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Archive for the tag “Private Sector”

Kenya: Monetary Policy Committee Meeting (29.05.2017)

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EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

Kenya: Monetary Policy Committee Meeting (27.03.2017)

Press Release: EU aid for African Great Lakes region getting through, but may be to expensive say auditor (04.07.2016)

EU Audits 04.07.2016 P1EU Audits 04.07.2016 P2

The ironies of Socialism versus Neo-Liberalism; why I believe in a Keynesian approach instead of the Socialism or the Neo-Liberalism

Socialism churchill

Well, it is about that time, I make mockery of two statues of civilization and ideas that rules the world while not hoping the blindly followers of either comes to attack my person, my thoughts or my widely allegation on the parts. Both of the political views and framework have made a difference and is the reason why we have societies like we have today.

The main parts of socialism is that there is policies and regulations that fit for social and bigger government who cares for the citizens, like subsidized health-care, schools, university, transport and local government. Through taxes and higher fees on produce as the socialism need funding for the ability to make the government organizations and government programs. The Government need more taxes to able to serve the public with what they expect through the socialistic view, while the taxes are set-up in a way that the ones with more income is generating more revenue is supposed to pay more tax; than the ones that are paid less.

So with the big-government and grander government policies comes the address of the public will and citizens loses power, but that for the price of cheaper health-care, schooling and other government institutions. That stops the higher prices and free-market pricing of health care that lets major parts of the society might even be able to pay for the needed operations. So the reasoning and hateful measurement against big-government is wrong in some parts as the people are stronger when we work together and divide the expenditure on the whole society; instead of billing the whole ordeals on the single individual.

free market

Neo-Liberalism is not as straight forward as this is supposed to be measurement to weaken the state, make it liberal and little. Give more power to person instead of the government and give more choices to the citizens of the given country. The issue is that Neo-Liberalism has come with certain ideas and prospects. For instance the New Public Management (NPM) is a Neo-Liberalistic idea. NPM have given the societies and the government who added these policies more watchmen and ombudsmen then before. They have given the power away from the departments and created institutions under the departments with specialist and experts that sets the standard and gives advice to the department. While the departments still need manpower, so need also the lower-expert-institutions. So you have two fronts with specialist working the same field and advising each other. So before NPM most of the experts and brains where at the Department and Local Government that worked with a given subject or the project that needed a specialist; thanks to NPM they have become self-serving and not cut down the amount of bureaucracies have become fluent. As much as the wish for the NPM as parts of the Neo-Liberalism idea, it hasn’t created less government, but more and longer away from the decision making.

The Neo-Liberalism of free-market and starch corporate control have not given added freedom to the consumer. As the markets are controlled by less and less owners and stakeholders; the corporate power have become stronger, but more centralized in conglomerates that issues the policies and secure the profits. The riches of the corporations and the borderlines agreements are built for the corporations not for the welfare for the citizens. The original businesses we’re built for single projects or for fixed procurement that the state and citizens needed like building roads and bridges. Not gaining profits that sky-rocket and then moves away the tax-money into tax-havens. That is the Neo-liberalism ways of economies. In a way the movement of money should happen without government interference or taxation.

The Neo-Liberalism brought also an idea that was worse than the NPM. That was the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). SAP was made in the 1980s to liberate the subsidized agriculture, health-care and other public institutions as government got great loans through the funding of IMF and WB. So they released the governments and free-market ideas that killed the Co-Op’s in the countries that was already lots of them. They had commissions and centralized crop sales through Co-Ops that served the farmers, either they produces cocoa, coffee or tea. This was a standard of fixing training, production and prices to influx together a stronger unity. The ironies of this is that the IMF and WB gave this order through SAP to Low-Developed Countries while the countries that funded this had Co-Ops in agriculture themselves and still have to this day. So with the SAP they made the inside trading before the export more intricate and gave “supposed” more power to the farmer. Instead they became more reluctant and needed more to be careful to whom they offered their crops to. As the traders from capital who went up-country could fix prices and lie about the values to earn more on the trade to export. So the farmer would not get a given price on the world-market because there we’re less voices giving the farmer a hand in the trade of their cash-crops and their goods that they we’re not consuming themselves. So the SAP agreement stalled the government institutions and weakens them together with the trading experience on the ground. The structures we’re given big loans for building up trade-networks and export facilities while dismantling the structures that secured and fueled the industry and agriculture. As the Agriculture and Industry should not get subsidized, but get funding through free-market ideal and that killed the initial funding as the cheaper production came from abroad instead of making it locally. Therefore it is more normal to Chinese, Egypt and Brazilian products than own local products in the supermarkets of Uganda, for instance. Even meat, juice and toilet-paper are imported than produced in the country. That is because of the SAP and the Neo-Liberalism ideas.

