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Thread: Africa CAN fix itself

  1. #1

    Default Africa CAN fix itself

    Most reports on Africa concentrate on war, famine, death and disease, and while that reflects reality to a certain extent, perhaps the West should trust the ability of the continent's regions to solve its own problems. Somalia had become a by-word for failed government and lawlessness, and while still recovering, an African Union force led by Kenya has defeated Islamic militias and gradually restoring centralised government. Similarly, with rebels in the Central African Republic on the brink of capturing the capital, Bangui, a multinational force from bordering countries mobilised and peace talks are under discussion. Economically, the continent now has a middle-class numbering similar to India's at 300m, and while the monetary level is low, as with South America, it is through taking responsibility for their own economies then overall prosperity will increase. As a BBC4 documentary on poverty highlighted, the emerging generation of African entrepreneurs and NGO chairpeople wish to self-manage their response, rather than what they regard as the neo-colonialism of dead aid, so perhaps the continent is better off left alone?
    My political compass:
    Economic Left/Right: -5.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.64

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member DavidCaldwell's Avatar
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    Agree that there are good signs (very visible in Lagos today compared to ten years ago) and that this is important.
    But the "left alone" should include encouraging increasing trade, university links, travel, tourism etc etc. I imagine you would agree.
    An East Irish

  3. #3

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    From the OP you might be forgiven for thinking that the historical rape of Africa's resources and the current neocolonialist plunder is being carried out by people donating their second hand clothes to charity.
    I fully admit people in the West are ignorant and agree that the whole "aid" mentality needs to be looked at in proper context.
    But the problems in Africa aren't going to be fixed until the West, and China, stops interfering at every level in order to retain hold on the continent's minerals and resources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonsai Experiment View Post
    From the OP you might be forgiven for thinking that the historical rape of Africa's resources and the current neocolonialist plunder is being carried out by people donating their second hand clothes to charity.
    I fully admit people in the West are ignorant and agree that the whole "aid" mentality needs to be looked at in proper context.
    But the problems in Africa aren't going to be fixed until the West, and China, stops interfering at every level in order to retain hold on the continent's minerals and resources.
    +1000.

    'Transparency' hides Zambia's lost billions - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

    African nations such as Zambia are often seen as grossly corrupt. Yet it is corporate tax "avoidance" on the part of mining companies that costs the nation hundreds of millions annually, while lining the pockets of middle-men in countries such as Switzerland. And the much-lauded Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) may help - rather than hinder, this reality....

    Glencore's lucrative policies
    This type of corporate corruption - known as transfer mispricing, made headlines recently when a leaked report authored by Grant Thornton at the request of the Zambia Revenue Agency (ZRA) unpacked how the Glencore-controlled lucrative Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) - a company which declared no profits, was cheating the country's tax base of copper revenue.
    The auditors disclosed that MCM tried "resisting the pilot audit at every stage", rendering them unable to access crucial data in many instances. MCM's chief executive, Emmanuel Mutati, claimed that the audit was not accurate, precisely because data was inaccurate. Yet Glencore, the world's largest commodity trader, controlling 50 per cent of the global copper market, is confident that MCM will be "exonerated".
    In all probability, Glencore will be saying that transfer pricing is perfectly legal and central to trade. But the nature of "arms-length transfer pricing" within the current deregulated global financial architecture, enables multinationals (conducting as much as 60 per cent of global trade within - rather than between - corporations) to "self-regulate" pricing.
    So, though pricing, in theory, is determined according to "market values", in reality, the "corporate veil" facilitates tremendous mispricing when subsidiaries of the same company trade with one another - the means through which Glencore allegedly purchased grade +1 copper well below market prices, with MCM allegedly preferring - all too often, the lowest price offered by a Glencore subsidiary, described by the audit as an act likely for buyers, not sellers, who would experience diminished profits....
    allAfrica.com: Africa: The Vultures That Circle Continent's Economies

    The Democratic Republic of Congo took a loan of $3.3 million from what was then Yugoslavia, to build power lines. This was sold to a vulture fund for an undisclosed sum. The fund is now suing the DRC for $100 million, after previous attempts to attach the DRC embassy in Washington DC failed.

