Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 03 October 2018
Wednesday, 03 October 2018 18:03

Australia to join race for Africa

Australia is seeking to join China, UK and Europe in the race to increase business footprints in Africa.

The country’s new position is aided by a new look foreign policy that emphasises partnerships with mutual benefits.

Australia recently held an Africa Week in Perth, where it announced that it will push for mining, trade, education and cultural exchanges and technological advancement programmes in the coming years.

With the USA, UK, China and India all making huge financial offers for projects, Australia is touting joint ventures.

To begin with, it intends to share its technology with African countries that have mineral resources.

The mining sector, it is argued, holds the key for important technological developments; for instance renewable energy, battery storage and communication technologies all rely on a robust mining sector to provide the raw materials.

“We are hoping to create greater economic and social opportunities for African countries, and the people living in them.

These opportunities can be made easier and more accessible through the increased access to technology that the world is creating,” said Western Australia’s mineral minister Bill Johnson.

 

Source: East African News

Published in Business

It’s been five years since four attackers made their way into Westgate, a popular shopping mall in the rich Westlands area of Nairobi, and unleashed a coordinated attack that left 71 people dead.

Some of those deaths resulted from friendly fire as the small group of terrorists took advantage of Kenyan security agencies’ confused response. After the attack, videos emerged of members of some security agencies looting shops in Westgate during the siege.

The attack, for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, struck a brutal blow against Kenya’s important tourist industry.

Five years on, the threat is somewhat reduced.

Al-Shabaab remains undefeated. But there are several indications that Kenya, as well as several of its neighbours, such as Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, have made important gains against the terror group and its local sympathisers.

My field studies indicate that the Kenyan police have been successful in curtailing communication and cross-border travel by local sympathisers and Somali militants. This is significant for two reasons. First, attacks like Westgate were almost certainly coordinated by militants who’d trained in Somalia and returned to Kenya. And second, hundreds of Kenyans have joined the group inside Somalia.

Kenya’s security forces must nevertheless remain vigilant. This is especially true because Al-Shabaab remains powerful and stable within Somalia. There’s always a risk that the group will once again turn its sights on Kenya if policing and security slacken.

Al-Shabaab, a border problem

After Westgate, Kenya was rocked by two more large attacks in the vulnerable border areas near Somalia. On 2 December 2014, gunmen crept into a labourers’ camp in Mandera and killed 36 people. On 2 April 2015, militants launched a large-scale attack on Garissa University College. The attack left 150 dead, the highest number of causalities ever inside Kenya.

Since then, the border areas have become far safer, although attacks still occur. There are several reasons for this. Kenya increased spending on security. It also increased border controls, and implemented a devolution process delegating power to the region and local levels.

There’s also been an improvement in relations between Kenyan police and communities. Civil society groups were also drawn into implementing Kenya’s National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism in 2016, leading to a variety of NGOs getting involved.

Finally, Kenya’s police have become better at targeted operations. Gone are the random arrests scores of Kenyan Somalis that led to grievances and animosities that Al-Shabaab could take advantage off.

That’s not to say Kenya is entirely out of the woods. Concerns persist.

Al-Shabaab, still a threat

One area of concern is that there’s still potential for Al-Shabaab to recruit fighters inside Kenya. The root causes for the recruitment, alientation and animosity towards the state is still there.

While these Kenyan sympathisers in general are disorganised, they nevertheless remain a cadre that can be tapped by radicals if circumstances change in Kenya, and if law enforcement agencies drop their guard.

Inside Somalia, Al-Shabaab has not been weakened since the Westgate attack. There have been some changes, such as to its leadership, and some internal discord has been reported, but by and large the group remains on firm footing.

This is evidenced by increasing insecurity in Somalia. Most recently, a car belonging to Somali intellectual and free speech defender Professor Yahya Hagi Ibrahim was bombed. His brother was killed. It was the latest in a series of attacks targeting politicians and intellectuals.

In the Somali countryside, in supposedly “liberated areas”, Al-Shabaab still wields considerable influence. For instance, the group demands “taxes” from villagers and protection money from businesses operating in those areas, helping to fund the group’s activities.

All of this is worrying for Kenya. Its own local improvements unfortunately won’t directly influence Al-Shabaab’s standing inside Somalia.

Maintaining the progress

Kenya’s leaders need to maintain unity and enhance both the payment of security forces and the trust between community and the police.

Progress has been made, but it needs to be continuously advanced, strengthened and consolidated.The Conversation

 

Stig Jarle Hansen, Associate Professor of International Relations, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Economy
Malaysia’s anti-graft agency on Wednesday said it has arrested former first lady Rosmah Mansor and expects to charge her in court on Thursday with money-laundering, among other infringements.
 
The agency said that Rosmah, the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, was detained after being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
 
“Rosmah will face several charges.
 
“The charges covered infringements of a law against money laundering and other unlawful activities,” the agency said in a statement.
 