zero-hour-contracts

Another important factor of the Neo-Liberalism idea is the abolishing ideas of Workers Unions and trying to ban them. As the Free-Market should fix the pay for the worker and the business it should fix it. That is why there been less strikes and less new Unions in our day. The reason why Unions in our time is important and the socialist idea of them is that the riches of the corporations; does not seem to trickle down to the citizens; it only left back to the stakeholders and owner, not to society or the workers that works for the rich corporations. Settling this is not easy. During the Reagan and Thatcher era tried to kill of the unions for their meddling and dissolve them so to actually centralize power. Instead this killing of mining-unions and other unions in the United Kingdom have weaken the industry and the ability of workers to fix pay while the corporations come with contracts that are good for business, but not good for steady income for proper work. The recent years of cover-ups in Sports Direct that is owned by Newcastle United Mike Ashley that offers their workforce lots of “Zero-Hour Contract”. Zero Hours Contracts work in the way that the employer has more people under their wings without paying extra for them. The Contract gives not benefits or sick-leave. As the Employee is paid by the hours and amount of time they work for the employer and nothing else. So all the benefits is added to the business and none for the worker, who has to fight and bend-over to add hours as the pool of willing workers are there. Even if the Zero-Contracts are bad, the non-Union and not-allowed to unionize work-force cannot go together and fight for their benefits and rights. As the Employer can continue to use and get new workers without having to stand-by them. Sports Direct is just an example of it, there are more business who uses this model and creates massive profits as they don’t have to offer needed benefits or health-care programs to the employees. As Wall-Mart have had low-hourly pay and no health-care benefit while letting their employees sign-up to government funded programs for health-care so that the Wall-Mart employees get little paid and at the same time uses food-stamps and Medicaid instead of Wall-Mart having health-Care benefits. So the business saves the money for salaries and also save the benefits of their employees; this is something you can thank the beautiful neo-liberal ideas.

The difference with the neo-liberalistic ideal of work is that the employee would give sufficient pay and have a contract that benefits the company and the workers. As they would have social responsibility for their workers as they have health benefits through the standard with standard payments of salaries together with state fueled community health care. The Neo-Liberal is that personal pay of the health-care instead of tax-payers money. So the health-care will be opened to the once who can have insurance or ability to pay for it. Instead of funded through the tax-payers pockets as solidarity between all citizens as in the socialist idea. That cannot be seen as a problem for a liberal person, to bring solidarity and also a structured health-care that everybody pays their fees into and when needed pay a small personal fee to get access, instead of footing the whole bill on their own.

Text ZHC SportDirect

Let me finish this up with the ideals that are ironic on the matter.

  • Smaller Government under NPM has actually made more Ombudsmen and Expert Organizations. Meaning that the Government didn’t become smaller, just longer away from the Department to the Experts and the Ombudsmen that the Government want to control
  • The SAP in Neo-Liberalistic method didn’t bring wealth to the countries it was applied to. The Farmers, the government institutions got weaken, while the loans got higher and less development as the Free-Market got the resources, but without control of the Co-Ops or other ways of maintaining support of citizens. The economies became more fragile as a result of the Neo-Liberal SAP then under the Co-Ops with the control of selling cash-crops and so on.
  • The Free-Market idea of Neo-Liberalism while destroying Labor-Unions to secure more government control of the market. While deteriorating the labors ability and therefore opening for the “Zero-Hour” Contracts that gives all the advantages to the corporations and none to the employee who only get security for the hourly work and nothing else for the employee. That would not happen with stronger unions and government who could enforce the rules for corporations.

