The African Counsel

Sub-Saharan Africa Newsletter

May 2016                                                                             Volume 1, Issue 1

In This Issue
Catechism for Dismantling and Eradicating the Scourge of Corruption Embedded in the Judiciary Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa's Nation States
Women and the Wealth of Nations: Toward a Better Allocation of Female Talent
Africa, TPP, and TTIP: Integration or Isolation?
To Measure Corruption in Africa, You Can't Leave Out Tax Havens
President Buhari Agrees with Cameron's Corruption Claim
Ugandan President Rejects Law Exempts MPs From Taxes
Meet the Entrepreneurs at the Heart of Africa's Boom and They're all under 23
China's Pains over Zimbabwe's Indigenization Plan
African Lions: Unpacking Labor Trends & Growth in Mozambique
Catechism for Dismantling and Eradicating the Scourge of
Corruption Embedded in the Judiciary Systems of
Sub-Saharan Africa's Nation States
By. Herbert A. Igbanugo*
Igbanugo Partners Int'l Law Firm, PLLC

Judicial corruption is the "queen mother" and the most sordid of all corrupt behavior inflicted on the good people of Africa. The tentacles of corruption in the judiciary branch of most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa run far, wide, and deep. African judges must no longer ignore their constitutional obligations to the populace they serve, which often comes with perilous consequences. The citizenry of Sub-Saharan Africa's nation states are entitled to and deserve at a minimum, the same internationally recognized standards of honor, decency and reliability in their dealings with their judiciaries.
Judicial corruption may be defined as acts or omissions that constitute the use of public authority for the private benefit of judges, court personnel, and other justice sector personnel that result in the improper and unfair delivery of judicial decisions. Such acts include bribery, theft of public funds, extortion, intimidation, influence pedaling, the abuse of court procedures for personal gain, and any inappropriate influence on the impartiality of the judicial process by an actor within the court system.
Africa is widely considered amongst the world's most corrupt places, a factor contributing to the stunted development and economic impoverishment of many African nations. Of the ten countries considered to be the most corrupt in the world, six are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Transparency International (TI), a leading global watchdog on corruption. A 2002 African Union study estimated that corruption costs the continent roughly $150 billion a year. The United States has attempted to discourage corruption in Africa via aid tied to performance predicated on a series of governance indicators through a program administered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
A competent and incorruptible judiciary with fidelity to the vision of equal justice for all is the bedrock on which democracy and democratic practice are anchored. Corruption is pernicious by its very nature so that dishonorable conduct in their judiciary undermine and sap the confidence of the African people in the judiciary, which in turn, steers this most important bastion of democracy into a tailspin of self-destruction. Stated another way, the most important destructive force that can infect a state and militate against respect for the rule of law is judicial corruption. It is clearly a cancer in Africa's nation-states that desecrates the principle of the rule of law and systematically destroys the fabric of decent society and good governance.




Women and the Wealth of Nations: Toward a Better Allocation of Female Talent

Brookings Institute, 04/11/2016

Last month, the world celebrated International Women's Day. For many, this date was an opportunity to welcome the progress made in decades to collectively help women realize their limitless potential to contribute to economic development the world over. It was also a date to continue our thinking on policies to improve gender equality. Though International Women's Day is over, the spirit of the celebration must carry on for the rest of the year and going forward. Around the world, women continue to record political successes. Ten years have passed since Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first elected female head of state in Africa after a lifetime of groundbreaking efforts to promote gender equality. Several other countries in traditionally male societies have since elected female presidents as well. An increased number of constitutional reforms underscores other successes across the globe,

Africa, TPP, and TTIP: Integration or Isolation?
Brookings Institute, 4/14/16
With the demise of the Doha Development Round at the World Trade Organization Ministerial in Nairobi this past December, the multilateral approach to global trade negotiations has largely ended. Given that the number of regional trade agreements has increased from 70 in 1990 to more than 270 today, it appears that it is every region for itself when it comes to global trade.  

Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and Continental Free Trade Agreement

In certain respects, Africa is well positioned in this new era regional trade relations.
The Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA), signed in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt in June 2015, brings the Common Market of Eastern and South Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa development Community (SADC) into the continent's largest free-trade zone covering 26 countries and stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.

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To Measure Corruption in Africa, You Can't Leave Out Tax Havens, 2016

In the aftermath of the #PanamaLeaks --and in the lead-up to the Anti-Corruption Summit in London on May 12th--attention has turned to the work of the AU-ECA High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (HLP) as well as ECA's recent Africa Governance Report IV on Measuring Corruption in Africa. Highlighting those reports, the video below explains the need to rethink how many perception-based indexes measure corruption in Africa. Especially in light of ample evidence that the operations of foreign players on the continent and tax havens in other countries are causing significant illicit financial outflows, the omissions of which present serious gaps in current measurements. More about ECA in this BRIEFING.
 President Buhari Agrees with Cameron's Corruption Claim

BBC News, 05/11/2016

In an interview with Clive Myrie, Nigeria's President Buhari has agreed with Prime Minister David Cameron's comments about corruption in Nigeria.

Watch the Interview Here...
Ugandan President Rejects Law Exempts MPs From Taxes, 05/11/16

The 10th Parliament will kick-off on a collision course with the Executive after President Museveni rejected a Bill that sought to exempt MPs' transport allowances from taxes, triggering an instant backlash from furious lawmakers.



Meet the Entrepreneurs at the Heart of Africa's Boom and They're all Under 23,  10/29/15
Africa has the world's youngest and fastest-growing population. Today, the continent is home to more than 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, and its young population is increasingly well-educated. On current trends, nearly 60% of 20-24 year-olds in Africa will have a secondary education in 2030, according to the World Bank.
This growing cohort of young, skilled people is reflected in a wave of entrepreneurship that is transforming economies across Africa.

China's Pains over Zimbabwe's Indigenization Plan
Brookings Institute, 04/26/2016
 Zimbabwe clamped down with the enforcement of its controversial indigenization law-requiring foreign companies with assets of more than $500,000 to transfer or sell a 51 percent stake to indigenous Zimbabweans this month. The deadline of April 1 had been set earlier in March in accordance with the controversial 2008 indigenization law requiring foreign companies to submit plans for such indigenization or face the risk of closure. Zimbabwe is serious: According to the minister of youth and indigenization and economic empowerment, Patrick Zhuwao, the government is determined to implement the policy because it was elected in 2013 through "promised indigenization and empowerment." As Zimbabwe's largest source of foreign investment, Chinese investors are inevitably impacted. While China has generally tried to dispel the image of the indigenization being targeted at China, it has clearly voiced its displeasure, especially in the case of the diamond mining industry. Furthermore, dissatisfaction is rampant among many in China, who question the solidity and future of the special friendship between the two countries.

African Lions: Unpacking Labor Trends & Growth in Mozambique
Brookings Institute, 04/25/2016
Mozambique, over the last two decades, has experienced explosive growth, with an average GDP growth rate of almost 8 percent between 1997-2015. Not only that, but, for the most part, Mozambique has a track record of solid macroeconomic policies, like controlling inflation, reducing current account deficit, and lowering the country's dependence on aid. Like many other sub-Saharan African countries, though, the rapid growth rate has not transformed into substantially decreasing poverty rates. Indeed, while Mozambique's poverty rates fell dramatically from 1997-2003, many experts attribute that trend to post-war recovery from the civil war that ended in 1992, no clear progress seems to have been made from 2003-09. 

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