Her arrest follows three rounds of questioning by anti-graft agents over state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), from which U.S. authorities say more than 4.5 billion dollars was misappropriated.
 
Rosmah, 66, was questioned for nearly 13 hours on Sept. 26.
 
She had arrived at the agency’s headquarters at around 0300 GMT on Wednesday, wearing traditional Malay clothing in lime green and
 
The agency did not say if the charges against her related to 1MDB.
 
Lawyers for Rosmah had earlier said she had been arrested and that she would face money laundering charges.
 
Najib, 64, himself faced questioning on Wednesday by the anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing division of Malaysia’s police over a money laundering inquiry, media said.
 
Najib, whose coalition suffered a stunning election defeat in May, faces 32 charges ranging from money laundering to abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in the effort to uncover how billions of dollars went missing from 1MDB.
 
The couple’s world has been turned upside down since Najib lost the election to his one-time mentor Mahathir Mohamad, who swiftly reopened a probe into 1MDB.
 
Corruption accusations have dogged Najib for years, and came to a head in 2015, when the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly 700 million dollars in 1MDB funds was diverted to his personal bank account.
 
Rosmah has long been in the public eye over her penchant for handbags, jewelry and shopping sprees.
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
Published in World

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has revealed that the nation’s stunted economic development was attributable to unhealthy politics, poor leadership and the tussle for resources distribution at all levels of government.

ICAN President, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, made this revelation while speaking at the 48th Annual Conference of the institute in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to Jaiyeola, the country was yet to leverage the enormous resources which it had been endowed with to accelerate its growth.

“I will not be saying anything new if I assert that Nigeria is a great, blessed and richly endowed nation with abundant human and natural resources. What may be new is that the unhealthy politics of governance, poor leadership and tussle for resource distribution at all levels have stunted, rather than accelerated, the nation’s pace of social and economic development.

“We have not, as a people, leveraged the opportunity of our endowment to advance the cause of the nation and its people. Individual will, rather than the common good, has tended to be the driving force in politics in the last 58 years. No nation prospers under such a scenario,” Jaiyeola said.

He noted that the country’s environment was facing great degradation, impaired ecosystem, air, water and noise pollution owing to the exploration and mining of the nation’s wasting natural resources.

He said the activities were making it difficult for the environment to play its triple functions of food provider, waste assimilator and life sustainer for the present and future generations.

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari said it is a collective task to build the nation, adding that while the accountants’ role remained critical in the fight against corruption, every citizen had a role to play in the fight against insecurity.

In his address, President Muhammadu Buhari said accountants had a critical role in his administration’s fight against corruption.

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated, “Let me first say that with regard to fighting corruption, you have a special contribution to make as accountants in this regard. Your members serving as accountants and auditors can bring to bear your special skills in ensuring that books and records are properly kept.

“Working closely with the statutory agencies responsible for fighting corruption, ICAN will no doubt assist the government in its effort at fighting this national malaise.”

Also speaking at the event, the President of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Rachel Grimes, said trust crisis, in which citizens had lost faith in governing institutions, had been identified across the world.

She added that it was against the backdrop that IFAC developed a strategic plan titled ‘Build Trust; Inspire Confidence’ for 2019 – 2020.

 

The Ripples...

Published in Opinion & Analysis
The New York Times on Tuesday released an extensive investigation focused on President Donald Trump's fortune.
The Times reported that the president and his family engaged in "instances of outright fraud" to enhance their wealth.
 
The story also runs counter to Trump's narrative that he is a self-made billionaire.
The New York Times reported in an extensive investigation published Tuesday that President Donald Trump engaged in what it described as "dubious tax schemes" in the 1990s that even included "instances of outright fraud" that enhanced the fortune that his parents - mainly his father - passed on to him.
 
What The Times reported runs counter to Trump's oft-repeated narrative: that he is a self-made billionaire who built his own empire.
 
While The Times was not able to review Trump's personal tax returns - which he has refused to release, breaking with decades of precedent for presidential nominees - it said it examined a "trove of confidential tax returns and financial records" showing that Trump received at least $413 million (R6.2 billion) in today's dollars from when he was a child through the present day.
 
The Times reported that this money was passed on to Trump because he assisted his parents in dodging taxes, setting up a sham corporation and helping his father take millions in improper tax deductions.
 
The IRS apparently did not offer much "resistance" to the schemes, The Times said.
 
The Times reported that Trump's parents transferred in total more than $1 billion in wealth to their kids, an amount that could've produced as much as $550 million in tax revenue. Instead, the newspaper said, the Trumps paid just north of $50 million in taxes.
 
Charles Harder, an attorney for the president, told The Times in a statement that the report was "100% false and highly defamatory."
 
Robert Trump, the president's brother, also issued a statement to The Times, saying that "all appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid" following their parents' deaths.
 
"Our father's estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother's estate was closed in 2004," he continued.
 
Harder, the White House, and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Published in Bank & Finance

  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« October 2018 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31