All of these is ideals against each other I myself is not a clear socialist, even if I am raised on socialist country in a social-economic balance system. I myself is a clear Keyenist in the way that I believe in free-market and free-society to an extent. That extent is that the governments automatically bails out the necessary institutions and have a hand into the banks and other needed businesses of a society. That the workers are secured and fixed through strong barriers so that the market is made sure that the governments, and also facilitate the marker for the corporations. So that the market will have input from the government as the eruptions is inevitable and needs a structure to control it.

keynes

This three main components are basic:

  • Aggregate demand is influenced by many economic decisions—public and private.
  • Prices, and especially wages, respond slowly to changes in supply and demand, resulting in periodic shortages and surpluses, especially of labor.
  • Changes in aggregate demand, whether anticipated or unanticipated, have their greatest short-run effect on real output and employment, not on prices. Keynesians believe that, because prices are somewhat rigid, fluctuations in any component of spending—consumption, investment, or government expenditures—cause output to change. If government spending increases, for example, and all other spending components remain constant, then output will increase.

So with that in mind you understand why I am in between of the socialist and the free-market neo-liberalism as the Keynesian ideas that are more subtle and securing society as the mixed of government control and free-market gives sustainable societies. Not only full freedom without security for other than the corporations which is the main mantra of the Neo-Liberalism as the individual freedom usually get used by the legal person the corporations and not coined will by the persons themselves as the belief is under the ideology of liberal ideas. Instead of having total control of the state in the Communism, and strong big-government with socialism; but the Keynesian sees it in middle of that and have a free-market with control of the wages and workers by the government. That gives a steady economy and also a greater stability in the values of inflation and stronger value of the person instead of being a commodity as resources in the free-market thinking of the neo-liberalism that have deteriorated the markets and only winner is the corporations; not the fellow human beings. Peace.

Press Release: IMF Staff Completes Review Mission to Rwanda (05.04.2016)

Rwanda Francs

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, April 5, 2016 –  An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, led by Laure Redifer, visited Kigali from March 22–April 5, 2016 to carry out discussions with the Rwandan authorities on the fifth review of their economic and financial program supported by the IMF’s Policy Support Instrument (PSI)[1], and to reach understandings on economic policies that could be supported under the IMF’s Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF).[2]
Ms. Redifer issued the following statement at the end of the visit:

“The IMF team reached staff-level agreement with the authorities, subject to approval by IMF Management and the Executive Board, on policies that could support completion of the fifth review of Rwanda’s PSI-supported program, as well as a new agreement on an 18-month arrangement under the Fund’s SCF. The Executive Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 2016.

Rwanda’s economic performance in 2015 remained robust, with GDP growth of 6.9 percent. Growth in 2015 was buoyed by strong construction and services activity, with agriculture and manufacturing also performing well. Consumer price inflation remained contained, averaging 2.5 percent for the year, though it increased in the second half of 2015 due to higher food prices and administrative price increases. In February 2016, prices were 4.4 percent higher than a year before.

“However, new challenges emerged over the course of 2015 as a result of global developments. Lower prices and demand for Rwanda’s minerals almost halved the country’s mineral exports, leading to a significant loss of export revenue. This was exacerbated by lower-than-projected inflows of private capital and remittances, which together led to downward pressure on the Rwandan franc and foreign exchange reserves.
“Despite these developments, macroeconomic policy performance through end-December 2015 remained in line with program objectives. Most quantitative targets were met, and were supported by structural reforms, notably changes to boost domestic revenue collection, reduce liquidity overhangs, strengthen financial market supervision and functioning, and improve domestic revenue collection. Planned measures to revise the law for property taxes and improve the timeliness of public reporting on budget execution are taking somewhat longer than originally anticipated.  

“Over the medium term, growth prospects remain in line with Rwanda’s high potential, and the mission welcomes ongoing initiatives to promote export diversification and encourage local production of what Rwanda currently imports, in order to improve Rwanda’s resilience to external shocks. These policies will, however, take time.  In the near term, more immediate measures are needed to deflate external pressures and stem the drop in foreign exchange reserves. The mission welcomes, therefore, the authorities’ commitment to implement more cautious monetary policy and postpone some non-priority public spending to help dampen still-strong demand for imports. Allowing the exchange rate to continue to adjust as necessary will be critical in this regard. The mission expects that successful implementation of these policies will maintain economic growth at around 6 percent, while keeping inflation below 5 percent.

