don’t know.

Number 6: Algeria

Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ruled the country since 27. April 1999. In 2011 the country was finally out of state of emergency. Even though the country has after the Arabian Spring seen more outside guerrillas whom is connected to Al-Qaeda. The oil rich country has been in armed race with Morocco for a while even had some shooting on the border crossings with the neighbor. The other uses for the army have also taken 40 missiles near the border to Libya. So the use is there, also to keep control over the citizens like all strong forced governments.

Number 7: Guinea-Bissau

Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo has acted as president since 11. May of 2012. The president who has had a tough stay in charge that being said: the month long treatment in Germany in 2013. The incidents of the military chief of staff General Jose Americo Babu Na Tchucu arrested in USA for drugs. That other military learders is being accused of trafficking drugs as well. So the army isn’t just shooting, they are travelling with powder. Usually the troops has been used for coup d’etat at many times like in 1980s, 1998,1999, 2003, 2005(2 coups), 2009, 2010 and yet again in 2011 and 2012. The Government and army is tangled together. Time will tell before the next coup d’etat is happening!

Number 8: Sudan

Omar Al-Bashir the man who took charge of the big country through a coup d’etat in 1989. He has been elected 3 times after that, I am sure they been rigged and secured to get more than 51 % of the vote to secure him the seat. The civil war between the North and South lasted for 19 years from 1983 – 2005. That led to the South becoming a independence state out of the government of Khartoum. The Bashir government has supported the LRA against the Ugandan government because President Museveni supported the rebellion army of SPLA who fought for sovereign South-Sudan. The Janjaweed has also made issues in Darfur and made it a bigger crisis. The last one is in the border regions towards South Sudan. Because hey, Al-Bashir misses all that oil money, secondly if he can establish anarchy in the regions, he can regain control! That is what he wishes and he is using all of the military power that he has and wants to.

Number 9: Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe has been in charge since 1987. He was the shiny light of independence struggle from British colonial powers and making Rhodesia to what is todays Zimbabwe. He used the forces to initially get Zapu and PF into Zanu-PF. This is where Mugabe has made the country his. He runs it and controls it. Ever since that he had used the force to keep his power in a way of rigging elections and destroying the powers of those who oppose him. The army was also used for a time during the wars in the 90s in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the support of the deceased Laurent Kabila. So it’s no surprise that the army is on a certain level to both control his citizens and also do business where ever that makes money for the chief!

Number 10: Namibia

Hifikepunye Pohamba has been the ruler of the country since 21. March 2005. He has claimed that the civil servants have issues with the government projects therefore he surely needs an army to shut that down. During the great struggles Nambian forces have had bases in Angola. That was while they were shooting at the UNITAS to get rebel forces done and out of Angola. The Namibian army was also involved in the diamond trade of war in Democratic Republic of Congo so they sure has had the need for a great army. So they have had their uses outside the borders and sure the government of Namibia is happy for that. The army chiefs of Namibia have promised to use their forces to help Zimbabwe to fight of imperialist – that is in 2014. So they sure need a big sized army.

As we see they are using the armies and monies being used. Sure it’s all necessary! Peace.

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