    It's not illegal, technically, but something about the practice smacks of profiteering, taking advantage of the world's poorest countries to turn a quick and disproportionately large profit. Many countries have made it impossible for vulture funds to obtain legal orders enforcing the practice, but loopholes in tax havens such as Jersey and the Isle of Man remain.
    Western bankers and lawyers 'rob Africa of $150bn every year' | Money | The Observer

    Africa kept destitute as western firms shift cash to tax havens
    Nick Mathiason in Nairobi
    Sunday January 21, 2007

    More than $150bn a year is looted from Africa through tax avoidance by giant corporations and capital flight using 'a pinstripe infrastructure' of western banks, lawyers and accountants, according to the African Union.

    This 75bn equivalent shortfall easily eclipses pledges made by leaders of the world's richest nations to increase aid and write off debt at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005.

    Such is the level of capital flight, revealed in studies by the African Union, that the poverty-stricken continent is now a net creditor to the rest of the world. It is estimated that about 30 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa's annual GDP has been moved to secretive tax havens, many under the jurisdiction of the British government.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member southwestkerry's Avatar
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    Just to add my two pennies worth, I wish all those white pillars off society here in Ireland who insist on going out their to build houses for them would stop. All that 'we white supreme Irish can build your a house, your black you cant do it yourself' attitude gets in my wick.
    SwK
    A ship at harbour is safe but that is not what ships were built for.

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member DavidCaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southwestkerry View Post
    Just to add my two pennies worth, I wish all those white pillars off society here in Ireland who insist on going out their to build houses for them would stop. All that 'we white supreme Irish can build your a house, your black you cant do it yourself' attitude gets in my wick.
    SwK
    My impression is that, providing things are peaceful, the more connections between people here and people there the better.

    If the people going out to build a church do a good job, then it helps and the Africans will be copying them.

    If they do a poor job, then it probably get some more Africans to say to themselves "Well, if these idiots can construct a rich country for themselves, it can't be so difficult. We can do it too."

    And the people who went out will come back and know that poverty in Africa is not just numbers, but it is something affecting people they know, friends of theirs (or, at the very least, tea-drinking partners of theirs).
    An East Irish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonsai Experiment View Post
    From the OP you might be forgiven for thinking that the historical rape of Africa's resources and the current neocolonialist plunder is being carried out by people donating their second hand clothes to charity.
    I fully admit people in the West are ignorant and agree that the whole "aid" mentality needs to be looked at in proper context.
    But the problems in Africa aren't going to be fixed until the West, and China, stops interfering at every level in order to retain hold on the continent's minerals and resources.
    From todays news.
    Stealing from the poor to feed the rich.
    PressTV - Turkey holds plane carrying 1.5 tons of gold to Dubai

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    Politics.ie Member Gurdiev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingVoterTralee View Post
    Most reports on Africa concentrate on war, famine, death and disease, and while that reflects reality to a certain extent, perhaps the West should trust the ability of the continent's regions to solve its own problems. Somalia had become a by-word for failed government and lawlessness, and while still recovering, an African Union force led by Kenya has defeated Islamic militias and gradually restoring centralised government. Similarly, with rebels in the Central African Republic on the brink of capturing the capital, Bangui, a multinational force from bordering countries mobilised and peace talks are under discussion. Economically, the continent now has a middle-class numbering similar to India's at 300m, and while the monetary level is low, as with South America, it is through taking responsibility for their own economies then overall prosperity will increase. As a BBC4 documentary on poverty highlighted, the emerging generation of African entrepreneurs and NGO chairpeople wish to self-manage their response, rather than what they regard as the neo-colonialism of dead aid, so perhaps the continent is better off left alone?
    Completely agree.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member General Urko's Avatar
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    China is doing its level best to stop Africa developing!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Urko View Post
    China is doing its level best to stop Africa developing!
    US CHINA EU..like a bunch of rapists jostling around their victim looking for a go before she dies or the law turns up.

    The law...

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