“The mission commends the authorities for decisive economic policies aimed at safeguarding external sustainability and reinforcing Rwanda’s long-term development potential. The mission also welcomes the authorities’ ambitious program of supporting forward-looking policy reforms aimed at strengthening the efficiency of public spending; and improving tax compliance.

“The mission met with Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Honorable Ambassador Claver Gatete, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda Honorable John Rwangombwa, Minister of Trade and Industry Honorable François Kanimba, and other senior government officials, private sector representatives, and development partners. The mission thanks the authorities and other interlocutors for the open, fruitful and collaborative discussions.”

[1] Rwanda’s PSI was approved by the IMF Executive Board on December 2, 2013 (see Press Release No.13/483). The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies. Details of Rwanda’s current PSI are available atimf.org/rwanda.

[2] The SCF supports low-income countries that have reached broadly sustainable macroeconomic positions, but may experience short-term financing needs, including those caused by shocks. The SCF supports countries’ economic programs aimed at restoring a sustainable macroeconomic position consistent with strong and durable growth and poverty reduction. (see imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/scf.htm).

Press Release: Kenya’s Economy Strong in a Challenging Global Environment, says World Bank (31.03.2016)

kenya-money-1

NAIROBI, March 31, 2016—Kenya’s economy is projected to grow at 5.9% in 2016, recording an improvement over the 5.6% estimated for 2015, says a new World Bank Group economic report released today. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to improve further to 6% in 2017.

The Kenya Economic Update (KEU): Kazi ni Kazi: Informality Should Not Be Normal attributes the positive outlook to low oil prices, good agriculture performance, supportive monetary policy, and ongoing infrastructure investments. Kenya experienced strong economic performance in 2015, and has exceeded the average growth for Sub Saharan Africa countries consistently since 2009, the report adds.

The KEU reviews Kenya’s economic performance in the context of three global factors which have been discussed for some time, and are now in full force. These include: industrialized countries’ monetary policy adjustment; the end of the commodity price boom, and the rebalancing of Chinese economy. The report says that the interaction between these global factors with domestic policy and conditions will determine Kenya’s growth in the near term.

“The prevailing global conditions call for a more vigilant policy stance which is supportive of growth,” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya

According to the report, Kenya’s economy remains vulnerable to domestic risks that could moderate the growth prospects. These include: first, the possibility that investors could defer investment decisions until after the elections; second, that election related expenditure could result to a cut back in infrastructure spending, and third, security remains a threat, not just in Kenya but globally. Finally, changes in monetary policy in industrialized countries could trigger volatility in financial markets putting the currency under pressure.

The KEU, whose special focus is on jobs notes that Kenya is creating more jobs now, but mainly in the informal sector. In the next ten years, nine million youth will enter the labor market, a majority will continue to find jobs in the informal sector, the report adds.

“Kenya is not short of jobs; it is short of high productivity jobs,” said Jane Kiringai, the Bank’s Senior Country Economist for Kenya and the lead author of the report. “To increase productivity of jobs in the informal sector, policy interventions could be geared towards increasing access to broad skills beyond formal education, creating linkages between formal and informal firms, and helping small scale firms enter local and global value chains.”

To create more and better jobs, it is also imperative to reduce the cost of doing business which is necessary for a robust private sector, the report adds.

Joint Communique: 17th Ordinary Summity of the East African Community Heads of State

17 EAC Joint Communique P117 EAC Joint Communique P217 EAC Joint Communique P317 EAC Joint Communique P417 EAC Joint Communique P5

Dr. Kizza Besigye’s Message from the Bulisa campaign rally today

Besigye 2.1.2015 Bulisa P1

Bulisa has its own challenges from land grabbing to massive corruption. Our campaign is two way, while we have a national agenda to bring change for all Ugandans Bulisa needs urgent interventions many have lost their land through dubious deals harbored by a very powerful group that is waiting to share the oil spoils.

Besigye 2.1.2015 Bulisa P2

Our campaign is about reclaiming our power back as a people, Bulisa needs to have power in order for oil to work for them.

Besigye 2.1.2015 Bulisa P3

Bulisa placards asked us to fight corruption in our government today; yes we pledge to you and the rest of Uganda that we will not give corruption room in our government, civil service and in the private sector. Corruption is a cancer that we will fight religiously. #WesigeBesige

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