The African Counsel

Sub-Saharan Africa Newsletter

September 2011                                                            Volume 2, Issue 4

In This Issue
China, U.S. In Stiff Competition Over Untamed Africa
Nigeria: How Politicians, Soldiers Engage in Oil Theft
Tanzania: Ewura Seeks Jailing of BP Director
Africa Pioneers High-Speed Internet
Africa: Trade Based Money Laundering - A Shady Side of Globalization
Joint Ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa:
A New FCPA Minefield

By: Herbert A. Igbanugo,  Esq.

Vassilena Ouzounova, Esq.




A Joint Venture (JV) business relationship sometimes appears deceivingly simple when it is seen as merely a contract between at least two parties that choose to embark on a project together. JVs, however, take on a complex posture, if they are the chosen method of entry into Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by foreign multi-national or corporate business entities. SSA is one of the only regions in the world, which U.S. companies have barely explored and do not quite understand. In fact, of all the continents, Africa is said to be the most fascinating and promising; but she also poses the greatest challenges. With twenty percent (20%) of the world's total landmass, a population of nearly one billion (14% of world total), and a plethora of mineral resources, SSA countries have long generated some of the highest returns on deployed capital.




U.S. - Africa

China, U.S. In Stiff Competition Over Untamed Africa, 9/6/2011 


Africa has of late remained in the spotlight of the world because of its vast and untapped natural resources, which are critical to global economic turnaround. This is what has brought competition between China and America as they try to outwit each other and win the hearts of African governments, especially those with vast untapped resources.


The United States of America and China in particular are in pitched battle to upstage each other in terms of winning contracts in the mining of oil, diamonds, gold, platinum and uranium among other resources.




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Nigeria: How Politicians, Soldiers Engage in Oil Theft, 9/8/2011 


Nigeria's political elite and soldiers have profited from large-scale oil theft in the Niger Delta that may cost the country up to a tenth of its production, according to a leaked United States (US) diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks at the end of last week.


Nigeria is the world's eighth biggest exporter of crude oil but thieves take a sizeable proportion of its output by drilling into pipelines or sometimes hijacking barges loaded with oil, a type of theft known locally as "bunkering."

Tanzania: Ewura Seeks Jailing of BP Director, 8/17/2011


The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) is asking the High Court to jail BP Tanzania's managing director if he fails to give reasons why he defied an order to resume selling fuel. The energy sector regulator yesterday filed a suit against the BP boss, Mr Engelbert Kongolo, who the Authority accuses of frustrating fuel supply and causing artificial shortage of the product in the country.


"We ask this honourable court to summon the respondent (Mr Kongolo) to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying a lawful Compliance Order to immediately resume operations," according to Ewura's request.BP Tanzania, which controls nearly 40 per cent of petroleum business in the country, found itself in a fallout with the government after it halted supply in an apparent disapproval of Ewura's move to cut pump prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene by 9.17 per cent earlier this month. Read more...





Africa Pioneers High-Speed Internet, 8/5/2011


Reliable Internet access and connectivity has for decades been a hindrance to Africa's development agenda. Several attempts to enhance connectivity and reliability for Africa's Internet are currently underway and huge investments have so far been poured into these gigantic continental initiatives


The African Union (AU) together with private investors are working in different projects that aim to enhance the continent's unreliable Internet connectivity and accessibility.


In this regard, South Africa, the continent's largest economy has demonstrated its prowess at the cutting edge of technology with the successful trial of an ultra-fast 500 Gigabits-per-second data transmission system that could enable download of 2,400 movies in 60 seconds. Read more... 




Africa: Trade Based Money Laundering  - A Shady Side of Globalization, 9/5/201   



Contemporary international trade involves the movement of huge volumes of exports and imports, supported by high-value financial transactions, generally attracting significant levels and forms of taxation. 


The volumes and value involved also create opportunities for tax evasion by one or more of the trading parties. There has been a growing body of literature, particularly in the last five years, showing the multiple methods used to evade trade-based tax. It has become conventional to divide these methods into two broad categories, depending on whether the transactions involve related or unrelated parties. Read more....