Thursday, June 20, 2013

Africa 'ripped off big time' by foreign resource firms

The Guardian: "The reality is, Africa is being ripped off big time," was the unusually blunt assessment by Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), in an interview with Reuters on Sunday. Kaberuka was addressing the perennial question of foreign corporations extracting Africa's mineral resources at huge profit for shareholders with scant reward for local populations. Speaking a day after meeting British and African leaders in London before the G8 summit, Kaberuka told the news agency: "Africa wants to grow itself out of poverty through trade and investment – part of doing so is to ensure there is transparency and sound governance in the natural resources sector."

Meanwhile, in Canada (The Economist): STEPHEN HARPER, Canada’s prime minister, made a splash on the eve of this week’s G8 summit of large industrialised economies. His government, he announced on June 12th, would make it mandatory for resource companies to disclose payments to governments, both domestic and foreign... But between Mr Harper’s announcement and the implementation of the new rule lies a long path littered with obstacles that will certainly delay, if not block, the intended result. Given that Canada is a significant player in mining finance—in 2011 almost 40% of equity in global mining firms was raised on the Toronto exchanges, which currently host 1,663 mining firms—this is of more than academic interest beyond Canadian borders.

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